Definition of Abstinence:
The practice of restraining oneself from over-indulging, typically of alcohol or sex.
Synonyms of Abstinence: teetotalism, temperance, sobriety, abstemiousness, abstention, etc.

These notes are from literature about recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click the external link for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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The only way we could stop drinking was by turning to a Power greater than ourselves.
Spirit-power comes from communication with God in prayer and times of quiet meditation. —24 Hours

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No compromises
Where abstinence is concerned, there can be no compromising.
In order to control our illness, we are willing to go to any lengths to maintain abstinence.

Just as we have a certain way for the maintenance of our recovery, so we have a way of living based on the principle of rigorous honesty.

Honesty in all of our activities is what makes us strong and effective.
Where the core principles of our program are concerned, we do not compromise.
–Food For Thought | More…

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It works if you work it
We practice the AA principles in all our affairs, twenty-four hours a day.
Abstinence replaces alcohol as our prime concern, and maintaining abstinence means working the program.

When we do this, we are amazed at how well the day goes.
Best of all, we do not always have to be right.

Being able to admit mistakes delivers us from egocentricity. –Food For Thought | More…

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The alcoholic is absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge.
We must admit we can do nothing about it ourselves.

Willpower and self-knowledge will never help in the strange mental blank spots when we are tempted to drink.
An alcoholic mentally is in a very sick condition.

The last flicker of conviction that we can do the job ourselves must be snuffed out.
The spiritual answer and the program of action are the only hope.

Only spiritual principles will solve our problems.
We are completely helpless apart from Divine help.

Our defense against drinking must come from a Higher Power. –24Hours | More…

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Though real sobriety means all loss of desire to drink, it’s not uncommon to have moments when the old life takes on a sudden appeal.

This appeal is never based on a realistic look at things as they were; It is more a rush of feeling connected with some alluring aspect of the drinking life. We cannot have this rush of feeling when we remember the misery, despair, and other pain from that part of our lives. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

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As recovering alcoholics, we have a fixed focal point of reference.
Abstinence is the most important thing in our lives without exception.

What began, as weakness has become strength.
Whatever happens to us, we know that by maintaining abstinence we will be able to cope.

As long as abstinence controls our self-destructive inner enemy, we are able to function effectively.
This does not mean that we will be free from problems.

Abstaining does not get rid of all of our difficulties.
To be alive is to be subject to negative emotions, as well as the positive ones, which we enjoy.

By abstaining, we are able to face reality instead of escaping into a worse predicament.
No matter how difficult the day, it has been a good one for the recovering alcoholic who has abstained. –Food For Thought | More…

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The beacon
There are times when we get tired and depressed or elated and confused.
We alcoholics have a beacon light for our dark and confused moments.

It is our commitment to abstinence.

No matter how confused we may be, we can remember that abstinence is the most important thing in our life without exception. Whatever happens, we will not be lost if we hold fast to our abstinence. As long as we do not drink, we will be able to find our way out of a difficult situation.–Food For Thought | More…

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All we have is now
We can only live now, this moment.
Now is what we have, and now is everything. We can follow our plan now.

We can abstain this moment.
We can deal with the problems, which confront us today, as best we can, trusting God to guide us.

We can be in touch with our Higher Power only in the present.
Whatever happens, now is all I can manage and all I need.
–Food for Thought/Elisabeth L. | More…

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The A.A. way is the way of sobriety, and yet there are slips.
Once we have become alcoholics we can never drink successfully again.
–24 Hours | More…

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