“On The Road To Step Five”
Working the fourth step has taught me that life continues to offer up opposition and challenges. Like exercising any muscle in the body the more work you do the stronger you get. I have learned throughout life that sometimes I just have to challenge what I know to find that I do not have all the answers and that sometimes I have to learn from experience.
I still live in a world of my own where I am not open to letting everyone in. It is not a lonely world because sometimes I allow people to visit.
While doing this step I learned that there are many things that I need to work on and I am happy to be aware of them and not feel that these are things that I have to work on all at once, or even right now. I believe that a fourth step is meant to make me aware of my liabilities and assets. The first step to working on who I am is knowing who I am. I was told that I am dishonest so I will seek to become honest.
And that I am not trusting so I will seek to find people I can trust, without placing any expectations on them. Like expecting them not to hurt my feelings.
I am happy to realize my growth and my need to grow. I do not try to lie intentionally but I do lie. I do not go out of my way to steel but I do steel, sometimes.
I am learning to enjoy my own company. I enjoy living in my world with all the challenges and need to grow, and achieve. I want to become a better person and a better husband. I want more for me and my family and I pray that God will show me the way.
Addict In Recovery,
Why Newcomer Donations
In Narcotics Anonymous, we “say” a lot of things about newcomers. We “say” that they’re the most important person at any meeting. People forget the second half of that sentence, which reads as, “… because we can only keep what we have by giving it away”. While it is true that conventions are not NA, as such, they have become such an integral part of our collective psyche and experience that we tell newcomers their recovery will be forever changed by the spirit and energy of unconditional love that is felt at a convention.
We practically make them salivate with excitement at the idea of being part of something everyone talks about so passionately. But then, we leave them hanging. We don’t provide them with the resources to attend a convention because we think that the entity having the convention should foot the bill. But, the entity having the convention survives on our donations.
Because our 7th Tradition tells us that we are fully self-supporting. We are supposed to support our Areas and Regions with our 7th Tradition donations. Why is it different in the case of conventions? Either you tell newcomers that they need to save the money to purchase their own registration or you give back what was so freely given to you by purchasing a registration for a newcomer and telling them that in a year, it’ll be their turn to do the same for a newcomer in their lives. All we must do is remember all the acts of kindness and generosity that were bestowed upon us when we were new by those who were giving to us what was so freely given to them.
Expecting our service bodies to foot the bill when they rely on us for donations so they can provide us with service is the polar opposite of keeping what we have by giving it away. Give a newcomer an experience they will never forget. Bring them to a convention and treat them like gold because without them, NA perishes.
Dying, Death, and Grieving
In the journey continues there is an entire section on all three of the above subject and it has helped me a lot. But no matter what, when the time comes you always have to deal with all three day and night. Acceptance is very difficult not knowing how to heal and deal. It sounds great but no amount of clean time will stop the pain. The good thing is that other people in recovery have gone through what I am experiencing, and that has helped me a lot. Here is the hit, No one goes home with me at night. I heard one recovering addict say “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY HEAD HITS THE PILLOW, It’s a lonely place”. Now my disease beats me up both day and night. The many regrets that I have, the many mistakes that I have made.
The things that I have said that I wish I could take back. And then there is the brighter side of remembering the good times that we had, all the trips that we took and the ones we didn’t. The corny jokes and the laughs. If it was not for recovery, I do not know what I would do. The great people in my life that loved me for myself, and respect me because of NA. I am so grateful.
I miss my wife, my friend, my lover and comrade. She was all of that and more. She died clean and she knew that she was dying. Before she left, she told me that I must not use no matter what. That I must not use death as a reason to use because she would be waiting at heavens door to kick my ass. She did not want to have more clean time than me. Most of all I am writing this so that it might help someone who may have to walk this path. The word cancer is a dirty word to me. I do not look at any commercials that deal with cancer or any shows with children getting treatment for cancer or other sickness, it hurts. I am aware that their many people dealing with illness and it is a challenge. You are the champions. She was my champion.
I sympathize with anyone who is dealing with any type of illness. I am dealing with mental disorder. The therapist calls it emotional disorder. You know what? I am glad to know what my problem is. I am OK, I known it for years, My wife knew it, my children know it and now NA knows it.
In Loving Service,