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Self-Sustaining Abstinence

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Did you know that OA exists in Barillas, Guatemala? I am writing to you from a small, rural village outside of the town. Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. My heart is full of gratitude, and my belly is not stuffed from overeating holiday treats!

My two teens, my husband, and I have spent the last four days with the villagers of a community we are supporting through an aid organization. Having been in OA for three years and with forty five days of abstinence, I took great care, with the help of my support group, in planning for this trip to be a success—and it has been!

Lifeline has been my daily companion. It’s one of the literature Tools that OA has given me to live the life I previously only dreamed of—traveling with my family and being present.

Every day of this trip, I have asked HP for abstinence for today. Since I have no available meeting, I have brought Lifeline to be my “Meeting on the Go,” as it says on the magazine’s cover. I have been able to follow my meal plan with the help of some supplements I brought from home. I have done a Tenth Step on most evenings to check for any harm done to my nine teammates and, if needed, have made direct amends.

One of the gifts of abstinence has been to discover my creative side. I have learned to quilt and knit with the “brain time” that has been freed by recovery. I have taught the villagers here to knit, and they, in turn, have taught another woman. Sound familiar?

Through sharing her program, my sponsor has worked me through the Steps and guided me by example to recovery, one day at a time. I, in turn, will do the same for the next suffering compulsive overeater.

Thank you for letting me share my second abstinent Thanksgiving with you. Adiós!

— Carol L., Seattle, Washington USA

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