Abstinence Twelfth Step Within Working the Program It Can Happen to Anyone By firstname.lastname@example.org Posted on November 1, 2020 5 min read 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr On April 24, 2019, I lost my mother very unexpectedly due to a stroke. About a month after my mother passed, my year-long romantic relationship ended very unexpectedly. Today, my father is in a nursing home with dementia. I am an only child. Basically, my biggest fears have been happening, and for all intents and purposes, I’ve been alone. I was very close to my parents, and we’d spent much time together. The losses were big voids. Leading up to my mother’s death, I entered menopause. I am a longtimer in OA, and I’ve been blessed with many years of recovery, but my food struggles reared up, and I started picking up behaviors I had not done in many years: eating larger amounts of food, then restricting; experimenting with food groups I had not eaten from in several years; going a full day without eating; isolating in my room; and shutting down emotionally. During all of this, I did not cross my absolute, bottom-line abstinence: no sugar. I kept calling and texting my sponsors. I asked for help and secured a food sponsor who lovingly called me out on my behaviors. I began to question whether I could sustain recovery. I was crashing toward relapse, but I kept going to meetings, being honest, and sharing with my sponsors, even by trying to tell on myself. I was in a dark, sad place—alone and grieving. After setting up an intervention call with my two sponsors, I surrendered to my plan. Believe it or not, with all I had put my body through, my weight was still within a healthy range. I had admitted how afraid I was and surrendered. I called in my nutritionist and nurse practitioner for help, and they willingly gave it to me. I am writing this for Twelfth Step Within Day. Why? Because I am a longtime member of OA with service positions and responsibilities, and now I know how this kind of thing can even happen to folks with long-term recovery. I had people around me that I opened up to, shared honestly with, and kept coming back to. I made it through, and it was a gift of recovery and having HP, the Steps, and sponsors in my life. I did not do this alone; I leaned on a lot of people. Check on folks. Reach out if you know someone is having a hard time generally—not just with program but with life. We need each other. I need you. Today, I know my mother gave me a gift through her death: she showed me that with my program, the people I love, and my Higher Power, I can make it. — Melissa H.