Home Relapse & Recovery All-In Abstinence Planning

All-In Abstinence Planning

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Lately, I have been comparing my OA journey to someone else who has decades of abstinence. I know through working the Steps that comparing myself to others is one of my shortcomings. I did not get abstinent at my first meeting, nor can I say, “I have not relapsed.” I want my story to be different, but I can’t change the past. I can, however, review what is working for me today and be open to seeing what can be improved.

I have been a member of OA since December 2005, when I first got a sponsor, worked through the Steps, and began sponsoring others myself. Most recently, I have been abstinent for one year and six months, and a Power greater than myself has restored me to sanity. The evidence? I am abstinent. What is working for me is planning to be abstinent, just for today. This is my plan:

  • I use a plan of eating. I weigh, measure, and count portions to help me put the quantity of food that my body needs onto my plate, no more and no less.
  • I read from Alcoholics Anonymous and follow to the best of my ability its suggestions for what to do “on awakening” (4th. ed., pp. 86–87). I recite or write out a prayer for the day.
  • I acknowledge Steps One, Two, and Three. I can’t successfully control my eating or live my life in a sane manner if left to my own devices, but something bigger than me can and will help: the Fellowship, the Twelve Steps, and my personal god. I ask my god to help me be abstinent today so when a sponsee or newcomer calls, I can be helpful to them and a living example of this program working.
  • I call my sponsor in the morning, after praying for help to speak my truth. Then I take a call from a sponsee.
  • I write out my plan for the day. I have begun writing one thing I would like to achieve in each of these areas: self, family, OA, home, and community.
  • I try to be mindful of my Higher Power throughout the day. I notice when fear or resentment comes up. Sometimes I just take note; sometimes I try to think my way out of it. If it is particularly disturbing, I pray, write, or make a call to an abstinent fellow.
  • I write a gratitude list every evening. I also take inventory and write down my menu for the next day. I hope my experience, strength, and hope will be of use to someone.

— Sam P.

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