Newcomers in 12 Step Programs for Addiction

As you begin to attending 12 step program, addiction addressing AA/NA meetings, you may hear the statement “The newcomer is the most important person in the room.”

Perhaps you wonder how that could possibly be the case?  When was the last time you were welcome with open arms anywhere?

Upon your arrival to this Los Angeles rehab, the staff will welcome you and will treat you accordingly.  Maybe it’s the first time in a long, long time we are being welcome anywhere.  It can be a foreign feeling, perhaps one that even elicits a suspicion of sorts.  It’s as if it’s in the staff doing that for us, it opens the door to others who may approach us with phone numbers, offering rides to meetings, sit down & extend themselves accordingly.  We may not feel so put off by those people and may even, depending, take them up on their generous offers.

Here’s why the response to their offerings may shed some light on the first idea.  When someone new presents themselves to us, we may need to forgo some of our upcoming plans.  In order for us to keep what we have so freely been given, we must extend ourselves to others.  As we do that, we are given the chance to reinforce our sober time.  We need the newcomer in order to survive.  With said newcomer, we get to go through the steps again ourselves while we are guiding them.  With that connection, they have the ability to inadvertently ground us in the reality of what happens when we are on a run or are coming into the program for the first time. They reinforce for us how that unmanageability exists and/or returns ever-so-shortly and what the state of their internal life is like, which, more often that not, reeks of misery & discomfort.

The connection we forge while working together is like no other and the gratitude that emerges from that very sharing with one another solidifies our spiritual connection.   Without the newcomer, we may not be able to treat our spiritual malady.  If we can’t do that, we may default to the physical craving.  After introducing the first drug or drink into the body, we may then be caught by the mental obsession keeping us bound to the prison of our minds and the substance(s).  In that, it leads us right back to that spiritual malady.  Subsequently the unmanageability that returns internally gets reflected externally and we reach for whatever’s going to, we hope, wipe away the pain and shame from our actions..  Working with one another acknowledges our need for the connections of our human spirit, whether we like it or not.  That newcomer’s desperation is our fuel by which we light the lamps of the roadway of sobriety, guiding us toward serenity.

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