Addiction, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, Recovery, Spiritual Principles, Twelve Steps

Willingness, Goldilocks, and Fitting In

Another weekday morning, and another morning waking up in a hotel. Although I stayed at this one only a month or so ago, I could not recall where I sat to write on my last stay.

Finding just the right spot from which to write is more important than you might think. Not only do I like to find a spot with at least some privacy, but I also look for a place with a comfy seat.

The first place I sat down was just not right. Too exposed. Too stiff.

When I got up to move, I felt sort of like Goldilocks in the home of the three bears. You know the story, the one where she keeps trying out the three bears’ things until she finds the one that feels just right.

In the story, Goldilocks ends up in Baby Bear’s bed. It is just right. So naturally, she falls asleep.

Well, hopefully my coffee will keep me from falling asleep today. I got in late last night, after opting to attend a meeting in Wichita, Kansas as I passed through town. Then it took a while for me to wind down. So I’m a bit like Goldilocks in that way too. I’m sleepy!

Anyway, finding that place that is just right is an important part of my daily routine. Some folks are a little taken aback by the fact that I hang out in hotel lobbies in my pajamas in the morning. However, when you spend nearly a quarter of your nights in hotels, you tend to make yourself at home.

So yeah, you can call me Goldilocks. I long to feel at home. Long for that “just right” comfort that seems to elude me when I’m anywhere but on my balcony for my morning routine. So I will keep searching in a new place until I find it. Once found, it becomes my place of rest. My comfort zone.

In Narcotics Anonymous, it is important to find my comfort zone too. Somewhere that I can fit in. Somewhere to feel useful. Somewhere that feels like home.

I visit a lot of cities where there really aren’t any options. There is one meeting a day, so if one is seeking recovery, that will be the one and only option.

For those folks, the thought of “needing” to choose a meeting must be quite foreign. There would be a certain comfort in knowing that you don’t have to choose. It’s kind of like dinner at Mom’s house. She’s cooking lasagna, so we’re eating lasagne!

Boy, now I’m hungry for lasagna.

Anyway, in Tulsa we have choices of meetings. Usually six or seven a day from which to choose. That can be a blessing and a curse. For instance, in June, my works schedule became so hectic that attending my home group was no longer practical. I was technically “homeless” in the program for months.

Sure, I still attended meetings, but I was not a part of a home group. I was not serving. I was not fully engaged with a group of fellow recovering addicts who could depend on me, for anything. I would drift in and out of one meeting after the next, managing to fly below the radar.

I was around just enough for friends in the fellowship to realize that I was still in recovery, but not enough to commit. My sponsor caught on to my “homeless” status and began nudging me to commit. To find a home group and become a part of it. Serve in some capacity.

Doing so required a new degree of willingness for me. I was comfortable just ducking in and back out of various meetings. I could arrive just as the opening prayer was about to begin, and high-tail it out of there as soon as the meeting was finished. It was as though Goldilocks had shown up with a duffle bag, loaded up a bunch of the three bears’ stuff, and run out the back door.

After much prompting, I finally took action toward finding that “just right” home group. I became willing to change, because the discomfort of my sponsor’s prodding made staying the same uncomfortable. A brand new group was forming, and I decided to become a part of that group.

After the meeting Saturday night, I told Amanda that I have felt reenergized since committing to our new group. It’s like finding that place to write this morning that is just right. A place where I fit in.

My willingness has been rewarded. By getting up and moving to a different spot this morning, I found a cozy couch from which to write. By stepping out and trying something new, I have found a home group that truly feels like home.

When I was using drugs, it seemed like I was willing to try anything that might numb the pain. Anything to hide my feelings. To find the feeling of that first high once again. The thing about drug addiction for me was that it never did feel right. It felt dirty. It felt foreign. It felt wrong in every way. Yet I could not stop. Eventually, I was helpless against the temptation to use.

Through the Narcotics Anonymous program, I have found a way not only to stop using drugs, but also to stay stopped! All it took was a little bit of willingness.

Today, that little bit of willingness has brought me to a new way of living. One that is not just free from the influence of drugs, but one that makes me feel at home with myself. I’m in the process of finding a life that is “just right.”

Sadly, I will miss my home group tonight. Another night on the road. Another hotel. Another night apart from Amanda and Shaun.

Thankfully, I won’t be alone. I’ll be back at that same meeting in Wichita I attended last night, and which I’ve attended so many times before. Again, with a little willingness, I can feel at home there. Among friends. Among folks who, despite our many differences, are just like me.

Have a remarkable day!

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