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Feb. 17, 2019

A solution for life – CA member share

Attending my first C.A. meeting in 2016, I felt something incredibly positive in this fellowship, right away. For me, this was the first meeting introducing me to the Big Book and the solution. 


In the beginning, meeting readings confused me. The word “God” agonized me because life had defined “God as I understood Him” through Catholicism and confrontations with biblical Christianity. Neither had been helpful in living my life. Mind-altering substances were the only way I could deal with life, and after 40 years of using, it was a complete bankruptcy. I needed to find a new understanding of a Higher Power greater than me, learn to trust it, and have an entirely new experience with it.


My emotional, spiritual, physical and financial rock bottom was total. Identifying with what was shared in meetings woke my curiosity. So I kept coming back to the fellowship.


After my third meeting I found a sponsor. She helped me with daily survival and encouraged me to keep going to meetings, reading the Big Book, writing a gratitude list, and calling other members daily. She also prompted me to do service in the fellowship, and to always say “yes” when asked to do something, like reading a meeting text. Making coffee helped me being a part of the fellowship. As a result, I re-learned being responsible and accountable.


When I started the 12 steps of recovery, I realized more and more how important the fellowship is to me. I learned how it can be tempting to look for differences rather than similarities, and how this can blind me against possible resources on the way to recovery. So I need to keep in mind we have one thing in common – we are addicts and we have a solution. With this solution I can experience a Higher Power, God as I understand Him today, and deal with life. My faith deepened especially in steps 4 and 5.


2017 I experienced the fellowship in a special way at my first C.A. Convention in Holland. I neither understand Dutch nor English, but I knew I belonged. People came from different countries and different walks of life, were in different phases of their recovery, yet a wonderful heartfelt joy connected us. Because we were all on a common journey and had found a solution. 


One thing I noticed in this fellowship continues to touch my heart: No one asks about our careers, what cars we drive, if we have kids, are single or married, or our finances. Our fellowship is just about how we can support each other on the way to recovery, and everyone helps in whatever way they can without having to meet any expectations. 


I heard from one C.A. member that I do not have to like everyone in this fellowship, but it is important to treat everybody with kindness and respect, because that is how I would like to be treated, and not everybody likes me, for whatever reasons. 


So step 10 is getting more and more important, otherwise I could not recognize our similarities and my part over and over. Step 10 enables me to do my part for C.A. to grow in my area. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to ask “would I have partied with these people,” but “do they have a solution that can help me stay sober.”


Today I can say that these people not only have a solution for sobriety, but a solution for my life. I found beautiful friends in this fellowship and for that I am immensely grateful.


Marianne, CA member


Any opinions expressed in this text belong to the writer and do not necessairly represent CA as a whole.


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