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jumping from place to place, person to person is a reflection of knowing something better is possible if we can just find it.

And what is available for us mortals on the planet? One of the upsides of being a dope addict is living outside the system and being able to see beyond what normal people see. We have incredible sensitivity to right and wrong. Betrayal of trust and dishonorable acts make us feel dirty and guilty and that may trigger our self-destructiveness. Living in the light may hurt our eyes in the beginning. After working the first Nine Steps, we learn to still the mind and relax the body to the point of being able to recall, or surface, our dreams. By spending time thinking about our dreams we realize ways for those dreams to come true. Loud voices and worldly concerns distract us but we return to dream   realization and get results. Many of us suffer in recovery because we can't figure out what to do when nobody is chasing us! Peace un-prayed for seems like boredom. Most people walk through life with a tightness in their shoulders. Stress is a common denominator for many health issues. Getting past our fearful nature into the earnest consideration of a loving higher power can lead us to begin trusting on a whole new level. We lay down the weapons that may have served us in the past and seek the grace of our higher power to shake off the acts which were born of our despair and desperation. We renew our friendships and amend our  broken ties to humanity to enter fully into the new life. Inventory, prayer and meditation keep us on the path and allow our deadened spirits to find some worthy task to give meaning and focus to our lives.

There is nothing new in all this. There has always been a war between the spiritual and the worldly with the same old questions being puzzled out again and again. There is a new saying - it is not what you have, it is who you have. And that includes the person in the mirror. In the past we have not been on good terms with ourselves and now we can move on. But recovery is not about making a little progress and then helplessly sliding back into the same old patterns of me and mine. The more I learn about you and yours, the less afraid I am and the more I can enjoy the peace in my life.

The basics of recovery are the same today as they were fifty years ago. The basics of recovery will be the same fifty years from now and on into the future from there. You discover it is the disease and the acts associated with using that are causing the problem. For this to lead to recovery, you discover, and admit, that you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. Pretty simple isn't it? But people die every day for the lack of this knowledge.

Addicts in recovery are entirely capable of constructing elaborate fantasies wired together by resentments, unmade amends, plain poor thinking and hearsay all to justify their next usage. Knowing doesn't make any difference if a person doesn't make any changes. Many, many fall into the trap of trying to understand the program before they will take the corrective actions found in the Twelve Steps of NA. A moments hesitation turns into the rest of our life. This is all the result of trying to solve our addiction with our mind, with our mental powers.. Recovery is where you wake up one day to discover you are becoming a different person, someone you feel good about and can accept. Pain and guilt fall away and we are guided by a gentle optimism. Making recovery hard, complicated and elusive is not our way.

Narcotics Anonymous Continuum

Only a thief would take something leaving nothing in return. - from Nick Verdi, fine art painter.

The way to peace in exploring and considering the many wonderful and exciting things that have happened to bring NA to the stage of today gradually gives you a rich field of ideas reflecting the diversity and ingenuity of our membership. If you were to to list all the people, places and things associated with the idea of NA, it would fill volumes! Somehow our disease makes it seem possible that NA is just a big dream and that it could all suddenly go poof and be no more. Well, that is just impossible. Of course people kind of go nuts once in a while. Believe it or not it is normal! Everybody does it, even non-addicts.

For a spiritual Fellowship like ours to exist, we need to constantly bear in mind that our lives are at stake While there may be pressures and adverse conditions we have to deal with, we have already dealt with worse - on many occasions. It used to be, not long ago, we were not welcome to hold a meeting in many places. Of course the big chemical companies are going to react to our path of total abstinence with horror! They believe everybody needs a few drugs. Whoop-ti-dew! Doesn't that just make your little heart jump and twist? One has to have survived our own insanity as well as the world's.

Exploding the illusion that world services has got it together would be a cruel thing without giving a vision of equal or greater value to us. In our case, we have the spiritual Fellowship of NA with decades of massive clean time to evaluate our history and explore our future history in writing and dialogues. NA means "Never Alone." Let's call it the Narcotics Anonymous Continuum. The corporate model is so limited and controlling that the best synopsis I can think of is, "Who would want to be King of the Gypsies?" The joke here of course is that gypsies do as they please, whatever the times, and whatever the weather, and so do we. Almost anyone may be king, as long as they follow the chosen trail and they round head up the wagons. Our services were much

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