Jimmy Kinnon passed away on July 9, 1985. He spent the last 35 years of his life clean. I often wondered what it would be like to spend 10 minutes with him. I am grateful that his words live on in our Basic Text.
He often referred to himself as a “co-founder” of Narcotics Anonymous while many referred to him as the founder. I believe that he understood that NA was much bigger than him. That it was others like Bill W and Dr. Bob that paved the way. There are other members with substantial time that were there from the beginning that are recognized from different areas as being founding members. Sometimes in NA a rift can be found between what was so freely given from AA to NA. The major difference lies in the 1st Step. NA does not deal with a specific substance, it deals with the disease of addiction. AA has had great success in helping the alcoholic. NA has had great success in dealing with the addict.
I never understood nor really understand today how as an addict I could fully feel comfortable in an AA meeting. I mean how can I use drugs alcoholicly? If that even is a word?
I once heard a story that Jimmy had come up with the concept for what we now know as the 12 Steps adapted after a bout of depression in recovery. That he had a vision that he felt was handed down from his HP. Some say that Jimmy, even though sober through AA, was contemplating suicide. That in his writings that many were still going down the road of disillusion and death because they were unable to identify with the alcoholic in AA. That their identification was at the apparent level of symptoms.
No matter how it came about, I’m sure there are a million different versions of the same story, it came to pass. Jimmy once said, “All we did was sow some seeds and waited for them to grow”. I wonder what he would think of our fellowship today. I know there is a tape of him circulating on the internet. To the best of my knowledge it is the only known recording of him giving a talk. It is from NA’s 20th Anniversary Dinner in Oceanside, California. I have had the opportunity to listen to it and it is timeless. Timeless in the sense there are no references to dates in the talk. It’s as if I already had 10 minutes with Jimmy if I just listen.
I spoke with my sponsor on the phone last night for about 20 minutes. I told him the conversation I had with my wife in regards to church attendance. He said pretty much what I thought he would. He told me we would find something that fit us. I told him I was still not happy in this period of my life. He knows. He tries cracking his usual one line, poor taste jokes, which I am usually the brunt of. That’s just him. He can usually change my demeanor with his goofiness. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood as of late.
I received a call last night from a guy I know in the program who asked me to come up to Mansfield, Ohio to speak. I never have turned down the request to speak and this is no different, in fact it’s a little more special.
I will be part of an H&I Learning Day at Mansfield Correctional. I did this last year and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in recovery.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. I believe God’s timing is infused with humor and purpose. I need to do this more than what I even realize I think. Last year when I found out I would be doing it I was so terrified I thought I would piss myself every time I thought about it. This time I am excited and eagerly looking forward to it.
I am going to a meeting tonight. I have to. It’s been too long and things are quite for now.
Take Care……Bob D.