Just for TodaySeptember

September 9 – Feet of clay

Many of us come into Narcotics Anonymous feeling pretty poorly about ourselves.  By comparison, the recovering addicts we meet at meetings may seem almost superhumanly serene.  These wise, loving people have many months, even years of living in accordance with spiritual principles, giving of themselves to others without expecting anything back.  We trust them, allowing them to love us until we can love ourselves.  We expect them to make everything alright again.

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on… others.”

Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text page 82

Then the glow of early recovery begins to fade, and we start to see the human side of our NA friends and sponsor.  Perhaps a fellow member of our home group stands us up for a coffee date, or we see two old-timers bickering at a committee meeting, or we realize our sponsor has a defect of character or two.  We’re crushed, disillusioned—these recovering addicts aren’t perfect after all!  How can we possibly trust them anymore?

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to  be placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves or others. Relationships can be a terribly painful area. We tend to fantasize and project what will happen. We get angry and resentful if our fantasies are not fulfilled. We forget that we are powerless over other people. The old thoughts and feelings of loneliness, despair, helplessness and self-pity creep in. Thoughts of sponsors, meetings, literature and all other positive input leave our consciousness. We have to keep our recovery first and our priorities in order.

Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text page 82

Somewhere between “the heroes of recovery” and “the lousy NA bums” lies the truth:  Our fellow addicts are neither completely bad nor completely good.  After all, if they were perfect, they wouldn’t need this program.  Our friends and sponsor are ordinary recovering addicts, just like we are.  We can relate to their ordinary recovery experience and use it in our own program.

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