Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #1

I No Longer Reinforce Doubt 


 “Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.”  -Carrie Fisher

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”  -Rosa Parks

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.  And that makes me happy.  For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”  -Albert Camus 

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.
+ Karen’s Perspective +
        One of the things that I told myself often before sobriety and my New Life was that I would fail even before I began.  I reinforced this doubt every day with a drink; it didn’t matter which came first, the doubt, or the drink, the results were always the same.  Negative thoughts ruled my mind with a goal each day to escape into nothingness, but I almost escaped myself into nonexistence.
        WFS and Statement #1 are the foundation of my sobriety and recovery.  I know where I have been.  I know how it felt to be under the influence, and today I know that I do not want to ever go back to living, or, rather, existing that way ever again.  Statement #1 is the foundation of my recovery, while the other remaining twelve Statements create the framework for my New Life.
        These days I no longer reinforce doubt, instead I rely on the ability to encourage and take charge of my life.  I understand what Jean Kirkpatrick meant when she remarked that she had no desire to drink anymore.  For a long time, I didn’t think it was possible.  I get it now.  This journey is far more exciting and meaningful, filled with connection, joy, contentment and love.  Hugzzz, Karen

+  Member Insights  +
Hi 4C Women,
        I completely relate to Rosa Parks quote.  It seems most of my fear is entangled in the decision-making.  Will I make a mistake?  Do I have all the facts and studied the pros and cons properly and thoroughly?  Will I be able to handle the fall-out if my decision turns out to be a mistake or is that negative thinking really an excuse to cope with my fears by drinking or drugging it away?  As Rosa Parks’ quote states, these fears appear to dissipate once I make the decision.  I can tell I have truly made a decision based on the fear factor.  It’s like the decision to quit drinking - do I really have a problem, will it hurt if I wait a bit longer, am I willing to work hard at my emotional sobriety?  Back and forth with my yes and no.  I actually realized I made the decision when those questions weren’t as loud in my head as the joy of creating a New Life of freedom and empowerment. 

Do you remember the moment you made “the” decision?  If you are struggling with the fear factor, what is the greatest fear? 

        As I read through Karen’s message, I was struck by how uncovering, discovering and understanding our feelings are at the heart of WFS.  I love and appreciate that we do not need to share our war stories.  I know them well enough.  I also know I “can” share if I chose to, if it helps me move forward in my emotional growth or in facing another major challenge.  After all these years, I am grateful to still be learning from others, from their successes and their mistakes along with my own.
        Throughout life, we are teachers and students, sometimes all in the same conversation!  It is the working through of that situation and that person which might require a bit of background info so we can be helpful to each other.  Rather than repeat drinking/drug stories that can be hurtful to building our self-esteem, we share feelings about the situation.  There may be a story intertwined but it is not the major scene.  Can’t change what happened so our focus is on how to handle this differently than we would have in the past, to get input from those who might have had a similar situation.
        WFS is not a place for “should” but a place for compassion, understanding and support.  This is how empowerment grows by sharing experiences and providing ideas for a woman to choose “if” that might work for them.

·         What is your favorite part of the WFS program at this time?  Why?
·         Have you experienced being the teacher and the student?
·         What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
--WFS Member
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1 comment:

  1. In regard to the "fear factor"... I knew I had an LTP (life-threatening problem) for a very long time. Denial wasn't an issue for me. What WAS an issue is that before finding WFS (which ultimately saved my life) all I knew was the "other" program and way of thinking. That other way of thinking went against everything I believed and held dear to myself. It went against the very CORE of my being. And it asked me to voluntarily give away power that had been involuntarily taken from me too many times before. I simply couldn't hand over my power again - especially not to something I didn't believe in.

    Fortunately, when I made that decision, that life-changing decision - to remove alcohol from my life for good, to take it OFF the table as an option, I found WFS. Like many, I googled something like "non-12 step women alcohol" And up popped Women For Sobriety.

    When I first read our 13 Affirmation Statements, it was as if my life changed in a split second. There they were - my fundamental beliefs - written out in a way that I could use and apply to my LTP. I had never felt such a weight lifted from my shoulders. Finally, there was a way for me to give up alcohol, without giving up myself.

    Now, 8.5 years later, I am a CCL and Moderator and have been fortunate enough to make life-long friendships through the WFS Online program. So if you are reading this and wondering if it can be done using ONLY the online program, my answer is a resounding YES. YES...but you have to be the one to do the work. By that I mean posting and responding to posts, coming to the online chats, asking for help when you need it and essentially, becoming a part of a worldwide community of strong women.

    When asked "How did you do it?", the answer is simple. Simple, but not easy. I removed alcohol as an option for ANYTHING. I took it completely off the table as an option. I had the power of choice. Once one is no longer physically addicted to alcohol, resumption of drinking is always a choice. Knowing that you are choosing NOT to drink is incredibly powerful and for me, helped me avoid feelings of deprivation or rebellion that can occur when one is told she "can't" do something. Yes, I know that I cannot safely consume alcohol, but I CHOOSE not to even allow that to be an answer.

    This program literally saved my life. Without going into detail, there is really no medical reason why I am still alive today, but I am. And that is because I found and used our wonderful Affirmation Statements and became a member of the online community, both of which helped me through those oh-so-rough early months.

    If you are "on the fence" about quitting, I have a suggestion. Try it on for a while. Set a goal of 6 months and then after 6 months have passed, decide whether or not you like your new life. I'm willing to bet that by that time, the joys of sobriety will have begun to show themselves and you can choose to go another 6 more. And again and again and again. Always remembering though, that what's most important is making it through TODAY. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.