narcotic anonymous

There's Only Two Things A Man Can Do On His Knees

4 days in and starting my day by praying on my knees is still very weird. I kind of dig it, but it’s just not normal, is it?

My NA sponsor (I have a Sponsor!) has me doing the Step 3 Handover Prayer from the page 63 of AA Big Book (really glad his approach incorporates both fellowships, even though he’s pure NA in meeting attendance).

Getting on your knees isn’t a requirement, but it’s a pretty archaic sound prayer, lot’s of “Thy”-ing, and kneeling just seems to fit, y'know? ESPECIALLY given Step 3’s meaning.

EDIT: As I can’t figure out how to reply to questions asked in replies, yet:

Step Three as it appears in The AA and NA books reads:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as We understood him”

(hoping to talk in greater detail about this, and more recovery stuff as time goes by, Tumblr doesn’t seem to have much “proper” Capital R Recovery stuff, mostly self-harm/eating disorder blogs)

oh my recap of my AA and NA meeting

pretty lengthy but here it is. 

Oddly, I’ve always wanted to attend an AA meeting. When I learned that we would have to attend one for our substance abuse course I was pretty excited. Not only would I get to listen to ex- and currents users tell their stories, but I’d also get to experience what users may feel like attending a meeting for the first time. I didn’t know whether or not to find one locally, or to wait until I got back to school. I was pretty skeptical about my decision; I didn’t want to run into anyone who could know me or vice versa.

The AA meeting took place in the basement of a church. At first I wasn’t sure if I should say I was a student, or to not say anything and just observe. I didn’t want the leader to mention I was a guest to have the members apprehensive on disclosing their personal information. So I decided not to say anything and sat in like I was a member. The leader introduced himself to me and I did so too, using an alias or course. I told him I wouldn’t be saying much this first meeting. He told me some new members do this often, just to get an idea of how the group is and how the members interact.  As the members started to enter the room I started to get nervous. Some looked jittery and others looked happy to be in the meeting.

A few members introduced themselves to me, and guessed that I was “new” because they haven’t seen me before. I laughed and brushed it off. As the meeting started I thought one of the members were going to ask me to speak because they kept glancing at me, but they didn’t, I was relieved. The topic if the discussion was “What convinced you that you had a problem?” A middle-aged woman stood up and walked towards to podium. As she started to discuss how she realized she was addicted to alcohol I didn’t hear any remarks from the members, which surprised me. I thought they would interject and express the similarities, but they waited until it was their turn to reflect back on others stories and compare them.

Many if not all the members all expressed that they realized they had a problem, when they hit rock bottom. All of the stories were intriguing, but the one that captivated me the most dealt with a single father raising his three children with no family support. We always hear stories about single mother but rarely, do we hear about single fathers. When his wife walked out on their family he started to drink periodically. His drinking got out of hand when he found out that no one in his family wanted to help him raise the children. One day as he was driving his children to school he got pulled over for an expired tag. Little to his knowledge, his son called the police before they left the house; to tell the dispatcher that his father drives them (him and his sisters) to school drunk all the time. Long story short he got cited for a DUI and reaped the consequences. Luckily he was able to keep his children, due to his clean slate and outstanding ability to run a household with three children alone.

As the meeting began to wind down I never realized how seriously alcohol addiction could be until I heard the stories from these individuals at first it was hard for me to come into terms with alcohol being a drug, but after this meeting I found myself referring to alcohol as a drug. After that member told his story the mood went from sad to happy in a way, because of how aware young children can be even without expecting it. A few members were happy that his children were aware, and then others weren’t so happy with him driving drunk. Regardless of him stating that he only had a shot before he left.

Overall the meeting was a big eye-opener. And I was really glad I got a chance to go.

It was pretty hard for me to find an open NA meeting to attend; all I found were AA meetings. I ended up leaving my city and going to the district to attend an NA meeting, boy was I afraid. The meeting was held in a counseling service building. I meet with the leader and told her I was a student wanting to observe the meeting. I decided to introduce myself as a student this time for safety reasons. And she forewarned me that the present members were currently using and get aggressive at times. There was also an officer present, which made me even more scared. I sat there for less than five minutes and was ready to leave. As the members started to walk in I got even more nervous. I sat far in the back, so I could leave if things got out of hand, I glanced over to the officer and he laughed at me. I guess he could tell I wasn’t comfortable and assured me that I’d be all right.

As the leader opened the session, I had my mind made up to leave, but I decided to stay for at least a half an hour. No one spoke to me or even looked my way. The topic of discussion was “Instincts”. There wasn’t much order, people spoke whenever they wanted to. The leader didn’t really navigate the group. It was loud and just unorganized, compared to the AA meeting I attended. Once the group got in order a very young girl, my age spoke on instincts and her drug addiction. She got hooked on cocaine at the age of 15 and started to attend AA meetings on her twenty-first birthday. I was shock to hear her age, and the drug she was/is addicted to. Growing up she experience with the drug and got addicted to it, though she was told by her family and school counselor to not fall into that trap she did so anyway due to peer pressure. She stated that she had a difficult time fighting the urge not to use the drug for the second time, but it was hard. Her instincts told her not to do it again, but she did it anyway.

Hearing her story all types of emotions overcame my body. Looking at her speak just made me so sad and angry. I wondered why her family didn’t step in and take control. In high school I never understood how peer pressure could affect someone so deeply. I was so strong-minded and viewed those who weren’t as weak. Listening to the girl speak, I realized I was angry because she reminded me of a few old friends of mine. I won’t lie it was hard for me not to pass judgment. It was never hard for me to say no, but over the years I’ve came to realize that not everyone is built the same. As she continued to speak, I felt more sorry for her than angry at her. She’s trying to get her life back together, with the help of a mentor and the group leader.

I never thought I would see/meet someone my age hooked on a drug as powerful as cocaine. After the girl spoke, I ended up leaving because I didn’t want to stay any longer. On my way home I cried. Why? I have no idea, but I did, for a long time too.

The NA meeting and the AA meeting were different in the way they were conducted. The formation of both groups was the same, as well as, the size. The tone and mood of the AA meeting was more relaxed and free flowing as opposed to the unorganized and boisterous NA meeting. I guess it safe to say since the initial factors of both groups were different plays a big role in the formation of the group. The NA meeting had current users and the AA meeting had ex-users. I can now fully understand why I couldn’t find any open NA meetings in Montgomery County. My Experience was very eventful, a great learning experience that I will never forget. Glad I had a reason to attend the meetings. I do wish I could have stayed a little longer for the NA meeting, but the organization or the group wasn’t one I could stay in for long.

We always learn how organization is vital when conducting a group. It helps regulate the group effectively, and helps the members express their thoughts freely. Seeing how an unorganized group is ran first hand was a real eye opener. Maybe if the group was more organized and properly regulated, maybe I could have stayed until it was over. And maybe the mood and tone of the group would have been different.

Drunken Memories

Sitting around a crime filled broken down neighborhood sipping coolers are some of my favorite memories. Chilling with my cousins and siblings and having a sip. Our drinking starts out as casual sipping and some good laughs. Eventually we hit the hard stuff and shit starts to get crazy. We end up drunkenly walking around trying to find weed or more alcohol. At some point in the night a fight or two breaks out and the cops show up. Those with criminal records flee the scene and the rest of us play it off as though nothing happened. The next morning our hangovers are harsh and some of us are sick. Someone eventually mentions getting a cooler to stave off the hangover and the cycle starts again. Or as we would jokingly say; round 2 and then the next day, round 3…

It would usually take me 2-3 days to recover from a bender like those. I used to drink Growers coolers like water. I would buy case after case and just get drunk.  Like the kind of drunk where you pass out anywhere and wake up still totally hammered. That sickly sugary bitter hangover from those coolers was so rank. I would spend hours crouched over the toilet.

Today I am 320 days sober and 8 days smoke free. I am an addicted alcoholic and Tupperware stresses me out.

I fight this battle for sobriety because if I don’t, I risk losing my life. I am worth more than the afflictions I have been faced with. I have broken my own chains 10 months 6 days. #recovery

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Update!

Hi guys,

I’ve not been around much because I’ve moved back to Birmingham to get back into recovery, and part of that means new supported accommodation, curfews, no wifi, recovery academy 5 days a week, meetings, therapists and one to ones. So basically my brains fried by the end of the day!

I definitely made the right decision coming back to Birmingham to have another crack at recovery, this time I’m not in a private clinic and there’s a lot more support available so hopefully this time I can really learn some decent coping strategies. Lots and lots of stuff happened prior to my epic relapse and I know it’s going to take time to unravel it all and it’s going to be painful as fuck but I know it will be worth it 💕

Update. 16/08/16.

This week has been really hard. Cravings are hitting me almost everyday and it’s really starting to affect my daily life. I’ve decided to start the gym. Not only to lose some weight and get fit but mainly for my mental health. Every time I get cravings i’m going to take out the frustration in the gym. I’ve spoke to various people that have tried this method and they strongly recommend it so i’m going to give it a try; after all i’ve got nothing to lose.

This morning I told my mom about the violent relationship I was in. I’ve always been adamant that i’d never tell her but I decided it would be the right choice to let her know so maybe she’ll understand more about what i’ve been through and why I used to use so much. I’m glad i’ve told her it feels like a weights been lifted off my shoulders.

My key-worker sessions have been really shit recently. I don’t feel like i’m getting anywhere as we’re just going round and round in circles as the same stuff is bought up every week and repeated. There’s not much I can do about it though as they’re really understaffed so I cant switch workers. I’m going to have a chat with him on Tuesday and bring up my concerns and see what happens.

I’m going to an NA meeting tonight as I haven’t been to one for a while. I’ve been getting far too complacent and I know that if I carry on i’ll end up relapsing again.

Anyway that’s my update for today! I hope you all have a fab day and stay safe. I’m always here if you need someone to talk to! <3 xox

Purpose

This is a tough one. I tend to ask myself why I’m here and what I’m meant to do in life a lot. I think a lot of us struggle with that especially when we are new in recovery. Life is different when we aren’t using a substance. We are faced with so much that maybe you think that it would have just been better to keep using but I promise you that we all have a purpose on this earth. Life has purpose. Whether you go on to college or start your career in whatever it is you want to do, we have purpose. We may not know what it is right now but keeping on the road of recovery will eventually lead us to it. Stay focused and take it a day at a time and you will find purpose. It’s all worth it.

Brother

Spent the day at home in bed again. I woke up this morning super nauseated and had a wicked headache. This evening I went to a meeting.

 I was feeling frustrated when I got home so I texted my older brother. He is the best. He calls me out when I’m being ridiculous and he’s awesome at listening. I shared all my frustrations. Instead of telling me that I’m overthinking things, he says what I feel is understandable and offers a different perspective. I have definitely looked up to him and as an adult I respect him more and more. He called me after I over dosed and encouraged me to call home. I was terrified to speak to my parents. He chatted with them and we got things figured out. He let me call him every day during the first few days of sobriety. He listened to my terrified angry sobbing when I got kicked out of my last housing situation. I’m super thankful for him.