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My First NA Meeting

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  • My First NA Meeting

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. *I was living in a perpetual loop of insanity; hanging out with the same people, going to the same places, doing exactly the same things day in and day out always telling myself that "tomorrow would be different."

    
I honestly believed that regardless of changing nothing I would be able to stop "tomorrow." *I spent 6 years chasing those tomorrows; 6 years of lying to myself; 6 years of spiraling towards my rock bottom. *It took me 6 solid years of wanting to stop using before I realized I was never going to be able to do it on my own.

    
Maybe it was a higher power; the looks on my loved ones faces; the utter sadness in my mothers eyes. *Maybe it was the fear of losing my job, my son, or even my life; maybe I had just reached a point that I truly had enough. *Whatever the cause, one night I randomly googled Narcotics Anonymous.

    

I found a listing of all the nearby meetings, discovering there was at least one meeting close to me every single day of the week. *There happened to be one at 7pm that evening within a mile of my house. *

    I made a decision that instant that saved my life.

    I made the decision to get up and just go. *The demons in my head instantly began trying to talk me out of it. *The voices fired every excuse they could at me, but in a moment of clarity I said "fuck it," jumped in the car and headed towards the unknown.
    
I truly had no idea what to expect.

    The fear of the unknown is a big part of why I put off going for so long. *Was I going to walk into a room and have everything stop as everyone turned to look at the intruder? *

    Was it going to be a room full of addicts with no intentions of stopping; just using the meetings as a means of making new connections? *Was I going to be looked down upon for still actively using? *Would I be judged? *Would I be welcomed? *Would I see someone who doesn't know I am an addict? *Would attending this anonymous meeting lead to my picture being on the front page of the paper under the headline "Another Loser Junkie?"

    
The questions kept coming as I turned onto the street. *I drove along slowly, countless ridiculous thoughts echoing in my mind. *The moment the church hall came into view my heart sank into my stomach. *I was absolutely terrified.

    
I pulled into the parking lot, and found a spot towards the back. *I put the car in park, slouched down in my seat, and just sat a moment. *The butterflies in my stomach and voices in my head had me seriously contemplating leaving. *It was as if the demons inside my body knew an exorcism awaited them and were making one last effort to stop me.

    
Thankfully for the first time ever I ignored the voices. *I took a deep breath, climbed out of the car, and headed towards the building. *I shoved my hands in my pants pockets, and stared at the ground as I made my way; the whole time just waiting to be stopped and told that I can't come in because they can tell I'm hopeless, and the worst addict they have ever seen.

    
I saw a group of people hanging out outside the meeting hall. *I had never seen so many drug addicts in one place. *As I got closer I couldn't believe my eyes; everyone was laughing, joking, and even hugging each other. *Every single one of them was doing something I hadn't done in a long time...
They were all smiling! *They all seemed truly happy.

    
Men and women, young and old, black or white, none of that mattered. People you would never imagine interacting with each other were talking and smiling together.

    *People from all walks of life stood before me, brought together by a terrible disease, forming a bond that transcends all. *These people were honestly happy, and it was more than obvious all were welcome.
    
As I approached the crowd I felt like a new student going into the cafeteria for the first time. *Before I had the chance to even finish that thought someone stopped me, and introduced himself. * I went to shake his hand as he stepped in for a hug. *That hug was quickly followed up by hugs and introductions from the few people he had been talking to.

    *They literally made me feel instantly welcome, and invited me to walk in with them. *I was no longer a scared lost soul, I felt like I belonged somewhere for the first time in a long time.

    
We entered the hall as the meeting started. *I sat with the small group I had just met. *The person running the meeting asked if there were any "urgent or emergency issues" that anybody was facing, if anyone was on the verge of relapsing and things like that. *I guess they make sure to help anyone in that situation immediately, which was a great thing to know.


    There were no emergency issues so the meeting continued. *I learned that every week they have a member tell their story. * A man walked to the front of the room and sat down. *He introduced himself and surprisingly told us he was a police officer. *He talked about his life before drugs, how he got into drugs, his life actively using, and then how Narcotics Anonymous saved him. *

    This man lived out of his car for years, lost his children and wife, and almost killed himself.

    
He then told us how he inadvertently attended his first NA meeting. *He woke up in a parking lot outside a church. *His roommate, the owner of the car they lived out of, was nowhere to be found. *Desperately needing a fix he stumbled out of the car and headed inside. *His buddy saw him walk in and quickly headed towards him. *

    He explained he was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and was told about this NA meeting. *He was told to just go back outside and wait in the car. *As he turned around a few of the senior members approached him, and invited him inside.

    
With nowhere else to go he sat down for the meeting, and the rest was history, he never used again. *He told us the rest of the story of how he rebuilt his life, getting his family back, and eventually becoming an officer of the law.


    His story shocked me, this man had actually been through worse than me, he had done things I had never even done, his rock bottom was worse than mine. *I felt like nobody had done the things I had done, or used as much as I had used, yet a man stood before me that had done worse for longer and was able to overcome it and take his life back. *This mans story gave me the first glimpse of hope I had in years.

    
Beating my addiction was truly possible!
After his story the floor was open for people to share anything they felt like. I heard other stories of people who have faced worse than me and were able to beat it. *Knowing it was actually possible ignited a fire inside of me, I had found out where I needed to be.
    
When the meeting was over a group of people came over to me before I could leave. *They knew it was my first meeting and all wanted to make me feel welcome and introduce themselves. *

    My own mother wouldn't speak with me yet these strangers offered me a couch to sleep on if I needed it.

    
They also had passed a brochure around the room, every man in the room put his name and phone number on that brochure for me. *They told me that if I ever needed anything to call any of those numbers. *

    The members that ran the meeting underlined their names to make sure I had their information specifically. *They told me about upcoming functions, and made sure I would be attending more meetings. *They were even volunteering to pick me up to make sure I didn't miss a meeting.
    
Words cannot explain how welcomed and cared for I felt - My own mother wouldn't let me in her house yet these "strangers" offered to let me into their homes to sleep on their couch if I was homeless.

    
I left that meeting knowing there was a place for me, I belonged and was welcomed with open arms. *I left that meeting with a support group that would show up anytime of night to talk me out of relapsing. *I left that meeting with hope, and the belief that it was actually possible to beat this disease. *I left that meeting feeling like I mattered, that people cared for me, that my life wasn't lost forever. *I left that meeting feeling something growing inside me, people truly had faith in me again, people believed in me and would stand by my side through my battle. *

    My own family had stopped talking to me, yet these strangers were willing to fight for me and help me take my life back.
    
I went home that night like a kid on Christmas Eve, I couldn't wait to get up and get to my next meeting. *As an active addict there are not many places you are wanted, but always remember no matter what your situation there will always be a seat for you in the Narcotics Anonymous Halls.
    
Narcotics Anonymous saved my life, I was nervous to attend that first meeting but I am so glad I did it. *

    I am here writing this today because of that decision, my only regret is not having done it sooner. *If you are debating going to an NA meeting just do it. *You will be welcomed and guided on your own journey.
Narcotics Anonymous Can Save Your Life - Just Show Up and Listen

    
My first meeting was an amazing experience and yours will be too. *Action is the only way to make anything change in your life. *

    Take these steps RIGHT NOW:

    
Go to http://www.NA.org

    Click the Top Left Link - "For The Public"
Click the first option "Find a Meeting"

    Enter your location information

    Find your meetings, and just GO! Everything else will fall into place!

    
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. *Stop the insanity TODAY. *TAKE ACTION - Find and Attend a Meeting TODAY! *Your future self will thank you.


  • #2
    Frank,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Narcotics Anonymous. So your first meeting went well obviously. Have you been regularly attending and if so, how has it been? How do you feel it has helped you stay away from drugs and alcohol?

    Peace and Love,

    William
    Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

    Find a Prescreened Addiction Treatment Center & Drug Rehab Facility

    Visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Blog for daily articles.

    I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

    Comment


    • #3
      Frank, excellent story. I’ve seen it again and again where the NA members gather for a meeting at church, strip mall, on the beach or in a park. They greet each other with a hug and ask how each is doing. They are the tools to help you. They will be there for you each time you attend but better yet will gather to help you when you feel down.
      Path2

      Comment


      • #4
        Frank,

        Out of curiosity, are members/visitors of your NA meetings allowed to mention that they are also using medicine assisted treatment like Suboxone and/or Methadone? Or is that still frowned upon? I'm just curious because I know some people have had problems with that.

        Peace and Love,

        William
        Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

        Find a Prescreened Addiction Treatment Center & Drug Rehab Facility

        Visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Blog for daily articles.

        I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

        Comment

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