Tuesday, April 3, 2018

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”  ~~Amelia Earhart

“Step out of the history that is holding you back.  Step into the new story you are willing to create.”  ~~Oprah Winfrey

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”  ~~Maya Angelou
Statement #1
 “I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.”
I now take charge of my life and my well-being.
I accept the responsibility.
Eleven years ago, this week, a decision changed my life in so many incredible and exciting ways and the wonders keep revealing themselves.  The decision?  Sobriety. 

Afraid and unsure of what was in store, I dropped the *don’t give a crap * attitude and became willing to try something different.  I already knew what alcohol was doing to my mind, body and relationships; each were suffering though I didn’t freely admit it out loud and……. I was not alone.

Jean knew she had a problem and came to a turning point, unable to find something to work for her, she created something that would.  Today, we have Women for Sobriety and in our Program Booklet in the Statement #1 essay on page 6, “Overcoming denial of our problem is the key that opens our mind to recovery.” This seemingly insignificant moment became pivotal and New Life became possible.

Sobriety and recovery enable me to be in charge of my life and well-being.  What a journey this continues to be. It is a joy and honor to walk beside you!

Hi 4C Women,
Accepting responsibility for my life meant so many things. I was scared and hopeful all at the same time. When I felt tempted, I kept repeating Statement #1 that this was a life-threatening problem that once had me. Those are powerful words. Taking charge meant developing new coping skills and changing them when they seemed to be less effective. As I learned more about myself, the sad and empty parts, the negative definition of me and my life, I knew it was up to me to change my automatic response to those thoughts.  
I also feel that why we stop isn't nearly as important as why we continue to remain sober. Over the years I have met women who stopped for family, a job, health, legal issues yet those who began to see the positive changes stayed for themselves. While I began to feel empowered as I took on the responsibility of my well-being, I also was taken aback at first by my intense feelings of both anger and joy. I was a bit confused and unprepared for the depth of my feelings. However, on reflection, this is exactly why I drank - to numb my anger and my distrust of joy. If you are prepared for this possibility (not everyone responds the same way), it will benefit you to know this is only a part of the process. I liken it to grieving. There are stages of grieving and knowing what they are is helpful, knowing what to expect and how to handle it if and when it happens. Giving up drinking for me was like a grieving process. The WFS statements and counseling were such wonderful guides to remain steadfast in my decision. They both brought healing that I so desperately needed by working on them, not living in fear of them by ignoring them. What I once viewed as punishment for my choices (Statement #9) became a world of freedom, to be available, to love myself, make mistakes and learn. That was, and is, my reward. 
What are your current coping skills? Have they changed over time? What is your greatest benefit of sobriety?  What choices are you making that protect your sobriety? Are you open to addressing your fears of moving through the unknown to being in charge of your life? 
Bonded Together,
4C WFS Member
Don't miss this workshop at the
June 8-10 in Center Valley, PA
Science of Addiction and Recovery
Ever wonder about the numbers behind rates of addiction and recovery? How about the physical, mental, and biochemical changes our bodies undergo during active addiction and the stages of recovery? New Life Program founder Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick wrote about the physical breakdown of our bodies in addiction and the gradual recovery of our health and minds in sobriety, and this conversation is still ongoing for women in WFS today. This workshop will introduce participants to the science behind all those numbers and ominous-sounding “changes,” engaging women in hands-on activities and demonstrations to help bring the science to life.
PerditaX (Peer Presenter) - PerditaX has a Ph.D. in the natural sciences, so naturally she wanted to learn more about the science behind addiction to aid in her own recovery journey. After assisting WFS with a literature search to find updated statistics on women and addiction, she was drawn to help interpret and present the science behind addiction and recovery in an interesting way that would be accessible to all women in recovery.
Adrienne M, CDP/tankgirl (Peer Presenter) - Adrienne is a self-proclaimed cheerleader for recovery and amateur neuroscience nerd. Adrienne has a BA in Psychology from the University of Washington and additional post-graduate education in alcohol and drug counseling. She has taken a hiatus from her work as a Chemical Dependency Professional in the state of Washington to move to Quakertown, PA, serving as Project Manager in the WFS office.
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