“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” -Confucius
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas A. Edison
“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” -Sam Levenson
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 +
Who I am, in this moment, is a direct result of our empowering WFS Program, love and Statement #1 in action. Years ago, I made a choice and began to rewrite my own history, one beautiful moment at a time. At first it was so difficult. What I thought about mostly was alcohol. I looked at the clock; I looked at my watch, I felt anxious, I felt edgy, and I felt happy to close my eyes for the night sober. I had made it another 24 hours. Success. I was busy building my new sober life. I began to learn by watching. I watched everything. It felt like this new world had opened up right in front of me; yet, I was so unsure of myself so I kept on watching. I sat learning, watching how one person responded to their feelings, to a given situation and I was acting like a sponge absorbing all of this different information. I also began to read, read and read some more.
My mind was open, unclouded by alcohol and it felt so freeing. Though I still was learning to address my cravings, I was also making small changes, some of which I barely noticed, while others felt immense. I began to feel stronger. I began to feel healthier and I began to get to know me.
I had already accumulated some sober time when I found WFS but immediately upon reading the Statements, I felt different. This was new, completely new and I liked it. No, I loved it. I am home!! I dove into the WFS Program Booklet, Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life (my favorite!) and, since there was no face to face meeting in my area, I sat glued to the online forum. Here were women I could relate to. Some were new like me, and some very wise 4C women who spoke volumes and embraced life.
Today I am a 4C woman who has taken charge of her life and her disease and accepts responsibility. What a joy life is today! I am here; writing, growing, becoming…all of me! Hugzzz, Karen
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, I made the decision to stop drinking back in 1988. I had organized a speaking engagement on Women and Alcohol with Jean Kirkpatrick as the guest speaker after meeting with a woman who ran a WFS group in Ridgewood, NJ (that encounter is a whole other story). I had just been promoted to Director of the Women’s Department at the YWCA in Ridgewood and thought WFS was a program that embodied the YW’s mission of empowering women and needed to be a part of the YW’s offerings to women. Little did I know that it would be a life-changing event in my life.
As I was driving Jean back to her hotel, I remember wondering if I had a problem with drinking and upon asking her, she wisely said that if I had to ask, that was the answer to my question. It took a few months, but I finally accepted I had a problem and, by that time, the WFS group in Ridgewood had stopped meeting. Unlike Karen, the WFS online community did not exist, so I was on my own. This is how amazing, how powerful the WFS Program is as each statement became a guide, a lifeline to a New Life and I pushed my way through that first year to reach my goal of becoming a Certified Moderator. I felt as though I had won the grand prize of all prizes when I received that paper in the mail stating I had been approved as a moderator!
Hard to believe that 27 years has gone by and I am still as enthusiastic about WFS as I was back in February 1988 when I made the decision to stop drinking. That first year was challenging to say the least; yet, I felt the authentic change of empowerment, of being in charge of my life and truly understanding that I was, and am, responsible for my actions and my life. Only I could change all of that. So what once had me, no longer does. I am a new person and I owe that to WFS.
If you are struggling, envision your life as you want it to be. Close your eyes and see that woman standing strong, in charge and free to be! Work through the pain, uncover and discover the 4C woman within and make the decision to stop drinking/drugging. Whether you have a face to face group or the online community or both, the support and encouragement is there for you. Grab it and hold on for the New Life you need and deserve. -Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration! I would like to add to Dee’s story. I was working for Jean for 2 years at the time Dee wanted to make arrangements for Jean to visit and present the program. Jean invited me to come along. I got to meet Dee for the first time! And I also recall, very clearly, how empowering Jean was to listen to as she gave her presentation. I sat in the back of the room, with a table full of WFS brochures and booklets, and was mesmerized… honestly, she was truly inspirational. As she was talking about women’s feelings and emotions, all the ladies in the room were nodding their heads in agreement. I knew, for certain, I was working for an organization that could change lives for the better. Jean did go back to New Jersey to do another presentation in 1991 and we even have that one on DVD! So, if you’d like to catch some of that inspiration and enthusiasm from our founder and get to see Dee introduce her as well… here is the link to purchase the “Women and Recovery” Speech: http://www.wfscatalog.org/
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