Every meeting starts off the same way. Someone will read the ”INTRODUCTION”. Followed by:
WHO IS AN ADDICT
WHAT IS THE NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS PROGRAM?
WHY ARE WE HERE?
HOW IT WORKS
THE TWELVE TRADITIONS OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS
All these readings are on laminated cards scattered among addicts. The text is from the sixth edition book of “Narcotics Anonymous.”
The opening ceremony also includes the Serenity Prayer, followed by a moment of silence to recognize the addicts who still suffer. During this moment of silence, I thought of my old friend, Jessi Phillips.
Jessi wrote me back in the mid 90’s when I was in the county jail facing 43 years in prison. She wrote me a lot at first. But eventually the letters slowed down and then stopped. Little did I know that she was suffering from addiction.
Jessi was a beautiful and kind person who had a desire to work with children. Addiction robbed her of that! She fought her addiction. She had a desire to be clean and sober. But her sickness was too strong. She lost custody of her baby. She lost the trust and respect of her close friends and family. And she lost her life. To addiction!
Throughout her battle, she would have moments of sobriety, and I would get a letter or two from her. Here is the last email I got from her before she relapsed and was murdered by her addiction:
Hello sweet stranger! I received your email. Thank you so much. I’m always so happy when I see you are doing well…. it honestly makes me smile. Life for me has not turned out the way I planned. I never knew addiction would have the power it has had over me but the one thing is that I never stop fighting it though I often lose that battle. My beautiful daughter Madisyn turned 2 on January 17th. I don’t know if you’ve seen pictures but man I don’t know how I produced that gorgeous drop of heaven. I haven’t seen her since October due to the fact that I gave temp custody to my aunt and my visits with her need to be supervised and cost $60 an hour and its messed up that because I didn’t have funds to pay we had to go without seeing one another. My aunt is making it very difficult, I believe to teach me a lesson but she needs to think of Maddi’s needs. I’ve made many mistakes but not in the way I’ve been a mom. So tell me what you are up to? How is life and when the hell are you getting out?
Every time I go to NA meetings, I get something extremely valuable…ADDED PERSPECTIVE! These meetings stimulate me into a deeper level of consciousness. I think about things on a deeper, more indepth level. NA is helping me understand PRIORITIES and what’s really IMPORTANT in life.
*To keep nurturing my mind in a positive manner by continueing to read powerful and influential literature.
*To continue to do what works for me.
*To love everyone.
*To treat everyone with dignity and respect…no matter what.
*To keep going strong down the path of right action.
These are the things I focus on. Life is all about the choices we make. You reap what you sow.
“If you don’t like the situation you’re in, change it! If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
At first I was skeptical about going to NA. I didn’t think I needed it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to go. But then I changed the way I thought about it. I kept an open mind and approached it with a positive attitude. Now, I actually enjoy these meetings. I appreciate what they offer and how they affect me.
If it wasn’t for NA, none of these ”NA posts” would exist. And that means all the specific thought process that it takes to write these posts, wouldn’t exist. This entire element of NA would be non-existent within my mind.
NA has helped me to grow and evolve as I continue my journey of self-discovery, self-improvement, redemption, and rehabilitation.
I am thankful for all this good. I am thankful for NA. And for my loving wife, Suzie…I am thankful for all her love and devotion. For without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I love you baby! MWAH!!!