Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Monday Thoughts ~ Statements 7 & 10

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”  -Maya Angelou

“Don’t forget to love yourself.”  -Soren Kierkegaard

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”  -Mother Teresa

************************************************************************
Statement #7, “Love can change the course of my world.” Caring is all-important. 

Statement #10, “All love given returns.” I am learning to know that I am loved.
************************************************************************

      Christmas and the holiday season can mean something different for everyone, but for each one of us embracing the WFS New Life Program, our common bond is sobriety.  Love, as Jean wrote in Statements #7 and #10 can “change the course” of the world and can return to the giver as our WFS Program Booklet reminds us, “from unexpected sources.”
      Though we can experience difficulties in our daily lives from minor irritations to a life changing diagnosis, love does change the course.  Beginning with the gift of sobriety and progressing into recovery, love expands and grows.  It reaches outward and spirals into endless connection.  A simple smile, phone call or card can lift a life with love.
      Whether you feel the glow from Hanukkah, Christmas or Diwali lights, revel in the fruits of Kwanza or sing and search during a Posada, or even add julemærket stickers on your cards, love is ever present, a gift ready to be given as well as received.  Wishing you a most joyous season filled with love!

Hugzzz and love
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,
      I love the new wording in Statement #10.  Every time I say that I am learning to know that I am loved, I feel tears forming.  These are happy tears because I finally believe that I am loved.  For so long, I questioned why I felt unloved, unlovable and while I recognized and acknowledged there were situations in my life as a child and an adult that created these feelings, I knew it was my responsibility to change those thoughts.  I desperately needed self-love and when I first started, I could hear old messages about being conceited and selfish.  It was challenging to turn off those negative messages because I had built a giant wall of protection.
      What could I do to break down that wall, to be vulnerable, willing to deal with the consequences of rejection that I feared?  It started with changing the mantra that I repeated on a daily basis – “I am stupid, ugly and I hate you.”  One day I looked in the mirror and jumped back at the words that came out of my mouth – “I love you!”  Was that me who just said that?  It was the beginning, the ah ha moment that I knew I had turned a corner.  The journey to self-love reminds me of the song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”  It can be as simple as saying you are lovable, listing the loving qualities you possess, believing others when they say they love you instead of dismissing it because you don’t love yourself so how could anyone else?  Love given and love returned doesn’t always come back from the person you gave it to and when that happens, it may seem to validate our feelings of being unlovable.  I have found that when I give love, it comes back in many different ways.  Sometimes it’s just feeling good about showing I care, to lift someone else’s spirits.
      As you celebrate this season, whatever it may be, know that you are worthy of being loved and it begins with you!

Bonded,
4C WFS member
_____________________________________________________________________
© 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!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #4


 
“The best way out is always through.”  -Robert Frost

“Don’t be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life is problems.  Living is solving problems.”  -Raymond E Feist 

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

With Christmas one week away, life can feel full of problems: ‘when will this and that get done, what will they say, who will do this’ or ‘how did that happen’ are just a few of the thoughts that can run through the mind during the holidays.  Problems can even feel larger than life during the holidays, and take on a whole different energy.  Thankfully, sobriety and Statement #4 in action can help keep things in perspective. 

A quote from our WFS Program Booklet on Statement #4 reminds us “The value of this Statement is in learning that we can control our reactions.  There are times we permit ourselves to be bothered by people, things, events, and actions, but we can utilize new tools.  By increasing understanding of our problems, we can better choose how we respond.” 

Applying Statement #4 proactively is helpful with managing stress during the holidays.  Creating and using a plan can help with focus, balance and can alleviate stressful feelings during the season.  Here is a sampling of some things that may be helpful: 

·     Understand that some things are out of your control: How Aunt Crabby responds this Christmas or New Year is out of your control.
·     Understand that some things are in your control: How you respond to Aunt Crabby is within your control.
·     Limit your time in uncomfortable situations: If you are attending a gathering with a focus on alcohol, limit your time to a brief appearance or better yet, limit the number of events like these you will attend.
·     Challenge your expectations: Perfection does not exist; no holiday can ever live up to TV/Movie holiday specials.
·     Define what the holiday means to you: Embrace your traditions or other healthy routines.
·     Focus on self-care: Regular sleep, healthy eating, and exercise do wonders as well as awareness of your feelings.
·     No is a complete sentence: You are an adult.  You have the option to say ‘no’ anytime without giving an excuse.
·     Keep your recovery a priority: Plan for cravings; log on to the WFS Forum or call someone from your f2f group.  A brief walk can separate you long enough to clear your mind or use the healthy tactic of ‘think through the drink.’ 

What other tips are helpful for you? 

Hugzzz
Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi 4C Women,
      Such great tips.  I’m looking forward to learning more that we can share with each other.  We can put so much pressure on ourselves to create the perfect holiday - perfect gifts, perfect party, perfect decorations, perfect relationships - perfect, perfect, perfect.  Even the word is starting to stress me out.  What usually works best for me is going back to the basics, being grateful for what I have, what I am still able to do.  I need to do this because I tend to find myself experiencing the stress Karen described in her message.  I realize that when I find myself going in that direction, it’s important to pause and take stock of what blessings I have.  This year in particular has been extremely challenging and I have been blessed beyond anything I can adequately express.  The support I have received from friends have made all the difference in the world.  This is what I focus on and to know I am not alone is the greatest gift.  I reflect on loved ones who are no longer here and while I feel quite sad, I also am grateful to have had them in my life.  Each has left me with love and lasting joy in my heart.  So this is my go to when I feel overwhelmed - gratitude, blessings, basic abilities and the gift of loving, giving, supportive friends.  I guess you could say it's a lot of positive self-talk and reaching out to others.
      Lastly, keeping your recovery a priority is everything.  One of the women in our group expressed it this way.  “If I had cancer and was doing chemo, would I say I wasn't going that day because of another request or distraction?  I look at my recovery the same way.  It comes first.” 

Bonded,
4C WFS member
_____________________________________________________________________
© 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!

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

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

      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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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
_____________________________________________________________________
© 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 
 
******************************************************************
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.
******************************************************************
 
      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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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
_____________________________________________________________________
© 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.
________________________________
 



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

_____________________________________________________________________
 
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! 
_____________________________________________________________________
© Women for Sobriety, Inc. | PO Box 618, Quakertown PA 18951
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
Messages of Hope on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/womenforsobriety/