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In Good Stead

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I joined OA in 2009. Below is a list of behaviors and actions I took (in addition to getting a sponsor, working the Twelve Steps, and using the Tools) in the past eighteen months that helped me stay abstinent and spiritually and emotionally recover. Without the program, I don’t think I could have done these things for myself. I live life imperfectly, but I do the things below more and more, and they make my life rich and full.

  • I ride my bike to feel the air against my face instead of driving.
  • I take public transportation to be with others instead of driving alone.
  • I take walks to be out in society.
  • I sit in the sun instead of inside.
  • I go to sleep early instead of watching TV.
  • I make calls to friends instead of obsessing.
  • I move forward instead of staying in fear.
  • I weigh my food in public instead of thinking about what others might think of my weighing it.
  • I meet up with friends even when I don’t want to.
  • I sponsor instead of just being sponsored.
  • I buy presents for others’ recovery anniversaries instead of being lazy and hoarding my time, affection, and money.
  • I stay quiet or neutral instead of demanding my opinion be heard.
  • I pause.
  • I do nothing instead of forcing.
  • I dress becomingly even when I don’t like what my body looks like in the mirror.
  • I leave work early instead of pushing myself harder.
  • I exercise outside instead of in a gym.
  • I pay the bill when I go out with friends.
  • I cry instead of holding it in because I can and I get to—I say so.
  • I give more than the suggested Seventh Tradition amount because my finances will be okay.
  • I wait ten minutes before I respond to a triggering text message.
  • I wait until I talk to a sponsor and write in my journal before I talk to my significant other about a sensitive topic.
  • I don’t respond to phone calls or emails after 10 p.m.
  • I tell my sponsor, my significant other, and my friends important things even when I feel scared, awkward, and embarrassed.
  • I try new things at work even when I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake.
  • I ask recovering OA members for help with food decisions because history tells me I can’t do it on my own.
  • I let go of obsessing about food because I can trust God and my recovering self.

— Joanna, Washington, D.C. USA

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