“We eventually have to stand on our own feet and face life on its own terms, so why not from the start.”Basic Text p.85
Some of us feel that we should protect newcomers by telling them that, while everything used to be horrible, now we’re in recovery it’s all wonderful. We feel that we might scare someone away if we speak of pain or difficulties, broken marriages, being robbed, and the like. In a sincere and well-intentioned desire to carry the message, we tend to talk glowingly only about what’s going well in our lives.
But most newcomers already suspect the truth, even if they’ve only been clean for a few days. Chances are that the “life on life’s terms” the average newcomer is experiencing is quite a bit more stressful than what the average oldtimer deals with each day. If we do manage to convince a newcomer that everything becomes rosy in recovery, we had better make sure we are there to support that newcomer when something goes wrong in his or her life.
Perhaps we simply need to share realistically about how we use the resources of Narcotics Anonymous to accept “life on life’s terms,” whatever those terms may be on any given day. Recovery, and life itself, contains equal parts of pain and joy. It is important to share both so the newcomer can know that we stay clean no matter what.
Just for today: I will be honest with the newcomers I share with and let them know that, no matter what life brings, we never have to use drugs again.