Women for Sobriety, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women overcome Substance Use Disorders. Founded in 1975, it was the first national self-help recovery program for women. The WFS New Life Program helps women achieve sobriety and sustain ongoing recovery. This blog is being preserved as an archive, as new posts are now being made on our main website, womenforsobriety.org.
Monday, July 9, 2018
Monday Thoughts ~ Statement #2
get upset with people or situations, both are powerless without your reaction.”-unknown
stimulus and response there is a space.In
that space is our power to choose our response.In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”-Victor Frankl
it’s best to stay quiet.The silence can
speak volumes without ever saying a word.”-unknown
Life before sobriety and recovery was
focused on arguing.Quick to choose sides,
arguments erupted easily and with the addition of alcohol, emotions escalated
into all out wars.Even when alone, it
was easy to engage both sides, continuing fights or disagreements in my mind,
acting almost as if the amount of time spent fighting would mean winning. (Which it never did!) This was an especially painful way to live;
emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Statement #2 in action, paired with
sobriety can de-escalate or even prevent arguments from taking place.Understanding emotions and reactions can set
the tone to reduce negativity.While
this is a continuing process, a reduction in negativity makes room for
different responses and a sense of balance.
Responding differently can include not
responding at all.Instead of going off
like a ballistic missile when cut off in traffic, a pause or moment of
reflection redirects from attaching to aggression and/or anxiety to simply
continuing a drive.Overtime, the small
changes in response can add up to self-compassion and satisfaction.
The acronym R.A.I.N. is a form of
mindfulness from Michele McDonald which can reduce negativity in the example of
being cut off in traffic:
what is going on:A car just cut you off.
the experience to be there, just as it is: Refusing to engage or flip off car who cut you
with kindness:Maybe that person is
trying to get to a hurt loved one in the hospital.
which comes from not identifying with the experience: Simply driving on your way.
Hi 4C Women,
I so appreciate how we can practice and internalize Statement #2
as it relates to our own personal lives.It is what creates our individual successful path to recovery.I was not one to express myself as I feared
confrontation, so my negative thoughts remained focused on my inadequacies -
real or imagined.We all have areas of
our life for which we aren’t trained, knowledgeable or able to comprehend (for
me, mostly technology).What I have
learned is that it is not a reflection on my capabilities or intelligence.It is actually a sign of strength to be able
to recognize we need help and to ask for it.Why would I continue to say negative thoughts about myself to myself
when there are areas that I am definitely competent in and others that require
assistance, help and input from others who have the knowledge and skill I don’t.So for me, I am no longer crippled by a
negative thought that in the past kept me paralyzed with fear, fed my intense
sense of incompetency and discouragement.This Statement has definitely reduced negativity in my life and I am
rather than harming yourself emotionally with negative thoughts, think about
the strengths, knowledge, life experience and abilities that you do have.And when you do ask for help, you are also
building up the confidence of the person you asked in addition to learning
picked up this book, “The Law of the Garbage Truck” by David J. Pollay a few
years back at the WFS Conference.This
is his description/pledge of the law of the Garbage Truck:
I do not accept garbage in my life.When I see Garbage Trucks, I do not take them
personally.I just smile.I wave.I wish them well.And I move on.And I do not spread garbage to others.I am not a Garbage Truck!I do not accept garbage in my life.
one chapter he said that we don’t need to suppress or deny bad memories and
negative thoughts when they appear, just smile, wave, wish them well and move
on as his pledge says.This exercise
helps in not diminishing your joy, your confidence or your belief in what is
good and possible in your life.
next time a negative thought appears, reflect on it for a moment and then try
just smiling, waving goodbye and wishing it well as you move on.How does it make you feel?Hold onto that feeling and practice it often!
take a moment to reflect on your 4C journey as WFS celebrates 43 years of
empowering and inspiring women in building a sober New Life. We thought this
was a great opportunity to share this article from 1975 about our budding organization. Thank you
for sharing your strength, encouragement, and support with all your sisters in
recovery and WFS!_____________________________________________________________________