THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Frank P."
Originally posted in 2010(The author retains all rights to this material)
THEN THE MIRACLE HAPPENED
Dateline the end of the 1970’s and the era of Sex ‘n’ Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll. I just turned 17 and my life got a whole lot better being able to drive my 1969 Mustang Fastback. My nice car attracted girls and the drugs and rock n roll seemed to be getting me sex. The slogan seemed true in my eyes.
In the beginning, I was addicted to the life style and not really anything else. I had a fake ID and was going to the clubs with live rock concerts that were popular in this area of New Jersey. Drugs, as I knew them, were acceptable. And if you had a problem, it reflected that you were a light weight or a hard core user. As a kid, I was told not to use drugs and that pot would lead to hard core use. I justified my drug use because if I was able to drink legally at 18, so I thought I could use drugs also. I would keep my use to the three drugs, I promised myself, pot, booze and cocaine. I liked to say that I used successfully until my 40’s, but that wasn’t necessarily so. I kept a job and didn’t stray from my promise. But when I put the drugs down for my employment, I acted out in many ways and found my other addiction made my life very unmanageable. The fact I was an addict that couldn’t deal with life on life’s terms, had no spirituality, and was mentally ill made things terrible for me. For some reason I will never know, I thought I could successfully handle a different drug. In two short months, I knew that I had no control and sought help. I ended up homeless and coming back to the same rooms of NA. My lover, closest friend, and using buddy was my girlfriend. We tried getting clean together but it didn’t work for us and we relapsed.
With no hope at all and nothing but the shirt on my back I tried death but it wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t believe I failed at suicide. I ended up in an institution and then on a bus back home to New Jersey. I had no hope or any drive at all but for the first time, I took a suggestion of a loved one. Once in NJ, I went to meetings and out patient care. I started to treat my mental illness. Then the miracle happened, my brain heard the NA message only because I brought my body and the brain followed.
I started recovering by just thinking one day at a time and not worrying about how, what or when. I went to meetings and listened and asked questions on how to deal with my diseased thinking. I refused to celebrate clean time because of my many failed attempts at getting clean.
However, I celebrated one year clean with a coin and I’m glad to say that I haven’t relapsed. I have no idea of my exact clean date but my sponsor suggested I pick one, which I did. I have commitments, a sponsor, and I am not racing thru the steps. I worked step one twice, old school Basic Text way and the Step Working Guide. I feel today that I have a good foundation. But I am most grateful of what I have today in this new way of life. Also I respect and have an understanding of the powerfulness of this disease that I have, and how it can hit me not only with drugs but any activity that I find gratifying.
Today, I can now say in looking at my future, if I follow the suggestions, do not use, work steps, and stay connected by attending meetings, my life will only be that much easier.