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Actions to Keep Abstinence

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I was struck abstinent on April 20, 2016. I used to think abstinence was a permanent condition, but it’s not, so I work very hard to maintain mine, which is no sugar, no fast food, and no red-light foods. I eat three meals and two snacks daily.

On Sundays, I select recipes, make a shopping list, go shopping, and do most or all of my cooking for the week. Then, I pre-portion everything and put some in the fridge and some in the freezer. I plan out all my meals and snacks for the week (Monday through Sunday), including plans for that week’s events, meetings, and times I will be dining out. All my thinking about food is done for the week!

I take these actions in the evening:

  • Look at my food plan for the next day, prepare my snack, and put pre-portioned foods together with my snack in the fridge.
  • Take a sponsee call.
  • Write five gratitudes in my journal.
  • Look up the Step work assignment from my sponsor. Read and write for the assignment.
  • Listen to OA podcasts instead of watching television.
  • Pray when my head hits the pillow: a personal prayer, Step Three and Step Seven prayers, and a prayer to bless my father with all the concrete items I want for myself (as a way to let go of my resentments toward my father).

I take these actions in the morning:

  • Direct my first waking thoughts to God, say my prayers, and meditate.
  • Text an OA buddy to commit to no sugar and no fast food today.
  • Read Voices of Recovery and another Twelve Step daily meditation book.
  • Read aloud the prayer my sponsor helped me create to ask God for his will for me to make direct and living amends to my father. Read aloud three affirmations. Read two daily recovery emails that I subscribe to.
  • Text program people as outreach.
  • Listen to OA podcasts while getting ready for work.
  • Take a sponsee’s call.
  • Pack my lunch and eat an abstinent breakfast.

Sometimes, I make an outreach call on the way to work, at lunch, or on the way home. If possible, I take outreach calls and texts during the workday.

I do all these things day in and day out. And it really pays off! I’m happier, healthier, and more peaceful and serene than I have ever been in my life.

— Anonymous

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