An Organization for Women Seeking Sobriety
Women For Sobriety (WFS) is an organization dedicated to providing recovery to women who identify as having a substance abuse disorder. The Women For Sobriety organization assists women with finding a new life by providing information within the context of the program. WFS was founded in 1975 and the content of the solution is based on 13 Acceptance Statements. The founder is a sociologist named Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. (1923 – 2000) who struggled with her addiction to alcohol in early life. Her belief was that Alcoholics Anonymous is based on admitting fault which might not assist women who already struggled with self image issues. Her own recovery involved attending AA and she was able to gain some sobriety for a period of time but felt it lacked something for her. She eventually found herself free and dedicated herself to developing literature to help other women. The program was designed by Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick and is specifically tailored to aid women. WFS helps women address their issues with self-image since she believed admitting fault was a detriment to women’s recovery, their sobriety and a better life.
Jean Kirkpatrick was a noted author and expert on the subject of recovery, appeared on many television shows and spoke about her experiences at conferences prior to her death in 2000. She began drinking in high school. She struggled through college due to her drinking but found sobriety briefly while attending AA. Unfortunately while trying to complete her doctorate she relapsed. Sixteen years later in 1971 she eventually completed Ph.D. Her passion for sobriety fueled a career dedicated to helping women and led her to developing this program. She received the Raymond Haupert Humanitarian Award from Moravian College in 1978. The organization is now a registered 501(c) charity, with a board of directors and an executive director. By 1987 they could be found in the United States, Australia, Africa, England and Germany.
The 13 Acceptance Statements is a key component of the program. Each acceptance statement is crafted to provide insight to the participants. The acceptance statement taken as a whole is highlighted throughout the literature but each acceptance statement defines a critical aspect of recovery for the individual.
Does sober mean no drinking at all?
Participants in the group that make up the local program or online will have a mission statement that defines their purpose in helping women achieve sobriety through complete abstinence and Women For Sobriety is a self-help program. Not every person at the meeting is part of the service structure tasked with providing assistance. The information available in the content of the program is a valuable resource for any woman seeking assistance. Members have the opportunity to volunteer but it is not a requirement of the program. Any woman seeking abstinence as a way of living will find acceptance within the program. Substance Use Disorder is a recognized condition in the medical field and maintaining complete abstinence is critical to the success of any treatment option.
Helping Women Who Thought They Might Have A Substance Abuse Problem
Addiction knows no gender boundaries. Much of the information on recovery is gender neutral but there are specific needs unique to women seeking recovery. Women For Sobriety is designed to provide a path for women specifically that is tailored to their needs. The key is the 13 Acceptance Statements. Women offer in person meetings, online and phone support all based on the acceptance statements. WFS offers volunteers the opportunity to become a Certified Facilitator for leading in meetings, organize phone calls through volunteers and online support groups.
A recovery program with sobriety can aid anyone lead a better life. You may find as you get on board with this life that you become a new person and learn to enjoy the more social aspects of a life without substance use. This program is specifically designed to assist those women understand and adopt the acceptance statements. Meetings are just one aspect of the program. A positive self image will assist you to shape new thoughts and improve all areas of your life. Phone support is available as well. Any person who can identify with your thought at a given moment in a safe and supportive environment could make all the difference in the world. Some prefer the anonymity of online recovery.
There are 6 Levels of Recovery available for women to obtain. Participants in the new life program who attend meetings regularly will learn not just the acceptance statements but this information;
- Level 1: Acceptance of having a Substance Use Disorder, one that requires the cessation of substance use.
- Level 2: Discarding negative thoughts, putting guilt behind, and practicing new ways of viewing and solving problems.
- Level 3: Creating and practicing a new self-image.
- Level 4: Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns.
- Level 5: Improving relationships as a result of our new feelings about self.
- Level 6: Recognizing life’s priorities: emotional and spiritual growth, self-responsibility.
Women offer a unique perspective on sobriety that might only be fully appreciated by other women in recovery and someone who is seeking sobriety. As you help yourself recover, and share your experiences with other women, you will appreciate the support of other women in this new life program. You might not identify yourself as a volunteer but the new life program has the opportunity to join a group and become part of a team.
Developing New Thoughts and a New Life in WFS
Using literature and active participation in a group members develop the tools to assist them achieve sobriety and a better life. Our old thoughts about ourselves may not work well in this recovery life once we have adopted it. Self image improves with application of the information learned in the content of the program and strengthens your sobriety. The goal is new thoughts and new ways of living based on complete abstinence and experiencing a wonderful life becomes your program. 13 Acceptance Statements are critical to understanding the program and a new life. There are 4 key points to consider;
- Positive reinforcement (approval and encouragement)
- Cognitive strategies (positive thinking)
- Letting the body help (relaxation techniques, meditation, diet and physical exercise)
- Dynamic group involvement.
A meeting is important but any recovery information is valuable in this program. Becoming part of a team is important. The support you develop in your recovery is a critical aspect of the process that you undertake with other women. Self image exploration, new ideas and shared thoughts will require a safe space created by the women at meetings. Participants in sobriety will have different levels of recovery so having the support of other women in the program is important. Each person starts their journey with certain ideas and moves through the program at their own pace.
Volunteers are thought to be the lifeblood of any non-profit organization.
Women who find recovery in WFS and learn a new life program are encouraged to support other women looking to achieve sobriety. This will open the door to becoming a volunteer. You will find that hosting a meeting or organizing a meeting has benefits to your recovery. There are many other benefits to recovery like the opportunity to to be social with other women in sobriety. By attending meetings regularly women can support other women who are learning the 13 Acceptance Statements. The new life program is specifically designed to address the emotional needs of women. One statement that you will often hear is how rewarding it is to live a life of sobriety. By meeting regularly with other women at in person meetings, online or by dialing a number, you have the opportunity to support your own recovery. Learning to assist and support others can be a natural part of sobriety.
The ability to shape a new life program either online or in person is more than what you will find in the acceptance statements. You do not have to volunteer as part of the new life program and being a volunteer is not in the acceptance statements. There are many participants who do not want to be on a board or have any interest in growing the new life program. The new life program does not require participants to be a volunteer. Those that do choose to get involved will find a rich reward in helping others and it will add a rich new layer to the meeting participation. Being part of a board familiar with the acceptance statements and helping to organize a meeting or event is also a rich social experience.
Have You had Thoughts Of Getting Involved?
The team at Women For Sobriety welcome volunteers. This new life program has a statement on their website about the many volunteer opportunities available in the ‘about’ section and select ‘volunteer’. You can also register in their volunteer database. Jean Kirkpatrick, PHD wrote books and at the highest level of volunteer service it is recommended to read “Turnabout : new help for the woman alcoholic”, or “Goodbye hangovers, hello life : self-help for women”.
Often people will start simply with helping to facilitate local meetings, online forums and joining the phone bank. Depending on the time you have available, you can get involved with organizing conferences, writing blogs, or speaking at events. Phone Support workers gives you the opportunity to aid other women who might not have access to local meetings or are nervous about attending. Certified Facilitators have read the literature, have at least a year of sobriety and are familiar with the new life program. You can also get involved in some of the many teams at WFS.
- Conference Management Team
- Facilitator Management Team
- Website Management Team
- Materials Update Management Team
- Outreach Management Team
- Fundraising Management Team
- Volunteer Management Team
The new life program does help women find a new life. Sobriety and recovery are not just content statements in literature or online but participants in recovery develop many of the tools needed to find a new life. Women all over the world have the ability to learn about the content of the program, by attending meetings in person, online and in many other ways.
What do you say to someone celebrating sobriety?
Milestones in recovery are often marked by celebration. Words like ‘congratulations’ and ‘awesome job’ are particularly meaningful to those who are members and others in our circle of friends. Some will be particularly happy if they were part of your life before you found recovery like family members who watch us struggle. Finding success and freedom from the struggles of living with substance abuse is an amazing experience. Many of the dreams we had prior to finding success become possible again. Overcoming your disorder could be the beginning of many other successes. Simply living each day in freedom is worth celebrating.
What is a sobriety sister?
Close bonds form between members. Walking in a mall, hiking, or a day at the beach can be an opportunity to share your life and the lives of others who are on the same journey. Our existence can be filled with pain and struggle as well. No one is immune to health issues. Each moment is full of highs and lows. Having a relationship with other women brings a much needed connection that strengthens your recovery. Past trauma is understood by members even if we have not shared because trauma is a common bond all members understand. Events like weddings, family reunions or a simple trip to the store where we were able to maintain our sobriety is something that only a sobriety sister might appreciate.