Talk to me about ‘Narcotics Anonymous’ #N/A

Could I please put it out there and ask the universe as to whether I should attend a Narcotics Anonymous group? I am now nearly seven months sober but often find myself wondering if I need to be following a program in order to remain clean for the duration and sober in the long term? As I have noted before, I would love for this to be an interactive page and so would you please tell me about your experiences with Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous or even Alcohol Anonymous?

I have been to several N/A meetings but all together my experiences weren’t all that positive. Hang on a second, actually I did take away a number of positives from them in that these groups are a safe space or haven whereby you can open up and honestly communicate what you’re going through. I understand that addiction is a disease of loneliness and isolation and that meetings help to overcome all of this. I realise that I am not unique, I am not alone and that there are many other people out there just like myself in similar situations. As I have expressed before, when it comes to matters of mental health and addiction a sympathetic ear can be a hard one to find. At N/A and other respective groups you have one and so this should be recognised and respected.

There is strength in numbers and by attending such a group I am surrounding myself with a social network. I understand that peer support is not to be underestimated and that you really can draw a lot from the experiences of others. Meetings provide the opportunity for connections of sincerity, depth and weight. Also, meetings are instrumental in helping keep individuals sober and preventing relapse. This one is a big one for me in that I am determined not to relapse and if there is anything I can do to prevent this from happening then I’m going to do it. Another positive and probably one of the biggest ones for me was where I learnt about being of service. I understand that the twelve step program places a big emphasis on this and of course I can see why. Even though I haven’t been attending N/A meetings this really hit a note with me and so I strive to be of service wherever and whenever possible.

Unfortunately the positives for me were outweighed by the negatives in that I came into contact with two women in particular who were increasingly opinionated and pushy! At this point I was at the very beginning of my journey and so I was very much naive and very vulnerable. I found myself being coerced into doing things that I just did not want to do. I’m not necessarily saying that they were a bad influence, quite the opposite in that they had me attending additional meetings, getting a mentor and so on, but they were pushing me into doing things that I was just not ready for. I strongly believe that an individual’s journey is their own, these women were not allowing me the freedom that I needed to heal and grow at a pace that was comfortable for me.

A testament to their pushy ways, I quit and stopped going to meetings all together. So I no longer enjoy the fruits and positive points that I was taking away from attending these groups. Luckily I have not relapsed but I really have had to just rely on my own strength of character, the support I have received from my caseworker and that of my family and friends. At this point I really do feel like I have been deprived of something that could have been quite influential and instrumental in my recovery. So yes, I really am wondering if I could benefit from going to group and having a program in my life because I’ll be honest, when you’re doing it alone it can sometimes be really bloody hard!

The only other thing that I can think of that could help me is ‘SMART Recovery’. To be honest I don’t really know a lot about it at this stage but my caseworker has assured me that it is a structured and well organised meeting lead by one of the facilitators at my local Drug Aid. There is conversation and communication but there is no opportunity for domineering characters to take over and influence things. This sounds quite appealing to me and so I will have to find out more about it.

I am determined to make my posts shorter and sweeter and so I’m going to stop there for today. Always curious and forever intrigued I would love to hear your thoughts on my posts and page. I probably have answered my own questions but I would still love to hear from you and so please do drop me a line and say hello!

R x

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Dr. Sinu MD says:

    From my experience working with addicts, the consensus seems to be that attending meetings consistently helps them stay sober. A common theme is relapsing when they stopped attending meetings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dr. Sinu for taking the time to comment on my post. That certainly is food for thought… I will digest it while I make the decision to go to another N/A meeting or not. Thanks again 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dr. Sinu MD says:

        Anytime. Always think things through before committing to an action. Weight the pros and cons and trust your intuition.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re too kind. That’s exactly what I’m doing right now… trust my intuition, you’re absolutely right!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dr. Sinu MD says:

        I had an alcoholic tell me that he’s kind to others but not kind to himself. No such thing as being too kind. But not being kind to yourself because of an addiction is a thing!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s sad but a part of it resonates with me in that it can be difficult to love yourself when you’re dealing with or in the aftermath of addiction. To be honest I’m trying really hard to practice self care and in a way I am learning to love myself. It’s a difficult one though, addiction has been a true force of destruction in my life. I suppose I’m trying to pick myself up, dust myself off and move on! I have to make the next part of my life the best part of my life 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Dr. Sinu MD says:

        Only you know what you are going through – people who haven’t been addicted cannot relate – they can only imagine and try to understand. Remind yourself that you don’t need the high – it’s fun but absolutely unnecessary. Find happiness and beauty in a sober life

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank you for being so understanding… I do try and remind myself that I don’t need the high but what I really struggle with are the feelings of anxiety. I get so, so, so anxious! Pain meds would previously have calmed that for me, relieved my nerves and balanced me out. Now I’m trying to find things that calm me but obviously don’t have the adverse effects. Like today I’m going swimming, I find the water very therapeutic and soothing. As a doctor you must get stressed at times, what do you do to unwind?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Dr. Sinu MD says:

        If you are dealing with chronic anxiety, then go see a psychiatrist! Maybe what you need is an antidepressant – first class meds that target anxiety. Also exercises such as swimming and running and meditating! I enjoy exercising – playing tennis, working out, jogging and mindfulness!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Tbh I am on medication but it doesn’t seem to be controlling the anxiety. Also, given my recent problems with addiction the psychiatrist was reluctant to increase the diazepam because they are so addictive. I’m allowed two 5mg tablets per day. I’ve just got back from swimming and I have to say that it really cleared my head 😊 I’m trying to incorporate meditation into my daily routine and I have to say so far so good. Out of everything I would probably say that the meditation is helping me the most! Thank you for your time and wise words I will try and apply them as far as is possible 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Dr. Sinu MD says:

        No problem! Anytime feel free to ask me questions 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Cheers! I look forward to seeing your new blog posts and hopefully chatting to you again 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron says:

    I have read all you blogs I know where you’re coming from. When we have let’s say events in our lives at the hands of others. We try to regain an equilibrium in our lives. We want to regain our identity be it male or female. In that regards we drift towards drugs to mask the problem or other endeavors. This is an effort to mask the events in our lives. Events cause depressions and other maladies and put us in a comatose state of nonfunctioning.
    To restore your identity as a female then you have to understand the trigger mechanisms involved that cause depressions then understand how addictions work in our minds and how to combat them.
    So we are going to go backwards and start with addictions. We all have neuron transmitters in our brains called dopamine’s. These control how we feel at any given moment of the day. They control feelings of pleasure and feelings of depressions.
    Drugs of whatever nature will leave a imprint in mind like a computer you feel elated and it gives you a feeling of invincibility. The problem becomes the drugs and your body becomes used to that euphoric feeling that it loses its effect. Physic drugs are the same way. They lose their potency over the course of less then a year. Then you are left in the same state you are tying to get away from.
    I noticed in one of your tags you used the word tramadol that has codeine in it. If you are trying to get away from an addiction you do not want to add fuel to the fire.
    You take control of your situation research whatever medications you’re on and how your medications can interplay with the other medications you may be on. You do not fit the profile of addiction I can tell you that right now. You did not fit in when you went to those meetings. I know because I have been there and done that as they say. I have walked in your shoes many years ago. You heal yourself by understanding your nature as a female. You were created different than men.
    I am going to reprint for you a portion of a blog that came across my eyes this morning;
    As you know I’m passionate about making a positive impact through promoting psychological concepts and practices. Over the last years I’ve developed and tested a program that is called ‘80% is Psychology
    This is what you get when you let someone else dictate your life. An 80 percent effect rate. So that means the 20 percent are left out to dry. I do not like the odds because your playing with people’s lives. I believe in a 100 percent.
    You regain your footing by understanding that you are not guilty of anything and that you are not the weaker sex. Those are lies told to you by others. You are different then the others because you sensed it when you went to a 12-step program.
    As far as service to others is defeating if you can’t heal yourself, become discipline and research all facets of your life especially medications. Look forward to your reply. You are a Daughter of your Father you are unique. Put Him on speed dial and talk to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that is a lot of information to take in! I think I’ll need a little while to digest it properly but thank you so much for taking the time to offer up your thoughts and opinions 😊

      I think I’m going to see what array of advice and guidance people come back to me with and then determine whether I give N/A and the twelve step program another shot! Right now I am solid in my sobriety and I am very much focused on maintaining this type of lifestyle and choice.

      Thanks again for your interest in my page and taking the time to comment. It is very much appreciated 😊

      Like

      1. Ron says:

        Never show weakness young lady in any situation. You save yourself I have been what you have been through. I am a Combat Veteran of many battlefields. But I am also a Father who cares. If you have questions ask I have been married 50 yrs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Rob that means a great deal to me! You are ever so kind. Rest assured if I have any questions then I will remember to approach you and seek advice. Thanks again 😊

        Like

      3. Ron says:

        I would appreciate that if you follow my blogs then you know what I deal with. You only depressed because someone told you that and you tell yourself that and act accordingly.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. WiL says:

    I’ve been a sober member of AA for 15 years (in a row 🙂 and would not be sober without AA. People who stop going to meetings around me get drunk. If not they definitely get very unhappy. We call them dry drunks. They no longer have peace in their life and that’s why they end up drinking more often than not.

    The point of 12 step programs is to work the 12 steps with a sponsor. Period. Fellowship, social support, friendships, etc all come along the way but meetings and working the steps are non negotiables if you want to attain and retain sobriety.

    Some people can do it on their own, (maybe they were just heavy users.) Maybe their Church or Celebrate Recovery group can help them. It’s very possible. AA/NA is not the only way.

    12 step programs are not for the faint of heart. They take a lot of hard work. The people you run into will be serious about it. They will treat it like a life or death matter because for many it is. For all of us, if we were to go on to the bitter end, it would be.

    That being said there are those who are not so hard core and you should seek those out as your sponsor or mentor if that is more your style. Although I don’t recommend it as a new comer and if you are serious about staying sober.

    Good luck with everything. I hope it all goes well and if you have any other questions I’d be glad to help if I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on your fifteen years sobriety! That’s some hard work right there… you’ve done so well 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment with your objective and fair points and opinions. I can completely see where you’re coming from and understand that this is serious stuff we’re talking about.

      I am very much serious about being sober and maintaining my sobriety. Simple fact. For me it was very much life or death in that I would put my head on the pillow not knowing if I was going to wake up… By no means do I take N/A meetings lightly but the individuals I came into contact with were just too intense. I’m just being honest here. But yes if I do return to meetings I will try and connect with less pushy characters shall we say.

      Could I please just ask… was it just alcohol with you or was it drugs as well? Although, I do appreciate that alcohol is just as much of a drug as shall we say cocaine or amphetamine. In your opinion does it get any easier? I’m now over seven months sober but still having to put the work in each and every day. I thought that with time things would get easier but the craving is still so intense!

      Thank you for your time 🙂

      Like

      1. WiL says:

        It was alcohol for me. To answer your other question, it got easier as I worked through the steps. The desire to drink was gradual lifted from me within the first few months. These days it is no more than a fleeting thought during a really tough moment once or twice a year. A knee jerk reaction you would say. Nothing that I would ever seriously consider. As long as I keep going to meetings, stay in touch with my sponsor, help others, and work the steps I should be ok. One day at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for sharing that with me! It gives me so much hope… my caseworker at my local Drug Aid is a great strength and support for me. If I keep putting in the work and possibly go to meetings whether they’re with ‘SMART Recovery’ or N/A, get a program then I’ll be alright. You are such an inspiration and yes just one day at a time. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, you are very much appreciated 🙂

        Like

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