"Addiction is a disease that involves more than the use of drugs."
At our first meeting, we may have been taken aback at the way members shared about how the disease of addiction had affected their lives. We thought to ourselves, "Disease? I’ve just got a drug problem! What in the world are they talking about?"
After some time in the program, we began to see that our addiction ran deeper than our obsessive, compulsive drug use. We saw that we suffered from a chronic illness that affected many areas of our lives. We didn’t know where we’d "caught" this disease, but in examining ourselves we realized that it had been present in us for many years.
Just as the disease of addiction affects every area of our lives, so does the NA program. We attend our first meeting with all the symptoms present: the spiritual void, the emotional agony, the powerlessness, the unmanageability.
Treating our illness involves much more than mere abstinence. We use the Twelve Steps, and though they don’t "cure" our illness, they do begin to heal us. And as we recover, we experience the gift of life.
Just for today: I will treat my illness with the Twelve Steps.