Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #13


“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”  -Adrienne Rich

“You are the most influential person you will talk to all day.”  -Zig Ziglar

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

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Statement #13, “I am responsible for myself and for my actions.”
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
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      Sobriety and New Life was not something that I planned for.  I certainly thought about it often, but mostly I feared it.  How would I ever live without drinking?  What would parties be like?  What would holidays be like?  Would I end up being lonely for the rest of my life?  I allowed these thoughts to rule my mind for years.  The practice of Statement #13 feels like a handy insurance policy.
      Planning for uncertainty and responsibility was a new concept in early sobriety and Statement #13 helps me do that still.  The first sober holiday season, I planned what to say when offered a drink and limited the number of alcohol abundant parties.  This felt awkward because it was so different, but it was certainly not impossible.
      Owning my thoughts, I own my actions and respond accordingly.  In the past, it was easy to shift blame to outside of myself, but then I also shifted the solution to outside as well.  It is empowering to know I can decide and feel satisfied or even learn from the decisions.  Today, I thrive without drinking, and parties or holidays are a celebration, not alcohol infused drama centers.  Instead of feeling alone, I am part of this incredible WFS sisterhood…… thank YOU for being part of this beautiful tribe! 

Hugzzz
Karen
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Hi 4C Women,
      I like the idea of Statement 13 being an insurance policy.  The payout is tremendous - a life of empowerment, freedom, healthy choices, life lessons rather than life sentences and lots of personal growth.  Whenever I have a decision to make, I repeat Statement 13 to myself.  It destroys the fear of making a mistake and at the same time, frees me to ask for help even knowing the final decision is mine.
      My greatest fear was actually having to take responsibility for my actions.  I had so little confidence in my problem-solving, decision-making skills and if I made a mistake in my choice, well, that just validated the low opinion I had of myself.  I always depended on others to decide for me.  That strategy played well into my blame, victim game.  I will never forget the time I was chatting with someone in the office and they said, “Don’t you ever have an opinion of your own?”  I was surprised but that is when this co-worker had the courage to tell me that every sentence began with, “Ed (my ex) said...” I was so unaware but in retrospect it was true and that co-worker did me a big favor.  It took me a long time to reverse this thought process yet it wasn’t until I found WFS that it became a major breakthrough.  It felt scary and empowering all at the same time.  I decided to stick with the empowerment feeling! 

·     Do you trust your instincts and follow through on them?  If so, think of a recent example.
·     List any positive things that resulted from a negative situation.  What is the life lesson you learned?
·     What are the fears that keep you stuck from being responsible for your actions?  How long are you willing to wait to release these fears and move forward?
·     Whom do you seek help from and why do you trust them, feel safe in sharing your needs or fears with them?
·     What would you do if you were 10 times bolder?
·     What commitment are you willing to make with or without someone else?
·     Lastly, write down 3 positive and powerful word pictures about yourself, i.e., “I am a bridge” and draw them. 

      All of these questions revolve around trust, releasing fears, life lessons, becoming empowered - Statement 13. 

4C WFS member
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© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission. 

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services. Thank you!

Holiday Chat Open House

The WFS Chat Leaders are holding an open house this Saturday, December 16. Women who are in recovery or seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addictions are welcome to join in.
 
CLICK HERE to learn about our WFS Online Community.
 

RED TAG SALE


WFS is having an INVENTORY REDUCTION SALE!

Many items are priced for $1.00!!
 


 
Thank you for your support!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #12


“Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself.  Trying to become smaller.  Quieter.  Less sensitive.  Less opinionated.  Less needy.  Because I didn’t want to be a burden.  I didn’t want to be too much or push people away.  I wanted people to like me.  I wanted to be cared for and valued.  I wanted to be wanted.  So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy.  And for years, I suffered.  But I am tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking.  It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being.  I am worthwhile.  Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter.  My voice matters.  And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth.  Even if it makes people angry.  Even if it makes them uncomfortable.  Even if they choose to leave.  I refuse to shrink.  I choose to take up space.  I choose to honor my feelings.  I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met.” ~~Daniell Koepke 
 
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Statement #12, “I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.”
This is what I am, and I shall know it always.
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      Practicing Statement #12 on a daily basis provides a pathway for increasing feelings of value and self-esteem.  Under the influence, feelings of worth plummeted which made it easy to shrink myself to fit into someone else’s definition of who I was.  At one point, I felt nonexistent; so much depended on something outside of myself.
      Sobriety is the beginning of creating a flourishing framework of self.  Feeling a sense of accomplishment from just one hour or one day of sobriety felt motivating, which in turn increased feelings of worth and identity.  I began uncovering myself which felt oddly satisfying and exciting.  Fighting for myself instead of against, feelings of competency emerged.
      One beautiful aspect of Statement #12 is that competency is unending; there will be areas to grow into and become.  Competency is unlimited; what had initially felt difficult in early sobriety can now feel routine and soon current challenges will become past achievements.  Thanks to WFS, I embrace my worth; I am a capable, competent, caring and compassionate woman!

Hugzzz
Karen
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Hi 4C Women,
      As I read Daniell Koepke’s beginning description of how she defined herself, I cringed because that was how I saw myself.  As she began to gain self-worth, I breathed a sigh of relief as I related to that transition as well.  It was challenging to see myself in such a negative light for so many years and realize I had to do the work to change that.  How in the world does one go from hating herself to loving herself all while working on sobriety?
      I thought back to family relationships, teenage crushes and friendships and adult relationships and how these relationships impacted my feelings of competency and self-esteem.  Why did I choose certain relationships when they ended up hurting me, reaffirming my low opinion of myself?  These were questions that I had to deal with if I was going to start believing in my worth and not depend on others to place a value on me that was filled with judgment.  In therapy and sobriety, I delved into these relationships and saw a pattern that answered many of my questions as to why I chose unhealthy relationships as a young adult that carried over to adulthood.  Quite an eye opener.  I discovered I was trying to recreate history, choosing someone who would ultimately reject me to prove my low opinion of myself was accurate.  Then there was the hopeful part of me that hoped the person would love me enough to disprove I was unlovable.  Sadly, because of my history, I usually ended up being rejected.  Now I believe I am competent, I am lovable and worthy.  I am good at seeing the red flags and while I am not in a romantic relationship, I know I would not ignore my internal warning signs.
      It’s been expressed that relationships are the biggest challenge in our recovery.  As we learn about ourselves, build our self-esteem and self-love, the goal of healthy relationships is the work we do.  Are we still triggered by certain relationships?  How do we handle those triggers under the added stress of the holidays and raised expectations?
      I think Karen’s statement that she is fighting for herself rather than against, is a powerful way to create positive change.  As you reflect on the past that created your feelings of unworthiness, do you recognize an unhealthy pattern?  If so, do you have a plan to build your self-worth, self-love?  Not everyone has a past that created unworthy feelings yet we still have them.  It is important to uncover the why and begin the self-love journey.  Are you ready to take yours?  I hope so because you are a competent woman and have much to give life!

4C WFS member
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© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission. 

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#GivingTuesday & Jean's Story of Hope


Today there will be millions of people around the world who will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.  It is our intention to encourage you to join in and participate that is meaningful for you… something that you are passionate about, that you care about, that brings lasting joy and good feelings.
 
In the days leading up to #GivingTuesday, Women for Sobriety participated in sharing Stories of Hope from women who have found their hope for recovery renewed in the WFS New Life Program.  Through your donation, you can help WFS to continue giving that spark of hope, a glimmer of light when it becomes so very dark and lonely and scary when battling an addiction.  Your support for our services will reach women who feel there is no hope left for them.
 
You have the power in your very own hands to give the Gift of Sobriety. {CLICK HERE}
 
https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/108133408063901813/search?keywords=Women+For+Sobriety+Inc&category=&state=
On this very special day of giving, we are sharing with you the story of hope from WFS’s founder, Jean Kirkpatrick… the woman who created a program that has given hope to millions of women that recovery is possible and they can achieve a new life, free from addictions.
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Between a Rock and a Hard Place 

I grabbed for the bottle and wanted a drink.  It can’t be!  I turned the bottle upside down and it was empty!  But how could that be?  I just opened it.  Well -- maybe it was a little while ago. 

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by rage.  This couldn’t be happening.  Jumping up I took the dining room chair I had been sitting on and smashed it against the wall.  It split into several pieces, so I took the other 3 chairs and smashed them too.  What a glorious feeling.  I looked around me and found more chairs, a bookcase, dishes, lamps, end tables, a TV set, wall pictures, a small kitchen radio, a wall clock -- I smashed them all.  Then I burst out crying and sat in the middle of the floor amidst the shambles of a once-furnished house now reduced to a pile of rubble. 

I was found there by a friend, a nurse, who got me to a hospital where the pills and booze began to wear off. 

But the house and the broken furniture were a picture of my life, which held within it, not a single thing that was unbroken....
 
 

The long days that followed were almost as nightmarish.  I was sick in mind and in soul.  I felt as if all my life were over and there was nothing whatever to live for.

Jean, Jean, Jean, Jean.  Why do you do it?  Why can’t you get it altogether?  Why is life such a big deal for you?  Why, why, why?

Lying in bed, coming face to face with the truth, again made me break out with perspiration.  I’m afraid; I’m scared of life, of people, of making it in this complex world.

I got through the gray day by staying glued to the TV set, afraid to move or think.  Oh, so afraid -- afraid of everything, every little noise, every silence, every moment of life.  I wrapped my arms around myself, trying to hold myself together, each moment an eternity.

Days passed and finally I knew I had to help myself, I had to do something.

My depression deepened and each moment seemed like a strand in the web of time, a web that held me captive.  My mind refused to stay in present day and I thought about my years in college, how happy I had been even though I was drinking.  Those memories reminded me of how happy and satisfied I felt during those years, the happiness and self-satisfaction I felt in learning new things every day. 

I jumped up and went to the bookcase to locate my Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Remembering how thrilled I was when first reading him, I spent the day reacquainting myself with transcendentalism.
 
 

 
It was a glorious day.  I felt ignited, as if a flame in me had been sparked and re-lit.  So many great thoughts -- that we are part of a great mind, that what we think creates our world.  And, oh, so much more!

In the days following I was led to Unity literature and this too enhanced my reading of Emerson.  I was changed.  What changed me were new thoughts, new ideas.  I saw the world differently and I saw my part in it differently.  I experienced hope.

All of this was not an overnight conversion, but it was the first excitement, the first hope that I had felt in years.  The days when I didn’t read were just as dull and bleak as those before it.  So I knew I had to keep reading, and that is what I did.  And from my reading, I put down a few thoughts and those thoughts eventually became the 13 Statement Program of WFS, the first self-help program for women.

Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Founder, Women for Sobriety, Inc.
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Article: Read Jean’s article “A New Beginning”, by clicking HERE.
Online Support: Join our WFS Online Community!  Details HERE.
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Order the Newly Revised Program Booklet HERE
 
 
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The Program Booklet is now on KINDLE!
 

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Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services.
When you make a donation using the PayPal Giving Fund link (CLICK HERE) and choosing Women for Sobriety, Inc. as your charity of choice, PayPal will MATCH 1% of every donation starting TODAY, November 28 through December 31, 2017. 
Thank you for your gift of hope! 
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© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
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Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/



Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Thoughts ~ Introducing...


Introducing…………

This is a very special edition of Monday Thoughts!

Today it is my pleasure to introduce our newly revised WFS Program Booklet which will be available on our website tomorrow, November 28, 2017, “Giving Tuesday.”  This has been over a year-long, passionate endeavor by the WFS Board of Directors.  Untold volunteer hours went into each page, with language brought up to date, cover stock and paper changes and an addition of bios with a dedication to preserve Jean’s vision.

Each Statement essay has been updated as well and now includes a “power closing” sentence.  This Program Booklet has quotes from two long time members of Women for Sobriety; Dee Waddington, previous WFS President and long-time Certified Moderator and Nancy Cross, who pioneered our WFS Online Forum, who sadly passed away in 2015. 

In the coming weeks, you will see these changes reflected in our literature as well as our website and online forum.  I thank you for your patience and continued support as we work to update each area, and as always, “We are capable and competent, caring and compassionate, always willing to help another, bonded together in overcoming our addictions.” (WFS Motto)

Hugzzz
Karen
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Hi 4C Women, 
       I was going to write after the Statements yet felt it important to end with them instead.  When I read each one and the subtle changes, they are as powerful today as they were back in 1988 when I first read them.  They are life lessons, guides and tools for positive change.  As I reflect on their impact in my life, I am incredibly grateful.  These 13 Statements helped me to find my voice, enhance the way I respond to situations and people and to ask for help even when I struggle with doing so.  I also have learned that when I am feeling discouraged, sad, disappointed or resentful, that these are feelings that need to be explored, not run away from with alcohol.  The best part is that I have learned to love myself, to sit in the pain with the support of others who understand without explanation, having the knowledge that I will survive and that invaluable life lessons will keep showing up.  I hope you are as excited about these changes as I am and enjoy the updated essays in the booklet.  The Program Booklet is definitely a must for your tool box in creating a “New Life” of positive change.  Love, Dee
 

WFS New Life Program Acceptance Statements 

#1       I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my well-being. I accept the responsibility.

#2       Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.

#3       Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.

#4       Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
           
I now better understand my problems. I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

#5       I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman. 

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

#7       Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.

#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.

#9       The past is gone forever.
No longer am I victimized by the past. I am a new woman.

#10    All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.

#11    Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life. 

#12    I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.
This is what I am, and I shall know it always. 

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

© WFS Inc. 2017

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© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org | Ph: 215-536-8026 | Fax: 215-538-9026
Join our Email Service by clicking HERE or text your email address to WFSORG at 22828.
Daily Inspirations on Twitter: @WFS4C | Check out the WFS Blog: http://wfsorg.blogspot.com
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/
When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates to Women for Sobriety.
PayPal Giving Fund: 100% of your donation reaches WFS and contributes to our mission.

DONATE NOW ~ Your Donations Help Support WFS’s Services. Thank you!