Cover Story and Step 10
By: Brittany J.
New Beginnings 2
Hey family. My name is Brittany and I am an addict. I want to concentrate on my life since coming to NA but I want to “qualify” myself. Who wants to read something without a little dirt, right? Here are a few outside things that make it apparent that I belong here; I am a convicted felon, an IV user, on MS Drug Court, used while I was pregnant, lost custody of my son when I went to jail and have been to treatment a couple times. Internally, I have been obsessing over writing this for about a month now. Once I was told it wasn’t due until the end of February, I completely put it off. I’ve been thinking I’m really special and that hundreds of people are going to read this and it’s going to change their lives forever and everyone will love me, so on and so forth. Yes, I still think like this so just imagine my mental state if I was still using.
“We teach by example. Even when we are teaching what not to do, we are still carrying a message…..Our hope is that the next member will do better than we did, that they can learn from our mistakes.” –Living Clean p 7
I’ve been consistently around the rooms of NA for four years now; however, I do not have that amount of time clean. I’ve been in and out of meth withdrawal treatment during this time. A lot of great things have happened since being around the program. I say being around the program and not in because about half the time, that’s all I’ve been, is around. I’ve had three sponsors and never got to Step 2 outside of treatment. I’ve done a lot of service work, however, the majority of it has been things I enjoy doing, planning anniversaries, game nights, etc. I love the literature and still I don’t read it as much as I should. The same thing goes for praying and meditating. I don’t obsess about using, there are just fleeting thoughts every once in awhile. I have so many blessings with outside things that seem to come with just being clean. I have my son, live in a safe environment, and have a job, and a car and all this material stuff. The mental, physical and emotional aspects of myself are still in disarray. In my case, the drugs weren’t really the problem. I took them away and yes things got better but I still practice addict behaviors. I still don’t truly love myself. I can’t help but to think what if…what if I did what has been suggested of me…what if I worked all the steps…what if I tried to follow God’s will…what if I applied spiritual principles in all areas of my life?
In my crazy days I never saw where I had a part in anything, as silly as that sounds. I didn’t have the desire to even look because I would’ve had to change and there was no willingness, I hadn’t been beaten enough by my disease. I stayed in the “blaming” mode, it was their fault”. That was how my life went on a daily basis.
Once I got real with self and got a sponsor and started working my program, it was suggested to me to get the IP “Living the Program” and sit down at night and read each question and answer it, this allowed me to form the habit of looking at myself and my actions, rights, wrongs and harm. This step allows me to stay out of the insanity I can cause in my own head by staying in the “today” and sincerely looking at my part in any situation.
I had to learn to see my faults, not to justify them. Sometimes I immediately know when I cause the harm by listening to my gut, which is the God of my understanding, telling me “hey….’!! There are times when it is hard for me to admit it immediately and it will take a couple of days before I can get out of myself and be honest and go to the person, work, or wherever I caused the harm, and admit I was wrong and what can I do to make it right.
This step is cleansing for me. It allows me to stay in the here and now and not have to carry all that anger and grief with me. Times it is embarrassing to have to admit the harm I caused and to clean it up, yet at the same time it saves me from carrying around the anger, resentment, and all the negative feelings I maybe having.
There are times the person may not accept my amends or admission and that is OK. They don’t have to forgive me. This is about cleaning up my side of the street and working on changing that behavior, not to say that I get “well” but I’m definitely more aware of my behavior and will work on it always.