Sunday, November 20, 2016

Walking The Nar Anon Steps

A couple of weeks ago at Nar Anon, Tina who is Co-Leader of our local group mentioned that we should all start working the Nar Anon Twelve Steps.

In our group Tina and Lisa have loved ones in recovery from addiction and yet they always have the time for us- to listen to our problems with loving our addict and our cries. Suggesting the ways to help us. Giving us guidance in order to just be able to breathe even if only for today.

These two ladies also always have the time to help any family in need in any crisis this addiction brings them to. They always have the time to help any addict who reaches out to them any day, any time-day or night.

Each and every Sunday that we attend Nar Anon and leave it feels as if we have gotten just a small
part of our lives back a piece at a time.

I can remember when we first started going back in April hearing the stories of recovery gave us the hope that our son too would recover. It didn't come all at once but soon we too started to believe that our son could recover from actively using and abusing heroin. And he did.

We listen to others share their stories and we soon realized our own experiences and stories all sound the same. We then leave taking with us those experiences shared in our own lives for the following week in the hopes that we can apply those experiences to our own situations.

Each week we start and end our meeting with the Serenity Prayer which is:

"God grant me the Serenity To accept the things that I cannot change.

The Courage to change the things that I can.

And the Wisdom to know the difference."

It wasn't until I started taking the Nar Anon steps in my own life that this prayer took on a whole other meaning. It truly meant something.

These past months I've come to learn that this prayer can also mean different things to us until we say it and start living our lives by it. Above all we have to believe it. Faith can move mountains. Oh I know in the beginning it feels like just idle words spoken.

The time comes when you have to start taking the Steps of Nar Anon if you are ever going to recover from what your loved ones addiction has not only done to them but to you and the family unit as well.

I'll be honest. Taking those steps often hurts because it is then that we realize just what this addiction has done. We have to be honest with ourselves, even if it hurts and trust me it will. It is only when I started applying the steps into our daily lives that this prayer starts to take on a whole new meaning- starting with Step One.

Soon after accepting that you are powerless over heroin, the disease of addiction and what it is doing not only to someone you love, but also to yourself only then can you feel what is meant by the word serenity and that real peace that we are asking for and seeking that often feels so hard to find.

We know we cannot change the addict we love, we cannot make them change, we have all but lost control over our own lives caught up in the insanity of addiction that we find ourselves addicted. We have become addicted to the addiction, to our loved one the addict and wanting to help fix something we have no control over and cannot cure in the first place.

BUT at the same time we can have that peace by allowing ourselves the changes that we need to make in our lives by following the twelve steps.

I cannot count the times that the words spoken to me was, Just Breathe! And Let Go and Let God.

Those words mean so much more today then they did seven months ago. It is hard to at first accept and understand those words, but trust me once I spoke them and once I allowed myself to believe in those words and continue practicing the steps that I had already taken and walk the walk, it was at that moment that our son finally said,

"I can't live like this anymore. I want to live. Please get me out of here before I die."

It took awhile to realize that all of the fear, worry, anger, hatred, bitterness, resentments and blaming others I have carried around as baggage and kept inside for so long had not allowed me any room for spiritual growth and was choking the life out of me. I know that at times I will fall again. I'll let worry and fear into my heart and life but I will be much more quicker to identify and to not allow it the power to control my life.

Following in the steps that we've already completed in the past seven months (which by the way is only four) we have come to realize what is meant by the words, "And the wisdom to know the difference."

The Twelve Steps of Nar Anon follow those of the A.A. and N.A. tradition. They are:
  1. We admitted we were powerless over the Addict -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God/Our Higher Power as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God/Our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We are entirely ready to have God/Our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God/Our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God/Our Higher Power as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
My own personal journey in taking these steps and taken from my journal are:

Lord, Grant me the strength of Eagles wings, the faith and courage to fly to new heights and the wisdom to rely on Your spirit to carry me there if only just for today!


  1. Loving an addict is the worst thing I have EVER had to deal with in my life. I aodre my addict but at times have found myself so sick with worry and guilt that I may have ended up in the hospital, which is where I thought the addict should be. It is by far the toughest knowledge a person will ever gain, through personal experience. I beleive that this is why Nar-Anon is very important to OUR health. We MUST step up and take responsibility for our own well being or witness the addicts mind sets and behaviours take us down with them. We cannot help them until we can help ourselves. Thank you Cindy for your article. You are right that Tina and myself have vowed to help in any way possible. We love our addicts and we love all addicts. The ones who reach out not only tear at our heart strings but fill us with pride as God allows us to take part in helping them find the recovery they seek. God Bless and May God continue to give us strength of eagles.

    1. Lisa We love you and Tina and friendship we have through Nar Anon. You two ladies go above and beyond in not only helping us in the group but those in the community as well. You and Tina do not get the recognition for all of your hard work. We appreciate both of you. We appreciate that although sometimes our crisis feels too great, you always have time to talk, and to pray. We are praying for your loved ones recovering and not using today. Thank You!