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Regular Reminders of Recovery

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I am a very grateful compulsive overeater with thirty-six years of abstinence. That is amazing to me, but not to my Higher Power, who asks me only to be abstinent one day at a time. The adding up of days and weeks and years is in the hands of my Higher Power. My job is to be abstinent today, and today only.

I have just returned from an idyllic holiday, one that was abstinent, relaxed, easy, pressure-free, and in a beautiful area. Now I am transitioning back into my life of responsibility, pressure, deadlines, and performance. These times of moving back into “the real world” can be difficult because my head starts identifying my work life as a problem and my holiday experience as the solution. I begin to think I am supposed to be on a never-ending holiday up on that mountaintop experience. My mind, influenced by my disease, invites me into a place of self-pity, dreaming, and resentment. I begin to think I should quit my job, move away, become a writer, and live in a log cabin. Anything and everything begins to look better than my current job, home, and life.

Thankfully, I have this program to help me reconnect with a Higher Power that can restore me to sanity today (not tomorrow); a Power bigger than my crazy head’s dreams, visions, and delusions; a Power that offers serenity through acceptance and gratitude. As I work my Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, which I work on a daily basis, and use the Tools by writing, talking to my sponsor, and getting to my home meeting, my defects of character (dishonest, self-centered fear in this particular case) are revealed. I am reminded of my love for my job, my home, and my daily life, including the contentment I usually experience day to day. I am reminded that happiness comes not from escaping life but by engaging with it. Yes, I enjoy my holidays, but I also enjoy my mundane, contented, serene daily life, thanks to the Twelve Steps of recovery.

So this morning, I went for my regular swim, ate my regular breakfast, and took my regular sponsee calls. It’s a cold, blustery day, so I’ve stayed home rather than trying to squeeze in one more “amazing” excursion on my last day of vacation. I checked off a couple of items on my household to-do list, showered, and found time to write this article for Lifeline. The evening still lies before me, and I’m not feeling anxious about returning to work tomorrow, and I’m not wishing I were somewhere else. Thanks to my Higher Power, I’m sane, abstinent, and serene. This is indeed an amazing way to live! I do not take it for granted.

I cannot do this on my own. I need to see recovery in you to believe that it’s possible for me. Thanks to OA, my sponsor, and my sponsees. Thanks to every abstinent member of OA who is showing me how to live in recovery for one more day.

— Anonymous

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