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Steps to Abstinence

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Abstinence is the most important thing in my life. The OA program and the spiritual Twelve Steps have been essential in getting and keeping my abstinence. I’ve been abstinent since 2015 when I came in and began working my program.

My first step in becoming abstinent was to find a food plan that I could follow without too much difficulty. The plan I chose was neither too strict nor did it include compulsive overeating.

Next, I found a sponsor with whom I could be honest and willing to listen to for guidance. I stopped expecting instant relief from my problems. If I couldn’t find an answer, I talked to my sponsor and then turned it over to my HP and waited for his answers. I learned to sit with indecision until the trusted answers came.

I found that food could be a barometer of my thoughts and feelings. If I was faced with a problem, I called an OA fellow I trusted, and I shared. It helped, and the food thoughts disappeared. By putting this action into practice, I moved forward in achieving my abstinence.

When the food thoughts came, there were usually reasons for them. If I didn’t know what the reasons were, journaling was an excellent tool to discover them.

It helped to plan my life around three face-to-face meetings a week. I also utilized telephone meetings as needed. Meetings have been essential to my abstinence since they combat the isolation that is the foundation of our disease of compulsive overeating.

As I worked the Steps, I also used the Tools to help me keep my abstinence. They acted as insurance against a possible slip. My HP and the Steps and Tools were always stronger than the food.

Today, I work my program and the food rarely calls to me. My abstinence is a gift from my Higher Power and the result of working the Twelve Steps of OA. By placing abstinence first, I live a healthier, happier, peaceful life.

— Lyn M., Charlotte, North Carolina USA

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