“Look for little ways to express yourself more creatively and differently. Don’t aim too high and get discouraged. Start with small things. Let yourself take a step that’s fun and relatively easy and enjoyable. Then appreciate yourself for that. If you keep taking small steps, you will end up being exactly where you need to be. Have fun with it. What it really boils down to is this: You can do things in the same old way you’ve always done them, which is safe and secure but also a bit dull and boring, or you can try something new and different. The reason we don’t try new things is because our protector selves are afraid they are not safe for us. But if you reassure those parts of ourselves and don’t try to do too many new things at once, we can create more excitement and fun in our lives.”--Awakening: A Daily Guide to Conscious Living by Shakti Gawain
Statement #12, “I am a competent woman and have much to give life.”
This is what I am and I shall know it always.
+ Karen’s Perspective +
One of the earliest and harder transitions for me to experience in sobriety and my New Life has been my concept of fun. When under the influence, everything felt fun and exciting; but, today, I know that that was a complete lie. Alcohol just covered up my feelings, unleashed drama and prevented me from experiencing reality. My self-esteem took a direct hit. I needed to relearn and redefine my concept of fun.
Sobriety and Statement #12 in action assist me in redefining many areas of my life as well as redirecting my encouraging self. A great example is how I have changed how I speak to myself about alcohol; instead of urging myself to drink, I encourage growth in sobriety and my New Life.
Another example was last year when I set a goal of taking a watercolor class and, though initially I felt quite unsure of myself, it turned out to be an exciting new adventure. It was so enjoyable. Not only did I learn some valuable techniques, but I also made new friends and instant connections. Again I proved to myself that I am a capable, competent woman who has so very much to give life and who now has a new exciting and creative outlet! Hugzzz, Karen
+ Dee’s Insights +
Hi 4C Women, I have been talking about fun for way too long and not working enough at achieving it. Fortunately, I do have some fun, in spite of myself. However, I have come to realize that just like most wants and needs, even fun requires commitment, time and some planning. As Karen said, and I agree, drinking seemed to provide fun, but who truly knows that it is not authentic until you stop drinking and realize the difference between the alcohol-induced fun and the spontaneous, joyful sober fun? Why couldn’t I have fun without having a drink to lower my inhibitions, to allow myself to be silly? All I can say is that sobriety taught me that I can laugh even harder and remember it the next day. Heck, I know what I’m doing every moment. I don’t feel self-conscious anymore about being silly and I highly recommend trying it!
Now some of you might be wondering why anyone would say that drinking at times provided fun when we are talking about sobriety. I learned in WFS that I needed to be honest with myself and others because it would be a hindrance to personal growth to say otherwise. Sober, I learned that it became a habit to drink in order to have what I considered fun, to be at ease. For some people, the idea of denying how alcohol calmed nervousness in new situations or helped make conversations easier around new people, denies their truth and might delay their willingness to accept that small piece of truth and find other healthier ways to have fun, to socialize and to be comfortable in new situations and around new people.
Acceptance allows change and that is what WFS is all about. Not only did I learn to have fun sober, I built my self-esteem and felt pure freedom to be me. This is who I am and I shall know it always. –Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director