NA Just For Today


#21

May 5

Any lengths

“…I was ready to go to any lengths to stay clean.”

Basic Text, p. 132

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“Any lengths?” newcomers ask. “What do you mean, any lengths?” Looking back at our active addiction and the lengths we were willing to go to in order to stay high can help to explain. Were we willing to drive many miles to get drugs? Yes, we usually were. Then it makes sense that, if we are as concerned about staying clean as we were about using, we will try anything to find a ride to a meeting.

In our addiction, didn’t we often do crazy, insane things or use unknown substances at the direction of others? Then why do we often find it so hard to take direction in recovery, especially when the direction is designed to help us grow? And when we used, didn’t we often, in desperation, turn to our Higher Power, saying, “Please, just get me out of this one!” Then why do we find it so hard to ask for God’s help in our recovery?

When we used, we usually had an open mind when it came to finding ways and means to get more drugs. If we can apply this same principle of open-mindedness to our recovery, we may surprise ourselves by how easily we begin to grasp the NA program. Our best thinking, it is often said, got us into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. If we are willing to go to any lengths, follow directions, and stay open-minded, we can stay clean.

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Just for today: I am willing to go to any lengths to stay clean. I will become as open-minded and ready to take direction as I need to be.

Copyright © 1991-2018 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#22

May 6

Are we having fun yet?

“In time, we can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of recovery.”

Basic Text, p. 56

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Imagine what would happen if a newcomer walked into one of our meetings and was met by a group of grim-faced people gripping the arms of their chairs with white knuckles. That newcomer would probably bolt, perhaps muttering, “I thought I could get off drugs and be happy.”

Thankfully, our newcomers are usually met by a group of friendly, smiling folks who are obviously fairly content with the lives they’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous. What an enormous amount of hope this provides! A newcomer, whose life has been deadly serious, is strongly attracted by an atmosphere of laughter and relaxation. Coming from a place where everything is taken seriously, where disaster always waits around the next corner, it’s a welcome relief to enter a room and find people who generally don’t take themselves too seriously, who are ready for something wonderful.

We learn to lighten up in recovery. We laugh at the absurdity of our addiction. Our meetings—those rooms filled with the lively, happy sounds of percolating coffee, clattering chairs, and laughing addicts—are the gathering places where we first welcome our newcomers and let them know that, yes, we’re having fun now.

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Just for today: I can laugh at myself. I can take a joke. I will lighten up and have some fun today.

Copyright © 1991-2018 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#23

May 7

Turning turmoil into peace

“With the world in such a turmoil, I feel I have been blessed to be where I am.”

Basic Text, p. 145

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Some days it doesn’t pay to turn on the news, we hear so many stories about violence and mayhem. When we used, many of us grew accustomed to violence. Through the fog of our addiction, we rarely got too disturbed by the state of the world. When we are clean, however, many of us find we are particularly sensitive to the world around us. As recovering people, what can we do to make it a better place?

When we find ourselves disturbed by the turmoil of our world, we can find comfort in prayer and meditation. When it seems like everything is turned upside down, our contact with our Higher Power can be our calm in the midst of any storm. When we are centered on our spiritual path, we can respond to our fears with peace. And by living peaceably ourselves, we invite a spirit of peace to enter our world. As recovering people, we can affect positive change by doing our best to practice the principles of our program.

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Just for today: I will enhance peace in the world by living, speaking, and acting peacefully in my own life.

Copyright © 1991-2018 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#24

May 8

Teachable

“We have learned that it is okay to not know all the answers, for then we are teachable and can learn to live our new life successfully.”

Basic Text, p. 96

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In a way, addiction is a great teacher. And if addiction teaches us nothing else, it will teach us humility. We hear it said that it took our very best thinking to get to NA. Now that we’re here, we’re here to learn.

The NA Fellowship is a wonderful learning environment for the recovering addict. We aren’t made to feel stupid at meetings. Instead, we find others who’ve been exactly where we’ve been and who’ve found a way out. All we have to do is admit that we don’t have all the answers, then listen as others share what’s worked for them.

As recovering addicts and as human beings, we have much to learn. Other addicts—and other humans—have much to teach us about what works and what doesn’t. As long as we remain teachable, we can take advantage of the experience of others.

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Just for today: I will admit that I don’t have all the answers. I will look and listen to the experience of others for the answers I need.

Copyright © 1991-2018 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#25

May 9

Write about it!

“We sit down with a notebook, ask for guidance, pick up our pen, and start writing.”

Basic Text, p. 30

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When we’re confused or in pain, our sponsor sometimes tells us to “write about it.” Though we may groan as we drag out the notebook, we know that it will help. By laying it all out on paper, we give ourselves the chance to sort through what’s bothering us. We know we can get to the bottom of our confusion and find out what’s really causing our pain when we put the pen to the paper.

Writing can be rewarding, especially when working through the steps. Many members maintain a daily journal. Simply thinking about the steps, pondering their meaning, and analyzing their effect is not sufficient for most of us. There’s something about the physical action of writing that helps to fix the principles of recovery in our minds and hearts.

The rewards we find through the simple action of writing are many. Clarity of thought, keys to locked places inside of us, and the voice of conscience are but a few. Writing helps us be more honest with ourselves. We sit down, quiet our thoughts, and listen to our hearts. What we hear in the stillness are the truths that we put down on paper.

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Just for today: One of the ways I can search for truth in recovery is to write. I will write about my recovery today.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#26

May 11

Balancing the scales

A lot of our chief concerns and major difficulties come from our inexperience with living without drugs. Often when we ask an oldtimer what to do, we are amazed at the simplicity of the answer.

Basic Text, p. 43

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Finding balance in recovery is quite a bit like sitting down with a set of scales and a pile of sand. The goal is to have an equal amount of sand on each side of the scales, achieving a balance of weight.

We do the same thing in recovery. We sit down with the foundation of our clean time and the Twelve Steps, then attempt to add employment, household responsibilities, friends, sponsees, relationships, meetings, and service in equal weights so that the scales balance. Our first try may throw our personal scales out of kilter. We may find that, because of our over-involvement in service, we have upset our employer or our family. But when we try to correct this problem by resigning from NA service altogether, the other side of the scales go out of balance.

We can ask for help from members who have stabilized their scales. These people are easy to recognize. They appear serene, composed, and self-assured. Theyll smile in recognition at our dilemma and share how they slowed down, added only a few grains of sand at a time to either side of the scales, and were rewarded with balance in recovery.

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Just for today: I seek balance in my life. Today, I will ask others to share their experience in finding that balance.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#27

May 12

Living with spiritual experiences

For meditation to be of value, the results must show in our daily lives.

Basic Text, p. 47

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In working our program, we are given many indirect indications of a Higher Powers presence in our lives: the clean feeling that comes to so many of us in taking our Fifth Step; the sense that we are finally on the right track when we make amends; the satisfaction we get from helping another addict. Meditation, however, occasionally brings us extraordinary indications of Gods presence in our lives. These experiences do not mean we have become perfect or that we are cured. They are tastes given us of the source of our recovery itself, reminding us of the true nature of the thing we are pursuing in Narcotics Anonymous and encouraging us to continue walking our spiritual path.

Such experiences demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, that we have tapped a Power far greater than our own. But how do we incorporate that extraordinary Power into our ordinary lives? Our NA friends, our sponsor, and others in our communities may be more seasoned in spiritual matters than we are. If we ask, they can help us fit our spiritual experiences into the natural pattern of recovery and spiritual growth.

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Just for today: I will seek whatever answers I may need to understand my spiritual experiences and incorporate them into my daily life.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#28

May 13

Onward on the journey

The progression of recovery is a continuous uphill journey.

Basic Text, p. 83

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The longer we stay clean, the steeper and narrower our path seems to become. But God doesnt give us more than we can handle. No matter how difficult the road becomes, no matter how narrow, how winding the turns, there is hope. That hope lies in our spiritual progression.

If we keep showing up at meetings and staying clean, life gets… well, different. The continual search for answers to lifes ups and downs can lead us to question all aspects of our lives. Life isnt always pleasant. This is when we must turn to our Higher Power with even more faith. Sometimes all we can do is hold on tight, believing that things will get better.

In time, our faith will produce understanding. We will begin to see the bigger picture of our lives. As our relationship with our Higher Power unfolds and deepens, acceptance becomes almost second-nature. No matter what happens as we walk through recovery, we rely on our faith in a loving Higher Power and continue onward.

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Just for today: I accept that I dont have all the answers to lifes questions. Nonetheless, I will have faith in the God of my understanding and continue on the journey of recovery.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#29

May 15

Fear of the Fourth Step

As we approach this step, most of us are afraid that there is a monster inside of us that, if released, will destroy us.

Basic Text, p. 27

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Most of us are terrified to look at ourselves, to probe our insides. Were afraid that if we examine our actions and motives, well find a bottomless black pit of selfishness and hatred. But as we take the Fourth Step, well find that those fears were unwarranted. Were human, just like everyone elseno more, no less.

We all have personality traits that were not especially proud of. On a bad day, we may think that our faults are worse than anyone elses. Well have moments of self-doubt. Well question our motives. We may even question our very existence. But if we could read the minds of our fellow members, wed find the same struggles. Were no better or worse than anyone else.

We can only change what we acknowledge and understand. Rather than continuing to fear whats buried inside us, we can bring it out into the open. Well no longer be frightened, and our recovery will flourish in the full light of self-awareness.

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Just for today: I fear what I dont know. I will expose my fears and allow them to vanish.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#30

May 17

“Defects”

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

Step Six

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After taking the Fifth Step, many of us spend some time considering the exact nature of our wrongs and the part theyd played in making us who we were. What would our lives be like without, say, our arrogance?

Sure, arrogance had kept us apart from our fellows, preventing us from enjoying and learning from them. But arrogance had also served us well, propping up our ego in the face of critically low self-esteem. What advantage would be gained if our arrogance were removed, and what support would we be left with?

With arrogance gone, we would be one step closer to being restored to our proper place among others. We would become capable of appreciating their company and their wisdom and their challenges as their equals. Our support and guidance would come, if we chose, from the care offered us by our Higher Power; low self-esteem would cease to be an issue.

One by one, we examined our character defects this way, and found them all defectiveafter all, thats why theyre called defects. And were we entirely ready to have God remove all of them? Yes.

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Just for today: I will thoroughly consider all my defects of character to discover whether I am ready to have the God of my understanding remove them.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#31

May 18

Friends and amendskeeping it simple

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Nine

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In every relationship, we dont always handle things the way we would have hoped. But friendships dont have to end when we make mistakes; instead, we can make amends. If we are sincerely willing to accept the responsibilities involved in friendship and make the amends we owe, those friendships can become stronger and richer than ever.

Making amends is simple. We approach the person we have harmed and say, I was wrong. Sometimes we avoid getting to the point, evading an admission of our own part in the affair. But that frustrates the intent of the Ninth Step. To make effective amends, we have to keep it simple: we admit our part, and leave it at that.

There will be times when our friends wont accept our amends. Perhaps they need time to process what has happened. If that is the case, we must give them that time. After all, we were the ones in the wrong, not them. We have done our part; the rest is out of our hands.

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Just for today: I want to be a responsible friend. I will strive to keep it simple when making amends.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#32

May 19

A growth inventory

We review our past performance and our present behavior to see what we want to keep and what we want to discard.

Basic Text, p. 29

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As each day winds to a close, many of us reflect on the past twenty-four hours and consider how we can live differently in the future. Its easy for our thoughts to remain trapped in the mundane: change the oil in the car, keep the living room clean, or empty the litter box. Sometimes it takes a special effort to jog our thinking out of the daily rut and onto a higher track.

One simple question can put us on the high road: What do we think our Higher Power wants for us tomorrow? Maybe we need to improve our flagging conscious contact with the God of our understanding. Perhaps weve been uncomfortable in our job or our relationship, holding on only out of fear. We might be hiding some troubling defect of character, afraid to share it with our sponsor. The question is, in what parts of our lives do we really want to grow?

As each day ends, we find it beneficial to take some moments to spend time with our Higher Power. We can begin to reflect on what will benefit our program of spiritual growth most in the coming day. We think about the areas in which we have grown recently, and target areas that still require work. What more fitting way to end the day?

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Just for today: I will set aside some time at the end of the day to commune with my Higher Power. I will review the past day, meditating on what stands between me and my Higher Powers will for my life.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#33

May 20

Coming out of isolation

We find ourselves doing and enjoying things that we never thought we would be doing.

Basic Text, p. 102

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Active addiction kept us isolated for many reasons. In the beginning, we avoided family and friends so they wouldnt find out we were using. Some of us avoided all nonaddicts, fearing moral backlash and legal repercussions. We belittled people who had normal lives with families and hobbies; we called them uncool, believing we could never enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Eventually, we even avoided other addicts because we didnt want to share our drugs. Our lives narrowed, and our concerns were confined to the daily maintenance of our disease.

Today, our lives are much fuller. We enjoy activities with other recovering addicts. We have time for our families. And weve discovered many other pursuits that give us pleasure. What a change from the past! We can live life just as fully as the normal people we once scorned. Enjoyment has returned to our lives, a gift of recovery.

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Just for today: I can find pleasure in the simple routines of daily living.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#34

May 21

Keep coming back!

Meetings keep us in touch with where weve been, but more importantly, with where we could go in our recovery.

Basic Text, p. 56

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In many ways, addicts are different. When we came to Narcotics Anonymous we found others like ourselves, people who understood us and whom we could understand. No longer did we feel like aliens, strangers wherever we went. We were at home in NA meetings, among friends.

We dont stop being addicts after weve been clean awhile. We still need to identify with other addicts. We continue coming to NA meetings to keep in touch with who we are, where weve come from, and where were going. Every meeting reminds us that we can never use drugs successfully. Every meeting reminds us that well never be cured, but that by practicing the principles of the program we can recover. And every meeting offers us the experience and example of other addicts in ongoing recovery.

At meetings, we see how different people work their program, and the results are apparent in their lives. If we want the lives we see others living, we can find out what theyve done to get where they are. Narcotics Anonymous meetings offer us identification with where weve been and where we can goidentification we cant do without and cant get anywhere else. That keeps us coming back.

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Just for today: I will attend an NA meeting to remind myself of who I am, where Ive come from, and where I can go in my recovery.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#35

Love love love that. Thanks for posting.


#36

May 23

Amends and sponsors

We want to be free of our guilt, but we dont wish to do so at the expense of anyone else.

Basic Text, p. 40

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Lets face it: Most of us left trails of destruction in our wakes and harmed anyone who got in our way. Some of the people we hurt most in our addiction were the people we loved most. In an effort to purge ourselves of the guilt we feel for what weve done, we may be tempted to share with our loved ones, in gruesome detail, things that are better left unsaid. Such disclosures could do much harm and may do little good.

The Ninth Step is not about easing our guilty consciences; its about taking responsibility for the wrongs weve done. In working our Eighth and Ninth Steps, we should seek the guidance of our sponsor and amend our wrongs in a manner that wont cause us to owe more amends. We are not just seeking freedom from remorsewe are seeking freedom from our defects. We never again want to inflict harm on our loved ones. One way to insure that we do not is by working the Ninth Step responsibly, checking our motives, and discussing with our sponsor the particular amends we plan to make before we make them.

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Just for today: I wish to accept responsibility for my actions. Before making any amends, I will talk with my sponsor.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#37

May 25

Good and bad feelings

A lot happens in one day, both negative and positive. If we do not take time to appreciate both, perhaps we will miss something that will help us grow.

IP No. 8, Just for Today

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Most of us seem to unconsciously judge what happens in our lives each day as good or bad, success or failure. We tend to feel happy about the good and angry, frustrated, or guilty about the bad. Good and bad feelings, though, often have little to do with whats truly good or bad for us. We may learn more from our failures than our successes, especially if failure has come from taking a risk.

Attaching value judgments to our emotional reactions ties us to our old ways of thinking. We can change the way we think about the incidents of everyday life, viewing them as opportunities for growth, not as good or bad. We can search for lessons rather than assigning value. When we do this, we learn something from each day. Our daily Tenth Step is an excellent tool for evaluating the days events and learning from both success and failure.

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Just for today: I am offered an opportunity to apply the principles of recovery so that I will learn and grow. When I learn from lifes events, I succeed.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#38

May 26

The Power in the group

“Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us… We can call it the group, the program, or we can call it God.”

Basic Text, p. 24

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Many of us have a hard time with the idea of a Higher Power until we fully accept the depth of our own powerlessness over addiction. Once we do, most of us are at least willing to consider seeking the help of some Power greater than our disease. The first practical exposure many of us have to that kind of Power is in the NA group. Perhaps that’s where we should start in developing our own understanding of God.

One evidence of the Power in the group is the unconditional love shown when NA members help one another without expectation of reward. The group’s collective experience in recovery is itself a Power greater than our own, for the group has practical knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. And the fact that addicts keep coming to NA meetings, day after day, is a demonstration of the presence of a Higher Power, some attractive, caring force at work that helps addicts stay clean and grow.

All these things are evidence of a Power that can be found in NA groups. When we look around with an open mind, each of us will be able to identify other signs of that Power. It doesn’t matter if we call it God, a Higher Power, or anything else—just as long as we find a way to incorporate that Power into our daily lives.

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Just for today: I will open my eyes and my mind to signs of a Power that exists in my NA group. I will call upon that Power to help me stay clean.

Copyright © 1991-2017 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#39

May 27

Meeting the days challenge

…the decision to ask for Gods help is our greatest source of strength and courage.

Basic Text, p. 26

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A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed. Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us. We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without. New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of life on lifes terms. Living clean means learning to meet challenges.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenges. Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success. Each time we declined the days challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem. Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt. Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, weve found the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge. Weve come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives. Weve asked that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable. Weve taken action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power. Through the steps, weve been given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges. And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

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Just for today: I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet todays challenge.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved


#40

May 28

As we understand

We examined our lives and discovered who we really are. To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.

Basic Text, p. 36

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As using addicts, the demands of our disease determined our personality. We could be whoever or whatever we needed to be in order to get our fix. We were survival machines, adapting easily to every circumstance of the using life.

Once we began our recovery, we entered a new and different life. Many of us had no idea what behavior was appropriate for us in any given situation. Some of us didnt know how to talk to people, how to dress, or how to behave in public. We couldnt be ourselves because we didnt know who we were anymore.

The Twelve Steps give us a simple method for finding out who we really are. We uncover our assets and our defects, the things we like about ourselves and the things were not so thrilled about. Through the healing power of the Twelve Steps, we begin to understand that we are individuals, created to be who we are by the Higher Power of our understanding. The real healing begins when we understand that if our Higher Power created us this way, it must be okay to be who we really are.

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Just for today: By working the steps I can experience the freedom to be myself, the person my Higher Power intended me to be.

Copyright 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved