THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Rebecca"
Originally posted in Jan. 2011(The author retains all rights to this material)
Having been in therapy for 6 year or so, now I realize that my addiction didn’t begin at the age of 46, but when I was seven. That is when I first saw myself as fearful of myself. I thought for the longest time that my loneliness and insecurities was from my cerebral palsy. Yes, that was definitely a part of my reaction to life, but that was only part of the equation.
I always had these bizarre thoughts. I thought I was okay when my husband, Richard, left this world. My sister was with me, but when she had to return home, my world started to crumble.
G-d sent angels on this emotional journey, neighbors, friends, even the woman I sat next to during the High Holy days was a grief counselor. All these wonderful people and all I could do was crawl inside a bottle, thinking Rich would be alive and I would finally awake from this nightmare. It never seemed to work out, and I felt so lonely.
I sold our home in Kingman, Arizona, and came back to New Jersey. I remember one day when my husband’s death certificate was staring at me on the dining room table. I discovered somehow that if I drank, I could deal with this simple piece of paper and all my sadness would be no more. I went into the local bar, a stones-throw from my house. I knew the very first time I entered the liquor store, a little voice inside of me was saying “put the wine back on the shelf” and go see my doctor to tell him I was having difficulty coping. But no, I had to drink and drink and drink until G-d intervened and did for me what I could not do for myself.
After many times hitting the revolving door of the psych ward of Monmouth Medical Center. I got involved with and in the middle of Narcotics Anonymous. But I ran away from NA. I felt I didn’t belong. An addict was homeless; a bum existing on the streets. My G-d! I was a married woman, living in a 2200 square foot home with a three car garage nestled in the mountainside town of Kingman, Arizona. I was just someone who knew I could only go on so far until I would someday explode. That day was when my husband took ill and I begged him not to die on me, as if he had a choice in the matter.
But then, for the first time in several years, I began to feel I belonged. I “got involved” but still avoided chairing a meeting as I have difficulty speaking. But then, one day I was “trapped”. Having no way out, I had to run a Monday noon meeting. Well, lo and behold, I did it, and I now am the chair of a Tuesday meeting, enjoying it immensely.
Two years ago, I told my sponsor I didn’t know what to do with myself. Today, Narcotics Anonymous is a way of my life. Besides chairing one meeting, I’m a GSR for one group, the treasurer for another. I have been the co-chair of an H & I commitment at Monmouth Medical Center on Friday evenings. I conveyed to the patients in the psych unit that for me, NA stands for Never Alone and that the ninth suggestion to follow is to get involved in NA, whether it be setting up chairs before the meeting or offering a ride to someone who needs transportation.
You only get out what you give. This goes for life itself. So if anyone is having difficulty staying clean, please get involved. Not only are you helping someone else, but you’ll be helping yourself as well.