Ask4Recovery - What does abstinence from my addictions mean?

Hello friends! Today’s ‘Ask’…

What does abstinence from my addictions mean?

The definition of abstinence is, “the fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something.” With alcohol and drugs, that means not picking up that first drink or drug. With an eating disorder, abstinence is much more unique. Each person’s definition of abstinence in recovery from an eating disorder is different. We need food to survive, multiple times a day, so restraint is not possible.

I know people who weigh and measure their food and define this as abstinence. I know others that eat the same exact thing each day and this means abstinence for them. Others have completely cut out sugar and white flour from their diets and this is their definition of recovery.

For me, abstinence means the big three eating disorder behaviors are removed from my reality - binging, purging, restricting. In addition, my recovery and abstinence goes far deeper than this. I follow the intuitive eating model, which means eating whatever I want when I am hungry. This requires really being in touch with my body, my hunger, my fullness, and what I am in the mood for. It means freedom from the powerlessness to food. It means listening to my soul, my essence and trusting myself. All qualities that were lost sight of for many years when I was sick in my disease. With freedom and flexibility in my food choices, comes freedom and flexibility in my life and I would choose to have it no other way.

What does abstinence mean to you? Let us know and join the Ask4Recovery movement with me!

Sending love,



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