My Reaction To The 12 Steps.
So what should someone think of N/A or A/A meetings?
First off, NA is free, although a pot is passed, usually at the end, for voluntary contributions. These go for paying for the venue, printing literature, running helplines, bring NA into hospitals and prisons etc., and other things. Usually there will be tea and coffee on offer. In the more organised meetings there will be a greeter who's job it is to welcome people, especially newcomers, but even if there is no greeter, in most meetings a newcomer will be welcomed anyway, offered a cup of tea or coffee, and chatted to before the meeting starts. Then the secretary of the meeting will start the meeting proper. Although meetings differ, the format is fairly standard. Usually the meeting will be started with a moment of silence to remember the "still suffering addict", i.e. the addict who has not "found" NA yet. Then it is customary for everyone to introduce themselves.This is a case of "Hi. I'm/My name is X and I'm an addict", where X is a first name. Then there are a series of readings from cards. These are often laid out on chairs, or handed out. If offered a card, you do not have to accept if you do not wish to read; alternatively, don't sit on a chair with a card on it! These describe "Who is an addict?", "What is the NA programme?", "Why are we here?", "How it works", and sometimes "The 12 traditions of NA" (these describe how NA is organised. Do not concern yourself with these for now.)The preamble over, the "main share" will start. Main shares vary enormously in content, but usually they are a life-story, focusing on the sharer's drug use, and on how he (s/he or they if you prefer) found NA and managed to achieve abstinence for such and such a period of time. They might include descriptions of any relapses along the way. Usually a main sharer will have several months or years of abstinence to his credit. If said sharer is "conscientious", he will describe how he "works...
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