One more time..... The mail came and one more time there was a letter sent out to who knows how many members for the purpose of slandering my name and discrediting the principles many of us live by. Is this what N.A. is about today? This type of reaction was a large part of what I left out on the streets. My recovery is today is about change, not acting in the "old" ways. I was taught to do the right thing for the right reason.

At times I become so angry at having to fight the battle again, wondering why addiction in the lives of others, must bring so much pain and damage. Why other members are able to just walk away and focus on there jobs and families. Why I feel this need in my soul to protect the principles that gave me a new live. Preserve these principles for the newcomers and to keep trying to be of service even when the price is so painful.

I am not alone for there are others who care to be of service. To talk with them usually means long distance phone calls, time taken off work to travel and time away from my family. I have tried to share what is going on in my life and in N.A. as a whole with members in my home group and Area. The people here care yet find it to difficult to become more involved. They fear being labeled a trouble maker to be seen as politically incorrect. They are told to not be disunifying or to speak of problems for fear of driving off newcomers. One or two members understand yet they to focus on their personal lives, home group meeting leaving all "that service crap to those who need to do it." If I reach out to members in my home area about the pain it brings to hang in their I find it much like talking to using friends about wanting to say clean when I first came around. I know they care yet can not or will not make the same commitment to preserve and protect the gift that set us not only free but gave us a life worth living.

Why do I see the truth so clearly the need so strongly, why am I willing to put is on the line to lose my anonymity, to be isolated and rejected. Until all this started my recovery was respected, members wanted what had been given and shared openly and honesty with me. Having time clean and working the steps was not a defect. Today I often feel many members would rather I didn't show up at all. After all with all my time what could happen? It's not like I would use or anything right? when they have this much time they will be much better, and would never use so what is my problem anyway? They believe that it is much better to keep newcomers away from me, they can help each other.

When I first can to N.A. It was from a life that had lost self respect, integrity, hope, all the principles learned in childhood that had to be sold out in order just to survive. This almost cost my life at the hands of another. I had to face death in order to have the honest desire to recover and learn to live. This way of life was never just an option but my only chance and I grabbed it with both hands. In that time most meetings were not attended by addicts but "addicts alcoholics" etc. Traditions were something people were told would only hurt the newcomers. It was the same lines I hear today only a different problem. Some members believe the truth would set us free and continued to lovingly share about the first step and why we have traditions to protect us all. Today this is not the problem in our fellowship as it once was. There are still groups who have to go through this and the pain it brings but there are meetings and members who can if asked support them.

The reason N.A. was able to help me was ...we do not lie to our newcomers. We tell them the truth , I was told the truth. I have addiction and am powerless over addiction my life will never become manageable by my own will. The only thing I am powerless over is addiction, not a substance, not a thing but a disease which will kill me if I do not work the steps each day. No one told me to go back out their and try it one more time to find out for myself. They new to many people who had died that way. No one told me I had not used as much as they had and helped me disqualify my self. NO they shared what they had to keep it and today my greatest joy is to be able to reach out to those who helped me. To give back just a little of what they gave me for how else do you repay for a life? What pain it brings to not be able to give it away to, for newcomers are told to stay away from the likes of me. My pain is also for those who say this for what goes around will come back. Me may be creating a monster that will turn on us all.

Today I will make the long distance calls, do what service projects I am able to do and pray for the person who wrote the letter, perhaps they can find what was given to me, perhaps not. I am not out to save the world today, but to live my life to the best of my ability. I was told one person can make a difference in this world, the person who said this no longer believes it any more and has stopped trying, to much pain, easier to go with the masses.

I will still keep trying, because today I can look in the mirror and in my heart, in my soul I am happy, joyous and free. That's the true price.