Monday, December 17, 2012

By going back we never have to return

By: Josh

Remembering where I came from helps me never have to go back.

Last night I had an opportunity to take an NA meeting into a jail and share my experiences and recovery with inmates.  It was a very humbling experience for me in many ways. 

First off, it was the first time in my recovery that I have walked into a jail as a free man and got to leave the same way without having to post bail or get assigned a court date. :)  Was actually quite nice.

Second, I have been to numerous meetings while in jail, but always as an inmate.  This was a very simple change in my life of recovery that helped me put into focus just how different my life is today.

Lastly, getting to hear inmates open up and share their own life experiences and struggles with drugs and addiction was absolutely incredible.  I didn't even have to try to relate to many of them because I've said some of the very things I heard them sharing and felt much of the fears, doubt and shame that were all once so familiar to me.  And by hearing them share and sharing my own story, I was reminded of all of those feelings and exactly where I never wish to go again.  The miracle is that I never have to. 

For me, the Narcotics Anonymous program and the 12 steps have given me a new life.  With other addicts in recovery helping show me a different way to live, and sharing their own experiences; I've been given hope.  I was shown(and continue being shown) how to surrender to my disease of addiction and a way of living by putting my faith into a loving, caring Higher Power of my own choosing.  Was it easy, hell no.  Has it been worth it? Not a doubt in my mind.

I've put alot of work and time into my own recovery and try to stay humble and know that I have to continue working at my recovery today and learning more ways to change my life and grow in recovery.  Yet, for me, one way that has worked for me to always remember where I came from is working with newcomers or those who think they may have a problem.  By hearing their experiences, questions and struggles it always reminds me of where I used to be.  And by this, I can see where I'm at today which further motivates me to continue in my recovery. 

My past is my past and I choose not to live in it today.  But I've learned the strength and wisdom that comes from remembering where I was, seeing how far I've come, and that I never have to return to the person my addiction made me.

Grateful today for such amazing opportunities to share with newcomers and other recovering addicts.  Blessed that my Higher Power helps me to remain humble and for all those in my life who have helped me get to where I am today.

Today, I'm still powerless over my addiction, yet I've been given a Power greater than myself and my addiction to show me how to live and stay clean just for today.

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