A target and a fork in the road: these mental images keep me focused on the goal of continued abstinence and recovery.

The target image reminds me to aim for the center in my food planning and eating decisions. When I find myself pondering whether or not a particular food or eating behavior is within my definition of abstinence, I’m in trouble! If I aim for the center of the target of abstinence, then I make better choices. Feeling like I hit the center gives me a pleasurable little zing of satisfaction—bullseye! Much more satisfying in the long run than playing around the edges of abstinence.

The “fork in the road” image reminds me that I’m always making choices. My choices can lead me toward recovery or away from it. Do I write down my food plan for today or not? Do I or don’t I have one extra bite? Do I or do I not make that phone call? Do I nurture a resentment, or do I work the Steps on an issue that’s bothering me? The image of a fork in the road also reminds me that the other path is always available. I can turn back and take the way that leads toward recovery. And it’s easier to turn back if I haven’t gone too far down the other fork. If I catch my mistake quickly, I hardly break my stride. Making a “V for Victory” sign is a good reminder of the fork in the road.

What mental images help you work your program?

— Mindy L.


Stay on target with your abstinence and make choices that lead to recovery with the Strong Abstinence Checklist, which you can download from the Group Support category at oa.org/documents.

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