Newsletter 1

      WHY I SERVE

At first I served because my sponsor guided me to- homegroup set up, then GSR, and so on.  My first taste of grateful service happened at about four months clean.  I was setup/coffee maker for my home group, a late-night meeting at a halfway house and crisis center.  I was in a lot of pain emotionally simply from the diseased noise in my head.  I didn’t want to set up or be there,  but I had a commitment, so I was there.  Only four  other addicts came to the meeting.  We all had plenty of time to share, and I didn’t share anything too profound, but as I was cleaning up afterward, I overheard two members talking- not about me or anything I said- they were saying how grateful they were for the meeting and that they needed it to stay clean.  Ever since then, I have gratefully served. More recently, I got to experience another blessing in my life – a painful one but a blessing.  My mother – who stood by my side throughout my active addiction, even when that meant being forcibly introduced to walls when she got in my way  – was diagnosed with stage 4  cancer in September 2012.  After months of treatment and care, in February of 2013 she went to the emergency room one last time.  Through the course of the night her condition deteriorated to the point where she was mentally gone, and further treatment was causing irreparable damage.  At 6:00 am, I called my two sisters and my brother to let them know what was happening and to seek  guidance.  When I got clean in 2004, none of them wanted anything to do with me.  That morning, they each told me they trusted me to make the right decision.  At 8:00 am, I gave the order to halt life support.  At  8:15  am she passed.  NA gave my mother back to her son, my siblings back their brother, and me the strength to be selfless and let her body go in the spirit of love.  This is why I serve.   Dennis M. Northern New York Region

This was reprinted from the NA Way Magazine

Concern  

I don’t understand why a motion brought from a homegroup needs a second, when a motion from a sub-committee does not need a second. Everything starts with the group, and sub-committees answers to the group. It just does not sit right with me. I have talked to people and have read the traditions and concepts, and I see that the group comes first and the sub-committee comes second.
Jimmy P.
Love being clean

In Response to Concern

As stated in our By-laws,” Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the society in all cases to which they are applicable”. The normal use for Roberts Rules are in governmental or parliamentary meetings. It is the best set of written rules that we have to govern a business meeting.
In a business meeting a motion may be made by one person , not the group conscience that NA uses. That is why a second is required. All a “second” is, is another person supporting a motion. And it need not mean that the person is in favor of the motion; only that they think the motion is worthy of debate. That they would like to hear other viewpoints when the motion is debated.
When a sub-committee makes a motion it is assumed that the motion was discussed and voted on by the members of that sub-committee. That is why it does not need a “second”.
Carol H.

Here is the an article is about staying clean while struggling with a deadly cancer.                                                        Living Clean With Cancer             Around 7 months ago in July of 2011, I was starting to get excited about my 5th year clean in the NA  program. I was coming up on 6 years. Things had been going really well for me. I was going to meetings on a regular basis. I had 3 sponsees and we were working on our steps. All at different paces. I was feeling alright health wise and my home life was settling  in to a good routine. I had been doing what the Basic Text had always told me and what my sponsor had always suggested. That was to call other addicts when things got tough, to always read the Just For Today and The Basic Text. I had just finished doing service work for my home group. I had been the GSR for my home group for 4 years and one of my sponsees had taken over that position for me. I was really proud to pass that on to him.  NA had given me back my life and taught me how to handle the problems that happens to us in everyday life.         I have many illnesses that I have to deal with on a daily basis because of things that I had done in the past. I had come to terms with these illnesses by following the NA program. I could handle these because of the NA program and my loving family at home. I have said may times at meetings when I would share that I am a lucky man, because I have two families, my home with two wonderful children and a wonderful wife that supported me 100 % in my quest to stay clean and my NA family that supports me. That is the way that I have always looked at NA. It is great to have such support. All in all things were going really well. I was able to go out to my shop and work on projects for my wife and kids.          Then around 6 months ago I started feeling pain in my abdomen. I ended up in the emergency room on several different occasions. I thought that it was my liver that was finally giving up on me. My first thought was that I was finally going to need to have a liver transplant. I was actually ready to accept  that because I knew that this day would be coming sooner or later and I had been working on this problem with my doctors, family and people in NA. This was something that I could make it through with all the support that I have. But I soon learned that the doctors thought it was my pancreas and that I was having attacks of pancreatitis. This was great news to me,  because I wasn’t going to have to need a transplant. What a relief that was.          But after being in the hospital for about 2 or 3 days on my last trip to the hospital, the doctors were having second thoughts about my pancreas. They did some MRIs and CT Scans. After looking at these scans the doctors had some news that I was not ready for.  The doctors told me that they thought that I had pancreatic cancer, they needed to do a biopsy to find out for sure. When the biopsy came back it was positive for cancer. The worst kind of cancer I could get in my pancreas. After some more tests they told me that I had the fight of my life in front me. They gave me 3 to 6 months to live. Well to say the least that news knocked the wind right out of me. I didn’t know what to do, I felt lost.          I was scared and had to figure out what I needed to do to fight this. So I fell back on my family, both of my families. I talked to my wife and kids and let my NA family know what was going on. The most important thing that I did was to talk with my sponsor and sponsees,along with other addicts in the program. I knew for sure that if I went back out and started using again that I didn’t have a chance of beating this cancer. The only thing that would happen if I went back out is that I would lose my family and friends. But more than that I would lose my life and I have so much to live for. So every day I call other addicts and they call me to find out how things are going. We keep in touch so that I can ask for help when I need it, whether it’s a ride, help around my house, or if I just need to talk or cry, they are there. The support is wonderful. I also am doing even more reading from the Basic Text and as always there is something out of the Just For Today that gives me hope.          It’s only been about 5 or 6 months since I was diagnosed. As I have said before I am a lucky man. My wife has a sister who is married to a doctor who happens to do oncology and is treating me for my cancer. These treatments are not traditional medicine because all the traditional doctors said that they could not cure me and could only make me comfortable until I died. All I can say is that the non-traditional treatments are working and I am still alive because of not only these treatments but because of all the loving support from addicts that I know all over the United States. You see I have NA family all over the United States. I live in Rochester, New York , But I get treatments in Seattle Washington, where I go to NA meetings and have made some wonderful friends. I have also traveled to Texas where my sisters live, and Vermont where my son went to college. I have been to meetings and have made friends in all of these states.          I guess what I am saying is that no matter what is going on in your life, whether it is a serious illness, breaking up with a girl/boyfriend, money problems, you do not have to use. It is as simple as picking up your phone and calling another addict. Going to meetings as often as you can, doing service work, getting a sponsor and reading the Basic Text.  There is no reason to pick up again once you are clean. If for some reason I do not win this fight against cancer I will die a clean recovering addict. That is the most important thing for me to leave as a message to my family at home and my NA family, is that I can stay a clean recovering addict no matter what. Jay L