The Disease Doesn’t Take a Holiday

Metro Memo asked OA fellows to provide tips on how to stay abstinent and connected to God and program during the holidays. Here are some of their responses:

“For the holidays, I find that it’s really helpful to plan in advance by asking the follow questions: ‘Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?’ WHO will I be eating with during the holidays, and will there be there anyone in my company who knows I’m in program? WHO can I text my meal plan to in advance- sponsor and/or fellows? WHO can I do service for during the holidays? WHAT will I eat for each meal? WHAT foods do I need to bring with me to maintain my abstinence? WHEN will I eat each meal and snack? WHERE will eat- someone’s home or restaurant, and how will that affect my food plan? WHY is it important for me to maintain by abstinence? HOW much better will I feel and act if I maintain my abstinence?” ~Sarah S.

“One of the things I practice whenever I see food that is not part of my plan or it is set out in the break room at the office is to say to myself ‘That’s not my food.’ This time of year I find it becomes especially helpful to keep that in my head lest I start to go down the path of terminal uniqueness, which never ends well.” ~Devyn C.

“Make a plan of ‘One Plate of Food.’” ~Andy P.

“I plan on continuing my daily recovery routine that I have in place, during the holidays. The disease doesn’t take a holiday!” ~Marcia L.

“Do service. As much as possible, whatever comes your way.” ~Emily E.

“Focus on the true meaning of the holiday rather than the food. Prepare! Call the host ahead of time and find out what food is being served. Even people without our disease have food restrictions. Volunteer to bring something that is good for us. Focus on the people rather than the food. Engage in ‘real’ conversation. Ask them about themselves, their live and their work … and really listen.” ~Judith K.

“Say the serenity prayer before each meal. Ask HP to guard your abstinence FOR TODAY!!! Use the time between meals to make one call to a fellow OA’er” ~Sarah

“I make sure I email my sponsor daily and call my sponsor often. I do an 11th step daily and really keep my food plan squeaky clean.” ~Valia P.

“This last Thanksgiving, I and a group of about 4 to 5 fellows texted gratitudes to each other throughout the day, especially when we were having difficult moments. It helped me to stay connected with fellows, to feel connected to meaning, and to stay focused on positive thoughts without really trying hard. It was a service to each other, and it was wonderful to hear others’ real time gratitudes.” ~Lorna D

Published in the Metro Memo – December 2014