THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Kyle"
I was always a good kid growing up. I got good grades, played sports, played music, and partied on the weekends. I don’t know exactly when my drug addiction began, perhaps I was born with it, it really doesn’t matter… all that matters is that I’ve come to the realization that I need help, and cannot do this on my own. Today I have hope that one day at a time I can recover from active addiction and stay clean.
I tried so hard to make my life manageable. I felt like as long as I didn’t crash my car… or lose my job… I was in control. As long as I didn’t get arrested… or steal from my family… I was in control. By the time I hit rock bottom all of these things had happened to me. They didn’t happen all at once, more like a continuous downward spiral over the years. Except now I knew I had no control, and couldn’t stop using anyway. The money eventually ran out and I start selling drugs. I was somewhat relieved because I didn’t have to steal from my family anymore or make runs to the local pawn shop. My house ended up getting raided by the cops and I got arrested one more time. If this never happened I wouldn’t have had the desire to stop using. My lawyer straight up told me if I didn’t go to rehab I would go to jail. I was scared because I’ve never been there before, so I packed my bags, threw away my needles in the garbage and left for rehab.
I listened when H & I (hospitals and institutions) came in to speak about Narcotics Anonymous. They told me to follow certain suggestions. I started noticing a pattern in EVERY speaker when I was in rehab. They all got a sponsor, they all worked steps, and went to meetings regularly. It seemed so simple, I couldn’t wrap my head around the simplest things though. Like one day at a time, or the fact that I could no longer drink alcohol or smoke pot. I didn’t understand much but I got hope that it was a process that works.
I made a meeting when I got out. I was unemployed at the time so I tried doing 90 meetings in 90 days. It felt so awkward meeting new people. I dropped all my old friends and changed my cellphone number. I got a sponsor and started working steps. I got a homegroup and a commitment. I started playing music again and met other guys in recovery to jam with too. I’ve learned a lot from Narcotics Anonymous. Most importantly I’ve learned that today I don’t have to use. I’ve learned that by practicing spiritual principals like honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness, life will get better. Today I can be honest with my family, my sponsor, and even with myself. Today I can be willing to go to meetings, and talk to guys with experience, even though I feel so nervous and awkward. And today I can be open-minded to the idea of a higher power, and how I can utilize it for guidance and serenity.
I’m still afraid… some days I still think about getting high. The thought just seem to pop in and out of my head, I can’t control these thoughts. NA has taught me that I CAN control my actions. Today I can call my sponsor when I have these thoughts or share about them in a meeting. I’m still a mess sometimes or acting out on character defects. It’s nice to know that I can go to a men’s meeting where my mind isn’t distracted by girls, a candlelight meeting where I feel comfortable, or a step meeting where I listen the most. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone or hear my sponsor say, “me too.” It’s nice to know that I can still chase that rush, but in a positive way, like flying down a mountain on my snowboard this winter or going in a mosh pit at a concert over the summer.
Some days are easier than others but today I’m grateful for the things I have. Sure I have a felony on my criminal record, I may not be able to use my bachelor’s degree right away, but I do have a job. Sure I have 13 points on my license, but today I have a car. Sure I’ve screwed over my friends and family in the past, but today I can make amends. Sure I’m not proud of the things I’ve done, but today I can look at myself in the mirror. Sure I’m a drug addict, but today I’m clean.