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Monday Thoughts 5.15.23

“It wasn’t the trauma that made you strong, kinder, and more compassionate. It’s how you handled it. That credit is yours.”


“As we grow older and wiser, we begin to realize what we need and what we need to leave behind. Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow. And sometimes walking away is a step forward.”


“Be like a tree. Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing.”

Joanne Raptis

#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

Sobriety and Statement #8 offer a continuing path toward growth, whether it be emotionally, spiritually or physically, or even mentally. Some very wise 4C women have shared the difference between emotional and mental health; while both are very important in recovery, emotional health refers to the ability to cope with and manage emotions and have positive relationships. Mental health refers to the ability to think clearly (think Statement #5) and make good decisions. Putting actions into Statement #8 can address these areas.

When I first began using this Statement, it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Before sobriety and recovery, I had felt utterly defeated. Having been taught a certain dogma for how life was supposed to be, I felt like an absolute failure and carried a ‘why bother’ attitude. Alcohol easily fit into this line of thinking and any emotional or spiritual growth stopped altogether.

Today Statement #8 helps identify priorities and find greater balance with an aim toward simple growth. No longer attached to long-standing doctrines or traditions, I am able to evaluate, create and grow into my own core beliefs and stretch outward. This growth tends to ebb and flow as well as have periods of stillness much like the seasons. I am so grateful for WFS and Statement #8, it feels incredibly freeing and connecting.




Dear 4C Women,

I love the quotes and I love Karen’s message, especially sharing the differences between emotional and mental health. I had not thought of those differences in such a way and it provides clarity which is something I need right now. I’ve written Monday Thoughts for years writing from my life experiences.  These past few weeks, I have been focusing on gratefulness and this is due in large part to Statement #8. I have been able to grow both emotionally and spiritually in such a powerful way these many years. It is that growth that is giving me the strength to cope with my daughter’s passing. Healing will take a much longer time yet I am coping in a way that I won’t drink to numb my feelings. In fact, I have found that releasing my pain with tears at any given moment, shouting out loud to no one, and accepting the love I have been shown, is part of knowing my priorities. How freeing to feel safe in expressing my feelings authentically, to set priorities from both love and pain. I never thought these two feelings could survive together yet they are.

For me, spiritual growth has been my faith. It is the path I chose which is what I also love about the WFS program. It is an individual choice, one that supports whichever spiritual path you choose.

As I go through the grieving and healing process, I think back to the beginning of my recovery when I grieved the loss of my coping mechanism, my supposed friend – alcohol. I didn’t think anything could replace it. I am glad to say I was wrong in that assumption. It was replaced by my belief in myself and the loving friendships I developed in WFS.

Questions to consider:

What has your priority been this week?

What has made you feel full/complete?

Who has supported you this week?

Whom have you supported this week?

How has your spiritual path supported you?

What changes have you made in your emotional growth?

Bonded in setting healthy priorities, and seeking emotional and spiritual growth that you have chosen for yourself, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 5.1.23

“Grieving doesn’t make you imperfect. It makes you human.”
Sarah Dressen

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Winnie the Pooh

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you’ve suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

Living in sobriety and recovery does not mean that life won’t be difficult, it simply means that you have the ability to be present in life no matter the experience. We have a choice. The WFS Statements provide a framework to guide us in New Life, even for those moments that feel truly heartbreaking.

In the past it was easy to just throw alcohol at uncomfortable feelings. Yet numbing out never addresses the experience and it can reappear in some other behavior, which is usually self-defeating. Everyone experiences grief in their lives, it is a human quality and today we even understand that animals can experience grief. Grief can come from any direction; from the feelings of loss of a relationship, health, job or cherished dream to the death of a pet, trauma or death of a loved one.

Statement #6 can be personally adapted to fit our needs when or if we are overwhelmed with emotion; Feelings are ordinary and I can experience grief. Grieving is moved through by a conscious effort. What is important to remember about grief or any other challenging emotion is that it is an individual experience. Everyone grieves differently. The critical aspect is to reach out when thoughts of drinking or using arise. We are an amazing community of strong women, bonded together, and together we can overcome anything.


Dear 4C Women,

I know that Karen wrote her part of the Monday Thoughts, especially with me in mind. My 51- year-old daughter passed away in my home on April 24 from kidney failure. I love how Karen adapted grieving to this Statement. I have received so much love and support ever since my daughter went into ICU and then came home under hospice care. She lived with me for 4 years and we had a strong relationship that I will be forever grateful for.

I am feeling numb, angry, sad, and all kinds of emotions. However, I am so glad that I was able to be here fully for her. I plan to stay sober to honor her and know that when she is looking down, she will be proud of her mom. She always talked about how I helped others and I needed to take care of myself sometimes. Well, it’s clear to me that I am being taken care of by the loving women in WFS. I found my purpose in life through WFS and the reward is that I have been shown love, kindness, and caring support. It’s a gift that I appreciate and need.

Writing my feelings has always been a healing process and that is why I wanted to share what is going on in my life right now to help me and hopefully those suffering with life’s challenges that seem impossible to cope with. I have learned through WFS to release my authentic feelings, let them flow, and reach out for help. It’s hard to talk about it but writing is the coping tool I find healing. This is going to be a long road and while I will not drink, I hope you will understand if I eat a lot of ice cream!

I want to thank the 4C women who have reached out and held my hand in virtuality. I felt the love. I especially want to thank Karen for helping me and others see this Statement in a way that I had never thought of before but needed and appreciate.

Bonded in healing, sharing, and seeking greatness in our New Life, Dee





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Monday Thoughts 4.17.23

“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control how you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.”


“One of the hardest things I’ve had to understand is that closure comes from within. Especially if you have been betrayed by someone you love because you feel like you gotta let them know the pain they caused, but the peace you seek can only be given to you by you.”

Bruna Nessif

“When you find no solution to a problem, it’s probably not a problem to be solved but a truth to be accepted.”


#4 Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.

I now better understand my problems.

I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

In the past I thought drinking was a normal escape from problems; I actually felt quite adult-like when complaining about whatever the issue was with a drink in hand. This behavior was modeled again and again throughout my life and it felt like a rite of passage. What I could not comprehend at the time though was that nothing was ever solved and looking back, it appears as if it was nothing more than a grown-up type of tantrum.

However, sobriety and Statement #4 in action lead to the opposite results; toward a conclusion, towards understanding, and growth. Instead of drinking at problems, WFS has taught me to examine an issue and to keep trying solutions. Oftentimes in the past, I got stuck going in circles trying to identify where the problem came from but with the practice of Statement #4, I learned this was simply another form of avoidance.

If a problem isn’t solved the first go-round, it’s time to try something different and don’t quit. Like the old adage, “fall down seven, get up eight” which maintains forward motion. Sometimes the problem doesn’t even belong; this can change dramatically when the veil of being the scapegoat is lifted. In our WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. affirms this about problem-solving; “The value of this Statement is in learning that we can control our reactions.” Instead of knee-jerk reacting to an issue (which historically did not go well), I continue to learn how to pause, reflect, or ask for help. Asking can be the most difficult, but it opens the door to fresh ideas and instills feelings of trust. Here are some basics for problem-solving:

  1. Refuel with sleep: Just like a car cannot continue on a near-empty tank of fuel, our mind and body must be refueled with sleep each night.
  2. Ask questions: Dive deeper into the issue with questions. Sometimes simple questions can hone into a solution immediately, others can draw out multiple solutions. Writing or journaling can help identify answers, and patterns or offer acceptance.
  3. Pause but don’t procrastinate: Sometimes simply pausing can refresh your outlook but be wary of procrastination. I have been stuck creatively recently and have procrastinated with multiple projects which have created more distress. Give your pause a deadline (note to self!)
  4. Know you are the director of your own movie/life: While you cannot control what happens around you, you are in control of your reactions. Define your story on your terms, not by someone else’s story. Design your set, change the cast of characters as needed, and edit and slice together pieces that work beautifully. Create the masterpiece that is your life.



Dear 4C women,

I like the title of Director of our lives. I also once heard that we are the CEO of our lives. Just as a director, we create the boundaries, and the values that our lives are guided by, being empowered to hire those who add to our lives and fire those that cause harm, finding our purpose, and working on solving problems/concerns that arise. Do you ever wish you could quit that job? Do you wish someone else would come along and solve your life problems? I think that is typical yet I have learned the hard way that it provides little space for growth. I have found that I can handle problems as long as they don’t come all at once or in multiples in a short period of time. I also reflect on what are real concern and just ordinary problem that sometimes resolves themselves.

Concerns usually require a lot more attention. When I feel overwhelmed with a concern, I might cry first, then cry a little bit more, and finally, pause and share with someone I trust about what is happening. I appreciate being heard and gaining insight into different ways of approaching my concern. The final decision is, of course, mine. Yet, just as we do not have to go through our recovery journey alone, we also have 4C women and resources to help ease a burden when it seems so painful and even unsolvable at the time. The important thing is to be heard, not judged or told what to do. Hearing others share similar experiences is a reminder that we have much in common and can learn from others, even find possible solutions that we had not thought of. WFS encourages us to listen and share experiences but not tell someone what to do. The reason behind that is if it doesn’t work out, the woman may become so angry or embarrassed that it didn’t work and not come back to a meeting feeling she failed at what she was told to do. The one thing we don’t want is for a woman to not feel safe in sharing and rather than learning, feeling supported, and encouraged, she feels just the opposite. For me, this is the beauty of how WFS works. We learn, we share, we give lots of support and encouragement and we grow confident in our decision-making/problem-solving skills. This does not mean we always make the right decisions but that’s absolutely ok! It’s part of learning and not beating ourselves up. We build on both our mistakes and our successes which we give back by sharing.

Do you have a safe and encouraging support system?

How have you changed your reaction to problems or concerns?

What are some coping skills you could share with others struggling right now?

What is one of the lessons you have learned from a mistake or success?

Bonded in learning problem-solving skills, supporting each other and sharing our lessons, Dee


Our Keynote Speakers for the 2023 WFS Virtual Conference are all amazing women and renowned authors and each has their own take on self-healing and growth.  Come and join us online June 9th-11th!