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Choice and Freedom

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To me abstinence means freedom: freedom from the obsession with food and having to act on it when I get cravings. I still think about food a lot (I’m quite newly abstinent), but I have the choice not to pick-up because of certain daily actions that give me protection.

Abstinence means sanity. It keeps food in its right place. I eat to live, and I can get on with life without hiding in the food.

Abstinence means a freedom from an obsession with my weight, body image, and appearance. I trust if I eat by the weighed-and-measured plan suggested to me by my sponsor, one day at a time, then I will arrive at a healthy body weight sooner or later and be able to maintain it. I never could do this on my own or in my own way. I might lose weight but would always gain it back plus more each time.

Abstinence means I can be in a place where I am ready to change emotionally and spiritually. While in the food, I could want and hope for change and spiritual and emotional recovery, but they were out of my reach so long as the food controlled my behavior.

Abstinence means I can live a life, feel my feelings, show up for my commitments, be there for others (and myself), face difficulties squarely, enjoy good times, and manage bad times.

Abstinence is the most important thing in my life. Without it, I could not manage my life. Sooner or later the obsession would return, I’d act on it, and I’d be on the floor, hopeless, demoralized, and trapped. Relapse wouldn’t happen immediately—I would play around with the obsession, thinking I was managing okay for a while—but it always happened.

To live a good life abstinent is my number one priority (to lead any life at all, in fact, since the disease has taken me to the cliff’s edge on many occasions). Abstinence allows me the choice to live a good life. With abstinence as the base, I can build a worthwhile existence. Without it, I am sunk.

— Anonymous

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