What is Narcotics Anonymous?

N.A. is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. Our program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work. We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.

Just for Today

July 23, 2024
Surrendering self-will
Page 213
"We want and demand that things always go our way. We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work."
Basic Text, p. 93

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives. There's nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn't think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action. It's when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.

When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves--we think only of ourselves. We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power. We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding. Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.

At this point, we have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn't spin our way. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God's will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans--there's nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God's will, not merely our own.

Just for Today: I will plan to do God's will, not mine. If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.

Spiritual Principle a Day

July 23, 2024
Inspired by Hope
Page 211
"We may not relate exactly to one another's dreams, but we can relate to the hope, energy, and excitement of trying to realize them."
Living Clean, Chapter 2, "Connection to Others"

One of recovery's greatest gifts--and joys--is seeing another NA member's hopes and dreams become realized. We are there when someone in our home group plants a seed of an idea into their own life, where it takes root in the dirt below and sprouts a stem that stretches toward the sun. We witness them take all the necessary steps to bring their goal to fruition, in spite of struggles with self-doubt and some real setbacks. We celebrate each other's successes at graduations and weddings; for births, adoptions, and reunifications; at launchings, openings, and housewarmings; and at the finish line--or just by hearing about them at a meeting.

We are inspired, even if our own seed of an idea is very different or even if we don't yet have a seed of our own. Most of us would agree that the specific details of our stories of active addiction don't have to be the same as another addict's in order for us to empathize, or even identify with them. The same can be said regarding our specific ideas about how we want to enrich our lives. There are as many paths to freedom as there are addicts and just as many paths to joy, success, contentment, and fulfillment.

Seeing others follow their dreams can inspire hope in us to find and follow our own. At different periods of our journey, hope may inspire us in different realms, like employment, family and relationships, using our intellect, our creativity. As one addict quipped, "I used to climb the walls, and now I climb mountains." Bearing witness to each other's journeys is a boon. We can learn from each other's mistakes, without having to make the same ones ourselves. What looks impossible or undesirable to us in early recovery may appeal to us later on--and transform our lives. We get most of our best ideas from each other.

I can find inspiration in my fellow recovering addicts--sometimes despite the details and sometimes because of them. Today I have hope for my own future, and I'm willing to do what I can to inspire others to find the hope they lost or never had.
cover of the Spiritual Principle a Day book