“In NA, our joys are multiplied by sharing good days; our sorrows are lessened by sharing the bad. For the first time in our lives, we don’t have to experience anything alone.” IP 16, For The Newcomer
The newcomer is always the most important person in any meeting. Why? Mainly because although they have a desire to stop using, they also feel out of place. I know my first meeting I was lost. These folks were far worse off than I. Here I was popping pain pills like Chicklets in a room full of hardcore drug users. Before leaving though, an older man made it a point to come over ans shake my hand. He said, it doesn’t matter what you were using or how much. I was in the right place.
After attending a few more meetings I began to feel more comfortable although I still didn’t share anything about my life. I felt something though for the first time since I stopped using. A feeling of family and of belonging. I hadn’t felt that since my last adopted “family” of a motorcycle “family” who used a lot and did some pretty terrible things. In that “family” we all had each others back whether we were right or wrong. Retaliation on people outside the family usually ended with broken bones, broken spirits or worse. Not my NA family. My NA family made me feel at home and accepted me as I was without going after anybody or making feel like a burden.
We are all recovering addicts and alcoholics. And yes folks, alcohol is just as much a gateway drug as anything else for an addict. My newly found family made me feel like I belong. I remember hearing the good things that were happening for people with fair amounts of clean time. I also could identify with the bad things that people were stilling dealing with and the hurt of those who went into relapse.
Today I speak regularly in meetings. It is a good feeling to experience the real joy from people who celebrate with you about your personal victories and general good news. It is also very comforting to know that you can share your bad stuff and the people in the room do not judge you but rather embrace you because they have walked in your shoes. In NA we are truly never alone. As we say, “keep coming back. It WORKS.”