End of an abstinent year

Looking back, 2008 has really been a good year. Like many others, I have been abstinent throughout the year… through celebrations, through disappointments and pain, happiness and anger. I don’t feel that there was ever a moment of real danger in terms of losing my abstinence this year (which should give some newcomers hope: it does get easier). Because food isn’t where I run to any more, however, I have struggled with a variety of other Higher-Power-substitutes. Gum. Coffee. Computer games. And, God help me, soap operas on TV….

Mind you, it is because I am abstinent that I can recognise these things as the hiding places they are, and consciously work on crawling out of them – or not running in, to begin with. I finished an AWOL in the early part of this year, which has helped and in which I worked systematically through the steps for the first time ever. It was a very difficult thing to go through – the AWOL, that is – for me because it was at a rather inconvenient time in the middle of Saturdays and I was overcommitted to studies, work etc. at that time… and I don’t think I got as much out of the AWOL as I could have… but I finished it, and that felt good. The friendships forged during that time are a great gift now.

This year, I have finished a qualification, kept and developed the job I love, moved house and with that, moved communities. I have travelled by rail, air, and car, and stayed in various places other than my home. Been abstinent throughout. In fact, with all the lack of continuity in my life, my abstinence has been something of a bedrock, something solid to stand on when everything else was in limbo. This is surely one big reason why I continue to be abstinent despite my continuing frustration with my weight, which keeps going UP and I’m not even at goal – never have been. Because the promises come true. Yes, I want to lose the weight and I’m getting more and more frustrated, but at the end of the day, I’m not prepared to walk away from the fulfilment of the promises in my life just to lose a few lbs. (which, if I were to leave GS, I probably wouldn’t lose but gain – and not just a few!)

Looking forward into 2009… I have a vacation in Spain planned in January, all by myself; two weeks visiting friends in the USA and hopefully squeezing in a few meetings in NYC and CT… right after I come back there’s the London Greysheet Roundup which I very much look forward to… I’ll re-start the studies in May, to finish… and these are just the “outside” things that are happening. I’m making resolutions, too. Whether or not I’ll stay abstinent is not up for discussion. But, for 2009, I am resolved to:

  • cut down on coffee: only have it when going out with friends, not mindlessly at work
  • enjoy a wider variety of GS food
  • exercise regularly and frequently
  • give service in the GS and the local AA community where I can
  • post at least once a week on Greynet.

One response to “End of an abstinent year

  1. Congratulations Susanne on your year of abstinence!!

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