A New Leaf Publications

Oh, the Places You Will Go!

When I logged on to my first MA meeting on November 1, 2022, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what a profoundly life-changing step I was taking. All I knew was that I was in a mental, physical, relational, spiritual, and emotional prison…and I could not get out of it. 

I had tried for years and years to find peace. I had done all the things we addicts do…making promises  that I would fail to keep to myself, to God, to my deceased loved ones, and to others, every single day. I was completely stuck, unfree, unable to make needed changes in my life – felt like I was going to die this way. 

And then the song, Amazing Grace, came true for me. A song, providentially, I had always loved…that had always had a haunting truth to me and perhaps I knew someday it would come true. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved me…I was lost and now I’m found, was blind and now I see.  

There were many, in fact, most areas of my life that felt completely unmanageable, but here I’d like to speak of a broken and abusive marriage. It was a toxic situation that I could not free myself from because of my addiction to marijuana and other drugs. It kept me in a perpetual cycle of self-doubt, fear, resentment, lies, anxiety and confusion.  

I could never differentiate what was my fault and what was actually abusive to me. I did not love myself enough to have the courage to change. On a daily basis, I would vacillate between guilt and shame for my behaviors to utter contempt toward my partner.

Ironically, of course, I rationalized my addiction, telling myself that it was helping me to see clearer, to figure out what to do, to cope, to numb out the feelings and to simply deal with a very painful existence. Perhaps at times, years ago, marijuana did some of these things in this marriage and in my life around other things, too.

Addiction is truly a cunning and baffling disease and it carries with it stories that aren’t true.  It may have meant well years ago, but those coping methods turned into a living hell many years ago. I simply could not get out of it…until I walked into this program of MA!  

I finally left this toxic marriage two months prior to my recovery last fall and had what I would call two months of my bottom…which now in retrospect, were God-sent. I did not want to be anywhere. I hated being away, but I couldn’t imagine going back. I changed my mind about the marriage multiple times a day.

I lost my confidence in everything I did. I’m a very relational person who loves deeply, and I felt I was failing in all my relationships. I felt shame, remorse, embarrassment, and deep despair.  

This was actually going on for a couple years, even prior to those last couple of months. I also felt deep anger and judgment toward my spouse and others, quite often. I behaved like someone who I didn’t even know. I prayed to God, to my deceased MaMa, and to my doggies every day to take away my obsessions, which were many.  Day after day, week after week, year after year – I would feel worse about myself and my miserable life, that I knew needed to change.

Then, by the grace of God, I attended my first MA meeting on that miraculous day in early November. And the scripture passage came true for me, “Even greater things you will see…”.  My obsession with marijuana lifted rather quickly. 

I know this is not true for all. I was one of the lucky ones. I felt some withdrawal, but mostly I felt relieved and very safe, held, understood, inspired and motivated by the people in my MA meetings that I just clung to that alone. 

I attended 90 meetings in 90 days. I dabbled in fellowship and then began to increase this as I felt so cared for and truly encouraged by others in the program. I began to feel deeply that I could handle anything now as long as I had this community of fellow addicts and a relationship with my Higher Power like I had never had before.

I was blown away and miraculously able to accept the unconditional love and support I was receiving by fellow addicts. I thought I had deep faith prior, but nothing compared to the spirituality I have been taught by this program and am gaining through working the steps and practicing Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness every single day.

I was blessed to have my amazing sponsor reach out to me, and this felt like another miracle and has proven to be just that. She and other friendships I have formed are literally like earthly angels to me. I did not know how to ask someone to sponsor me, and I was hesitant to ask for fellowship calls from others. 

These things all just started feeling so right, so good, and so easy. Doing service became such a gift and an honor, and reaching out and praying for the newcomer and suffering addicts became a privilege. It is true indeed that God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. All we need are the essentials for H.O.W. to do recovery: Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness each day.

Almost seven months sober now after years of turmoil, I finally have the courage, honesty and strength today to leave this toxic relationship, and I am doing so. I do not fear the future. I actually cannot wait to experience it, one day at a time.

I am able to feel a full range of human emotions without numbing them. I embrace life on life’s terms, and when I fail to do so, I am reminded by steps 3, 7, and 10 to give my addict thinking and behavior to a loving Higher Power who always desires me to be my best and true self.

The 9th step promises are felt deep within me. I have faith, trust, and strength that I have never felt in 62 years of living. I am trying to learn more about true humility. I am trusting to let go absolutely and not try to fix, manage, or control others.

I’m learning to love myself and therefore love others better. I have new friendships that are always full of love, empowerment, and truth. It’s quite amazing.

To reiterate, anything is possible with the strength and power of this program, the steps, my new family, and my new relationship with God. I cling to this program and have immense gratitude constantly for its gifts. I am a grateful, recovering addict and will go to any lengths to stay in serenity and on this path of the program every moment of every day.

Finally, I must add that I have always been blessed by a loving family and friends outside of MA, and now, those relationships are healthier, clearer, and more honest than they have been my entire life. It is only through this recovery program that I can and will strive to be happy, joyous and free…every day of my life.  And, oh, the places you will go!

~Annette S