Greetings! Please find below a rough draft of Concord, the newly revamped Shark Coast Area Newsletter. Please feel free to comment or make a submission to the upcoming paper release of this publication. Please submit recovery related content to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for taking the time to read it and we look forward to hearing from you. Best, SCANL, and the trusted servants at Concord.
The Shark Coast Area NA, Newsletter.
Sharing the Southwest Florida Area message of recovery.
Introduction: Concord: Agreement or Harmony among people. Our first tradition is rooted in NA unity, and the Concord Newsletter aims to a) spread the message of recovery and b) bring others together to share their experience strength and hope. Please send submissions to: email@example.com.
Steps to Freedom:
“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable.”
This article examines the first step, in following publications of this newsletter, we will examine the other steps in detail, in the order presented. The first step is an admission that we are defeated by using, and no power of will, nothing from within will “cure” us of our addiction. This can be a frightening moment for us. The ability to make a decision may be clouded chemically, or by fear. Yet, we must move forward in recovery.
For the powerless, the questions that proceed step one, in the Basic Text, might be of value, often referred to “Step 0.” As we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageable aspects of our life and using, we surrender to that fact that if nothing changes, nothing changes. This may be our first glimpse of an honest self appraisal. We are able to see that the drugs and the using lifestyle is slowing killing us, separating us from others, causing problems, and in general a negative force both within and outside.
The fact that we have the disease of addiction doesn’t make us bad or evil, it means we need to take better care of ourselves and get treatment. The program of NA, our meetings, our steps and traditions are part of the cure that we need to make recovery from, and treatment of our disease.
In step one, we surrender ourselves to the notion that we are addicts (maybe this admission comes for the first time.) Also, that addiction has caused our lives to become unmanageable. The tendencies of an unmanageable life: frequent and persistent trouble at home, or with law enforcement, inability to manifest the basic necessities needed to survive (food, shelter, clothing), trouble maintaining relationships that are not narcotic-centric. These are just a few examples of unmanageable circumstances in our life.
Whether or not you are an addict is an admission you must make for yourself, by yourself, however, should you find that you are powerless over your addiction, we suggest you seek out NA in your region. After all, what do you have to lose?
“Our common welfare should come first, personal recovery depends on NA unity.”
Traditionally speaking is an ongoing segment in the Concord Newsletter, much like “Steps to Freedom” Traditionally Speaking offers insight to the 12 Traditions of NA, starting with Tradition 1 and chronologically expanding outwards.
Unity is the benchmark by which we are able to found our recovery. We surrender our addiction in step one, and we unify in tradition one correspondingly. Unity is the magic of the program, without it, we cannot assume to be much of a fellowship or culture. As we have problems, we reach out to our fellow members and usually get the support and help we need, and ask.
NA unity is compromised of our willingness, experience, strength and hope. It transcends meetings and literature, it is the life-force that guides our recovery, program and NA as a whole.
Unity makes all things possible, and we stand “never alone” with it. Perhaps this is the first you have thought of unity, perhaps not. However, for those of us in recovery it is difficult to imagine a world without it. Unity gives us the foothold we need to feel safe again, to trust again, to believe in self and others. These are feelings that we have “recovered” from active addiction and from the unifying principle behind NA. We begin to show and accept love from others, we become willing to be of service, we are active in our fellowship, program and communities, we become united with ourselves and others as we practice this tradition.
Unity can change the way we think and feel about ourselves, unity makes a difference.
Our Primary Purpose? By: Anonymous.
The primary purpose of the NA fellowship is to help it grow by going to meetings and getting our lives back together. We put a dollar or two in the basket, and get involved in service, In doing this, we are able to help ourselves and others who are similar. We suffer from the disease of addiction. We are self centered and full of ourselves. In the program of NA we have the opportunity to give back what we are receiving. The addict is so full of themselves that they can barely function in society. Once we quit using and start to assimilate to the program, we are able to “get out of our own way” and be of service in the fellowship. We share this in the company of others just like us.
The NA World Service office holds a conference every year, and they compile a report called the Conference Agenda Report. This gives groups and individuals an idea about what is going on in the world of NA from the headquarters. I feel, they make the CAR (Conference Agenda Report) and the CAT (Conference Agenda Track) far too confusing. They seem to make it difficult to understand. It makes me wonder how NA is still around. We come out with proposals to make NA grow, yet we put it in language that we can’t understand! I contend that NA world is so full of themselves they fail to reach us. I have tried to read it 3-4 times and I have tried to explain it to other addicts, to no avail.
The CAT and the CAR report to me, means that we are growing too slowly and need to change the way we do business. If the documents were more accessible we might grow faster.
My suggestion is to get involved in service to get out of yourself. In this way your contribution will make a difference, not only in your life but in the lives of addicts everywhere!
Dual Duel: By: Anonymous.
Often there are two diseases at work. One is that of addiction, and the other is a component Mental Illness. These two forces can be “dueling” each other at various times, and it’s important as recovering addicts that we take care of ourselves. We have played “doctor” to ourselves and others many times over our course of using. However, now that we are clean we have a duty to ourselves to care for ourselves.
If you suspect, or have a clinical diagnosis of a mental illness, it’s important to have that treated by a licensed Doctor or therapist. It’s as important as your recovery. Should you decide not to treat your mental illness, you are only seeing half of the picture. Also, you put yourself in the cross hairs of relapse or hospitalization.
There are many non-profit, free clinics that will see and treat you. Our disease of addiction will take hold of any weakness that we offer it and it will use it against us. Personally, I didn’t get into treatment until I had a manic episode, and had to be hospitalized. During my stay they were able to able to make a diagnosis, and form a treatment plan to my dual problem. I need to stay on a prescribed medicine regime for me to function properly in my recovery and life. I went 18 years not knowing that I was a bi-polar addict, treating the symptoms of my disease with drugs and reckless behavior. During that time I caused irreparable harm to any that fell in my path, as well as myself.
My suggestion is to get all the help you can, this way having an accurate portrayal of your mind will benefit you in your recovery. It’s also about being personally responsible and active in your recovery process.