Eric Ease / From Struggle to Strength
One addict helping another is without parallel.
That one sentence carries so much weight and is so true in my life. I have experienced it first hand and as a result of this I am here today. I want to share with you my experience with one addict who helped me.
THE YEAR IS 2010 and after being thoroughly whipped by my addiction I was at a very desperate time in my life. I had been contemplating suicide for quite some time. I was at the end of my rope and had lost all hope of ever being able to stop using drugs. I didn’t think that I had any other options. Then one day in a moment of clarity I remembered the meetings that I used to attend in prison and in treatment. Narcotics Anonymous meetings to be exact. I searched the internet for meetings and I found one that I could attend. I was still locked and loaded in my active addiction so of course I procrastinated and continued to use and feel miserable. Then on January 24, 2011 I finally had enough and against my will made my first NA meeting.
I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. I was scared to death, I had no idea what to expect and didn’t think that they would like me or allow me to be a part of the meeting. I mean all kinds of crazy thoughts ran through my head as I was making my way there. I got to the building and at first walked past it. My addiction was trying really hard to keep me from going inside. After a few drive by’s I finally went inside. There was 1 person inside and he was setting up the meeting. He looked at me and said WELCOME. I remember that right then and there my fear began to ease up a little. He came over and reached out to hug me. I was a little taken back but I allowed the hug and I felt a little weird. I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. That was my image and ego. Anyway he asked me my name and told him he the said his name was A. (We will call him A that’s not his actual name). He asked if I would help him set up the chairs and so I did. As we were setting up he would ask me questions. I remember at first being a little evasive but then he would tell me about himself and after a while I finally started to open up and tell him my story.
I REMEMBER FEELING RELIEVED hearing some of the things he did matched some of the things I did. We continued to talk and after the meeting went for coffee and talked some more. A told me to keep coming back and how I was the most important person being a new comer. I never been told that I was important by anyone. I left feeling really good and I made that meeting place my home group and A eventually became my sponsor. Needless to say after about 2 months I relapsed and I couldn’t seem to get myself back to the rooms. The whole time that I was missing from the meetings A called my phone. He called several times a day and texted me. Eventually I spoke to him and told him what happened and he said its ok just come back. I made it back through god’s grace and mercy but struggled with staying. I couldn’t accumulate more that 3 months and I would go back out. Every time I did A was always the word of encouragement, always giving me support and love. He always stood by me and never turned his back on me. He always had something positive to say no matter what I told him I was going through he always encouraged me to come back, to stay. For 2 1/2 years he tried to helped me to recover. Unfortunately I was not ready. I went back out time and time again. I felt bad that I was wasting his time and I sent him a text message thanking him for all of his help and that I would one day try again but I just wasn’t ready and I hoped that we could still be friends. He text back and still tried to offer me support and love.Thanks to A and a few others like him. I eventually made it back to the rooms and I have been here ever since.He loved me when I could not love myself. He was and still is the example of one addict helping another without parallel. A has been in my life since that first day back in 2011 and he is still a major influence in my recovery today.
A CELEBRATED 19 YEARS CLEAN YESTERDAY and I had the opportunity to share my experience at his anniversary. I was grateful to be a part of his celebration and his life. I saw a lot of the people who were there when I first came to recovery and I was a little overwhelmed when they started crying because I stuck around and I am still here. I never realized how much the love of the fellowship affected myself and others. It was such an awesome feeling and I was riding high all day yesterday from it. My road to recovery is a on going process. I have had my share of ups and downs and I know that living life on life’s terms there will be more but today I am prepared to deal with them instead of run from them.
I LOVE NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS because this process saved my life.
I NORMALLY DO NOT NAME MY FELLOWSHIP but I think it is important that you know how I got clean and stay clean. I love Narcotics Anonymous because without it I would sure as hell be dead.
THAT’S A FACT…I DON’T GET THAT TWISTED.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric is a self-described recovering addict. Though introduced to a fellowship while in prison after having "used and abused drugs for over 37 years," it was only after "utter desperation" once released that Eric found recovery. Eric has recently celebrated one year of abstinent recovery.
Read more of Eric's journey at his blog: From Struggle to Strength