This is the “Continued” portion of the TBCed aLL the sobeR ladies blog post I literally just published. I got cut off my the post which I didn’t know was a thing and now I do! Here’s to experiences and learning from them!!
That sentence sums up the biggest flaw in the Women for Sobriety New Life Program, it lacks owning your character defects, admitting them all out loud to another person, and forgiving yourself while keeping our past available to reference in times of tribulation. I’ve avoided doing a 4th step like it is the plague and I would have no issue writing down my shortcomings and all my dirty laundry so long as no one is ever going to see it. For Level 2 of WFSNLP it is suggested “to write down in detail our concepts, experiences, difficulties, and feelings.” I don’t feel that the softer approach is the wrong one but I feel that WFSNLP is the set up without the follow through, recognizing the problem but not confronting and dealing with the real issues. If it were as simple as loving myself, being positive, and wanting it to stay sober I’d be years sober because I have all of that going on. That is what I see the WFSNLP providing women self confidence, empowerment, and communication skills but it isn’t nearly enough to maintain sobriety.
In the Ninth Step Promises the Big Book tells us we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. Our past does not have to define us, who we are, or how we live our lives; we need to forgive but not forget so we don’t doom ourselves to repeat the same mistakes. That seems to be a big part of WSFNLP’s theme, starting a New life and forgetting the past. It promotes “discarding negative thoughts” instead of changing our outlook and turning a negative into a positive; again, a glaring difference is the choice to ignore and/or forget the hardships and trials in life not to do something to change them or find benefit in experiencing life in whole: the good the bad and the beautiful but especially in recovery you can’t skip the painful and/or difficult stuff.
Level 5 – Relationships improving due to being happy and positive. No duh. They don’t even touch on handling the aftermath of our actions in addiction. Seeking forgiveness and accepting responsibility don’t seem to be mentioned much within this program. It seems that a person in WFSNLP can just opt out of resolving the wreckage left by the alcoholic/addict tornado. The past is not to be worried over or to carry guilt for so add insult to injury and act as though you don’t know anything about the pain you caused everyone around you. That definitely negates the good person aspect I at least hoped was part of the program.
Then there is this drivel: “Our culture has taught us to be over-dependent on others – by attaching our self-esteem to our relationships and to approval from others. Our value as a person often depends on our relation to others and not on our own intrinsic worth. On the other hand, we fear and dread rejection and hurt. Now is the time to take risks – be open about our feelings – be vulnerable – balance giving and receiving.” So the whole idea that these exact characteristics that you claim your program relieves women of through affirmations and happy thoughts you are now using as justification to continue being oppressed like we’re in the 50’s or 40’s?
It is 2019 and the only way to survive is on a two person income, stay at home moms are on food stamps and in state afforded housing; women may not be equal but we’re running right along side men at this point. The American culture hasn’t promoted being codependent any time recently. We empower our daughters nowadays. This program is giving excuses for feeling like a person: everyone dreads rejection and hurt. And what kind of risks is a woman taking in being open about her feelings that is ALL we seem to be now. I feel like I was in a time warp reading that.
Alas, I’ve digressed. It is apparent there is a lot left to be desired from the Women for Sobriety New Life Program as a life-coach facility let alone when claiming that it is a recovery program for people suffering from alcoholism and addiction.
I’m jumping off of my soapbox and going to go fact check myself before publishing it because I don’t want to end up having missed a unicorn rocking a mohawk as that is the level of miracle I’d have to find to make the WFSNLProgram anything more than a positive thinking support group. Damn it you cast aside bad thoughts instead of changing the perspective since that is where the problem is not the tossed aside thought.
I checked and they are proud to be the worst kind of recovery program I’ve come across and I stayed in a “sober living” house with 9 other girls for 500 dollars per and 3 people in my room, this program is worse because it is knowingly leading women and girls astray with all their thorough explanations of it being an “abstinence based” program and how it adhere’s to women’s sensitivities. A disgrace is all that is. I do hope that they are able to help more than harm and its never a bad thing to address defects of character to whatever degree they write about it. I’m also all for positive thinking and affirmations which, they are for sure putting questionable values out there, but at least it is with a smile and a heart full of love.