Recovery during any Holiday
For me, the Just for Today wallet card is an extended Serenity Prayer that reassures me I can be abstinent by the grace of God, just for today, one day at a time. I have other favorites among our literature, but in a pinch, I’ll take that pocket-sized Just for Today to live holidays as joyously as I’ve lived other abstinent days. I know our OA program works if you work it. I’ve heard stories of miraculous recoveries. I am living one! No shaking, I say, a holiday is just another day—and we have the perfect plan for it.
— Edited and reprinted from SGVIE Briefs newsletter, San Gabriel Valley Inland Empire Intergroup Traveling Recovery
Traveling away from home over the holidays can be a difficult time for a compulsive overeater like me. Surprisingly, I am still compulsive away from home! Because I travel often, I’ve developed some techniques that help me stay abstinent and in recovery on the road, especially over the holidays.
To set up recovery before my trip, I do these things:
- Visit oa.org and look up meetings at my destination location.
- Enter all nearby meetings into my schedule before any other appointment
- or activity, so I can “fit my holiday trip into OA.”
- Call the listed contacts for specific meetings to verify the info and let
- them know I’ll be visiting. This way I don’t feel like a stranger when I arrive.
- Go to the intergroup website of my destination’s area to find names; I
- call them before I leave.
- Ask for rides to meetings if I won’t have a car; or plan a rideshare or
- route using public transportation.
- Put my Big Book, OA books, and daily meditation books onto my smartphone.
- Recovery while flying takes planning, and planning ahead is key. I do not
- leave my food to chance. I have a large insulated cooler bag that fits nicely in the
- plane‘s overhead bins. If it gets too heavy, I bring a small, fold-up wheelie to schlep
- it through the airport.
This is how I pack for my plan of eating:
- I pack my lunch in large plastic containers.
- I put a few frozen ice packs inside; all frozen items, including ice, are usually allowed through security
- I keep several large plastic zipper bags filled with ice. I dump the melt
- before going through security, then refill on the other side. This technique keeps the food nice and cold for the entire trip. I can refill my ice bags at the arriving airport too.
- I drink lots of water on the plane. I bring an empty water bottle or get free water in a large cup from an airport food vendor. I carry it onto the plane and request flight attendants to refill it often.
- I practice recovery at my destination:
- I request a hotel room with a refrigerator.Hotels will not charge extra if this is for medical purposes.
- pack some breakfast food and buy the rest at the hotel or a nearby store.
- I plan ahead for meals and go online to look up local restaurant menus.
- I go to meetings and make outreach calls to local members.
- I use video conference tools and social media to stay in touch with the Fellowship.
- If face-to-face meetings are not available, I attend telephone meetings.
On the road, I do all the recovery activities I do at home. My disease never takes a vacation! As one of my mentors used to ask me, what am I not willing to do to recover while traveling over the holiday?
— Greg L., Scottsdale, Arizona USA
A Change at the Checkout
My trips to the grocery store became much different after I became abstinent more than ten years ago. Many aisles no longer held anything I could safely purchase. The remaining aisles got greater attention from me, and to this day, I read labels, check portion sizes, and compare prices.
There is one aspect of the grocery store that gets my unfailing attention—the racks of women’s magazines that line the checkout register. How differently I feel now when I seethe January magazines with their loud headlines: “Lose the Weight Fast,” “Two weekDiet Breakthrough.” I remember when I eyed those January issues eagerly, searching for the “miracle food” or diet plan that would cure all my troubles and make me look like the 20-something actress on the cover.
OA has opened a new world of hope; a world of abstinence, friendship, and spiritual growth. I’ve been maintaining a weight loss of 50 pounds (23 kg) for overten years! Whenever I’m tempted to “forget” my abstinence during the holidays, I remember those “Miracle Diet” headlines, and smile. Thanks, OA.
— Ginny H., Springfield, Ohio USA
Taken from the Overeaters Anonymous For Today – , November/December 2016