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Key Specifics

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In all my seventeen years in OA, I’ve regarded “abstinence” as an ambiguous term—and I’ve blamed that ambiguity for my relapses. Focusing on ambiguity made it easy for me to erode my abstinence. My epiphany occurred when my sponsor, who has forty-two years of abstinence, said, “Abstinence doesn’t have to be ambiguous.” That gave me pause for thought. The pause turned into weeks, during which I couldn’t stop thinking about the implications of what she’d said. Abstinence doesn’t have to be ambiguous. I came to realize that I had defined my abstinence, and for some reason, I’d defined it ambiguously.

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