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Today Though

This is HUGE for me – putting myself out here!  One thing you need to know is that I’m a secret addict. My husband knows, my mom knows and my dealer knows.  That’s about the extent of it. I was in control until I wasn’t. It’s been all downhill from there. 
I have tried to stop several times, and have been sober for short spurts, but then I fell right back into my old habits. Soon it had escalated beyond my control!  About a month ago I got serious because I knew my addiction was bigger than my willpower. I’ve been feeling great, like I was gaining control of my life, but today though … today is such a tough day for me. 
I don’t know why.  Nothing has triggered me. I haven’t had a fight with my hubby, nothing traumatic has happened. Today though … today is such a tough day. I knew these days would come; so far, I haven’t let the devil in my head take control.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I’m afraid I will slip.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I need someone to lean on.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I could easily text my dealer.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I have to reach out to someone.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I am not going to give in.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I need support.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I AM NOT GIVING IN! 
Today though … today is such a tough day. I could so easily give in.
Today though … today is such a tough day. I WILL get through this.
Because today though … this tough day is what will make me stronger. I will not allow my addiction to win.
Today … I stay sober.

Women for Sobriety (WFS) is an organization whose purpose is to help all women find their individual path to recovery through discovery of self, gained by sharing experiences, hopes and encouragement with other women in similar circumstances. We are an abstinence-based self-help program for women facing issues of alcohol or drug addiction. 
Our New Life Program acknowledges the very special needs women have in recovery – the need to nurture feelings of self-value and self-worth and the desire to discard feelings of guilt, shame, and humiliation.  WFS members live by the philosophy: “Release the past – plan for tomorrow – live for today.

~Zeta
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Monday Thoughts 9/23/2019

Monday Thoughts

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”  ~~Alice Walker

 “Incredible changes happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power of instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ~~Steve Maraboli

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”  ~~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Statement #13
I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.


Statement #13 offers continuing empowerment throughout New Life.  It is a natural extension of forward movement and aides in feelings of balance, contentment and strength.  Jean understood exactly how important progress is and developed the WFS New Life Program for life-long sobriety and recovery.

For some women, self-blame can feel overwhelming.  Releasing this destructive habit takes effort, and Statement #13 in action encourages empowerment.  Here are some effective ways to lessen self-blame by Maria Moraca:

  1. Re-frame how you question yourself. We all have patterns or tendencies, in how we communicate. In a tough situation, there is probably an automatic question or two that you usually ask yourself. When it pops up, write it down. It might be, “What did I do wrong?” or, “Why do I always eff up?” Ask yourself if you would ask someone you care about the same exact question. Chances are, the answer is no. Let that sink in.
  2. Change the question. How would you ask the question if it was directed at someone else? Pretend you are playing the role of trusted friend to someone you respect, love, and whom you hold in the highest regard. Would you have more compassion for their experience? Would you want to be supportive? Would you desire to assist them by being able to offer a more detached view? (Spoiler: Yes!) The new question you ask will depend on the situation. One that fits almost any experience is, simply, “What can I take from this?” I also like, “What do I want to learn from this?” which can remind us to consider in a more empowering direction. Also, “How do I want this to be different in the future?” can help us to formulate a plan to make that future happen.
  3. Now ask yourself that question. How does your altered question feel? Does it cause you to clench up, or do you begin hearing a litany of crappy internal dialogue? If so, change the question again. Keep changing it until you come up with a version that you’re comfortable hearing, that assists you in actually coming up with an introspective response.
  4. Remember, there is not one “right” way; there are just ways of being. I think many of us believe there is only one right way or one correct path. With this belief, there are many chances to consider that we are wrong or that we’ve failed. This is simply not the case!

There are many ways to do most tasks, just as there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.

Opportunities are infinite; our options are boundless, and we always have the power to change our perspective on any life event, large or small.

We have just as much energy for self-compassion and exploration as we do for self-punishment. It’s up to us to direct it.

How do you shift the energy when you realize you’re beating yourself up?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love the part of this message when Karen says there are many ways to live our lives. Having a difficult experience doesn’t mean we’ve done anything wrong; it means we are on a tougher road to learning, for the moment.

It is amazing how many of those challenging experiences present themselves throughout our lives.  What I have learned from these WFS Statements is that even when I make a mistake, it is my choice to reflect and learn how I will handle it if it happens again and to forgive myself.  Beating myself up for a mistake achieves nothing but pain.  Learning from it is empowering.  This is what I cherish about WFS meetings.  We share our experiences and teach each other.   This is how we learn that we are in charge of our lives.  We make choices, gain insight and pick ourselves up and move forward.  We take responsibility and learn to trust our decision-making.  That’s empowerment!

Bonded in taking responsibility for meeting the challenges of life and becoming empowered,
your 4C sister

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Monday Thoughts 6/24/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Recognizing and replacing the unhealthy thoughts, behaviors and feelings that may be sabotaging your best efforts is the key to building mental strength.” ~~Amy Morin

“Everyone is comparing lives on social media and wants the perfect body, perfect image, perfect outfit, perfect life—we’re striving for the perfection, and it’s so unhealthy because there is no such thing as perfection.” ~~Emily Atack

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt


Statement #13
  I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.


What do you think responsibility looks like? I imagine it looks a lot like courage. Using the definition, “responding with our ability,” responsibility is highly personal and is obviously different for everyone. Therefore, Statement #13 in action is as individual as we are.

While this Statement can appear and feel different for everyone, one similarity is certain; releasing unhealthy dependencies encourages self-acceptance. In our WFS Program booklet it states, “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.”

Sobriety and Statement #13 in action fosters independence and healthy relationships. It can feel incredibly uplifting and rewarding to live in responsibility when compared to past dependencies. This opens the door to contentment and strengthens self-worth. You are in charge of your mind, your thoughts and your life!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Whenever I think of responsibility, I think of freedom – the freedom to make my own choices, to stand on my own, to express my feelings, cry when I need to and to have hope in my heart. The best part of all of these is that I get to share my life with others who are walking the same path, who are working hard in making similar life-changing choices. I experienced this at the WFS Conference, the NJ WFS meeting I attended and, of course, the meetings I lead in AL. I am grateful to be surrounded all these years by women who accept the challenge of change and responsibility. To witness their personal growth in our meetings is a gift of pure joy. It keeps me uplifted and supports my sobriety.

A few years ago, I wrote about freedom and recovery and how I viewed it then. I’d like to share it with you and hope it will get you to think about your own definition of freedom in recovery:

Freedom to be available when needed
Freedom from lies
Freedom to use my time for learning and healing
Freedom to make choices and to own my mistakes
Freedom to know that any mistake I make will not break me but teach me
Freedom to grow spiritually as I choose
Freedom to make my own path with confidence

What freedoms are you experiencing in sobriety/recovery?

Bonded together in accepting responsibility for ourselves and our actions,
a 4C sister

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Monday Thoughts 3/25/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They’re really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.” ~~Mae Jemison

“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts—it gives you what you demand with your actions.” ~~Steve Maraboli

“Have a bias toward action—let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” ~~Indira Gandhi


Statement #13
I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.


Statement #13 encourages responding with ability, but it is the taking of action that results in empowerment, confidence and stable sobriety. As the final Statement in the New Life Program, practicing this Statement everyday leads to enhanced recovery and feelings of a full 4C life.

Alcohol eliminates ability and zaps action. It is the opposite of taking charge and often leads to lowered self-esteem and worth when others come to the rescue or use enabling behaviors. Action, no matter how small, is movement towards dreams and goals. In our WFS Program Booklet it states, “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.”

  • Here are some ways to assist in taking charge of our lives.
  • Eliminate blame. This allows for a shift from victimhood to victor and enables change.
  • Be present. This moment is the only moment there is. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. Refuse to ruminate on what happened or what will happen.
  • Try and try again. Take any small action toward goals. Movement forward changes your energy and it can begin to snowball, increasing ability. Keep trying!

Own every thought, feeling and action. No one can make you think, feel or do anything.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Such wonderful ways to work on being empowered, to be the “director” of our lives.

The most challenging one for me has always been that no one can make me think, feel or do anything. I certainly agree with that yet there are times when I find myself questioning my decisions, feeling enraged at an injustice to me or others I care about and every once in a while agreeing, when in my heart I do not. Here’s the good part – I am quickly aware of my reactions, responses and start doing a lot of introspective thinking about why and what can I do to correct the situation, if anything, but especially my feelings about it. Without WFS and the 13 Statements, I know none of this would be possible.

I wanted to share this because I believe we can be very hard on ourselves or fear we are back where we started when we feel we have failed or made a mistake. Nothing can be further from the truth. Whether it is one day or 30 years, we are not the same woman once we have started to make those authentic inside changes. Yes, there is always work to be done. That would be the case no matter where we are in overcoming our addictions because life is full of challenges yet remember we are full of positive changes. The more we are willing to learn, to trust ourselves, to work through the tough times, the more we can embrace the empowered, resilient, smart 4C women we are!

Bonded in being responsible for ourselves and for our actions,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 12/24/2018

Monday Thoughts“Surround yourself with people who empower you to become better.” ~~Anonymous

“I’ve seen plenty of powerful women squander a chance at power simply because they waited for someone else to give them permission to have power. There is no permission slip—you just have to BE powerful.” ~~Shonda Rhimes

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” ~~Beyoncé


Statement #13:
 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life. 


Years ago, did someone tell you couldn’t do something? Has doubt defined you? Have you questioned your self-worth or value? Sobriety and Statement #13 in action can eliminate doubt and instill feelings of ability and confidence.

Our Program booklet states “Often our thoughts are formed by past experiences, actions, and attitudes inherited from family and society. By understanding our thoughts, we can accept responsibility for our actions. We recognize we have options and choices.” It’s like moving into the driver’s seat.

Dina Marais, a Business Growth Coach writes, “To take responsibility for your life, is to take responsibility for your powers of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting, because this is the structure of all human experience. You create your life with your thoughts, feelings and actions.

You take responsibility when you accept that the thoughts you have are your thoughts coming from your mind. How you feel happens in your body and is a result of your thoughts. The words you speak come from your mouth and voice. The actions you take, are taken by you. What this means is that nobody can make you think, feel say or do anything. Nobody can push your buttons, because you are the button maker! In the same way you don’t have control over how other people respond as they respond from their mindset.”

Here are 4 ways Dina encourages for taking responsibility:

  1. Stop blaming. When you stop blaming and accept responsibility, you shift from victim to victor.
  2. Stop complaining. Complaining is another form of blaming and playing victim as if you have no choice.
  3. Refuse to take things personal. More than likely it has nothing to do with you.
  4. Live in the present. Be here now, the only moment there is.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Those old messages can play havoc with our lives when we keep them in the present. Learning to be and feel in charge of our minds, thoughts and lives takes time and understanding that as we develop responsibility, disappointments are bound to occur. Nancy Cross once wrote about disappointment, lack of confidence and rebellion that I thought was quite powerful.

Disappointment: A certain amount of negative feelings are inevitable, even necessary. But don’t repress them or get bogged down in them. Instead, experience them, work through them, and learn from them. For example, don’t allow disappointment to halt your progress. Disappointment is just a message or feedback telling you that things are not going according to plan. So, instead of quitting, find out what went wrong and what changes need to be made. When I first read that, I thought about the disappointments I experienced in life and how would I ever overcome feeling unworthy or inept to handle life because of my choices. Nancy’s words helped me realize that I don’t have to win in every situation or put myself down to prove my worth. I work through it, learn and survive.

Lack of confidence/low self-esteem: Nancy shared about how early childhood experiences may have caused us to lose confidence and if so, this is a FACT, not an EXCUSE. This is why, as adults, we need to heal those wounds and realize that self esteem is not a goal but a result of our willingness to heal and trust in who we are today.

Rebellion: Many of us are stuck in the “resistance syndrome” learned from childhood when we had no power. That may be happening as an adult when we automatically resist because you hear the “should” echoing in your thoughts. Rather than saying I “should” go to school to complete my degree, say I “want” to go to school and your personal reasons for that choice. “Shoulds” create resistance while “wants” dissolve resistance.

My response to her message rings true today as it did years ago. What we deserve is the chance to try our best, learn from it and take those lessons into the next challenge – because we know there will be more! Positive self-talk, reflection and changing our attitude and approach from a rebellious child getting in our way to an empowered woman with clarity of choice is Statement #13 in action.

Bonded in in being responsible for ourselves and our actions,
4C WFS Member

 

Posted on

Monday Thoughts 9/24/18

Monday Thoughts

“Practice does not make perfect, practice makes routine and practiced routine makes a master.” ~~unknown

“You are all things. Denying, rejecting, judging, or hiding from any aspect of your total being creates pain and results in a lack of wholeness.” ~~Joy Page

“The way anything is developed is through practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice and more practice. ~~Joyce Meyer


Statement #13
 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.


Oftentimes in books, movies and culture it can be implied that somehow, women are incomplete or that we need others to make ourselves whole. Who can forget the now famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire of “You complete me.”? This line of thinking can instill feelings of worthlessness, thereby creating dependency on something outside of ourselves. Feeling broken, substance abuse can easily take hold.

Statement #13, one of the Statements in Level 6, offers lifelong growth and a continuation of the WFS New Life Program. From our Beginner’s Collection, “The entire object of this ‘New Life’ Program is to come to this point; to the maturity of accepting ourselves and being responsible for ourselves and all we do. By accepting responsibility for who we are and what we do, we have broken away from unhealthy dependencies upon others to see us through life. We have become whole. We make ourselves whole.”

With sobriety and exercise of Statement #13, we can understand that we are already whole and that we have everything that we need within us. Initially this can feel frightening, but utilizing the tools that WFS provides, we are increasingly able to respond with our abilities. Additionally, Statement #13 opens the mind to growth, easing worries of making a mistake. Fear of failure evolves into doing our best and trying different options. Confidence increases and responsibility becomes second nature through the practice of our WFS New Life Program.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I’ve been under the weather the last week after returning from the family wedding in PA. In fact, I’ve been in bed for the past 6 days. Two days ago, I fell straight forward onto my knees (darn laptop cord!) and have been in a bit of pain. More worried about my partial knee replacement than anything else. It’s been two years and I have never placed any pressure on that knee. I guess I tested that theory head on when I fell. As my mind isn’t working as well as I was hoping it would be by now, I went back over past messages and found this one from Dec. 2013 that starts off with Nancy Cross and then my response.

Nancy wrote regarding Statement #13:

A healthy recovery requires accomplishing a number of tasks, including:

*build and maintain motivation
*connect with others
*identify and develop alternative coping methods
*reduce resentment about changing
*identify, understand and cope with craving
*build a new, balanced life
*lead a life that is purposeful, meaningful and reasonably happy
*stay alert for problems and follow through all the way

Hi 4C Women,

Nancy’s list of tasks for a healthy recovery is terrific. I was thinking back to the beginning of my journey and I believe the most difficult part for me was reducing my resentment about changing. As I mentioned last week, I was not eager to change because that meant I had to be responsible for my choices and I was doing so well at the “blame” game. At least I thought I was! I didn’t realize how much energy the blame game took away from self-discovery and growth until I decided to accept responsibility for my life and for my actions. It’s difficult to recognize the time being wasted when you’re in the midst of blaming. For me, accepting change, being RESPONSIBLE for it, was the turning point in my life. I’m not sure I would have been able to tackle the rest of Nancy ‘s list if I had not been willing to change and most importantly, not feel resentful about it. At first, I thought it was silly that I had to change when everyone else’s behavior was causing me to drink. My family history, my young adult years, the choices I made as an adult were out of my control. If only the people I loved would see it my way. If only they understood that I was a product of my life so far that made me feel unlovable and worthless. I clung to that for a very long time. What I eventually learned is that what happened to me growing up was out of my control. As a child, I held no power. As an adult, I owed it to myself to get my power back – to let go of what I cannot change (the past is gone forever) and change what was within my power to do (I will no longer be victimized by the past). Letting go does not mean that what happened as a child or adult was okay, it means that you accept the challenge to take on all those tasks on Nancy ‘s list to have the life you desire, the life you deserve.  You have the power to create this “New Life.” Are you up for the challenge?  Do you know what might be your stumbling block(s) at this very moment? Are you willing to consider how you can make the necessary changes?

 Love,
4C WFS Member

As I read my response from 2013, it is amazing how much the WFS Statements gave me such guidance for change and how they are just as relevant today. I hope you are receiving, accepting and willing to be responsible for your actions and your life as you put Statement #13 into practice.

Bonded in positive change,
4C WFS Member