My favorite Chapter in the NA Text is Chapter 8. It was written in part by Jimmy K. and for me the definition of Obsession and Compulsion has been a source of inspiration and has saved my ass on more than one occasion. I have found that the answers I am looking for on any given topic or life situation can be found in the text. I have heard members complain of there not being a more expounded section on relationships. I am of the belief that not any one of us is capable of writing on relationships. Maybe a consortium of folks might do. I mean I have held a gun to someone’s head and had a gun held to mine. What does that tell you that I know about relationships? I also know that not one of us is capable of making consistently good decisions.
We come here with fractured personalities. The principles of the program aren’t for me to place over your personality so I can better learn how to deal with you. They are for me to use to repair mine so that I can better deal with myself, and in turn then use them to understand what is going on around me.
Sponsorship is the heartbeat of this program. I have had my heart broken by guys I sponsor. I became too attached. I forgot that no one, and I mean no one stays clean for anyone but themselves. I took too much responsibility for their recovery while they were not taking responsibility of it for themselves. Sponsorship brings about a new understanding of powerlessness. I can only make the suggestions, I can only speak on my experience, and even though my intentions may be right I cannot tell my guys what I “Think” they should do. I don’t pretend to tell them how they should feel about a situation. I had people tell me my whole life that I shouldn’t think or feel a certain way. People’s thoughts and feelings are valid to them, they may not be in alignment to the particular situation but they are their own. Sometimes our solutions can be worse than the problem, so I need to listen and repeat back to them what has been said and usually light get’s shined on the subject and perspective returns.
What I want most is to feel good about myself, about my set of life circumstances. When this isn’t happening I begin to feel cheated and the measuring of the way I feel on the inside compared to the appearance of those on the outside begins. Denial and the first step begin to conflict in my mind and usually the unmanageability based on poor decision making comes next. We talk a lot about outward unmanageability but the internal unmanageability can be just as damaging. I believe that this is where the process of relapse begins. The reservations or loopholes in our program are spiritual and emotional lapses in our daily program, the next to follow is the physical use.
I must remain connected. The acts of isolation and consulting myself about my own feelings and problems never works. I have found a release in writing. I have written almost everyday since I came into the program. Most of my writings early on were gibberish. Now in writing, it helps me sort out the confusion and if it helps someone else it is something extra. For me it is almost a form of meditation. I still have problems trying to quite my mind, so I just keep writing.
The 3rd Tradition of NA says that all that is required is desire. The How and Why Book goes on to say that I need to follow up on that desire with a commitment. The 3rd Tradition does not give me the right to act like an asshole in NA. I need to make a commitment to myself, to my HP, to others, to this fellowship. I mean I’ve had a desire to go skydiving but never took the lessons required to do it. So why is it I think I can just say I have desire and show no real action behind it?
I have come to understand that everything in my life happened for a reason. If the pain of what I went through helps just 1 person, then it was worth it all. That’s the hope. Then in turn that person can help someone else. If it were up to me I would want everyone to “get this”. Most won’t. It’s not for me to decide who stays and who goes. My life seems unbelievable to me, where I have been, what I have done, and where I am today. It truly has been 2 different lives.
Today life is ok. There are bumps in the road ahead, moments of joy and sorrow. I hold my head up today and I am ready to face what comes next. I know that there will come a time I won’t be given a full 24 hours to do what needs to be done. I can go to bed tonight and know that I have done the best I can. I lived, laughed, and loved today.
For whatever I did or didn’t do…..Know that I Love You.
Take Care….Bob D.