Welcome to the monthly “Clean Slate Blog” email of Narcotics Anonymous for the Middle Tennessee area.
Are you Ready?
Each month the Newsletter committee will be asking our fellowship to participate in their recovery by submitting their experience, strength and hope on the corresponding step/tradition for the numbered month.
Being that it is January, naturally the first edition will be on Step 1 and Tradition 1. We have asked our fellowship to submit their experience and although we received some really good submissions we are only able to include one each month.
Below are the two exerts we choose as a committee and really hope you get something out of it. I know I did.
One last thing before we get into the thick of it. We NEED your help. We ask that you please forward this to anyone in your network in the spirit of Unity so we can all come together, have access to the same information and continue to adhere to our primary purpose of helping the still sick and suffering addict.
Thanks so much for your help and support and really hope you enjoy the reading! Now let’s get to it!!
“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
In case you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m a really pretty cool dude. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised you’ve yet to stop and compliment my stature! Why? Well… my charisma and composure is well beyond attractive, my level of intellect accedes majority population, my very dense 23 years’ experience is nothing like anyone else’s here; and my dashing, unique style of dress is on display so that you realize this before you even begin to inquire! You really need to come by sometime so I can serenade your fancy with this wildly profound music I’ve been writing; and while you’re at my house, I might deceive you into believing that I own the house I live in, possibly inclining you to believe that I am very successful, and that I am “somebody.”
Let me assure you, I am someone, but I am not the person I have led myself to believe I am. This “Image” that I’ve depicted to you represents a very intricately constructed, fancied philosophy of myself which is merely acting as a disguise and defense against my deepest darkest fear’s. Deep down, below all of the “hot-shot-ism” and self-righteousness, the fragile victimization, rage and frustration lies a pool of emotions and identity issues that I am deathly scared of facing. Through all the rage and passive aggressiveness, comically unsuccessful ploys to control others and the outside world, dark sorrowful feelings of loneliness, pitiful re-visitations of abandonment and neglect, deep seeded senses of shame and inadequacy, misplaced ideas of guilt and outward blame and that peculiarly baffling feeling of just being confused… I… am not alone.
Maybe you can relate when I say that I found myself completely dumbfound after my first sincere admission of defeat. For what came after that, I could have never imagined in any one of my wildest mind states. The true relief in realizing that I alone am powerless was the greatest gift I had received since my PlayStation game console from Santa. And trust me, I was in dream land when I got that for Christmas at the age of 7. Why is this so? Well… I can finally surrender! I can let go and begin to breath. I can begin to find acceptance with the idea that I alone, cannot help myself; and as a matter a fact, have been deceiving myself for most of my life! I can begin to learn how to stop running from fear and pain and into the arms of other recovering addicts who unconditionally care for me! I can begin to accept guidance from people who have more experience and care in the most heartfelt of ways. And beyond it all, for the first time, I can be honest with myself. Truly, I am no different from you. I’m a recovering addict and I am so, so grateful to be here.
“Our common welfare must come first. Personal recovery depends upon NA unity.”
I came to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous completely broken and without a place to belong. I tried to get clean several times and made the decision to use because I felt not accepted or a part of. This final time I walked into a room that eventually became my home group. I met a guy with blue hair, two senior citizens, and a group of people that didn’t look like me. Something really strange happened. They welcomed me with open arms, were completely honest with me and encouraged me to stay clean but most importantly keep coming back. Those first moments gave me the willingness to visit various meetings and receive the same love and kindness that I experienced at those first meetings.
The principles of consistency, unconditional love and empathy are practiced in the rooms of NA daily. And I have had the opportunity to visit meetings in over 30 states and the district of Columbia, in addition to that, thanks to the base of freedom that has been attained through the practicing of spiritual principles, have had countless conversations with members all over the globe. Two that stand out is a conversation with a member from Uruguay. I listened as he shared about his home group and the tight knit relationships that he had formed with his local community.
Fourteen years later I experienced what he felt by being part of a three-way call with members from his home country. A translator was used during the conversation and by the end of the 30-minute sharing session we were in tears due to the overwhelming gratitude of being able to share what we had with one another.
I have learned that it’s important that we treat each meeting with respect and reverence. That we welcome each member with enthusiasm and do our part to connect that one person to the WE. Staying clean is a privilege and it’s important that we don’t think about ourselves but think of the bigger whole. Because if we do we all will benefit from the building of a collective conscience that is now across the globe in countless countries and being spoken in numerous languages.
Unity is built by supporting our meetings and fully participating in the process that keeps our fellowship alive and growing. My never ending gratitude to our predecessors and a heartfelt welcome to those that are new to this life saving program. Have a great 2017 and simply stay clean.