Here am I, Send MeIsaiah: 6:8
There are a lot of Recovery groups around the world, here are but a few:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A)
- Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.)
- Drug Addicts Anonymous (D.A.A.)
- Dual Recovery Anonymous (D.R.A.)
We all have one thing in common, we are a group of people for whom substance abuse has become a major problem. We meet a few times a week to help each other stay clean and sober. We are undoubtedly The Last Stop a Alcoholic or Addict can make before Jails, Institutions and Death. Now, with that said, I’ll get on with this story.
Hello once again, I’m Gordon and I’m an Addict. I’ve been in recovery for 33 years, 31 of those I’ve managed to stay clean. Being clean has been the most challenging and rewarding task I have ever faced in my lifetime. I began my journey in 1984 and I didn’t commit to it until 1986.
Narcotics Anonymous History as told by N.A.org
Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous used to come visit me and 20 other people while I was in the psych ward. I remember a middle aged man who said that he was a recovering heroin addict, he said his name was Jerry, and that he had been clean for 5 years so far. I was scared, impressed, angry and sick all at the same time. Jerry bought me a Basic Text (The 12 step book of N.A.) and we read the readings to open up the meeting, such as “Who’s an addict? What is the N.A. program? Why are we here?” and so on.
Jerry then proceeds to tell me all about himself, his service in Viet Nam, his experience when coming home, his downward spiral into heroin addiction and his recovery so far. My reaction at that moment could have been ” Fuck You, you have no idea who I am” but he did know who I was. I was in tears, I could finally break free of the mental chains of addiction and become that, what the basic text points out “A Responsible and Productive member of Society”, but not yet. I went to Narcotics Anonymous meetings on a daily basis for 90 days, and yet I still had my addiction pulling me back in from time to time during my first 2 years.
I had a front row seat to watch other new members such as I, go through what I was going through, some members died and some (Thank God) came back. My sponsor was very patient with me and in 1986 I finally stuck with it.
I’m really having a rough time with my constant memories of my friends who have died. I wanted to write about my memories of them but I can’t bring myself to start or complete any of it. I’m going to seek the help of a therapist. I will try again sometime soon. I just want to get on with my writing.
I got my 3rd surrender chip. I let all my old friends go their way and I went mine. My Mom let me use her car to go to meetings and hang out with other clean members. I was Rock’n this new recovery feeling. I found some really great people to hang out with, I still had my sponsor Jerry and we went to a boat load of meetings, my favorite meeting was 8am every Saturday morning at the Palms Hotel located on Park St. in downtown Detroit,MI. we had breakfast before the meeting, those were always the best part of the meetings “The meetings before and after the meeting” I met almost all of Jerry’s friends. His friends were all addicts who came from all walks of life, There was a man who was a Chef at a big name restaurant located in Farmington Hills, MI. Another man was a lawyer, and yet another man was the son of a small grocery chain owner. I got to make friends with all these folks…I felt honored. I was thinking that I was going to learn the secrets of Recovery, it turned out that the secrets of recovery were:
1. Going to Meetings
2. Reading the Basic Text
3. Having a Sponsor
4. Don’t Use, Don’t Use and Don’t Use
5. Service Work
Yup, these were the secrets of Recovery yesterday and they still are today. I thought “Damn! is that all?” yes, each one of them told me that this was their secret. I thought that this was going to be a breeze, but wait there’s more I was also told that I needed to change my friends and the places that I hung out at.
So I did change friends and places, it was easier to change friends than it was places because when I was not riding to meetings with my sponsor, I was getting lost in the huge city of Detroit, and the surrounding areas. It was ok though because there was always a meeting after the meeting, this meant that folks either went out for coffee and talked more afterwards or they hung out in the room and shot the bull with each other. Aside from the normal gossip about who was fucking who (yes guys indulge in that type of drama) I was looking to learn about how to start and finish a 4th step, how to do service work, how to get more knowledge of the step in depth so that I could carry the message that “We do indeed RECOVER”.
I will continue this on a new post. It seems this topic will go on for awhile.