Thursday, May 17, 2007

About Women For Sobriety (Men For Sobriety, Too)

Women For Sobriety's "New Life" program is for those who would like something in addition to 12 Step programs or who would like some guiding principles instead of a 12 Step program.

WFS is a self-help program that adheres to 13 main principles/statements and accompanying affirmations:

1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.

Affirmation: I now take charge of my life. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

Affirmation: My first conscious act must be to remove negativity from my life.

3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.

Affirmation: Happiness is created, not waited for.

4. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.

Affirmation: I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

5. I am what I think.

Affirmation: I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Affirmation: Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

7. Love can change the course of my world.

Affirmation: Caring becomes all important.

8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Affirmation: Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

9. The past is gone forever.

Affirmation: No longer will I be victimized by the past, I am a new person.

10. All love given returns.

Affirmation: I will learn to know that others love me.

11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

Affirmation: I treasure all moments of my new life.

12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.

Affirmation: This is what I am and I shall know it always.

13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

Affirmation: I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.

These 13 items are to be used as tools to help in gaining and maintaining recovery - a more manageable and balanced lifestyle. In this, it is suggested that a person rises 15 minutes earlier each day in order to place these 'tools' into use. Go through the Thirteen Affirmations at the start of the day, meditating upon the meaning of each. Then take a single statement (alternating on different days) and use the statement 'mindfully' for the entire day. At the end of the day, review the use of the statement and determine, if possible, its effects upon your day and your actions.

WFS has been around since July 1976 and is both an organization and a self-help program. Women For Sobriety, as the title indicates is a program for women, however, there is also a program called Men For Sobriety (MFS) which is similar in nature and, of course, is for Men who are trying to put their lives back together or maintain lives that they've put back on track after the experiences of addiction.

The WFS and MFS programs, based upon the Thirteen Statements above are programs intended to promote positivity, spiritual, emotional and personal growth. These programs have been effective in helping individuals to overcome alcoholism (and other addiction) and learn to live healthier lifestyles.

The Thirteen Statements should not conflict with other programs of recovery and can be used alongside other programs if an individual so chooses to utilize multiple methods of recovery. The Thirteen Statements approach that WFS (and MFS) uses is currently being used in many clinics, treatment facilities, womens (and mens) centres, hospitals, self-help groups and many other places where alcoholics (addicts) are discovering how to overcome addiction.

The WFS and MFS are programs that each attempt to deal with some specifics of gender where addictions are concerned - because life for men and for women in society is, in fact, different. Men have pressures and situations that don't follow the same for women and vice versa.

For example, many men may not have the 'child-care' stresses that women might have and therefore, in the WFS group, women can address women's issues during their 'recovery gatherings' with a freedom that might not be possible in a both-gender setting. By comparison, men may have 'main household provider' issues that they can feel free to speak about within their male-oriented group. In this, the MFS group can more fully meet the needs of men who are trying to deal with addiction and recovery issues, where they may feel that other 'programs' aren't able to meet certain 'safe discussion' or other support needs.

This post is intended to provide information mainly about the Women For Sobriety program, however, I thought it important to mention that although WFS is a gender-specific group, this doesn't mean that Men are excluded entirely from a similar form of support and self-help opportunity. Since I would not naturally, as a female, attend a Men For Sobriety meeting or gathering, I have limited information about the program but I am working on some correspondence with men involved in the MFS group. I hope to have permission very soon to write about some experiences (maintaining anonymity, of course) with the MFS self-help organization and recovery program.

I have attended WFS meeting locally and found many of the affirmations to be helpful in my own recovery - and I use the affirmations along with other recovery principles from other programs.


Anonymous said...

I like what you've said here, more folks need alternative solutions for the drinking issue. I find WFS a great organization with forward moving components.

HT Hayes - Author of up and coming book " You've Been Lie To... The truth about main stream alcohol and drug treatment programs and how the past the problem for good.

Anonymous said...

I like your post. After 30 years sobriety (most active in AA) I am moving forward with establishing local a secular organization for sobriety support group. I have studied the Men for Sobriety brochure and find the 13 statements etc. a sound foundation. Looking forward to your posts on MFS.

Anonymous said...

Clean time for Dummies ~ yes...

Some of us are just too smart for our own good and have it all figured out anyway. It is a great program!

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