Someone apparently found my blog by typing in a search for “abstinence is its own reward”. I don’t think I’ve ever used those words, but there’s certainly truth in that…
Abstinence has enabled me to have a life, quite simply. Because I am abstinent, I’ve been able to focus on living my life – moving continents, getting qualifications, building friendships, crafting my career. The rewards are endless. But, would I choose to be abstinent even if none of that ever materialised?
A resounding YES to that!!
I had a sponsee for a while who kept asking me why her life wasn’t getting any better now that she was abstinent. (mind you, she never made it to 90 days). Her life sucked, according to her, and she was disappointed with abstinence because it didn’t make everything better.
As for me, personally: I will take a life that sucks over a life consumed by food any day. When I ate, I despaired on a daily basis – I had no life, and I couldn’t die. I was merely existing. To me, no matter what life will still bring my way, abstinence has got to be first because no matter how bad my life gets, I can still have hope for it to get better – I’ll work on it, I’ll trust that circumstances will eventually change, I trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s what I lose when I’m not abstinent: hope.
No matter how bad things get, I have hope because I know that “this too shall pass”. But the food never passes. If I drown in that, I lose hope, and that is the darkest place to be. I don’t want to go there today, so I’m abstinent – no matter what.