Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life

"It begins with an open mind..."

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NA FOUNDATION GROUP NEWLETTERS

N. A. W. O. L.  NEWS

Vol. I, Ed. 3, Nov._Dec., 2007

 

W. O. L. F.  NOTES:

It’s time for another edition of the N. A. W. O. L.  NEWS. First on the agenda I would like to congratulate and welcome Tim H. and our fellow members in Connecticut on the formation of a W. O. L. F. Group the N. A. Way of Life Group In Middleton, Connecticut. From what Tim has told me this is a writing group with 8 to 10 members and will be forwarding input directly to http://www.nawol.org/

 

Update: Name:  N.A.W.O.L. Group

Place:  Grace and Mercy Missionary Babtist Church, 120 Washington Street, Middletown, Connecticut, 06457

Time:  Every Friday from 11:30-12:30 p.m. (following the No Limits Group of Narcotics Anonymous)

Format:

1)  Moment of Silence

2)  Discussion of reading (ie.  Principle One)

3)  Discussion of any edits from the reading

4)  All discussed edits are immediately typed into a word document

5)  Edits are e-mailed to Bo and Lester

6)  The new reading for next week is handed out to the group (ie.  Principle Two:  Surrender)

7)  Every addict is given the chance to share before the group closes

8)  The group closes with a moment of silence for the still sick and suffering addict

In Loving Service,

Tim H.

 

The Ct. Group just reciently did a review and edit on Principal 1 Hope; and have forwarded it to N.A.W.O.L.  and can be found for your viewing at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Editors Notes:

 

The last time I talked to Bo S. He asked me to do another Newsletter. We are planning another conf. in Jan or Feb. in the Miami Area and hopefully  by then we will have completed edits on the Traditions and the Principals. Once this is done Bo wants to put  out the 2008 edition of N.A.W.O.L. and include a pull out form letter of approval so that our readers can acknowledge their use of the book. by filling out and sending it in. N.A.W.O.L. also has 5 people now transcribing tapes. If you have your Story on tape Please submit it to N.A.W.O.L.

If you have any comments at this time about  N.A.W.O.L., the fellowship of NA or our work in writing new literature or update info on your local foundation group. Please forward it to me and I will see to it that it gets into the next Issue of our Newsletter. Something that has been

suggested to me is that we update our flyer (found on the web site) http://www.nawol.org/

To include a  schedule of all known  Foundation and/ or W.O.L.F. Meetings.  Intent: that our readers can find the meeting nearest to them, or perhaps start one in there area if none exist.

I am willing to co-ordinate this effort, but I will need info on all of the known groups in order to do so. So if anyone knows of a foundation aka WOLF group meeting in your area please forward the group info to me at Lester1444@msn.com  or call me at 321-684-5572.

 E-mail from Bo S.

Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 08:51:11 -0500
From: Bo S. <bosewell@earthlink.net>
To: Lester O. <slowliving86@yahoo.com>
Subject: NA Way of Life Newsletter

Dear Lester and All,

Here are some of the ideas we talked about Sunday. You other members
please contribute ideas and suggestions. People will be taking time to
think things over during the Thanksgiving season and Holidays, so we
need to communicate.


NA Way of Life News
2008 Form - work on in December
request on web page letters of support: member’s first name, last
initial, city & state
areas
regions
 Letter from chicago stating ok for NA group to write literature
Let's plan a conference in Miami this winter

Thanks everyone for your love and support!

In Loving Service,

Bo S.

Letter

Hugs,

I am a NA member of NWSA, Chicagoland Region . Please forward me info on your groups registration( the Foundation Group) > with world services Your literature is becoming widely spread and as a trusted servant and a sponsor it is very important to me to have correct and full information. I could not find info on your group  at        www.na.org  but I know registered traveling groups are in existence . Members are quoting and reading the NA way of life in our meetings as new NAWS literature (they must have not read the preface and intro) however it is my belief that if your group is registered then we should share this work in meetings as such Literature created by a  group of NA, and if your group is not registered then it should not be directly quoted in meetings. From what I have read I fully support your effort and plan on reading and studying the work with my sponsees beginning in January so please get back to me ASAP      

Email From Quebec:

Submitted by Boe B.

NAWOL and the Quebec Fellowship

 

Bonjour à tout et chacun!

Would I be a pessimist to say that our local Fellowship is not strong? Perhaps, but I suspect I would be a realist to say that it is getting stronger with each message that gets carried through your various efforts.

My former sponsor directed me toward NAWOL a few years ago and I am not convinced he knew what it was he was directing me toward at the time.

I have long been a proponent of the understanding that we all need Good Orderly Direction for our lives and that my will is what brought me to the gift of desperation. I had also tried to do it my way. The NA Way of life seemed a viable way when compared to the life of spiritual destitution my way had given me.

At about recovery year XX, feeling apart in a crowd of “NA members” I was becoming increasingly angry and alone. Ostracized by many, if not most, for my “positions” with regard to service and Traditions… for the NA Way of Life, I reached out through the web to some members of NAWOL and discovered others who, like me, felt ostracized from the NA Fellowship at large and who gathered to seek the truth about our history. Who we were and what we were here to do. How can we recover without each other if we can not reach an understanding of what this disease is about and how can we recover if not through the practice and advocating of the spiritual principles embodied in our program?

I have since then begun translating “Tradition Wars: A Pathway to Peace” because I feel my local Fellowship so desperately needs to know. My new sponsor then led me to the “NA WAY OF LIFE BOOK” and well, being an addict whose credo seems to be “all or nothing” I, of course had to start translating that book as well. I would like to get other addicts involved in this monumental task of translating these bodies of work but for the time being am grateful for those who have volunteered their time to review that which I translate.

My greatest appreciation is sent to those who take the time to read and use the material we have made available in sponsoring others.

My anger and resentment over the wrongs committed are still apparent when I share and although I am reminded of something that my current sponsor told me to wit “if I believe that this program works, then I ought to know that we have already won”. Others tell me that under the current circumstances, I would do best to keep on translating as I do and let others carry the message on my behalf and quite frankly, that seems to be working best at present.

Kudos and regards to all those who have contributed to the redaction of all I translate. Someday soon, I hope to contribute. I have gotten much in the way of encouraging support from Bo S. yet still feel overwhelmed by all I feel called upon to do.

Submitted by Boe B.

Suggestion:

I will be emailing this newsletter to 76 known members who are listed in the contact section on our website http://www.nawol.org/

If you get this newsletter pass it around or email it to other addicts that you think may be interested in NAWOL. If there is a Way of Life Group in your area and you are not currently involved with it consider getting involved. If there aren’t any groups in your area consider starting one. Information on how to start a group can be found at our website or you can contact one of our members on our contact page.

You can download copies of the Way of Life Book for free from our website at http://www.nawol.org/ or you can order them from NA Foundation Group 2302 Louise Circle #6 Smyrna, GA 30080.  You can submit input or Questions directly to N.A. Foundation Group 1516 B Live Oak Drive Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Or you can contact me at

Lester Overstreet 3717 W. Malory Ct. Cocoa, Fl 32926   Phone # 321-684-5572 or email Lester1444@msn.com

*** The more diverse the material, the more complete it will be in relating to the needs of all our members, not just the educated or literate professionals. ***

New Projects:

We have a couple of new and semi- projects that we are working on and invite everyone to participate. Our semi-new project is one that I believe most of you are by now familiar with and that is The Spirit Of NA.  This is a collection or Recovery Stories concerning the NA member and how they practice Spirituality in their Recovery.

The Spirit of NA
HOW N.A. MEMBERS PRACTICE SPIRITUALITY

SEND TAPES FOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION:

SEND TO: 1516 B Live Oak Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32301 USA

Three people transcribing tapes. 
Thanks guys! - Ed.

Our newest project is meant to be a collection of Recovery Stories pertaining to members with 20 + yrs. of recovery  and are currently working the 12 Steps of NA. Hopefully these stories will reflect on the changes that these members have experienced  during their time in our fellowship. 

New Book

NA 20+
long clean time
Stories of members with 20 or more years clean. This book may serve several purposes but the one we thought most important for now is the opportunity to define ourselves by members who are actually working the 12 Steps of NA. Too long have we been defined by our nosiest members and relapsing individuals whereas a recovering person is not so loud and they focus on their recovery and helping others. We have plenty of members with long clean time today. Work in progress will be posted on this site. - Ed.

I am currently  in the process of contacting some of the addicts in recovery that  I personally know who fall within this group and requesting that they write their story down  for inclusion in this book.

It was suggested to me by Bo that for purposes of this book that we explain that even though last names will not be used cities and places will be mentioned and that once the story is in print members may be subject to questioning by local members who  by chance recognized the author by his story alone. He also suggested that in lieu of getting a signed release we request a letter acknowledge our work on this book (written b                      y addicts for addicts. If you have any further questions on this matter please contact Bo at N.A.W.O.L..

In closing I would like tosend a big “Thank You” to all of our groups and contacts and to our friends in Canada, Europe, South Africa. Nepal and India for keeping N.A.W.O.L. alive. And Bo said to send a big Thank You to Scotty  out in Arizona  for taking N.A.W.O.L. to the West Coast and to tell him that we would like to hear more from him.

Yours In Service:

Lester O.

Email: Lester1444@msn.com

Phone: (321) - 684 - 5572

Conneticut edit on Principal 1.

Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life

~ 2006 Form ~


Note:  All edits are done in this green color and are to be thrown into the spirit well-God will handle the rest.

Note:  The yellow highlighted areas are the areas to be omitted.

Note:  Our NAWOL group is honored to be part of the process.  We have no expectations other than staying in the process and possibly helping other addicts. 

Twelve Principles of Narcotics Anonymous

PRINCIPLE ONE - HOPE

"Hope is to faith as desire is to willingness."

Marietta Lit II - May 2000
Moreland, Georgia Edit October 2001

NA Foundation Group of Smyrna - January 2003

 

Since our origins as a program and Fellowship, one common element (principle has been binding our spirits together:  Hope. ) provided for our common welfare: hope. Hope for recovery. Hope that the obsession will someday be lifted. Hope that the program is for real. Hope that things will start making sense. Hope for ourselves and others. When an addict attends an NA meeting and hears a message of hope, their ability to admit their need for help begins. Hope is catching, in a sense, and can be transmitted by spiritual interaction.

Hope is the one spiritual principle that can be given away.  We found this happening in NA when newcomers listened to other members share their experience, strength, and hope.  Some addicts experience was so strikingly similar to their own, they identified with the story and for the first time thought that maybe they too could get clean.  This thought, driven from the heart of another sharing addict, was their first experience with Hope.   They  left the meeting feeling different than when they came.  They left with the idea that this way of life might be possible for them too .   For a brief moment in the meeting, they even forgot about their obsessive desire to use.  They left the meeting with a strong desire to come back and discover how other addicts have been staying clean.  Hope is Hearing Other People’s Experiences.

Hope is to desire something reasonable and attainable. The desire for recovery was unreasonable and unattainable for us until we found NA.  Those who have gone before us had this desire and it is the same desire for recovery that makes us members today. Hope keeps us alive and vital as a Fellowship. Hope wards off negativity and apathy. While hope may seem intangible to some, its effects are profoundly visible. You can tell by looking at someone that they are hopeful. It is at the head of our list of spiritual principles because with hope, problems don't seem insurmountable. Anticipation of things getting better can be the beginning of fulfillment.  (note:  this was already added in the 1998 version)

We know when we feel hopeless; solutions are apt to appear distant and unlikely. A lot of us in NA learn to give and receive hope from one another at the onset of our recovery. When we feel hopeful, our sense of security, optimism and self-reliance eliminate many of our concerns and help us deal with the rest. On the other hand, hopelessness breeds despair and the simplest things can seem overwhelming. As a principle, hope becomes something to be treasured. Like any treasure, there are those would steal what they could have honestly. As a fundamental part of our recovery, NA members are asked to avoid any act that would threaten to dampen or extinguish hope in the hearts of our members.

Hopelessness has its hallmarks also. Dejection, despair, desperation, despondency, and discouragement can result in an incapacity for hope. When we feel these things in recovery, we learn to realize spiritual principles are being violated in some way that affects us. In this way, principles may guide us out of our hopelessness.

Policies insuring every member is capable of having a voice in NA have been a part of our Traditions and Service Structure since we first began to grow as a Fellowship. In the early seventies, dreams began which were realized by the creation of our World Service Conference in 1975. Even in our earliest days, the efforts to begin and carry the NA message were almost entirely dependent on the hope that a better way was possible for addicts. The value of the hope offered by these ‘open door' policies was made apparent by a series of efforts where the ‘door' was closed to all but a few. The failure of these efforts and the feelings of hopelessness among the many waiting on the few, proved a severe test for our Fellowship.

We can withstand some adversity because it is familiar ground for most of us. To have our sense of hope and assurance threatened not only dampens our spirits but can lead to a sense of utter abandonment - a dangerous place for recovering addicts. Hope allows us to take our first Step, though it may be so small as to go almost unnoticed. Hope allows us to make the surrenders we each must face if we are to grow in recovery. Hope is also the basis of our First Tradition. We would have no common welfare without hope.

As our trust, confidence,  and faith grows, so does our sense of hope. Exploitation of our members, falsification of minutes and reports,  and controlled elections and manipulations of group conscience have caused many of our members to lose hope. In this sense, hope as a principle may give some of us the clarity we need to avoid doing these things when they may seem desirable or important. Blindness to the effects of our actions on others makes talk of God and hope seem unimportant and unrealistic at the times when we need help the most.  

There are at least two ways to learn this lesson: give in to the temptation and violate spiritual principles or avoid violating our structure and its principles. It is easy to do one and requires great faith to do the other. Where we fall into error, a public Tenth Step among our membership, is the best way to stop the disorder and gain the forgiveness we need from others. The Tenth Step puts closure on the harm done. Rule breaking always risks harming others and should be avoided by earnest study and meditation.

We need to remember that there is a solution to all of our problems in Narcotics Anonymous.  The solution is the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous.  Embedded into our journey through the 12 steps is Hope.  When pride, ego, greed, hatred, and anger (character defects) enter our minds, we must turn these defects over to a loving caring God of our own understanding.  The only way to be able to do this is to be working the 12 steps.  Being in a 12 step fellowship without working the steps is like getting into a car without turning the key.  How can we expect to go anywhere spiritual without doing the work?  The 12 steps allow us to change our spirit from diseased thinking to that of a loving spiritual nature.  Instead of controlling situations, we begin to let go, trust the process, and ask for help.  We begin to have hope that any given negative situation be turned into a positive one when we apply the 12 steps on Narcotics Anonymous. As hope arrives, the simplicity of the program will reveal itself. 

Where hope and a sense of purpose prevails, we addicts begin to learn feelings long lost to most of us through our active addiction. At times, we may feel almost too buoyant, too enthusiastic. Our aspirations may exceed what is possible for us - yet often in recovery today's dream is tomorrow's reality. Without a dream, we may have no tomorrow. A sense of hope allows us to discuss matters that may be unpleasant or make us uncomfortable. When disorders occur, we suffer until we get back to the NA way: Steps, Traditions and Principles. Hope helps us surrender to the 1st Step.

One addict shares simply: "Hope is a small word but a big thing and if it wasn't shown to me through NA, I think I might have died."


The magic of NA unity is clear when we see our desire for recovery reflected in others. When this occurs - we see, we understand, and we are one. This is the strength of our unity.


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Reprinted from the 
Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life, 
Traditions War: a pathway to peace,
The Spirit of NA 
or NA Twenty Plus

being edited on this site.

N.A. FELLOWSHIP USE ONLY
Copyright © December 1998
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.

NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA

404.312.5166

nawol@nawol.org

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.