In the years since my first NA meeting, I have seen and heard and been a part of many things that resonate with me today.
I have been to countless recovery anniversary celebrations, conventions, workshops and meetings. I have heard my predecessors share their experience, strength and hope in a meeting, outside in the meeting-after-the-meeting and over the phone. I have been to college graduations, weddings and baby showers. I have jumped out of a plane, traveled outside of the US and gotten married. I have dug myself out of debt, bought a car and bought a house. All of these situations and life events have led me to a place of gratitude. I am reminded of a predecessor who used to always share in meetings, “I have a life beyond my wildest dreams.”
However, I have had days where I felt like throwing in the towel on this way of life, because the pain feels so great that my heart may break. I have talked to newcomers who were struggling to stay clean, been to several funerals and shed many tears. I have experienced adultery, the murder of a friend and the end of friendships, relationships and jobs. I have watched parents mourn their children, husbands and wives beg their spouse to get clean, and children feel neglected. All of these things, however, have led me again to gratitude. I am again reminded of a predecessor saying, “An addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live. Our message is hope and the promise of freedom.”
All of these things have given me a ton of experience, strength and hope to share with the next person who attends their first NA meeting. Looking back, many of these things seemed impossible almost 10 years ago. Honestly, some of these things seemed impossible just last week!
I am grateful for all of my experiences, my strength and the hope that I have seen in my life and the lives of others who are leading a different life now that we are clean.