One Addict Helping Another | Day 141
I had a pretty enjoyable past few days of recovery. I got to bring an old friend to a meeting in my hometown, give another recovering addict a ride home from a meeting afterwards, and generally feel part of the recovery process and not a spectator to it.
“Helping others helps us” is a principle I’ve already shared on this blog. This is as much true of doing charity, helping family with chores, or helping another addict work on advancing their own recovery efforts. When we go out of our way to offer assistance, it takes us out of our own self-centered-ness and allows us to gain new perspective on the world, other people’s struggles, and our place in the grand scheme of it all.
The friend that I brought to an NA meeting this week was one that I had hung out with on and off during some of my many years of partying. He copped weed from me, smoked with me, came to my parties, and I went to his. He was always a good (nice) guy to hang with who didn’t put up fronts or anything like that.
It was really interesting to be a completely different type of influence on him, a positive one. I had been what I consider to be a positive influence on people, at times, through my years of being high, but it was different. Also, I was only really offering any sort of help / guidance / opinion first-hand to those who were also making the same choices around recreational marijuana smoking that I was.
It was like, “I’ll help you (to the extent that I can) so long as you agree (unstated) not to bring up what we both know is wrong here.”
EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH & HOPE
In NA (and probably other 12-step programs), it is asked of members to share “experience, strength, and hope” with other members before, during and after meetings.
Sometimes, however, what we hear is less of the hope and strength and more of just experience. AND — it’s often not experience regarding how recovery works, but how it feels to be a person and how it feels to be an addict that’s not using.
Granted, meetings are safe places to share what is on one’s mind, as a recovering addict, but the purpose is to make recovery seem attractive and attainable for the newcomer. Surely, it’s not always pretty and can be quite rough at times.
I was grateful to be able to share my HOPE with the group at a meeting yesterday.
I told them, IT WORKS, and not only does it work, but an active participation in recovery (namely the program of NA) will REWARD those who follow the suggestions and approach it with an open mind.
Don’t compare, but identify.
I’ve almost pushed myself away from NA in the past because I didn’t allow myself to see the similarities between myself and the other people in the rooms who struggled with addiction in one form or another.
Some people may have made me feel * less than * because I ONLY smoked pot and didn’t have a serious addiction. Granted, I have done nearly every kind of drug over the years, but in recent time pot was definitely my drug of choice.
I didn’t just smoke pot. I lived pot and I really seemed to need it. I wasn’t dealing with the underlying pain that I was hiding or the feelings of inadequacy and fear that I now know are beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered and understood.
It is fascinating that life has a way to allow people to avoid problems with chemicals. My brain and life are still not even close to fully healed with my modest 4+ months of sobriety, but I am starting to see the difference in myself and how I view the world.
My priorities have changed. I seek to be helpful today. I seek to show up today. I seek to share the HOPE with you and others today who are desperate to know that another way of life is possible. There’s joy in the world that doesn’t come out of a bag or a bottle.
How are you helping others enjoy a sober life?