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Getting Started in OSPA

The following suggestions have been helpful for some members in starting their recovery. These are not meant to be absolute for everybody. If you find something is not working for you, talk to your sponsor or other OSPA members. The important thing is that you don’t give up. You don't have to do it alone.

  1. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the information on the OSPA website.

  2. Start attending OSPA meetings.

  3. Attend at least 6 meetings before deciding if the program is for you.

  4. Find a meeting you can commit to and attend it regularly as your "Home" meeting.

  5. Write down names and telephone numbers of OSPA members whose shares you relate to.

  6. Make outreach calls to those members. Share how your day is going.
    Ask for help if you need it.

  7. When you find someone who has what you want, ask them if they will sponsor you.

  8. Start working the 12 Steps with the guidance of a sponsor.

  9. Contact your sponsor regularly via text, telephone, or email.

  10. Begin your abstinence, one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

  11. Read 12-Step Conference-approved literature.

  12. Above all Keep Coming Back - You are always welcome to participate at any time. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop picking.

What is Abstinence? 

Abstinence is not engaging in picking, pulling, or self-harm behaviors. We do this one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Abstinence may come suddenly to some members, gradually to others, and before or after working the steps. Each individual’s experience may be different.

In addition to physical abstinence we seek emotional and spiritual sobriety. We obtain these through working the OSPA Program.

Activities in Recovery

The following are suggested actions from other members in recovery:

  • Phone calls - to your sponsor and other OSPA members.

  • Meetings - attending OSPA meetings regularly.

  • Step work - reading and writing on 12-Step literature.

  • Prayer - could be as simple as getting on your knees and saying, "Please help me today."

  • Meditation - amount of time varies, could be 1 minute.

  • Abstinence - don't pick, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

Tools for Withdrawal

The following are suggested actions from other members who have gone through the experience of withdrawal:

  • Dispose of all picking implements.

  • Cover your mirrors.

  • Dim the lights in your bathroom.

  • Wear white cotton gloves at times when you typically pick.

  • Avoid scanning your skin with your fingertips or eyes.

  • Use bandaids to cover picking areas.

  • Consult a licensed physician to assist with a self-care plan.

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