When one first attends a Narcotics Anonymous meeting they are unsure of what to expect. You do not know what kind of people will be found there or how they will behave. The reality is these people are just like the rest of us, they have lives, children, and pasts. They are real and most of all they are human.
Going in looking around the first impression is, these people look like everyone else. Then it is realized that even though they look like the regular population, they have a guarded look about them. The people here have been through more than a non-addict could ever imagine. You do not know their stories, honestly fathoming anything about them is pretty much impossible, because you have not experienced that life unless you yourself are an addict, and when first attending the meetings the purpose for my presence was only going to support a friend that went.
These people are very structured in how they go about their recovery. A meeting begins with the serenity prayer in the “I” form. They then read certain things that describe the way Narcotics Anonymous runs itself, the way their program works, even a self-description of what an addict is. Then comes time for a daily reading that comes from what they call “the blue book”, then an open discussion follows. They open the floor to ask for topic choices for the discussion, one of which is always based on the daily reading. Those topics can range from how to stay clean, to how to manage relationships while in recovery, to finding a job. They do this is a very organized fashion, with one person speaking at a time so as to not cross talk as they call it. These discussions can be very calm or they can become very emotional dependent ...
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...overy. That is true to such a huge extent. I watch these people sharing stories, sharing support, sharing their darkness inside and I am humbled. Only recently have I started sharing my own experiences and my addiction. I see how hard it was for them to get to that point now.
Watching the people and participation at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting exposes a new side of life that most that have never seen it probably never imagined. I have learned a different way of life, a different outlook on life including my own from attending these meetings. In going with my friend I realized I too am an addict and that addiction is a reality that more of us face than we could ever imagine. Maybe one day the realization will hit us all, but until then I myself am thankful to have seen the rawness and self-realization that comes from attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
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