Author Topic: Just For Today  (Read 311264 times)

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Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1518 on: July 29, 2015, 05:28:53 PM »

July 29 , 2015

Expectations

“As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.”

Basic Text, p. 39

––––=––––

Our behavior toward other people in our life is a mirror of our behavior toward ourselves.  When we demand perfection of ourselves, we come to demand it from others around us, too.  As we strive to repair and heal our lives in recovery, we may also expect others to work just as hard and to recover at the same pace as we do.  And just as we are often unforgiving of our own mistakes, we may shut out friends and family members when they don’t meet our expectations.

Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity.  We come to see our failures as human mistakes.  We realize that we will never be perfect, that we will, at times, disappoint ourselves and others.  We hope for forgiveness.

As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart.  These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will treat others with the tolerance and forgiveness I seek for myself.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1517 on: July 29, 2015, 08:07:33 AM »

July 29 , 2015

Expectations

“As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.”

Basic Text, p. 39

––––=––––

Our behavior toward other people in our life is a mirror of our behavior toward ourselves.  When we demand perfection of ourselves, we come to demand it from others around us, too.  As we strive to repair and heal our lives in recovery, we may also expect others to work just as hard and to recover at the same pace as we do.  And just as we are often unforgiving of our own mistakes, we may shut out friends and family members when they don’t meet our expectations.

Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity.  We come to see our failures as human mistakes.  We realize that we will never be perfect, that we will, at times, disappoint ourselves and others.  We hope for forgiveness.

As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart.  These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will treat others with the tolerance and forgiveness I seek for myself.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1516 on: July 27, 2015, 04:00:02 PM »
July 27 , 2015

We do recover

“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery.  In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves.  If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”

Basic Text, p. 10

––––=––––

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused.  People are milling about.  Refreshments and literature are set out.  The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in.  After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group?  After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”

Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts.  Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around.  Against all odds, we are recovering.  The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now.  Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.

Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous.  So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life.

––––=––––

Just for today:  The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing.  By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.


Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1515 on: July 26, 2015, 09:18:16 PM »
July 26 , 2015

Unconditional surrender

“Help for addicts begins only when we are able to admit complete defeat.  This can be frightening, but it is the foundation on which we have built our lives.”

Basic Text, p. 22

––––=––––

Most of us have tried everything we can think of, exerted every ounce of force possible, to fill the spiritual hole inside us.  Nothing—not drugs, not control and management, not sex, money, property, power, or prestige—has filled it.  We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone.  Our denial will not change that fact.

So we surrender; we ask a Higher Power to care for our will and our lives.  Sometimes in surrendering, we don’t know that a Power greater than ourselves exists which can restore us to wholeness.  Sometimes we’re not sure that the God of our understanding will care for our unmanageable lives.  Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth:  We are powerless.  Our lives are unmanageable.  We must surrender.  Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide—wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will surrender unconditionally.  I can make it as easy or as hard as I choose.  Either way, I will do it.


Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1514 on: July 25, 2015, 04:09:23 PM »
July 25 , 2015

Twelfth Step "failure"?

“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Step Twelve

––––=––––

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call.  Even if our prospect doesn’t get clean, we have accomplished two purposes.  We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of the addict with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope.  And we ourselves have stayed clean another day.  Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude.

Sometimes we are practicing the Twelfth Step without realizing it.  When our co-workers or other acquaintances know some of our history and see what kind of person we are today, they know where to go when they have a friend or loved one in need of our help.  We are often the best attraction that NA has to offer!

For many addicts, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery.  We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”  The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will remember that I am a living example of the Twelfth Step.  I cannot “fail” when I try to carry the message to another addict.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1513 on: July 24, 2015, 11:16:03 AM »
July 24 , 2015

The masks have to go

“...we covered low self-esteem by hiding behind phony images that we hoped would fool people. The masks have to go.”

Basic Text, p. 33

––––=––––

Over-sensitivity, insecurity, and lack of identity are often associated with active addiction.  Many of us carry these with us into recovery; our fears of inadequacy, rejection, and lack of direction do not disappear overnight.  Many of us have images, false personalities we have constructed either to protect ourselves or please others.  Some of us use masks because we’re not sure who we really are.  Sometimes we think that these images, built to protect us while using, might also protect us in recovery.

We use false fronts to hide our true personality, to disguise our lack of self-esteem.  These masks hide us from others and also from our own true selves.  By living a lie, we are saying that we cannot live with the truth about ourselves.  The more we hide our real selves, the more we damage our self-esteem.

One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities.  Self-esteem begins with this recognition.  Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises.  We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will let go of my masks and allow my self- esteem to grow.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1512 on: July 23, 2015, 04:34:20 PM »

July 23 , 2015

Surrendering self-will

“We want and demand that things always go our way.  We should know from our past experience that our way of doing things did not work.”

Basic Text, p. 93

––––=––––

All of us have ideas, plans, goals for our lives.  There’s nothing in the NA program that says we shouldn’t think for ourselves, take initiative, and put responsible plans into action.  It’s when our lives are driven by self-will that we run into problems.

When we are living willfully, we go beyond thinking for ourselves—we think only of ourselves.  We forget that we are but a part of the world and that whatever personal strength we have is drawn from a Higher Power.  We might even go so far as to imagine that other people exist solely to do our bidding.  Quickly, we find ourselves at odds with everyone and everything around us.

At this point, we have two choices.  We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated because the planet doesn’t spin our way.  Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world.  Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans—there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will plan to do God’s will, not mine.  If I find myself at odds with everything around me, I will surrender self-will.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1511 on: July 22, 2015, 07:21:38 PM »
July 22 , 2015

Spiritual death

“For us, to use is to die, often in more ways than one.”

Basic Text, p. 82

––––=––––

As newcomers, many of us came to our first meeting with only a small spark of life remaining.  That spark, our spirit, wants to survive.  Narcotics Anonymous nurtures that spirit.  The love of the fellowship quickly fans that spark into a flame.  With the Twelve Steps and the love of other recovering addicts, we begin to blossom into that whole, vital human being our Higher Power intended us to be.  We begin to enjoy life, finding purpose in our existence.  Each day we choose to stay clean, our spirit is revitalized and our relationship with our God grows.  Our spirit becomes stronger each day we choose life by staying clean.

Despite the fact that our new life in recovery is rewarding, the urge to use can sometimes be overwhelming.  When everything in our lives seems to go wrong, a return to using can seem like the only way out.  But we know what the consequence will be if we use—the loss of our carefully nurtured spirituality.  We have traveled too far along the spiritual path to dishonor our spirit by using.  Snuffing the spiritual flame we have worked so hard to restore in our recovery is too dear a price to pay for getting high.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I am grateful that my spirit is strong and vital.  Today, I will honor that spirit by staying clean.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1510 on: July 21, 2015, 07:15:55 PM »

July 21 , 2015

Surrender is for everyone

“If, after a period of time, we find ourselves in trouble with our recovery, we have probably stopped doing one or more of the things that helped us in the earlier stages of our recovery.”

Basic Text, p. 95

––––=––––

Surrender is just for newcomers, right?  Wrong!

After we’ve been around awhile, some of us succumb to a condition particular to oldtimers.  We think we know something about recovery, about God, about NA, about ourselves—and we do.  The problem is, we think we know enough, and we think that merely knowing is enough.  But it’s what we learn and what we do after we think we know it all that really makes the difference.

Conceit and complacency can land us in deep trouble.  When we find that “applying the principles” on our own power just isn’t working, we can practice what worked for us in the beginning: surrender.  When we find we are still powerless, our lives again unmanageable, we need to seek the care of a Power greater than ourselves.  And when we discover that self-therapy isn’t so therapeutic after all, we need to take advantage of “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another.”

––––=––––

Just for today:  I need guidance, support, and a Power beyond my own.  I will go to a meeting, reach out to a newcomer, call my sponsor, pray to my Higher Power—I will do something that says, “I surrender.”

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1509 on: July 20, 2015, 12:16:42 PM »
July 20 , 2015

Step One

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Step One

––––=––––

The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that.  There is great strength in making a verbal admission of our powerlessness.  And when we go to meetings and make this admission, we gain more than personal strength.  We become members, part of a collective “we” that allows us, together, to recover from our addiction.  With membership in NA comes a wealth of experience: the experience of other addicts who have found a way to recover from their disease.

No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our addiction on our own.  When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live.  We won’t be searching alone—we’re in good company.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will start the day with an admission of my powerlessness over addiction.  I will remind myself that the First Step starts with “we,” and know that I never have to be alone with my disease again.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1508 on: July 19, 2015, 04:11:13 PM »

July 19  , 2015

Fulfilling our dreams

“Dreams that we gave up long ago can now become realities.”

Basic Text, p. 71

––––=––––

All things begin with a dream.  But how many of us fulfilled our dreams while using?  Even if we managed to complete something we had started, our addiction usually robbed us of any pride in our accomplishment.  Perhaps when we used, we dreamed of the day when we would be clean.  That day has come.  We can use this day to make our dreams come true.

To fulfill our dreams we must take action, but our lack of self-confidence may keep us from trying.  We can begin by setting realistic goals.  The success we experience when we attain our initial goals allows us to dream bigger dreams the next time around.

Some of our members share that when they compare the ambitions they had when they first got clean with what they have actually achieved in recovery, they are astounded.  In recovery, we often find more dreams come true than we could ever have imagined.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will remember that all things begin with a dream.  Today, I will allow myself to make my dreams come true.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1507 on: July 18, 2015, 01:46:58 PM »

July 18 , 2015

The gift of desperation

“Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.”

Basic Text, p. 13

––––=––––

When we think of being desperate, we envision an undesirable state: a poor, bedraggled soul frantically clawing at something sorely needed, a desperate look in the eyes.  We think of hunted animals, hungry children, and of ourselves before we found NA.

Yet it was the desperation we felt before coming to NA that compelled us to accept the First Step.  We were fresh out of ideas, and so became open to new ones.  Our insanity had finally risen higher than our wall of denial, forcing us to get honest about our disease.  Our best efforts at control had only worn us out; hence, we became willing to surrender.  We had received the gift of desperation and, as a result, were able to accept the spiritual principles that make it possible for us to recover.

Desperation is what finally drives many of us to ask for help.  Once we’ve reached this state, we can turn around and start anew.  Just as the desperate, hunted animal seeks a safe haven, so do we: in Narcotics Anonymous.

––––=––––

Just for today:  The gift of desperation has helped me become honest, open-minded, and willing.  I am grateful for this gift because it has made my recovery possible.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1506 on: July 17, 2015, 05:57:58 PM »
July 17 , 2015

Using our "using dreams"

“Do we fully accept the fact that our every attempt to stop using or to control our using failed?”

Basic Text, p. 19

––––=––––

The room is dark.  Your forehead is bathed in cold sweat.  Your heart is racing.  You open your eyes, sure that you’ve just blown your clean time.  You’ve had a “using dream,” and it was just like being there—the people, the places, the routine, the sick feeling in your stomach, everything.  It takes a few moments to realize it was just a nightmare, that it didn’t actually happen.  Slowly, you settle down and return to sleep.

The next morning is the time to examine what really happened the night before.  You didn’t use last night—but how close are you to using today?  Do you have any illusions about your ability to control your using?  Do you know, without a doubt, what would happen once you took the first drug?  What stands between you and a real, live relapse?  How strong is your program?  Your relationships with your sponsor, your home group, and your Higher Power?

Using dreams don’t necessarily indicate a hole in our program; for a drug addict, there’s nothing more natural than to dream of using drugs.  Some of us think of using dreams as gifts from our Higher Power, vividly reminding us of the insanity of active addiction and encouraging us to strengthen our recovery.  Seen in that light, we can be grateful for using dreams.  Frightening as they are, they can prove to be great blessings—if we use them to reinforce our recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will examine my personal program.  I will talk with my sponsor about what I find, and seek ways to strengthen my recovery.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1505 on: July 12, 2015, 09:04:14 PM »
July 12 ,2015

Patience

“We were trapped by our need for the instant gratification that drugs gave us.”

Basic Text, p. 25

––––=––––

“I want what I want, and I want it now!”  That’s about as patient as most of us ever got in our active addiction.  The obsession and compulsion of our disease gave us a “one-track” way of thinking; when we wanted something, that’s all we thought about.  And the drugs we took taught us that instant gratification was never more than a dose away.  It’s no wonder that most of us came to Narcotics Anonymous with next to no patience.

The problem is, we can’t always get what we want whenever we want it.  Some of our wishes are pure fantasy; if we think about it, we’ll realize we have no reason to believe those wishes will be fulfilled in our lifetimes.  We probably can’t even fulfill all our realistic desires; we certainly can’t fulfill them all at once.  In order to acquire or achieve some things, we will have to sacrifice others.

In our addiction we sought instant gratification, squandering our resources.  In recovery we must learn to prioritize, sometimes denying the gratification of some desires in order to fulfill more important long-term goals.  To do so requires patience.  To find that patience, we practice our program of recovery, seeking the kind of full-bodied spiritual awakening that will allow us to live and enjoy life on life’s terms.

––––=––––

Just for today:  Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life.  Help me learn patience, that I can devote my resources to the important things.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

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Re: Just For Today
« Reply #1504 on: July 11, 2015, 02:26:54 PM »

July 11 , 2015

Encouragement

“We share comfort and encouragement with others.”

Basic Text, p. 99

––––=––––

Many of us have watched as babies take their first steps.  The mother holds the child on its feet.  The father kneels nearby with outstretched arms, encouraging the little one, his face flooded with devotion.  The baby takes a few small steps toward its father.  An older brother and sister cheer the tyke on.  Baby falls down.  Its mother, murmuring words of comfort, picks the child up and starts over again.  This time, baby stays up until it is close enough to fall into the safety of its father’s arms.

As newcomers, we arrive in the rooms of NA much like this small child.  Accustomed to living a life crippled by addiction, full of fear and uncertainty, we need help to stand.  Just like a child beginning its march toward adulthood, we take our halting first steps toward recovery.  We learn to live this new way of life because others who have gone before us encourage and comfort us by telling us what worked—and what didn’t work—for them.  Our sponsor is there for us when we need a push in the right direction.

Many times we feel like we can’t take another step in recovery.  Just like a child learning to walk, we sometimes stumble or fall.  But our Higher Power always awaits us with outstretched arms.  And like the child’s brothers and sisters shouting their encouragement, we, too, are supported by other NA members as we walk toward a full life in recovery.

––––=––––

Just for today:  I will seek encouragement from others.  I will encourage others who may need my strength.

Copyright © 1991-2015 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .