I attended a Narcotics Anonymous meeting last week and I must admit that it has affected me. I never knew that many people suffer from addiction. And to think most of the other attendees looked normal. Judging by how many of them look, I would not have known that they suffer from addiction if I had not seen them in the meeting! Yet I saw them in the meeting. I heard their stories. I somehow shared in their suffering and in the suffering of their loved ones. The session was moving even though it was just the sharing of stories and struggles.
I realized that people who attend such meetings are simply living life just like everybody else. They were just fighting for control as does every other human in existence. One thing that struck me during that meeting was the nonjudgmental attitude. Even though some people there have done many bad things related to their addiction, the atmosphere of acceptance was there. It seemed that they just want to help each other recover. If only the world were such an accepting place. I think it might have something to do with how they treated addiction.
They treated it as if it were just a disease like the common colds or cancer. You are not at fault if you have a disease, but you can make a difference by controlling it. Another thing that touched me during the meeting was that they claimed that there was no cure to their addiction. There was someone there who has not touched drugs for years, but that person still thinks to be sick. How is it possible when no drug has touched that person’s body for many years? Will there be a time when the attendees of the meeting would graduate from their addiction?
Yet seeing them in that meeting made me realize that the people who are recently suffering from addiction also need the support and guidance of those who have managed to control their addiction for a long time. This gives them encouragement to face their everyday challenges. Also, I am amazed by the honesty that people in the meeting have even to visitors. They admit that they have addiction, and sometimes even how this addiction has affected them and their loved ones. They admit that they have a problem, and I think that it helps them in finding solutions to them. They also place trust in a higher power as they see that to be.
Thus it does not matter what religion or belief they follow, they submit that only with the help of that power can they overcome their addiction. I do not know what religion the members in the meeting where but I am sure that there were several beliefs represented there. The meeting was not what I had expected. I expected to see weak people there, but I was wrong. Instead I saw some of the strongest people I’ve ever met joining that group. The meeting changed much of my perception to addiction and support groups. I want to learn more from their experiences and the source of their strength. I may attend another meeting again soon!