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Hey all Im pretty new to the board. I signed up yesterday.

To make a long story short..I started drinking at eleven. smoking pot at 12 or 13 and experimenting with harder drugs at 17.

Im now 24 and struggling with an opiate addiction.

My boss gave me a week off of work to get myself together. He thinks im struggling with depression and bipolar which i am. He doesnt know that i took this week to try to get clean.

I REALLY wanted to get started back on my suboxone today which really helped me for the month that i actually took it.

a few weeks to a month ago i stopped my suboxone so i could get high just once! right.

A month later ive been using everyday.

I dont even want to use anymore. Its not fun.

I keep failing everyday.

I get to hour 20 of sobriety...im waiting for withdrawl symptoms so i can start on my suboxone and then i screw up and use.

I want to attend my first NA Meeting tonight. I found a location.

Is it ok to bring someone? I would like to bring my boyfriend

he stands by me but has no clue whats going on with me and why i cant just stop.

I want to quit for me but i need to quit for us because if i lost him

life wouldnt be worth it anymore.

HELP!

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Congratulations on taking this first very tough step!

Is it ok to bring someone? I would like to bring my boyfriend

he stands by me but has no clue whats going on with me and why i cant just stop.

It depends on whether it's a closed meeting or an open meeting. Closed meetings are only for people who have or suspect they have a drug problem. Open meetings allow families/friends/people close to the addict to attend. It's set up this way so that people feel safe to share things that only other addicts who've been there, done that would understand. Call your local NA helpline, or check on the web, to find out which type the meeting you want to go is.

I remember very clearly how absolutely petrified I was to attend my first meeting. I was living in London at the time, and there are TONS of meetings there all day everyday. I used to trek to one of the venues, hang around outside for a bit, then catch the train straight back home without setting a foot in the door. I eventually spoke to someone on the helpline, who put me in touch with a woman who took me to a meeting. I wouldn't ever have joined if it weren't for her - she was lovely and had been clean for more than 10 years.

In terms of basic structure, you won't be forced to share. They'll probably ask for anyone who's there for the first time to raise their hand, and all you need to say is "hi, I'm X and I'm an addict". Then there's some standard material that's read out at the start of every meeting (the 12 steps, 12 traditions and so on... it seems a bit overwhelming at first, but you get used to it). After that there'll be a speaker - someone sharing his/her own experiences in the battle against addiction. After that the floor is opened for comments.

Some meetings also focus on the NA blue book (the "bible" which explains the steps and gives personal stories of addicts) and pull a reading out of there to discuss.

Towards the end they hand out key tags (it may be chips, which is what they use in AA, but I've only ever encountered the key tags) to commemorate milestones in sobriety. For the first three months it's counted out in days - 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, then on to 6-12 months, 12-18, and so on. You'll probably be asked to go up and collect a tag to mark the fact that you're new to the group and have taken the first step towards cleaning up. Don't feel threatened - everyone in that room will have been there and will be supporting you all the way.

At some point you'll probably be asked to stand up with the group and say the serenity prayer ("God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference") Don't get freaked out by the use of the word "God", or the words "Higher Power" for that matter. Those are things that can be worked out for yourself as you go along.

I hope this helps. I attended meetings regularly for 7 years, then stopped for various reasons, but I very much doubt that the format will have changed since 2004. The order of things may be slightly different from one meeting to another.

edited for typo's

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Congratulations on taking this first very tough step!

Is it ok to bring someone? I would like to bring my boyfriend

he stands by me but has no clue whats going on with me and why i cant just stop.

It depends on whether it's a closed meeting or an open meeting. Closed meetings are only for people who have or suspect they have a drug problem. Open meetings allow families/friends/people close to the addict to attend. It's set up this way so that people feel safe to share things that only other addicts who've been there, done that would understand. Call your local NA helpline, or check on the web, to find out which type the meeting you want to go is.

I remember very clearly how absolutely petrified I was to attend my first meeting. I was living in London at the time, and there are TONS of meetings there all day everyday. I used to trek to one of the venues, hang around outside for a bit, then catch the train straight back home without setting a foot in the door. I eventually spoke to someone on the helpline, who put me in touch with a woman who took me to a meeting. I wouldn't ever have joined if it weren't for her - she was lovely and had been clean for more than 10 years.

In terms of basic structure, you won't be forced to share. They'll probably ask for anyone who's there for the first time to raise their hand, and all you need to say is "hi, I'm X and I'm an addict". Then there's some standard material that's read out at the start of every meeting (the 12 steps, 12 traditions and so on... it seems a bit overwhelming at first, but you get used to it). After that there'll be a speaker - someone sharing his/her own experiences in the battle against addiction. After that the floor is opened for comments.

Some meetings also focus on the NA blue book (the "bible" which explains the steps and gives personal stories of addicts) and pull a reading out of there to discuss.

Towards the end they hand out key tags (it may be chips, which is what they use in AA, but I've only ever encountered the key tags) to commemorate milestones in sobriety. For the first three months it's counted out in days - 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, then on to 6-12 months, 12-18, and so on. You'll probably be asked to go up and collect a tag to mark the fact that you're new to the group and have taken the first step towards cleaning up. Don't feel threatened - everyone in that room will have been there and will be supporting you all the way.

At some point you'll probably be asked to stand up with the group and say the serenity prayer ("God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference") Don't get freaked out by the use of the word "God", or the words "Higher Power" for that matter. Those are things that can be worked out for yourself as you go along.

I hope this helps. I attended meetings regularly for 7 years, then stopped for various reasons, but I very much doubt that the format will have changed since 2004. The order of things may be slightly different from one meeting to another.

edited for typo's

Hey thanks so much for the input...I was about to slack off and not go at all tonight but im going to give it a go.

I used to go to meetings when i was younger because of my drinking and my dad is an alcoholic and drug user...so my mom used to make me go when i was 12 or 13 but i dont remember anything about them

so thank you very much again for your input.

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NA is the only place people understand my relapses. My sponsor says "We don't shoot the wounded." and "those that matter don't judge and those that judge don't matter."

Six months June 20. I still live in my drug induced psychosis all day, but after two months the obsessive using thoughts eased up.

Even if people have used they are welcome in our area ( they are not encoured to share until clean). A desire to stop is all that's required.

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Hey thanks so much for the input...I was about to slack off and not go at all tonight but im going to give it a go.

you're very welcome - if you did decide to go, let us know how it went!

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That was a very nice description Miab. Thank you.

Thanks AM. I'm pretty sure there are things I missed, but I wanted to try to demystify at least some of what goes on during a meeting. A very large proportion of my own fear in stepping through those doors for the first time was having absolutely no idea as to what to expect. I had visions of immediately being forced to stand up in front of the whole group and spill my entire life story to them!

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