Tuesday, March 7, 2017

“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 
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
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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