Keep Pedaling

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When I was young, learning to ride a bicycle seemed like a monumental task—exciting, but difficult to learn. I wanted to do what the other children could. Riding a bicycle looked like fun, and I wanted to have fun.

My mom held my seat and ran behind me while I pedaled. When I wasn’t looking, she let go. The scariest part was when I realized she was no longer there. I had a choice: keep pedaling and try to steer the bike or give up. I chose to keep pedaling.

Being abstinent and working my Twelve Step program are similar to learning to ride a bike. It took much courage to come to OA, ask for help, find an abstinence that works for me, and work the Steps. I was scared to death, but I knew no other option existed. I chose to follow suggestions even when I didn’t want to because I trusted the people I heard in our rooms. I’ve learned daily disciplines—if I follow them, my life and program are often peaceful and serene.

I get into trouble when I become lax with these disciplines: attending meetings, making telephone calls, writing my food down, being abstinent, praying, meditating, reading my literature, and helping others in program. The same thing happens when I’m on a bike: If I slow down, I will tip over and fall.

The neat thing about program and the bicycle is that when I am shaky or feeling like I’m going to fall, all I have to do is get back up to speed. This requires practice. These disciplines become habit if I do them every day, so when I’m not doing them, something just doesn’t feel right. Then all I have to do is go back to what worked before.

— Norinne M.

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