Home Telephone From Phone to Photograph: the Next Right Thing

From Phone to Photograph: the Next Right Thing

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It was 10:30 in the morning, and I was in a dangerous state of mind. I had just broken a promise to myself and gotten on my scale, only to find that its number had not budged a bit. I stared out the kitchen window, my mind racing. “What good is this? I have been abstinent, writing all my food down, working the program, and for what?” All I could focus on in that moment was the number on the scale. I wasn’t remembering that my pants were looser, my cravings had lessened, and people at work had started to notice I’d lost weight. I was basing everything on that number on the scale. On top of that, now I was feeling hungry, and it was still two hours until my next planned meal.

I was considering just eating something, but instead I remembered the phrase “Do the next right thing.” So I called a good friend in OA. She didn’t answer the phone, but I left her a message committing to abstinence for the day. Then I gathered up my dogs and headphones and got myself out of the house, away from the temptations of the kitchen.

My mood lifted completely while I watched my dogs play in the park. Then I took them for a walk around the neighborhood. A few blocks away, I noticed an unusual tree in someone’s yard. It was a tall, dead tree stump, but someone had attached many birdhouses to it, making it look like a fairy castle. I paused to snap a picture of the birdhouse tree for a friend I knew would be interested in the concept. The yard’s owner noticed me on the sidewalk and came out to see what I was doing. I apologized for having disturbed her and told her how much I liked her tree, that I was just taking a photo to share. She was happy to tell me all about the structure and also thanked me for “disturbing” her. She said she’d been lying on the couch doing nothing all morning, but now was motivated to get dressed and start on her list for the day.

I went home marveling at what all had happened because I’d used an OA Tool, the telephone, and then done the next right thing. My dangerous state of mind had lifted, my dogs and I had gotten some exercise, I’d taken a photo that my friend loved, and I’d been of service to another person. My abstinence had stayed intact, and then it was time for my planned lunch.

— Story and image (above) by Sherrill D., Windsor, California USA

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