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Having trouble defining "my abstinence"

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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Default Having trouble defining "my abstinence"

I went to my first meeting last Wednesday, and recieved a bunch of reading material. Among this material I keep coming across something that seems key to recovery, abstinence! I'm having a problem defining it for myself. I don't want to make it something I won't be able to do. My question is for right now while I'm figuring out what I want "my abstinence" to be can I define it as the feeling I get when I go to bed and know I fed my body right that day. Do you all know what I mean? When I have a good food day I feel great when I go to bed, when I have a bad food day I feel awful when I go to bed. I want to take time to figure out what will work for me in the long run. I've read that peoples plans change as they change. I just know for me saying I'll never eat this again will set me up for failure. I want to make my absinence something I feel is managable not unattainable. Don't know if any of this is making sense or if I've totally missed to whole point of abstinence. If any of you have suggestions or would like to share with me how you came to "your abstinence" I would love to hear about it. I'm really looking forward to going back to my meeting this week, and learning more.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Hey Tina-

Abstinence is hard to figure out in the beginning. The simplest way to look at it is "refraining from compulsive overeating". Most of us need a concrete diagram of what this looks like so that we can attempt to do it, and be honest with ourselves about if we are doing it.

When I first came to program, my abstinence diagram was 3 meals + 1 snack with nothing in between. My goal was to teach my body to NOT eat between the meals. What I ate at those meals and how much I ate was not important. What was important was that my brain and body had to learn to trust that it wouldn't starve if I didn't eat for 4 hours in a row. After a month of that, I began to feel comfortable with it, and I became willing to add some other things to my abstinence.

There's an excellent OA book titled "Abstinence". It has people's stories of what abstinence means to them.

Yes, abstinence is key. Nope, we can't recover without it-- Can an alcoholic recover without maintaining sobriety?
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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Thank you Marny...I'm reading that book right now! It's really inspiring to me, and it is nice to see everyones idea of their abstinence.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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I am reading that same book myself and through it i am discovering what my abstinence is. I have been going to OA meetings for 3 weeks now and i am feeling better equipped than ever. I am thanking God every day for the strenght He is giving me and learning to take my recovery one day at a time. I am on my 5th day of abstinence, as i have defined it.

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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Congrats Natalia...that is fantastic! This week will be my second meeting and I tell ya I feel so excited to go again. I just feel like this time is going to be different and I know I don't have to hide this or try to do it on my own anymore. I'm hoping by the end of the week I can say I'm on my 5th day of abstinence
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:18 AM   #6
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Hey Natalia-
Welcome! 5 Days! Yahoo! That's awesome.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:19 AM   #7
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Tina--
Nope, you don't have to do it alone anymore.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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Remember Tina, one day at a time. I was getting all worked up about the special dinner next weekend or the birthday lunch tomorrow, or the brunch next week. I was feeling soooooooo overwhelmed and it was leading me straight to my trigger foods to alleviate my stresses. Now, it's one day at a time. Today and only today. Tomorrow and next week will be dealt with in good time. I am focusing on the here and now. I am attending 2 to 3 meetings a week. I am going to one tonight, i need it. I am also trying to avoid feeling over-confident cause that's when i fail. So i am staying humble and opening myself up to God to receive his strenght. Today is day 6 of abstinence.
Let's stay strong, together, with God's generous help and support one day at a time.
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