Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #2

http://www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/

Alcohol + Me = Negativity Squared 

҉ 

“Negative thinking is subtle and deceptive.  It wears many faces and hides behind the mask of excuses.  It is important to strip away the mask and discover the real, root emotion.”  -Robert H. Schuller 

“You should tell yourself frequently ‘I will only react to constructive suggestions.’  This gives you positive ammunition against your own negative thoughts and those of others.”  -Jane Roberts 

“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear and ignorance.  And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one.  Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul.  Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”  -Steve Maraboli 

*****************************************************************
Statement #2, “Negative thoughts destroy only myself.”
My first conscious sober act must be to remove negativity from my life.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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        When first reading this Statement, I wondered what negativity looked like and how I could recognize it when it appeared.  I wasn’t sure what Jean meant with her words but it wasn’t long after starting to practice Statement #2 that it became clear to me.  All I had to do was look in the mirror; alcohol + me = negativity squared.
        Under the influence, I was as negative as could be but I didn’t see myself that way.  It was only after finding WFS and sobriety did I recognize this fact.  It was quite unnerving and very revealing.  It helped to listen to one of the CD’s I purchased that has Jean talking about negativity.  Paraphrasing, Jean gives an example of what negativity sounds like, “I just know it’s going to rain and then the event will be ruined and it will be all muddy and I never get to see this person and you know who will be there and they never have any food that I like and then those two always fight and get into it…and on and on.”
        WFS continues to teach me how to manage negativity.  Instead of looking at things from an all or nothing point of view, I can see things on a more balanced scale.  What in the past was overwhelmingly negative, I can now take and use the tools I continue to learn and practice which brings me into balance.  Of course, moments will still rile me but they no longer control me.
        This is especially useful when engaged with another who wants to repeatedly drag me into a bleak, black hole of negativity.  I am able to refuse the invitation without worry or guilt.  In the past, I put my needs away while focusing on pleasing another.  Self-care is definitely not selfish.
        In Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life, Jean writes, “Our sobriety must be protected from this type of chain reaction----that is, if we are serious about staying sober.  We must be able to identify negative situations right away, and we must learn to counter them with some positive actions.”  Positive action makes all the difference and focuses on solution instead of just simply complaining.
        Review the ways you release negativity in your New Life.  You are building your future with each small action today.  Is there any area in which you can improve?
Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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        Hi 4C Women, My sister and brother-in-law are visiting and last night we watched several family DVDs and I got to see a much younger, energetic me along with several old boyfriends and my ex-husband.  As I was watching, I realized I had to make a choice of feeling negative about the choices I have made in my life or grateful that I had felt love, had a ton of truly joyful, laughable moments along the way.  I think the negativity started nudging me when I saw my ex and the situation surrounding the event reminded me of the lies I lived with and then seeing my first love and the lies he also spewed upon me.
        I realized that this was history, old history, and I am not a prisoner of the past.  I am a student of the past and that focusing on the positive that occurred was much healthier for me than reliving the negative.  After all, I can’t change the past and I can’t let negativity be the lasting image of my life.  Just processing that thought from Statement #2 made such a difference and when the DVDs were over, my sister and I were still laughing uncontrollably at some of the scenes we had watched.
        Living with negativity, for me, only stirs up regret and resentment and I am the only one hurting.  Why would I want to harm my self-esteem or self-worth that I have worked so hard to achieve?  Yes, negative thoughts destroy only myself.  I encourage you to have a positive thought ready whenever you start traveling down that negativity road.  It needs to be as automatic as that once negative response/reaction was or maybe still is.  What would that thought be?  -WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026 *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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

Women Pioneers in Recovery

We always knew Jean Kirkpatrick, founder of Women for Sobriety, Inc. was a pioneer in the gender-specific recovery movement for women... and she, along with 7 other women pioneers in recovery are featured in Bill White's blog site:

http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/blog/2016/03/women-pioneers-in-public-recovery-disclosure-william-white-and-dr-jean-kilbourne-2.html



Friday, April 22, 2016

New Book in WFS Catalog


A Complete and Useable Program and
Reference Guide to Getting & Staying Sober

By D.H. Williams 


You or your loved one has tried rehab, 12-step programs, and/or other methods to try and break the hold of alcoholism on your life, often multiple times. But nothing seems to work, at least not for long! You may have also sought clear answers about the often complex and confusing world of alcoholism and addiction treatment, but were frustrated to find the information fragmented, too high-level, or even contradictory, and certainly not put together in a coherent, integrated, all-in-one resource.

Now comes How To Conquer Your Alcoholism! This groundbreaking new program and reference guide looks to succeed where all else has failed, in two key ways. First, its 13-Level approach combines the best-of-the-best of individual treatment tools with unconventional new “insider” methods that in total provide a comprehensive, innovative, and above all practical new program to get you sober and stay that way.

Second, it also provides you with all the resources you need to navigate your way to sobriety with easy-to-understand explanations of complicated topics and useable how-to directions. In short, this program and book provides you with all the tools you need to Conquer Your Alcoholism!

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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #7 & #10


http://www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/ 

Feel Love, Give Love, Be Loved

҉

“At the end of the day, tell yourself gently: ‘I love you, you did the best you could today, and even if you didn’t accomplish all you had planned, I love you anyway.’”  -Anonymous

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
-James Baldwin

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”  -Elbert Hubbard

*******************************************************************************
Statement #7, “Love can change the course of my world.”  Caring becomes all important.
Statement #10, “All love given returns.”  I will learn to know that others love me.
*******************************************************************************

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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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        Poets, dreamers, writers, and visionaries have all tried to capture the definition of love with the written word.  Many have tried and some do manage to describe the feeling but no one can completely agree on one simple definition of love.  How can one define something that can be felt only through life experience?  We are different and unique individuals and love connects us all.
        Sobriety and recovery need love to first begin, as well as for continuity and growth.  Addiction is fueled with disconnection; a disconnect from love, from life and from caring.  In the throes of active and healing addiction, “love is a stranger and is elusive” as Jean Kirkpatrick states in our Program Booklet.
        Statements #7 and #10 in action form the connections needed to regain trust in ourselves and in the outside world.  In my own life, I confused love with getting what I wanted.  I felt if someone loved me then they would do, say or be exactly what I wanted or needed.  This way of life left me feeling incredibly empty and alone, (read disconnected), a void that alcohol easily filled.
        Practicing the WFS Program on a daily basis opens a portal for love to flow.  Feelings of acceptance and connection begin to unfold with the resulting love creating a foundation of stability.  Even under trying circumstances, the love we experience and share enables us to weather the heaviest of storms.

Here are a few characteristics of love from Carol Morgan (Professor, Author, Coach):

1.       Love means saying goodbye to expectations.

2.       Love doesn’t play the victim role or blame others.

3.       Love includes letting go.

4.       Love doesn’t require you to continue a relationship.

5.       Love has no room for jealousy.

6.       Love is the absence of fear.

7.       Love is an action, not just a feeling.

8.       Love requires attention.

9.       Love understands and accepts differences.

10.   Love has empathy.

·         How has loved changed the course of your world?

·         Are you able to give, as well as receive, love?

·         Is there an area of your life where love can be applied?
Hugzzz, Karen



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+  Member Insights  +
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        Hi 4C Women, Karen has given such an amazing description of love and what it means to practice Statements 7 and 10.  And while it’s difficult to agree on a simple definition of love, Karen has clearly described how addiction can cloud our ability to love while in the throes of our addiction.  Not only does our addiction stop us from learning to love and receive love authentically, it makes it challenging to know what our needs are as we move through this world.  With clarity in sobriety comes the knowledge and understanding that we need to connect with others and to feel accepted, but first we must learn to love ourselves in order to accept love from others.
        Years ago I was very insecure about my worthiness to be loved.  I was a people-pleaser and thought this was the best and possibly only way to be loved.  Unfortunately, I lost my core values and could never feel sure I was loved for me or for what I did for others.  In retrospect, I am confident that I was loved by some yet my insecurities got in the way of knowing for sure.  So now, many years later, I can say that learning to love myself changed the course of my world.  It took a lot of work but was so worth it.
        With the practice of these statements and therapy, I slowly began the process of changing my negative self-talk, dug deep to learn what my needs were and how to achieve them, and to not think of loving myself as being self-centered but self-caring.  It was difficult but knowing that most of my self-hatred was based on my history of rejection, including my 27 year marriage.  I knew I had to work on both my letting go of past choices and to question and resolve why I thought it was acceptable to be the dumping ground of other people’s negativity and old baggage.
        Today, it seems almost impossible to recognize that woman who was so filled with self-hate, insecurities and unworthiness.  I have been unbelievably blessed by the enormous love I have gained through WFS and the women I have been privileged to meet and know with deep understanding.  I encourage each of you to start working on self-love and ending all negative self-talk.  Identify what your needs are and how you can attain them and if you permit people to continually dump their garbage of negative history on you and try to figure out why.  It’s difficult enough to work through your own history let alone to handle put downs, hurtful actions of others.  Feel love, give love and be loved.  It starts with you.  -WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

NEWS - WFS Q&A @ Harvard Medical School


WFS News 

«

Our Board President, Dee Waddington, participated in a Q&A interview from the Harvard Medical School Recovery Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts and WFS is now featured at the school’s “Ask the Expert” site at: 


….as well as being a feature in their March 2016 edition of the Recovery Research Review, a monthly newsletter which features reviews of recovery and addiction research and news. 

Thank you, Dee, for continuing the important work in helping others learn more about WFS; and many thanks to Cristi, the Project Coordinator, for reaching out to WFS with this wonderful opportunity! 
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Reflections ~ DENIAL

{ { { { { 

Denial 

     I have learned to deny so much – the negativisms, the foolish temptations, the complaining persons, the intimidation of dull, gray days, those persons who say, “Ah, come on, just one won’t hurt you.”
     Some denials work toward our good and these we must cultivate.
     Today I will be aware of the denials that help me to grow.

{ { { { { 

Today I will be aware of the denials that help me grow. 

        Awareness.  That’s what it is all about for me in recovery.  Once I am aware of something, I can no longer allow the denial; the work begins!
        Denial is a luxury I can no longer afford, if I wish to live a full, happy sober life.  I can’t hide behind it as I did for too many years.
        For a long time I knew I had a problem with alcohol but was unwilling, or unable, to get the help I needed.  Even though I had the awareness of the severity of my problem, my denial kept me mired in my addictions.  It was so much easier to deny it instead of act on it…until it wasn’t…and then I had to.
        In the time I’ve been sober, I’ve continued to peel away the layers of dysfunction, always striving to be my best and highest self.  I’m doing my work.  I discover that denial still exists outside of addiction.  The difference now is that once I become aware of it, I take the steps necessary to address the issue and move forward.  I no longer am willing to hide, no matter how hard it may seem.  And it’s never really that hard; it was just a story I tell myself to stay stuck.
        Allow yourself to be honest with yourself and recognize your denial.  Once it’s out there, go after it.  You are bigger than it is; you can do it.  And the reward is a happy, healthy sober life.  You deserve it.  Onward!  -Deb

{ { { { { 

Don’t
Even
Notice
I
Am
Lying 

        I had no idea that I was lying.  I thought I was quite truthful; but, actually I was lying.  I lied to the doctor.  “I drink socially.”  I lied to family.  I lied.  I lied to everyone.  Mostly, I was lying to myself. 

Take
Responsibility
Unleash
The
Heart

        Living in truth and removing the veil of denial brings depth, beauty and compassion to my heart.  I am a 4C woman who has so much to give life!  Hugzzz, Karen 

{ { { { { 

        It requires too much strength to deny the dull gray days and to refrain from being negative.  If I feel sad, that is normal; just as long as I do not let it affect me abnormally.  When I cry, I limit my cries to only ten minutes.  I do not need to cry all day.  I call up friends until I find one to talk to about how I am feeling.  -Marina 

{ { { { { 

        Denial is one of addiction’s Great Disguises.  It’s the insistence that I’m all right, really...it’s not that bad...I don’t have a problem...I can control this...and on and on in its endless variations that we all know.  Even in the depths of a binge, crawling out of the ashes, addiction can convince us that this is normal and that the substance of choice is a friend.  This is just one reason why vigilance must be a life-long habit.  We can’t get too comfortable or soft around the edges.  The Beast will stir, and beginning with a purr, can ooze back into our consciousness.  You want me...you need me...I love you...  It’s all lies, and denial is a lie.  Two lies don’t make a truth.  Love to all...toujours, Patricia “beakiemom1”
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday's Message ~ Statement #1


http://www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/

Free from the Prison of Alcohol 

҉ 

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes.  In order to be free, we must learn how to let go.  Release the hurt.  Release the fear.  Refuse to entertain your old pain.  The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.  What is it you would let go of today?”  -Mary Manin Morrissey 

“When you are able to believe once again in your own capability, you will no longer be an emotional cripple.  You will not engage in emotional conflicts that continually upset you or that make you feel guilty.  In fact, once you are able to see yourself, the true light of your capability, you will no longer have to use or even think about the use of alcohol as a means of coping.”  -Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life 

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Statement #1, “I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.”
I now take charge of my life and my disease.  I accept the responsibility.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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New Life?  Absolutely! 

     This week marked off another of year of sobriety and recovery and I feel deeply grateful for the WFS Program.  Where I am today is in direct proportion to the energy employed in living the Statements.  Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., was a woman way ahead of her time.  Jean knew from personal experience what worked for her and what didn’t.  Following her intuition, Jean set forth to write something not yet available; a recovery program for women written by a woman.
     Gone are those days of dread, anxiety and deep seeded guilt, lovingly replaced with contentment, courage and ability.  My days are free from the prison of alcohol and when laying my head down to sleep, I feel comforted with growth.  Of course not every day can be flowers and sunshine, some days have quite the storm.  The difference today is that I no longer feel cold and alone, adrift in an ocean of darkness.
     As the years pass by, I am amazed at the changes within myself.  Growth was something that I rarely, if ever, considered before my New Life.  In the past, my focus was hurrying through one thing to get to the next and I complained endlessly to anyone who would listen.  I actually liked complaining, it kept the attention off of me.  Now I am able to slow down and enjoy moments with genuine interest (and gratitude) while my complaining days have turned into searches for solutions.
     In our Program Booklet regarding Statement #1, Jean asks several insightful questions.  I encourage everyone to take the time to reflect and answer….

  • Why did I need to run?
  • Am I still running from myself?
  • Do you know your emotional needs and how to meet them?
  • Do you recognize the emotional situations that once led you to drinking but now you control in other ways?
Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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     Hi 4C Women, Still recovering from knee replacement surgery, I have discovered that while I don’t complain as I use to, I do acknowledge my fear, sadness and disappointment that I am not where I thought I would be.  It goes along with Karen’s comment that not every day can be flowers and sunshine and that is where I see the difference in the WFS program.
     I have learned to be in touch with my feelings and to express them, and by doing so take away the power of the negativity that used to be me.  The result of taking charge of my life is that I am empowered to be in charge of how I respond, how honest I am with myself about myself.  I am grateful to WFS for giving me those tools.  There is something very powerful that takes place when you express yourself and the fear of being judged is not there.  When I feel like crying, I cry.  I do not hold it in and by doing that, I release the fear within.
     Another thing I have noticed from acknowledging and releasing my feelings is that they don’t last nearly as long as in the past when I tried to pretend everything was just fine.  What a burden that was!  I believe so strongly in letting go of the past so that guilt and fear are not the driving forces in your life.  When you respond now, it is just an honest reaction to what is happening in the present.  Most importantly, guilt and shame keeps you a prisoner to the past and what purpose does that serve?  Some might say it keeps us from repeating the same actions/behavior… so does letting go and LEARNING from our mistakes so we can make healthier choices.
     The next time you see yourself living in the past; being driven by fear and doubt, remember that you have a life-threatening problem that once had you.  You now take charge of your life and your disease.  You accept the responsibility!  -WFS Member
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© WFS Inc. * Women for Sobriety, Inc., PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
Email: contact@womenforsobriety.org  *  Ph: 215-536-8026  *  Fax: 215-538-9026

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