~ Conference ~
Members showed up as early as 11:00 am. Met at Clubhouse at 6:00 and began discussing ideas and concerns. Getting copies out to members and beginning to emphasize the need to work with people to get them writing involved and informed. We will need a series of Conferences like this one to get the whole book edited. Moultrie, Dalton and Miami are good places to meet. We have good communications and solid support. Interest among Carolinians and Alabama members is growing. Twenty-five copies sold at Columbia, S.C. during Annual Convention there.
We broke for the 8:00 meeting and resumed at 9:30. John, Yellow Eyes, Brad, Billy, Victor, Bonnie and Bo sat around the cold room being renovated. Greg looked at computer but it couldnt be fixed. Heat is one pipe away from being on! We had major computer problems and went away to rest at midnight. Lengthy discussions helped us build up energy for the discussions with members the next day.
Showed up at 11:00. Members from Dalton showed up.
Bonnie saved the day by loaning us her beautiful laptop computer. It allowed us to install the zip drive and hook up the laser printer. These minutes were made possible by her kindness and generosity. Thanks, Bonnie. Later she helped even more by typing up much of the input and minutes.
Opened with Serenity Prayer at 12:00 Saturday.
Steve led the group in a reading and discussion of the Pledge, Preface and Introduction to the NA Way of Life book. The group agreed to work on the material back home in Dalton to bring up to date. Some of the items had changed and it is a good time to update these core statements.
After break, the group went to work on Chapter 22 Miracles. Group asked to read and react, look for typos and clumsy sentences. About ten members showed up from Dalton with four or five locals.
Draft printed out and reviewed twice. Copies printed out for attending members.
After work on Chapter 22, Steve asks to go around the room and ask how each individual feels about what weve done here today.
Thoughts and feelings.
Steve - hopes for people from Dalton (homegroup) to experience this accomplishment. Suggests individual workshops. Set up workshops periodically. Steves expectations have been met. He stated, "We are now a part of history." We can do what we did today at any time. Steve expressed gratitude for turn out.
Nicole shared glad to be part of history. Suggests individual workshops and more work in Dalton.
Marla would like to see everyone stay involved. Can see changes. Grateful to be a part of.
Yellow Eyes Now we are beginning to feel a part of that boosts self-worth. That is a miracle. Feels slightly left out because he once worked very close with book and moved away from. Grateful to be back to it. Hopes for someone and realizes the possibility of someone benefiting from what he can give. Miracle to be here. Feels needed. Needs to stay involved with to avoid coming dissociated again.
Steve suggests Yellow Eyes think about forming way of Life chapter in Chattanooga.
Robin expresses confusion. Likes that we as addicts get to work on book. Glad to be here.
Steve explains this is an approval or working form in progress. It will continue to change until final book is made.
Alan is glad we are changing book because it is confusing.
Billie doesnt know much about book. Does feel more a part of today.
Tom G. expressed his appreciation. Has been studying history. Means lots to him today that people care enough to make literature like this available for us. Glad to be a part of this. At one time was angry about things. W.S.O. Glad to be able to do something about it. Today he chooses to not be angry, do the footwork and leave the results up to God.
Steve states that we are renewing as art that would have been lost if we hadnt.
Kelly says this is his way of doing the next right thing. Gets him out of isolation. Leaving the results up to God. Following doing the footwork. Gets to see first hand what is going on. Helps him helping someone else.
Bo enjoys seeing others get recovery from Basic Text and wanting to get other people involved. Expresses enthusiasm of hearing the book read. Glad the fun is still contagious - "Catch It!"
Gary expresses his not knowing what he was getting into this morning. He now feels this is a journey. Journey that started today and could one day save someones life.
John brings up the 5th Tradition. Feels this is his antidote to addiction and helps him to stay clean. (staying involved in NA) Comments book has helped him through many difficult times.
Steve sees this Miracle Chapter as sleeping giant. Been put in and forgotten. As far as he knows, this is the first workshop on Miracles. Now, we can begin to work on it again.
Eddie can he share experiences with his personal miracles?
Steve Suggests we ask for addicts to share a miraculous event that has happened in their life. Not as story, but more like a statement.
Someone asks about personal stories: suggests that we bring in stories of miracles in our lives.
Eddie Talks of small miracles in his life.
Steve: miracles on such a scale that theres no explanation- Its a miracle!
Post on the web: members of recovery ask for folks to submit stories of miracles, true miracles of recovery.
Moultrie Charles called this morning and said coming in tomorrow morning. Charles has been doing a lot of good work on email@example.com which has been inspiring members to exchange views and ideas on the work.
Thanks to Hank and Victor for getting the furnace going by installing twenty-five feet of black pipe and lighting the pilot! All in the dark! Thanks!
Great big thanks to Dalton members for coming and making this conference a success. They were all wonderful and did a super job on the Miracles chapter.
Members present set date of January 14, 15 and 16, 2000 for next Conference in Dalton. Next proposed site Moultrie, then Miami.
We broke for the meeting at 7:45 and the Dalton members had to leave in time to make their eleven oclock meeting. We stayed on and typed up minutes, etc.
Ideas to consider: need to send out letter of thanks to attending members.
Need to reach out more to these cities in particular:
Miami FL, Jacksonville FL, Columbia SC, Decatur AL, Montgomery AL, Birmingham AL, Charleston WV, Greenville, NC, Knoxville TN, Chattanooga TN, Nashville, TN, Memphis TN, Pittsburgh PA, Macon GA, New York NY, Washington DC, Detroit MI, Nantucket MA, San Francisco CA, Los Angeles CA, San Diego CA, New Orleans LA, Victor MT, Houston TX,
10:00 am Opened with serenity prayer.
Brad, Bo, Billy and Victor showed up, Moultrie members may be in around noon. We will be here until 2:00 at least.
Brad helped spot typos and Bo corrected. Victor came and helped repair our work area more. Building is being renovated to make new meeting room. We met in this work area so as to protect the meeting room next door.
Add to website: how to get firstname.lastname@example.org
Open checking account: put order form in books and on website for nawol.
Add chapter on Health
Bumper Sticker idea: What is a book written by addicts, for addicts about recovery doing in the rooms of NA? Duh!
Adam came in and we had a good long talk about policy relating to NA Way of Life book. He had concerns that it was copyrighted in my name. I explained at some length that the book had gone uncopyprotected for many years. We had an understanding that if there were any threat to the book prior to establishing the NA Foundation, I would move immediately to protect it so as to keep faith with the members who had worked on it and continue the project. Dick Hitt, an attourney from Jackson, Michigan, had advised this a year or two earlier at the Clark Lake Lit Conference listed in the NA Way of Life Chronology. This was done in response to a situation in 1998. Despite three newsletters, some travel and a whole lot of phone calls, the idea of doing a corporation was permanently broken up due to the severe infighting and control issues that broke out. The book itself continued to progress with new members taking the place of members who dropped away. I asked Adam if he had read the Pledge statement relating to the copyright? When he said no, I printed out fifteen copied and asked him to review it carefully and we would try to get together a group of local members who were interested in the project to discuss the issues.
Rob D came in from Huntsville, Alabama for the Lit Conference and we all shared the rest of the afternoon. Rob was told that when ready, we would support a lit conference there in Northern Alabama. The basic goals of the Way of Life movement right now are to get out copies of the $5 review form and to train people to do Fellowship editing. We need 500 trained lit workers to finish this book. We can do it in four or five days.
The Marietta Literature Conference is the first of a series of Literature Conferences set to remove all typos from the document, clean up poor sentences, paragraphs and to adjust the material so that each chapter reads well. This will result in the Y2K form, the 2000 form of the book. Attending members understood and supported this idea.
311 N Henderson St.
Dalton, Ga 30720
2542 Ramblewood Ct.
Acworth, Ga 30102
340 Woodstone Drive
Marietta, GA 30068
311 N Henderson St.
Dalton, Ga 30720
P.O. Box 813702
Smyrna, Ga 30081
160 1st Ave EXT.
Chatsworth, Ga 30705
639 Stone Harbor Parkway
Marietta, Ga 30060
|Billy James W.
Oakridge 170 Lot 19
630 Winnmark Dr
Roswell, Ga 30076
5063 East Hawthorn St
Dalton, Ga 30721
|Steve S. & Marla C.
2749 Brownsbridge Rd
Dalton, Ga 30721
4627 Ward Circle #127E
Acworth, Ga 30102
4675 Pilgrim Point Road
Cumming, GA 30041
770/887-2555 H 404/280-4826 P
356 Ariel Drive
Harvest, AL 35749
506 East Hawthorne St
Dalton, Ga 30721-3109
160 1st Ave EXT.
Chatsworth, Ga 30705
111 Aylee Court
Villa Rica, GA 30
"Key for Life"
Having lost all my possessions (cars, houses, clothes, etc.) not to mention friends, personal relationships and family ties, to the disease of addiction, I remember a key ring I once had with many keys on it. It seemed at one time, I had a key for everything.
And I recalled a night, many years ago, that I stood at my door, completely wasted, fumbling for the key to open that door. And the next morning, looking out my window and wondering why my car was not parked where it should be. "Where is my car?"
Well, today I know those things can be replaced. And I have one key, today, that can unlock and open anything or any door I choose. This key is my sobriety and it is on my "Just for Today" key ring.
Recovery? - Gary C.
Today, I will do whats right
I will be true to others, as with myself.
And listen to those who know.
I will help those in need.
Because yesterday is gone,
And tomorrow uncertain.
I will live today,
For today is a present to be fulfilled and cherished.
I have hope in Today!
Gary C. Dalton, Ga.
From Laura Dalton
I came into the rooms of NA about March 11, 1998. Twenty months ago, for my second attempt to get clean. In September of 95, I came to NA after going through treatment and only achieved approximately sixty days clean time and decided I wasnt an addict and went back out there. I didnt follow any suggestions, work steps, etc. But most importantly, I didnt understand anonymity.
When I came back into the rooms this time I was in total desperation. I was also in a relationship with a man who was in active addiction. I had been in this relationship for 2 ½ years. I realized I had a drug problem and sought help through treatment. He, on the other hand, was in total denial and vowed he could quit using anytime. I started going to meetings. I was serious about my recovery. I listened. I shared in meetings. I got a sponsor. Did 90 in 90. But this relationship was not working out. People in the rooms suggested, at the very least I needed to set some boundaries. I did. I truly believed he wasnt an addict. He honored my boundaries (or so I thought). But I still found us growing in separate directions. I continued this relationship for approximately four months.
People in the rooms told me when the pain got bad enough I would either do something about it to better my chances at recovery or get loaded. I knew I didnt want to use. I discovered that this person whom I trusted and thought was changing his life too, was lying to me the entire time I had been clean. I had to make a choice. I prayed about it a lot. Then, one day, the answer came to me clear as a bell. I couldnt continue to save this relationship with an addict who was in complete denial. For the first time in my life, I put my needs first. I trusted the people in the rooms of NA who told me if I take care of myself, stay clean and come to meetings things would work out the way they were supposed to. I was terrified! I loved this man with all my heart but I know until he could get honest about addiction that we didnt have a chance. He left and suddenly I found myself alone for the first time in my life. See, I always felt I needed a man in my life to make me feel whole. However, the friends and support I had found in NA saved my life. They were there to hold my hand, cry on their shoulder, and help me through this trying time.
Even though I knew that I had done the right thing my heart was still broken because I loved the man and since I had been coming to NA I started learning about the disease of addiction. And how it takes over lives. The denial and self-deception are part of this disease of addiction. I felt bad for him but I knew that he had to hit rock bottom and realize on his own that he needed help. I didnt call or communicate with him at all after the break up. I continued to pray every day and night for God to help me get through this and to do the next right thing. Then after a short time apart I realized that I was pregnant with this mans baby. I didnt know what to do. I leaned on my support from my friends in NA. I finally called him to let him know about the baby. He said some really hurtful things and then hung up on me. I called his mother and informed her about the situation. I gave her a meeting schedule to pass onto him, and hung up the phone. I was devastated, however I knew that all that I could do was turn it over to my higher power, not use, and accept whatever happened. That night I went to a meeting. I was a little late and the meeting had already started when I got there. When I walked in the door I saw him sitting there at a meeting. My heart sank. I sat in the back where he couldnt see me. Then after the meeting we talked. He told me that he was sorry and that he realized he had a problem and wanted help. My first thought was to hug him and tell him that everything would be fine and lets go home. But I knew that if this was ever going to work out I had to know that he was doing this for himself and not to get me back. Since we were having a child together I did make an effort to try and save this relationship. He had to prove to me that he wanted a new way of life and was willing to do whatever necessary to stay clean. We didnt move back in together for awhile. He went to meetings, got a sponsor and stayed clean. After a lot of prayer and thought we did get back together. Today we have a beautiful eight-month-old daughter. I now have 27 months clean now and he has 16 months clean. We both attend meetings daily, are involved in service work, etc. Most importantly we make NA our life. We are both learning the true meaning of love. Our lives today are good. I do realize that this is probably an exception to the rule about early relationships. However, I do believe that my higher power knew that I was willing to go to any length for my recovery and eventually so was he. I truly believe that we are supposed to be together. Putting our recovery first before anything else and having some faith that by doing the next right thing that our higher power will take care of us and things will end up the way they are supposed to be was a lesson I learned early in my recovery. This relationship may not last forever, but this program has taught me Just For Today I am happy and it is working. And thats all we really have is today. And if tomorrow things all went to hell, I know that with the help of my higher power, and the love and support of NA, that as long as I put my recovery first everything is going to be ok.
For that I am eternally grateful.
Third Draft Rising Sun
Fate is what is going to happen unless there is some kind of change or intervention. The spiritual reality of recovery brings with it the power and responsibility to defy fate at it's worst. Recovery allows us to first see and then participate in Gods miracles. Sometimes the new sense of personal power overwhelms us. It is not our own personal power that works these miracles, it is the power of life and God in us all that is awake and directs all action in our lives. It is the power that links us together as humankind. It may be the power that most religions call God. Regardless of our differences as to language, culture and personal experience, the principle of reflection plays a role in our miracles. Whatever we do is matched by the universe surrounding us. If we are indifferent and uncaring, we can expect the same from life. If we show concern for others and an ability for self improvement, we cannot escape the attention of those who treasure such inclinations. What we get is a reflection of what we give.
The changes for the better we permit ourselves add up to a lot of positive change for humanity. Like the mistakes that eat up our lives in active addiction, the corrections we make in recovery refill our lives. There is always one more miracle ahead of us. Miracles seemed unlikely or impossible in ordinary times. Miracles occur by the grace of God and represent evidence of the spirit working in the world.
An addict seeking recovery finds the only meeting in town. A member plagued by a need to make amends runs into someone on the street they thought was dead. A member who really needs a job, tries one more time, and gets it. Large and small miracles seem to take place endlessly among members who are active in recovery and working their steps. Like so many other things in life, we get more out when we put more in.
God is the doer of all things. We can participate, try to block the flow or get pushed out of the way. Naturally, when we were loaded, we were out of it most of the time. The it we were out of is a healthy and functional state of mind, body and spirit. While wounds of the mind and body are more obvious in our society, wounds of the spirit show in our attitudes and our inability to process certain feelings, like enthusiasm and joy. As a result of our addiction, we became accustomed to despair and misery to some extent. We must relearn happiness, acceptance, and courage. Clean, we not only get to see the divine force move in our daily lives, we get to participate and play a role as part of the greater hand that is moving.
The biggest miracle we get to experience is the adventure of personality change. The more we learn, the more we realize that people just lose the capacity to change as they grow older. Many forces outside themselves make change almost impossible. Anonymity is one way we elude these forces. As long as we are clean, the old labels don't apply to us. By staying clean and living differently, new labels begin to apply. This is not a bad deal for society - or for us. Without an alternative, we are generally useless to ourselves and others. Most of us begin making amends immediately without realizing it. We subtract the burden our using takes out of the general economy and especially those close to us.
The catch is that we stay clean and grow spiritually. If we do not, we miss out on the rest of what recovery would have to offer us. It is all set up so that the benefits stay hidden until the moment they are released to us. How often have we in ongoing recovery reached points where we had no real reason to go on and yet we did? Later, we found out that our fears were for nothing and miracles of precisely the type we yearned for were moving right to us. We forget that part of our human condition prevents us from being able to see through our present reality on to what is headed our way. We just have to have the faith to wait and see.
Many of the miracles we experience come from the application of what we call spiritual principles. Although, the words we use to describe these principles seem to change for us as we grow in recovery, they are convenient. They give us a basic way to communicate our inadequacy along with areas of proficiency.
When we first hear the phrase "surrender to win," we assume this is a quaint way to sugar coat the fact that we can't handle many parts of life or any part of using drugs. Later in recovery, we discover that surrender means not having to waste energy. We can let our egos subside and escape graciously from situations where we used to feel the need to assert ourselves uselessly. Assertion is no substitute for ability.
When powerlessness became a word in our vocabulary, we lost the need to interfere in the affairs of others. Also, we could more clearly see when someone was actually meddling in our affairs. We are getting somewhere when we realize we are the someone we have been looking for to straighten out the messes we have made of our lives. Finding a way to communicate with our higher power through prayer and meditation allows us to grow into our own solution. Fellow members can and should be allowed to help us out. We help others in our turn. Recovery is interactive. Still, we must bear the burden of our choices whether they be the most we could hope for or the least. Strangely, reality doesn't seem to care much what we get as long as we're happy with it and can take care of what is entrusted to our safekeeping.
When death is staring us in the face, we get a whole new perspective on life. Honesty helps us match up our feelings with reality and the result is almost magical. Workable solutions appear close at hand and we may have trouble understanding that it was our ego that stood in the way of our happiness. Defects of character we were barely aware of assured our misery through self defeating actions carried on with unvarying regularity. By taking personal responsibility for our choices, we gain the control we need to better our lives. No one can do this for us because we will stop them. We can defeat the best efforts of those who would help us. This is why we have to want recovery before we can get recovery. Once we make this basic shift of direction, things start to happen that surprise, amaze, and may frighten us. For all our tough talk, we addicts dont venture far from certain habitual patterns. The weakness of addiction shows up clearly as our disease progresses when we begin to have difficulty making simple adaptations in our daily lives. Being able to jump out of these habit patterns is miraculous to us and those close to us.
Reprinted from the
N.A. FELLOWSHIP USE ONLY
Copyright © December 1998
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.
NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA
All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.