The Message of Hope October 2023

CIACNA XIX UNITY IS A MUST Through Recovery We Grow

Walking up to the doors of the hotel, you can’t help but notice so many people in blue T-shirts. The Serenity Team welcomes us with open arm, help and that NA hug.

Michael J. said that overall it was a nice turn out for opening Friday. As he counted over 150 in attendance, he found himself stuck as the opening speaker Todd C. shared his experience, strength and hope.

Tori D from the Lou, had stepped out briefly to get a cup of coffee to warm up. But she quickly returned and knew that she was right where she was suppose to be. She said “I could relate to so much of what I was hearing, and I found myself crying as Todd shared part of my story.

“I remember telling my husband that I wanted to change how I felt. That I was having a craving to be with this person. I was trying to suppress it, not feel it. I didn’t know what was going on, I was all jacked up. Our literature says HONESTY is the antidote to our diseased thinking. I’m finding out that I like girls. I don’t know what to do with this or what to tell this good man. But what I told him was I don’t know who I am. And till this day he is still my good friend.” Andrea W. aka AJ

Step 10 We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

The newcomer is the most important person at any meeting. Molly G. share with me what stood out for her after attending her first convention, in particularly the Women’s Rap. She said that the speaker gave credit to the program of Narcotics Anonymous and working the Steps. That she could not imagine not using after the death of not one but two children. Our message is that an addict any addict can stop using, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.

The main speaker Charles B. shared that the first person he asked to sponsor him told him there was no such thing as a gay addict. Anyone may join us regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion or lack of religion. Pam G. recalled how he talked about recycling through the steps. Charles B. shared that his first time through the steps was about the drugs. Now it is about how the disease of addiction will manifest in all areas of our life. That he had found himself in the bushes with two and a half years clean, stalking. Don’t act like I’m the only one. The Journey Continues.

Through recovery we grow is what came to mind when the closing speaker Danny W. said “That today I understand that I don’t have to be friends with everybody.” This is a Spiritual Program. He focused in on on==two words found in our literature, discernment, and intuition. It was Patsy who was the first to ask what was in the bag. You had to be there, and you can be. get with Devin for earlybird registration prices for CIACNA XX

In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction

THE MESSAGE OF HOPE September 2023

Step 9 “We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”

MAKING PEACE… We all suffer brokenness in our life, in our relationship with others and our relationship with God. Brokenness tends to weigh us down and can easily lead us back into our addiction. Recovery isn’t complete until all areas of brokenness are mended. We know making amends will be ongoing because RECOVERY is ongoing. Much of recovery involves repairing the relationships in our life. This requires that we make peace with others, ourselves and with the God of our understanding; all whom we have harmed directly or indirectly. Once we go through the process of making amends, we must keep our mind and heart open to anyone we may have overlooked. Our goal is to continue to repair the damage we have caused to others, ourselves and our spirit. In loving service Debbie S.

Tradition 9 ” NA as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”

Hello family, just reaching out to thank everyone for there continued support with our marathon meetings. It has been a long journey with many twists along the way, but we persevere! It has been a blessing listening and absorbing the message of recovery from everyone. God has truly blessed this committee in many ways. As we move along to the close of the year we always need your blessings. There are 3 more marathon meetings, we have completed 8 all together. It has been my experience that service work, really works in the unity that it brings. Family please consider getting involved with service here in our area. NA saved our life! Humbly submitted Isaac S. Marathon Meeting Chairperson

I had a good time at the marathon meeting. In attendance was the newcomer, old-timer and members I had never met. It was a great opportunity to expand on my network. (get numbers) And just like our fellowship the topics were diverse as well. I especially got so much from members sharing about parenting. It gave me a sense of being helped and a sense of HOPE! There was lots of food, the breakfast and lunch was good. I will be making all the marathon meetings and suggest to other to attend. Tracey S

There was a really good turnout at the Campout, the largest I’ve seen. There were members from as far away as New Jersey. We sold all the auction pieces and raised quite a bit of money. Our speaker was Nate R. and we closed with a remembrance circle. We spoke aloud the names of all individuals we lost this year. We are working on a fall activity. Cody W. Activities Chair

CIACNA XIX Speaker Jam and Unveiling of the Banner September 23rd 1pm – 7pm at the Martin Luther King Community 40 West 40th Street

CHILI COOK OFF September 27th 6pm – 8pm Central Christian Church 701 N. Delaware (in the basement)

CIACNA XIX Convention Through Recovery We Grow Unity Is A Must

September 29th – October 1st at the Wyndham Indianapolis West 2544 Executive Dr. Indianapolis Indiana 46241


Step 8    “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Even though Step 8 is one of the shortest steps, the principals of this step have powerful and profound connections to the spiritual process of willingness and forgiveness. I was unable to internalize the spiritual meaning of this step, due to my lack of understanding. My mind sort of did a mental twist. One is that I made a list of people who have harmed me, because I didn’t harm anyone. The world and its peoples had harmed me. The second point was that I thought that I had to do more work and come up with another list of people to make amends to. This had been my spiritual process for Step 8 for a very long time. The members of the fellowship told me to ‘Keep Coming Back’ and that ‘More Will be Revealed’.

If I must say, to get the truest spiritual meaning of a step, one needs to have the guidance of a Sponsor. A Sponsor who has a working knowledge of the steps and, who has had a spiritual awakening, as a result of working the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous. From my experience of going through the steps, I have been literally carried by my Sponsors, mentally, spiritually and emotionally throughout this recovery process. In transferring the spiritual energy and knowledge of the steps, the women of the fellowship have shown me unconditional love. They have asked for NOTHING in return, except that I give back what was so freely given to me!

In regards to Step 8 my understanding was that I was the one who had been harmed, so when I thought about making the list, it was based on self-centeredness. Due to my addictive behavior and character defects, unbeknownst to me, I had harmed lots of people including those closest to

 me and even those with whom I’d had romantic & sexual relations with. My understanding of “It Works How and Why” is that accepting responsibility for the actions of my defects of character is a way of gaining true freedom from those defects. It also references that I needed to do whatever I could to repair the harm that I’d done to others. Making the list of those people, places and institutions, was the beginning of the willingness to make amends to all I harmed.

In making the 8th step list, I thought that my Sponsor would be the one to suggest who would be placed on it. Turns out we would refer back to my 4th Step list and make the decision about who would be placed on my 8th step list. For me the twist was that they had NOT done harm to me, I had done harm to them! What a blow to my ego and, a SPIRITUAL REVELATION! The process of this step was for me to become willing to begin the spiritual practice of forgiveness.

The 8th Step was the beginning process for me to clear the wreckage from my past, and this all started from making the list. This step gave me a chance to see the exact nature of my wrongs, how my actions had affected others, and for me to stop denying the fact that I had caused harm from my selfish actions and behaviors of my short comings.

The 8th step process gave me the ability to choose recovery over addiction and the choice of spiritual principles rather than my character defects…and for this…I am grateful! Nikki B. Oct. 1, 1986 (clean time)

TRADITION 8.  “Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers”.

CONCEPT 8 “Our service structure depends on the integrity and effectiveness of our communications”.


August 18-20 1745 Camp Rotary Rd Crawfordsville, IN 47933

$40.00-No Addict turned away. Includes camping for the whole weekend (bunkhouse available) dinner Friday & Saturday breakfast on Sunday Fellowship, Live Music, Meetings, & Activities           Contact Cody W. 317-868-6230 or


  Central Area NA Annual H and I      Chili Cook Off 

           Sept 27, 2023 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm   701 N. Delaware Indianapolis,  (in the basement)          Learn about facilities we serve


Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired 

August 19th and 20th 12-2PM Sponsored by Surrender to Win and Thank God it’s Friday   Club InnerVision 3001 Central Ave.           (formerly Unleavened Bread Café)




“Through Recovery We Grow”

September 29 – October 1, 2023

Convention Committee Meetings 3001 North Central Avenue

Executive Committee 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM General Session 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

August 19 (Hotel Walkthrough) September 16 (Hotel Walkthrough) September 23

Let me say thank you to the fellowship of the Central Indiana Area of Narcotics Anonymous for your contributions and allowing me to be of service . Lillie A.                                                           


In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction

The Message of Hope JULY 2023

Step 7 “We humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings”

I work a simple program to stay clean and serve God just for today. So when it comes to step seven it is very organic. I get sick and tired of my negative traits, kind of like my hitting rock bottom with the dope . And I humbly ask God to remove these negative traits. If God can remove the desire to use drugs, then I trust God to remove my shortcomings. Believe me, I stop using, go to meetings regularly, work the steps with a sponsor, and live life on life’s’ terms; I’m going to have some glaring defects of character. At first, I try to remove them myself in the beginning, but that only increases my pain. The “exact nature of my wrongs” “character defects” and “shortcomings” are all the same. Just like power greater than myself higher power and God of my understanding. they are one and the same. Keep it simple. And once I get humble and ask God to remove my shortcomings, then I’m ready to make the list of people I have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. Anonymous

All agree that in the 7th step, we become spectators in our own life! DJ

Tradition 7 “Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”

What’s good for the group is usually good for the individual addict. The same freedom the group has by being fully self supporting, the recovering addict can experience as well! What a great feeling it is to depend on self, and not be controlled by outside influences (people, places, and things).       Nikki N         

Seventh tradition concerns its self in every area of the service structure, at no point do we steal the seventh tradition; we don’t even use it and then replace it. If so, that’s stealing. Wow! That’s a me tooooo …LOL.                                                                                                            Darius J.

Our literature states that “each group is fully self supporting declining outside contributions”. I would like to address how this affects NA as a whole. The money that our groups donate to AREA it is to further carry the message of Narcotics Anonymous, by way of H&I, PA and our Activities committees, as well as our meetings. When Home groups sit on it and hold money, and not donate to our area, we cannot function adequately. We can’t enforce groups to donate, but we have groups that cannot make their rent. Let alone donate. When groups hold large sums of money he could trigger oh behaviors or create new ones. Unity is a MUST! WE CANNOT DO THIS BY OURSELVES. WE NEED EACH OTHER!! WE CARRY THE MESSAGE! Thank you                                 Lil Andrea W., Outreach Chair

7th Concept All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body’s decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes. Who should take part in our decision-making processes?

The participation of all members of a service body provides the broadest group conscience and the soundest foundation for service decisions.

Study and discussion questions

1. Right now, who participates in your ASC meetings?

2. Who participates in your group’s business meetings?

3. Do all the members of your ASC bear substantial responsibility for the NA services delivered in your area?

 4. Do all the members of a particular subcommittee bear substantial responsibility for that subcommittee’s work?

 5. Are there any differences in the way members participate in area committee meetings and in a subcommittee meeting?


WHEN July 7, 2023 – July 9, 2023    1:00 pm – 11:00 pm

WHERE Sugar Creek Campground & Canoe Rentals 841 W 83 N, Crawfordsville, IN, 47933

WHAT Summer Celebration

WHEN July 14, 2023 – July 16, 2023

WHERE Indiana Convention Center 100 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN, 46225

June 2023

The Message of Hope

Step 6

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character 

Step six makes me feel like it’s my opportunity to take a break from beating up on myself. The previous steps were digging into who I am. They revealed my natural human attributes; some of which have been distorted. That I’m just human and not every thing about me is a defective character. It is those that I had to become entirely ready for God to remove. April B.

Tradition 6

An NA group, ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

I had an experience at an NA function last year. An outside entity was accepting donations, that were not going to the 7th tradition. This diversion served as a great opportunity to share with a group of newcomers our traditions. To give money because we ate a plate of food would be financially endorsing any related facility or outside enterprise and violation of our traditions. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the still suffering addict and allow the opportunity for all to make that choice. Anonymous Addict

Concept 6

Group conscious is the spiritual means by which we invite a loving God to influence our decision 

At AREA we do a group conscious. At Home Group you do a group conscious. This is when I get the opportunity to do the right thing for the fellowship, even if it doesn’t feel like the right thing for me. If my conscious is not awakened, if I’m not in a relationship with the God my understanding; and not working the spiritual principles of the program, we are still operating on ego. We are still on self interest. And when it is the opinion of some or because it’s about popularity, I have to consciously make a decision on what’s best for the group. I have to be working with a sponsor, in a service position, and participating in the fellowship and if not, we are still on self interest. Being of service and practicing the spiritual principles, I find out that, what’s good for the group ultimately is good for me. That last paragraph talks about what’s in the best interest for NA, and that is in the best interest for self. Saad Y


  1. We except responsibility for our _______ good, bad, or indifferent?
  2. In order to receive, we Must be________ to receive?
  3. What are artifacts getting in the way of?
  4. With self acceptance comes a _________ to creatively explore new directions?
  5. What must we do to ________ and ________ our primary purpose?

The Message of Hope is always in need of members to submit NA related material. Thank you for being of service and allowing me to serve Lillie A.

In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction.

May 2023

The Message of Hope

Step 5

“We admit it to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs”

DENIAL: Don’t even know I am lying! It was only by the grace of God that I learned the HOW of this program. It’s been an ongoing process learning to get honest with myself first. As I worked the steps with my sponsor I trusted her more and more. By the time I got to the 5th step, I could, did, and do tell my sponsor any and everything. Lisa A.

We will need the help of God, as we understand Him, and the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. pg. 33 IWHW

We can trust NA with saving our lives without entrusting every member with all of our secrets. It’s important to modulate our openness, discerning the difference between sharing at group level, confiding in a friend, and baring our soul in a Fifth Step. Of course some of our best lessons come from our mistakes. SPAD 5/6

Tradition 5

“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.”

Being of service to a meeting, especially one having been around for over 40 years, allows me the opportunity to be a part of keeping the doors open and carry out our primary purpose. Donald

Consistency is a spiritual principle that keeps us doing what we do. It begins with the refrain, we keep coming back! Coming to meetings, regularly helps us stay clean, and it also carries a message of hope. We keep coming back because it works, the group depends on his members, and members depend on, the group being true to its purpose. Showing up consistently, sharing, honestly, and treating others with respect all further our primary purpose. A consistent message is powerful. When our actions and message are clear and consistent, our groups cannot fail. Pg. 83 GP

Concept 5

“For each responsibility assigned to the service structure, a single
point of decision and accountability should be clearly defined.”

I suggest that for each position in AREA, we should produce and document in a folder, the responsibilities of that service position. Passing along what we did to fulfil this commitment. And leave it with AREA. This could serve as a guide for the next NA member stepping up and being of service, especially if that position had not been filled the previous year. Our literature states that one addict helping another is without parallel. Lil Andrea


Memorial Day Marathon May 29, 2023

“Living Clean The Journey Continues” Starting immediately after the continental breakfast 10 am, members will share their experience, strength, and hope every hour on the hour until 8pm. 3001 Central Ave

WHAT Spring Fling Family Fun Day

WHEN June 3rd Noon to 6pm

WHERE Northwest Way Park 5253 W 62nd St. Shelter 3

Bring a side dish or dessert to share $5 suggested donation no addict turned away

CIACNA XIX Unity Is a Must “Through Recovery We Grow” Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023
has moved and will now be held at Wyndham Indianapolis West 2544 Executive Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46241 For Reservations call (317) 248-2481 Reservations deadline is 9/1/2023 Convention room rate is $119


  1. Step 5 is the KEY to what?
  2. After working a fifth step … what could this process be thought of as?
  3.  This step (5) will expose our _____ and ______?                                          
  4. I can disarm the secrets in my life by sharing them with what/who?
  5. What is one of the many benefits we get from working step 5?

Answers from last months questions 1.LOVE! IWHW pg. 157 2.Carry the message. GP pg. 63 3.NOW 4.The autonomy of our group. BT pg. 66 5. Honest self-assessment BT pg. 28

The Message of Hope is always in need of members to submit NA related material. Thank you for being of service and allowing me to serve Lillie A.

In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction

April 2023

The Message of Hope

Step 4 “We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”

Spiritual Principles Courage Honesty Willingness Humility

Going into the 4th step I was confused about who I was. My entire life I was called a big head SOB and in the same breath they said they loved me. This was in contradiction to what I found to be true after working this step.    Nate R

When I stopped giving my past the power to keep me trapped, I got the gift of freedom. Anonymous Addict

Keeping it simple and not making excuses or trying to rationalize justify or get stuck in self pity; allowed me to see the patterns I kept repeating in life. As a direct result of working step 4, I became willing to change my motives and do something different by practicing the spiritual principles of our program. Lisa T.

The purpose of a searching and fearless and moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradiction of our lives so that we can find out who we really are.” March 16 JFT

Tradition 4 “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole”

Spiritual Principles – Responsibility Unity Anonymity Open Mindedness Love

The pandemic left our home group bare and struggling. As members returned our personalities contributed to the re-formatting of our meeting, resulting from our groups conscious. Found in “Guiding Principles The Spirit of our Traditions” are some guidelines our home group refers to. “It Works How and Why” and our “Basic Text” are also helpful resources for more info on this tradition. Penny H.

The commitment I made to my home group is because I feel a part of. It allows me to get free and not feel judged. I’m no different from any other addict and that’s the anonymity piece for me. Anonymous Addict.

“Through working the steps, we learned that with freedom comes responsibility. In recovery we become responsible for ourselves. As we accept that responsibility we see how the fourth tradition encourages us to act responsibly as groups and as a fellowship.” Pg. 151 IWH&W

Concept 4 “Effective leadership is highly valued in Narcotics Anonymous. Leadership qualities should be carefully considered when selecting trusted servants”.

I did not get any submissions on concept four. But we want to thank those members both visible and behind the scenes who continue to be of service in our area. There are still service positions that need to be filled on a group, area and convention level.

ISNAC XXIX was a success. Against All Odds said it all We do recover! The halls, hospitality room, workshops, and hotel was filled with addicts from all over. The speakers truly carried the message of Narcotics Anonymous.

The most beautiful and amazing part of the convention was the Clean Time Countdown. There was such an overflowing of love and positive energy under one roof, that it really made my heart smile. It was astounding to see the person with 2 days clean being surrounded with hugs from so many addicts in the fellowship. My cup was so full that day. Brandee D.

CIACNA XIX Unity Is a Must “Through Recovery We Grow” Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023
has moved and will now be held at Wyndham Indianapolis West 2544 Executive Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46241 For Reservations call (317) 248-2481 Convention room rate is $119


  1. What is the principle that guides us to see NA as a greater whole?
  2. What is the most important thing we do with autonomy?
  3. When is the time to tell the truth about ourselves?                                          
  4. What is necessary for our survival?
  5. What is one of the keys to our new way of life?

Answers from last months questions 1.Our freedom to recover 2.Willingness Desire 3.You ain’t it 4.Compassion 5. By reaffirming our decision on a regular basis

In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction

March 2023

The Message of Hope

“The outer circle of our symbol denotes a universal and total program that has room within it for all manifestations of the recovering person” Basic Text vi. Within the margins of this newsletter is room for all to be of service and share how the Narcotics Anonymous program has gifted you with a new way of life. Our literature states that “We can’t keep what we have unless we give it away”. By sharing your personal story of recovery, it is a way to ‘give back what was so freely given to you’. You can share how the best sponsor ever guided you through the Step Working Guide. Or that studying the Guiding Principles is what makes your home group the best. As a newcomer I meditated every morning on the Just For Today and now I start my day with our newest piece of literature A Spiritual Principle A Day.

Feel free to share your perspective on any and all NA approved literature!


October 6-8 2023
UNITY IS A MUST “Through Recovery We Grow”

The CIACNA convention committee met and voted on this year theme through recovery we grow. The next convention committee meeting will be March 18th between 3 & 4 p.m.


Against All Odds We Do Recover
March 24th – 26th 2023
Courtyard by Marriott at Horizon Convention Center
601 High St. Muncie, In 47305

The Midwest Zonal Forum of NA MZF meets 2-3 times a year at rotating locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. The last meeting was a hybrid that met February 17-19 here in Indianapolis. One of many topics discussed was ways NA members can support the rebuilding of the reserve funds after the pandemic and how to improve 2023-2025 NAWS Inc budget.

Step 3 We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

An addict shared “This is where I decided to trust God with my recovery. I had to admit my powerlessness over my disease. I came to believe that there is a Higher Power that can deliver me from the craziness and unmanageability. Now I am ready to make the decision to turn it over to this Higher Power, to God as I understand God, trusting that this Higher Power can restore me to my right mind. I “let go and let God”.

Tradition 3 “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.”

“In the beginning I just wanted the pain to stop and not use drugs. Then I noticed that it didn’t use the word drugs. But I know that’s what it meant, that’s how I identified with others. But with some time abstinent from using, I desire to recover from acting out on my character defects today” an addict shared.

Trusted servants still needed to fill positions for Area, CIACNA, and the groups

Trivia (answers provided in next issue)

  1. Tradition 3 guarantees what?
  2.  All that is required is? (2 answers)
  3. What is the most important thing to understand about a Higher Power
  4. What spiritual principle is at the heart of tradition 3?
  5. How can we practice the spiritual principle of commitment?

Slogans – what are your favorites and why?

 “The newcomer is the most important person at any meeting because we can only keep what we have by giving it away’. When I first came into the rooms I thought the people wanted something from me, why were they being so nice? And for the first time in a long time I felt loved. I wanted what they had to offer and soon learned that only thru reciprocation could I attain it.

Let me say thank you to the fellowship of the Central Indiana Area of Narcotics Anonymous for allowing me to be of service. I’m a grateful recovering addict name LillieA

In memory of the addicts no longer suffering from the disease of addiction

This Month In NA History

In Indiana the month of March means crocuses and daffodils, setting clocks forward, basketball championships . . . and Mad Hatter’s! This event has always been associated with Bloomington, but did you know that it originated in CIASCNA? Until the 1988/1989 development of the South Central area, Bloomington groups belonged to Central. Mad Hatter’s was Central’s first function to be held in Bloomington. This writer was lucky enough to be part of planning that event and to chair it’s meeting. We Bloomingtonians were so excited to host recovering folks from Indy, Anderson, Columbus, Terre Haute, and even out of state (people from Illinois crashed on my living room floor!). We were also pretty nervous about pulling it off, but a grand time was had by all. So grand that when Bloomington groups helped create South Central, and later Limestone, we did it again, and again, and . . .

The event has seen changes throughout the decades, one being its name. We were March Madness and Mad Hatter’s Dance until the NCAA copyrighted that first part; thus, we decided to err far to the side of caution. Sometimes there was live music, courtesy of the recovery band IOU, but now we play, well, digital media something or other?—go ask an under-50! Some added features are now common, such as a chili contest, T-shirts emblazoned with the Hatter from Alice, and a kids’ play area. We’ve booked various venues: the Fountain Square Ballroom, IBEW Hall, Twin Lakes, Karst Farm Park, Harmony School (at least 12 challenging steps up to its gym–yipes!), and Buddy Bill’s Bait Barn, to name a few. The 2019 function saw us back where it all began, First United Church.

Some aspects are always the same: costumes and hats enthusiastically encouraged, a pitch-in supper, at least one speaker, an auction, and a dance at the end for the bravest among us. And of course fun. And fellowship. And recovery!

—Lisa W., Limestone Area, with thanks to Jon F, Bob S, and Jerry B

The Decision

“Yet another way we can practice our Third Step decision is to continue with our recovery by working the remainder of the steps.”

I had to give up the idea, and surrender to the fact, that nothing I do in life will be perfect. My only option, having made in to the rooms, was to not use, and keep my feet moving in the solution.

It is the living in recovery that got me. Every decision caused grief due to me trying to over analyze and manipulate outcomes. I would spend hours upon hours mentally exhausting myself with scenarios of what could be, what might be, and want wouldn’t be. When I shared these things with my sponsor, or in the rooms, a quiet chuckle was an obvious sign that I was not alone. Even with that quiet acknowledgement there was something in me that made me felt less than. I believed that I should just operate like a “normal” person and that seemingly insignificant events in my life should not have such huge impacts on my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. The lies I was telling myself had to stop. That I had to be perfect, or that I had to be “normal”.

I had a hard time understanding why my sponsor kept asking me where I was in my steps, how many meetings I was hitting, what service work was I was doing, and how my prayer and meditation were. I realize now that a big part of the Third Step surrender was just forward progress. I had to separate my idea that the surrender was not only to my HP, but understand that it was also to my Higher Power’s care. That care had set me in the rooms of NA. As I nurtured that system, showed that it was valuable and necessary, my relationship with my HP grew as a result. The more I focused on my actions in the rooms, and my work in the program, the greater my faith in a loving Higher Power became.

Following the simple suggestions, participating in the institution where I found hope, and having faith that my Higher Power will guide me, was the care I so desperately needed. That care came about in many ways. Honest sharing, getting rides, and people showing concern for me. Other people practicing their Twelfth Step was the care of my God, and by making a decision to allow them in my life, it greatly improved.

The actions I take today in the rooms of NA are a reflection of my surrender to my Higher Power’s will for me. The way I care for others is an important part of me giving back that same concern that was shown to me. I care for this institution because it is my direct line to my Higher Power. The simple act of continuing the footwork of this program has given me a relationship that I cannot show my gratitude for enough.

Tony R. Indianapolis, IN