Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #2


 
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“Magazines and opinions of you and stuff like that, those will change, but your opinion of yourself does not have to be based on what other people say.  So I just learned that my inner voice has to be louder than their outside voice.”  -Jennifer Love Hewitt 

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”  -James Truslow Adams

“That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity.  So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.”  -Meredith Monk

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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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        The alcohol drenched inner-voice was non-stop complaining, firing bolts of energy from one neuron to another, high-jacking my ability to think clearly.  This cycle of negative thinking created a deep groove in my mind, with the slightest agitation launching a flood of jumbled thinking.  Once on this negative path, it was easy to settle in and stay for the long haul.
        Sobriety and Statement #2 in action alleviate many of the complications from negative thinking.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed with fearful or anxious thoughts, I can comfort from within.  My inner voice has become a friend again; a part of me that is authentic and real.  It took some time to begin to trust this inner voice again but sobriety and recovery continue to strengthen inner communication.
        It is comforting to reach for Statement #2 in times of crisis or uncertainty.  Seeking guidance from within, I can pause instead of making knee-jerk reactions or exploding in anger.  Examining negative thoughts enables skillful thinking and options can come to light.  The deep negative channel from long ago has become filled with intuition and guidance which assists in feelings of balance.  Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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Hi 4C Women,

Balance - in times of great stress and huge challenges, I yearned to find a way to become centered, focused and able to have a positive outlook.  Overcoming feelings of inadequacy was the first obstacle.  That feeling only caused more self-inflicted pain and a false self-image based on others “assumed” opinion of me.  I eventually learned to turn off that negative inner critic even when he was screaming old “false” messages in my ear.  I began to find my truth, my new identity of being a 4C woman.  Slowly I began to stop the inner critic from trying to take away the positive image I was creating of myself.  He was a stubborn critic yet I am pleased to say he is quiet for the most part.  Only when I feel overwhelmed and fearful does he try to make a comeback.  He is a sneaky guy.  But I am a 4C woman and he’s not a match for all that hard work I’ve done.

Think about the negative messages you send yourself.
·         Is it a true fact or is it an old message?
·         Does it advance and protect your emotional and/or physical health?
·         What is your fear of showing the world your authentic self?

Here are some exercises from Stand Up for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson that might help you work on facing your inner critic and develop a positive self-image:

·         Monitor your thought for one day.  Write them down.  Don’t judge these thoughts; just become a witness to your inner dialogue.  At the end of the day, go back and review what you’ve written.  What percentage of your thoughts build you up, give you confidence or support your well-being?  What percentage brings you down or prevents you from fully expressing your power?  Are there any themes?
·         Once that is accomplished, develop an inner ally by identifying 5 of your best character qualities and create 5 “you” statements to remind you of how powerful you are.
·         Learn to watch your words – revise your vocabulary!  Make a list of 3 old words or phrases and use the new words or phrases you’ll replace them with.
·         List 5 ways in which you will change your behavior.
*I will stop doing:
*I will start doing:
·         Identify your outer allies.
·         Find your power song/songs and play it/them often!
-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
 
 
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #1


 

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“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”  -Amelia Earhart

“She conquered her demons and wore her scars like wings.”  -Atticus

“And one day she discovered the she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”  -Mark Anthony

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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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        My pocket sized, WFS Program Booklet has seen better days.  Even though it is tucked neatly in a blue-faded paisley cover, the pages continue to wear away.  Fingerprints, smudges and creases are strewn from the first to the last page.  The staples that once held this treasure together have given way and each page is cluttered with penned in notes.  Looking over the pages, eerie and discolored splotches line many of the pages, previously left over from my highlighting days.
        WFS provides the Statements, but the action comes from within.  Statement #1 begins the process by acknowledging the problem, and it is life-threatening: relationships, beliefs, health, spirit, self-worth, values, consciousness, they were all threatened by my drinking.  Life felt scary, overwhelming, and emotionally devastating.  It was a painful way to exist.
        Statement #1 frees me to live and not merely exist.  I get to experience every day with new vision and new meaning.  This freedom provides a continuing drive to learn, explore and discover.  Though the pages of my WFS Program Booklet remain tattered, I am living a New Life with contentment, possibility and passion.  Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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Hi 4C Women,
        Taking charge of my life was something I never believed possible.  I became a prisoner and keeper of the key that could set me free if I chose to acknowledge my problem.  Acknowledgement took a while because I didn’t want to accept responsibility for my actions.  That would mean I had to actually change my behavior, my attitude and my instant gratification in coping with life’s challenges.  That’s a lot of work!  What I gained from all that work is freedom - pure and simple.  No wasting time, no blaming everyone for my unhappy life, no wasted money and especially no more missing out on those precious and treasured moments that I learned to become aware of with purpose.  Statement #1 taught me a big lesson.  While I connected to the WFS program, I realized what Karen said, the action comes from within.  Otherwise, the Statements are just words on a piece of paper that sound great but without action, without making the choice to accept and acknowledge my problem, nothing changes!
        Sobriety does not promise a perfect life.  What it does provide is a new way of living.  Learning healthier coping tools, learning to heal from the past and practice self-forgiveness, building self-love, self-worth and so much more.  To think all of this became mine by acknowledging and accepting responsibility for my choices.
        I have this list of how to overcome emotional roadblocks by Bob Livingstone outlining why we are reluctant to face our emotional pain.  One point really shouted out to me – “Learning that the energy invested in pushing the pain away is not worth the price of becoming physically ill, drug dependent, or devoid of feelings.  This energy can be instead used for recovery, spiritual awakening, self-direction, and confidence building.”  This, to me, is what can be the reward of practicing Statement #1! 

·         What do you think will be among the positive changes that could take place if you said yes to Statement #1?
·         What is the fear in acknowledging and accepting that you have a problem?
·         If you have accepted Statement #1, what changes have been the most powerful in your life?
·         Do you seek input from others or is the fear of feeling inadequate getting in the way?
-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
 
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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Recovery Month...and beyond!



 Recovery Month ….and beyond! 

Check out the locations that WFS will be participating in...

Minnesota Recovery Connection is hosting the 2017 Walk for Recovery

Where:  2020 W Lake of the Isles Parkway, Minneapolis MN 55405

When:  Saturday, September 16, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

Minnesota Recovery Connection’s annual Walk for Recovery is a way to celebrate recovery, show your support, generate hope, reduce stigma and offer living proof that recovery is real!  Come on out and visit WFS’s booth and say ‘hi’ to our 4C women from the Twin Cities Groups!
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The Art of Recovery Expo


Where:  Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix Arizona

When:  Saturday, September 16, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

The annual Expo is FREE to the public, with educational workshops, resources, and solutions for addictions and behavioral health.  This is an opportunity to meet many of the leading professionals in the addiction treatment and behavioral health arena.  If you heading to the convention center, stop by and visit our WFS members from the Sun City Group – just look for the WFS Banner!
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Recovery Happens San Diego 2017 


Where:  Liberty Station Park NTC, San Diego CA

When:  Saturday, September 16, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details 

Both of our WFS San Diego Groups will be participating in this event – join in and carry WFS’s Banner and be proud of your recovery!
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2017 Southern Nevada Substance Use & Behavioral Health Summit


Where:  University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Student Union Ballroom

When:  Friday, September 29, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

The Summit is free of charge and open to anyone who wishes to attend, however, this event may be most interesting to medical and behavioral health professionals, criminal justice professionals, prevention professionals, and student.  WFS’s Board Member, Britt Rodriguez, will be participating in a break-out session entitled “Many Paths to Recovery” - a grand opportunity to learn more about the variety of choices available for those seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.
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Recovery Month Event: “Out of the Flames: Transforming Addiction into an Extraordinary New Life”


Where:  CATHE House of Healing, Burlington Wisconsin

When:  Saturday, September 30, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

Come and celebrate Recovery Month and create a stronger recovery community!  This is open to the general public, individuals curious about recovery, and those active in recovery.  The event will feature the film “The Secret World of Recovery” followed by a short panel discussion with members from a variety of recovery groups and other community providers interested in recovery.  WFS group moderator, Sherry, will be on the discussion panel and members will be setting up a table display… locate our banner and stop by to pick out a FREE affirmation for the day!
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WellSprings Third Addictions and Recovery Expo 


Where:  Hosted by WellSprings Unitarian Universalist Congregation @ the Montgomery School in Chester Springs PA

When:  Saturday, October 21, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

The Addictions & Recovery Team provides compassionate, nonjudgmental presence for individuals and families within WellSprings who are struggling with alcoholism and other addictions, and helps connect people with resources for recovery and healing.  This will be the 3rd year for their Addictions and Recovery Expo.  Come out and meet our WFS Board Member and Moderator, Joan, and her Phoenixville Group – they’ll be setting up a table exhibit to share information on our program.
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Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference


Where:  Charlotte Harbor Conference Center in Punta Gorda, Florida

When:  October 23-26, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

This conference is bringing together recovering leaders from many different pathways, and organizations and providers of recovery services to share and educate one another about the ways people live in recovery.  Every day there will be opportunities to learn about recovery options and meet the representatives of major organizations in the addiction field.  Adrienne Miller, WFS Board V.P., is winging her way to Florida to represent Women for Sobriety!
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Walk in Remembrance with Hope


Where:  Balboa Park 6th & Laurel, San Diego CA

When:  Sunday, November 12, 2017

Web:  Click HERE for Details

Please join our WFS San Diego sisters as they walk in memory of a loved one and raise awareness about suicide prevention.  There are many ways to get involved!
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Let us know if your WFS group is participating in any events and we’ll pass it along!

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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
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday's Message ~ Statement #4



 
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“Whatever happens, I’ll just keep moving forward.  Like an avalanche.”  -Michelle Phan

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
-Francis of Assisi

“Look at what you want to change, gather a few people who believe in it like you do, and start moving forward.  It’s important to remember that you don’t always need a destination.  Sometimes, you just have to make forward motion.  And you absolutely can.”  -Debby Ryan

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Statement #4, “Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.”
I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
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+ Karen’s Perspective +
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        Sobriety doesn’t mean the end of problems but it does offer a clear way to move through problems and into solution, which fosters growth and confidence.  In the past, alcohol clouded thinking; often leaving me feeling overwhelmed or unable to deal with an issue.  Additionally, I drank -at- problems.  A tough day at work or fight with family would be all the justification I needed to escape into alcohol.  This further exacerbated everything; I still had the original issue plus a hangover.  Over time, problems went unsolved and relationships crumbled.
        Today, I understand that problems are temporary while solutions are permanent.  Some problems can take longer than others to conclude, yet by practicing Statement #4 I am better able to stay focused and not exaggerate an issue.  Instead of a problem feeling overwhelming or threatening, I can choose to see a problem as an opportunity for growth.
        Some problems can also become some of the best teachers.  Through them, I have found strength, resiliency and greater understanding and appreciation.  At one time in my life, the prospect of driving a car was terrifying, but now, driving is a joy.  Answers to difficult questions have come to light moving through problems and it feels empowering to be standing on a solid foundation of solutions.
Hugzzz, Karen

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+  Member Insights  +
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Hi 4C Women,
        I love Karen’s sentiment of feeling empowered to be standing on a solid foundation of solutions.  There was a time when I felt completely incapable of making any decisions.  I was fearful of making a mistake and being harshly judged.  Of course, I was the main offender in judging myself.  When I became separated from my husband, I had no choice but to start trusting my instincts, to learn from my mistakes rather than punish myself and to recognize whether something was truly a situation that needed my attention in problem solving or a situation that I had blown up from that proverbial molehill into a mountain.  Fortunately, I was sober and had been in therapy yet after years of negative thinking about my capabilities, it was challenging to see myself differently, in a positive light.  Any mistake in judgment created a life-time fear and believe me, I made a lot of mistakes but I had that aha moment realizing we were created to be real, not perfect.  Perfection can be a huge destroyer of our self-esteem.
        I began to recognize that I allowed problems to grow like a wild fire in my mind.  It was exhausting.  I found myself making assumptions that didn’t even relate to the “presumed” problem.  I believe it finally turned into an issue of control.  If I couldn’t control every aspect of my life, control the outcome, then I was inadequate.  Practicing Statement 4 truly changed my approach to understanding that I was more than capable of making decisions no matter what the outcome.  That was a major turning point in my New Life.  Now, many years later, I am so grateful for the guidance WFS gave me.  I said goodbye to the fearful woman and welcomed a 4C woman.  I sure was glad to meet her and keep her.
        I encourage you to consider how you view your decision-making skills, your ability to problem solve.
·         Are you judging yourself too harshly?
·         Are you able to move through, learn and forgive yourself for past mistakes?
·         Do you seek input from others or is the fear of feeling inadequate getting in the way?
        We are bonded together and that includes learning from each other.  We are wise and caring and have so much to offer this world!

*Today is 9/11.  As I reflect on that day, and considering what so many people are going through at this very moment due to the hurricanes, fires and loss of life, my heart is filled with awe as thousands of people throughout the nation are helping those in great need.  We remain a country of courageous people, helping others as best we can and showing our love, our special bond for those struggling in ways we can only imagine.  It is encouraging and heartwarming to witness the caring support being given today as we did on 9/11.  This outpouring of love is who we truly are.  -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

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