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 21, 2024
Surrender is for everyone
Page 211
"If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery."
Basic Text, p. 95

Surrender is just for newcomers, right? Wrong!

After we've been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to oldtimers. We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves--and we do. The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough. But it's what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble. When we find that "applying the principles" on our own power just isn't working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender. When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves. And when we discover that self-therapy isn't so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of "the therapeutic value of one addict helping another."

Just for Today: I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own. I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power--I will do something that says, "I surrender."

Spiritual Principle a Day

July 21, 2024
Freedom to Heal
Page 209
"Gradually, we come to experience freedom from some of our deepest wounds. As we begin to clear up some of the confusion and contradiction in our lives, we can move forward with less of the baggage we brought in with us."
Living Clean, Chapter 4, "Sex"

Freedom for any recovering addict begins with not using. But as the fog lifts, our emotional turmoil becomes more apparent. To stay clean, we need a different approach to deal with our underlying issues. We understand we can be free from active addiction--but can we be free from our deepest wounds?

We'd love that answer to be a resounding "absolutely!"--and for some, it will be. But for many of us who've suffered traumas and abuse, the more realistic answer is: We can heal. We can move forward. We can gain more freedom than we have today. Recovery from addiction is a process, and so is letting go of "baggage," especially the burdens we never asked for and, no doubt, the ones we inflicted on others.

That process can be fierce, terrifying, sometimes beautiful, often unexpected. We gain freedom from working Steps and sharing about our past with each other. We get relief through meditation and prayer, perhaps through outside help, through the passage of time and patience with ourselves. We try not to avoid or disconnect from painful memories. Instead, we deal with our baggage as best we can and realize that some of what we've been carrying isn't ours. We come to some acceptance and healing, finding forgiveness for ourselves for not letting go. And, equally as important, we help others to do the same.

While some wounds may never fully heal, they don't overwhelm us today. They don't run our lives--or our relationships with others, with our bodies, and with the world. We can learn how to relate to others and respond to their needs without sacrificing our own. We can be vulnerable and explore physical and emotional intimacy. We can find freedom, lose it a little, and regain it by digging in again.

My pain doesn't define me, and I can use it to help someone else heal. I will find both refuge and freedom in the Steps and in my fellow addict.
cover of the Spiritual Principle a Day book