“We learn to experience feelings and realize they can do us no harm unless we act on them.”
IP No. 16, “For the Newcomer”
Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous with something less than an overwhelming desire to stop using. Sure, the drugs were causing us problems, and we wanted to be rid of the problems, but we didn’t want to stop getting high. Eventually, though, we saw that we couldn’t have one without the other Even though we really wanted to get loaded, we didn’t use; we weren’t willing to pay the price anymore. The longer we stayed clean and worked the program, the more freedom we experienced. Sooner or later, the compulsion to use was lifted from us completely, and we stayed clean because we wanted to live clean.
The same principles apply to other negative impulses that may plague us. We may feel like doing something destructive, just because we want to. We’ve done it before, and sometimes we think we’ve gotten away with it, but sometimes we haven’t. If we’re not willing to pay the price for acting on such feelings, we don’t have to act on them.
It may be hard, maybe even as hard as it was to stay clean in the beginning. But others have felt the same way and have found the freedom not to act on their negative impulses. By sharing about it and seeking the help of other recovering people and a Power greater than ourselves, we can find the direction, the support, and the strength we need to abstain from any destructive compulsion.
Just for today: It’s okay to feel my feelings. With the help of my sponsor, my NA friends, and my Higher Power, I am free not to act out my negative feelings.
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