“I am learning that it is my choice to perceive myself in a more positive light. The transformation of the world I see began with the transformation of how I see myself. I acknowledge and understand that I have the responsibility to create the world in which I live. Everything began with the choices I made within myself. By having a respectful and affirming relationship with myself, I will become less dysfunctional and more respectful and affirming of others.” (MacLaine).
I used to wonder if I was an addict. I knew the answer to my question when I realized that my whole life and thinking was centered around drugs. My focus was finding ways and means of getting drugs and using. My life had become controlled by drugs. I felt that I was a disgrace, but then I came to recognize that addiction is a disease; a disease that is chronic, progressive, incurable at times, and fatal. This disease had isolated me from society. I had become a prisoner of my own mind and felt condemned because of my own guilt. My addiction enslaved me. I had cut myself off from the outside world. I became hostile, resentful, self-centered, and self-seeking. I used in order to survive and this became the only way of life I knew. I manipulated people and tried to control everyone and everything around me. I avoided the reality of my addiction by trying to justify and rationalize the things I did to keep from getting sick and from going crazy. I ignored the times that my life had seemed to become a nightmare. My emotional functions were affected by using drugs and I lost the ability to feel human. I had regained good physical health many times only to lose it by using again. Even when others told me that I had a problem I was convinced that I was right and that the rest of the world was wrong. I forgot what it was like before I started using; I forgot how to express myself and how to show compassion and concern for others. My disease made me deny my addiction. I found hope when I was told there was a treatment for this disease. I found this hope through the program of Narcotics Anonymous.
Narcotics Anonymous is a fellowship where people are learning to live without drugs. There are no dues or fees of any kind since each of us has paid the price of membership through our suffering. We have already paid for the right to recover. The message of recovery that we gain through Narcotics Anonymous comes through the experiences of other addicts like ourselves, whom we meet with on a regular basis. Our group has but one primary purpose, to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. In Narcotics Anonymous we face three realizations: we are powerless over our addiction and our lives have become unmanageable; although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our treatment and recovery; and we can no longer blame other people for our addiction. We must learn to face our problem.
This message of hope comes from believing in a higher power. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Narcotics Anonymous).