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Old 08-06-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
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Back to the Basic - Greg P

Back to the Basic - Greg P.





"I believe that we as a Fellowship are guided by a greater consciousness, a loving and caring God." – Greg P.

This document was created by Greg Pierce


Table of Contents

Getting started ………………………………………… …………… 3

History ………………………………………… ……………………. 5

Keep It Simple ………………………………………… ……………. 7
Therapeutic Value …………………………………………7
Professional Therapy Treatment …………………………7

Seeking The Solution ………………………………………… ……... 8
Sponsership ………………………………………… …. 8
Sponsership is not just for the newcomer ……………….. 8

The Recipe ………………………………………… ………………… 11

Sharing Our Experience, Strength, and Hope ……………………….. 19

Basic Text Study Guides

Personal Inventory Worksheets

Basic Text Tradition Study Guides


Getting Started

I believe that we as a Fellowship are being guided by a greater consciousness, a loving and caring God.

The beauty about working the Narcotics Anonymous Program is that there is no right or wrong way to work it. Trying to explain working the program is not something that can be easily done. How can we adequately explain something that can be done hundreds of different ways and still be right? Trying to explain it usually ends in complicating the heck out this very simple program. So I am going to share how it has worked for me and more than two thousands other recovering addicts like me who have used these working guides and obtained years of continuous recovery.

We have to change our self-destructive drug induced behavior by changing our patterns of thinking. This can happen by daily practice of picking up the tools of NA: The 12 steps, 12 traditions, literature, Serenity Prayer, phone numbers, sponsor, and slogans.

These step and tradition worksheet study guides have offered many recovering addicts a successfully proven way to learn how to live and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. The inventory sheets were first written in 1982 before the Basic Text was written on Step One, Two and Three. Inventory sheets for all 12 of the steps, the Basic Text Step Study Guides and the Tradition Worksheets were first written in 1985 and rewritten in 1992-1993. During the rewriting period, I tried on incorporate other addicts study work into the already existing work. I learned three shocking realities. Many addicts would not share their worksheets and clung to them in secrecy. While other addicts around the country who were willing to share only had step work for steps One, Two and Three. And I found no tradition worksheet at all.

Old-timers can only share with other addicts what has worked for them. They cannot guarantee that it will work for us too. Although we have a common struggle with the disease of addition, we are also individual people who must find our own unique blend of solutions. We can learn what works for us only by trying it out in our own lives. Ask others what has worked for them. The key is willingness. The goal is to achieve progress not perfection. To stay on track it is important to remember to return again and again "Back to the Basic". Many Relapsers used these recovery-working sheets to help them to return "Back to the Basic" in their recovery. They started studying and working the steps and traditions, attending meetings, talking to other addicts and realize that all their years of work has not be lost.

For many of us who have used these guides 15- 20 years in our personal recovery and with our sponsorees we have found a new level of recovery was being offered to us. Each time with daily practice in learning the principles laid out in the first written program of recovery, the Basic Text, more and more was being revealed to us as we continued our journey on this wonderful adventure of life.


__________________________________________________ ____________________

Many of the suffering addicts I sponsored were just coming off kicking drugs at home, in the streets, in the hospitals, detox or treatment centers anyway, anywhere they could. For some of us our thinking was foggy and unclear, while still others suffered from brain damage. Some had grave emotional and mental disorders.

Necessity is the Mother of inventions. This book was not a deliberate plan. January 1970, when I got clean, before the Basic Text was published, we worked steps the same way as our predecessors in the AA Fellowship. After the Basic Text was published a need to do something differently arose.

Many addicts whose thinking had not cleared yet could not comprehend the simple program as outlined in the Basic Text. They needed an aid to help them in studying the steps. That is how "Back To the Basic" (Text) accidentally evolved from a series of questions and notes originally prepared by me, as a NA sponsor to aid in helping the newcomers I worked with to learn and apply the "Twelve Step" work suggested by the Narcotics Anonymous Program. I believe that the writing of this book was no accident, but in reality the results of being guided by a greater consciousness, a loving and caring God.

About three years into sponsoring fellow addicts I realized that something was definitely missing in the recovery work we were studying. Many of us realized we were doing just find when we were alone until we had to deal with our husbands, wives, children, and co-workers. Our first thought was to get rid of these people because we only felt bad when dealing with them. We were learning to recover personally, but not learning to recover in the area of social skills necessary to interact with other human beings. Something had to be done about this dilemma.

The Basic Text stated that our living skills were reduced to the animal level and that our spirits were broken and the capability to feel human was lost. From this statement I realized they we were learning to mend the broken spirit and learning how to recover in our own skins, but we were doing nothing to learn living or social skills. The missing pieces of the puzzle were found in the traditions that teach us 12 principles for recovering in a group of two or more persons. Hence the birth of the 12 Tradition work sheets study guide was born. We found out that if we applied these same principles in our family lives at

home as we learned to practice them in the NA rooms, we began to develop social skills and interdependence relationships.

Sharing the history allows the newcomers and addicts with 10 or less years the opportunity to know how we did it using the first written program of recovery for addicts, the Basic Text. This book is also a reminder of how many us used the Basic Text before the message of Narcotics Anonymous was diluted by Recovery Treatment Centers and other organizations that use a 12-step method as a part of their treatment, but do not adhere to the 12 Traditions of NA. This knowledge will give the new generation of addicts a chance never afforded to them before. The opportunity to see HOW (Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness) we did it in the early day of the Basic Text is offered in this book.


Keep It Simple

Working the twelve steps and attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings has a therapeutic value, but it is not therapy. The purpose of working the 12 steps is to provide an individual with the means to heal themselves and their life, from the destructive violence power of addiction. The therapeutic value effect also refers to the restorative power of working the 12 steps and 12 traditions as well as guiding us addicts to a more healthful, constructive, productive lifestyle.

Working the 12 steps and 12 traditions provides a plan for corrective action that further promotes healing recovery. This corrective action is necessary for us addicts to renew ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Professional therapy treatment is different and separate from the therapeutic value effects of the NA 12-step Program. Therapy is treatment; a cure; a remedy to underlining issues in an addict's life. Often working the 12-steps enhances an individual therapy, but the two, Therapy and the self-help NA 12-Step Program should not be confused. They are each a valuable separate process with different outcomes and purposes.

When the NA 12-Step Program lose the "KEEP IT SIMPLE" wisdom, getting clean becomes overwhelming and too monumental for newcomers and old-timers alike. That's why the foundering predecessors of all 12-step programs had a vision. This was a vision of a 12-step plan that would be a simple guideline for recovery. A simple plan that will work if you work it. It is imperative that we all remember how vital the "KEEP IT SIMPLE" is to the success of our recovery program.


Seeking The Solution
__________________________________________________ ____________________

Today in recovery we are no longer seeking problems. Today we are seeking solutions. What is the solution? First we must acknowledge the problem. Many newcomers come into the rooms with 30 days clean and they have worked through all twelve steps and none of the traditions. Many older-timers complain about this affect on our unity as a fellowship. While lots of old-timers many year ago stopped coming to meeting and giving away what was so freely given to them. They stopped showing the newcomer how to follow our spiritual principles and our traditions. Many believe that the message of Narcotics Anonymous has been diluted by Recovery Treatment Centers and other organizations that use a 12-step method as a part of their treatment, but do not adhere to the twelve traditions of NA, the ties that bind us together.

You will be truly amazed by the simplicity of the answer given by many old-timers with 15 or more years clean. The answer to all the ills and healing of the confused, diluted NA message and problems in NA service work is SPONSORSHIP. Sponsorship, you may say, that is too simple to work.

In 2 or 3 years the newcomers will become the group service representatives (GSR), sponsors, subcommittee chairs, special workers, etc. We must get the newcomers when they first come through the doors and through sponsorship guide them through the 12 steps and the 12 traditions of Narcotics Anonymous. If we show them the way, they will rise to the occasion equipped to continue to carry the message of NA, "That an addict, any addict can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live".

Sponsorship is not just for the newcomer
Sponsorship is not just for the newcomer. Addicts with substantial clean time also need a sponsor. Old-timers often find that while many expectations are placed upon us, often our own needs are ignored and unfulfilled. Because recovery is an ongoing process, sponsorship also needs to remain an ongoing process.

Here is the shared experience of one addict who has more than 25 years clean.
In my Area, many old-timers with 10, 15, or more years clean have never worked through the entire Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous. For example, one addict with 15 years only completed Step Seven. Many addicts with substantial clean time who have never worked all twelve steps share the same story. Every time they got a new sponsor, the sponsor took them back to Step One.
When I was looking for a new sponsor, I told my potential sponsors what step I was working at the time. Surprisingly enough, when I asked them what step they were on, none were working on any of the twelve steps of NA. Over half of them said that, after 15 or more years clean, they had never completed work past Step Six or Seven. I was on my eleventh time working through all 12 steps of NA, and had completed my written work on Step Eleven.

Every addict I spoke to would agree to sponsor me only if I started over at Step One. Why? Because they did not have a working knowledge of the 12 Steps of NA. They could not give away something they did not have. Those who had worked all 12 of the steps had done so once, many years ago. The most miserable human being on this planet is an addict who does not have any drugs and does not have any recovery either. Even though they were experiencing great emotional pain and suffering, many of them saw no need to work the 12 steps of NA again. I believe that if you do not have a home group in NA, you are "homeless." Some of these homeless old-timers would come to a meeting only once a year to pick up their medallion, showing us meeting-makers that NA works.

Finally, I spoke with an addict who had less clean time than I did. I explained that I was on Step Eleven, and was willing to start all over again on Step One after completing Step Eleven and Step Twelve. Wow! What a concept! After listening to what I needed for my recovery, he agreed to work with me. That was the closest I had to a "yes" answer, so I jumped at the opportunity. Today he is my sponsor and he is still working steps with me on a regular basis.

Continued sponsorship helps us to avoid the old-timer's disease of "too many years, but not enough days." Complacency, which causes many addicts with ten or more years to relapse, is our number one killer. We only get a daily reprieve from this disease. According to our Basic Text, "when we stop working and living these steps, the recovery process ceases." Once again, our feelings become overwhelming and the pain of living without the use of drugs becomes unbearable. The pain, hopelessness, desperation and despair return. Many of us relapse on the drugs, some experience mental or emotional breakdowns, and sadly, some of us commit suicide. From our experience, we have learned that "our disease resurfaced and continued to progress until in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous." This is as true for the old-timer as for the newcomer struggling to stay clean.

The Basic Text warns us "there is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery, this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles." Such an attitude attacks us old-timers in a very subtle way, taking over our lives so gradually that it goes unnoticed. Before we know it, we no longer feel comfortable in the rooms of NA. If we old-timers no longer do the things we need to do for our recovery, such as helping newcomers and working steps with our sponsors, our complacency affects us so adversely that some us just stop coming to meetings, while others stay in the rooms but get sicker and sicker. Then some significant "life on life's terms" event occurs, and we old-timers find ourselves unconnected and unprotected because we feel the rooms are no longer a safe place for us. Sponsorship helps old-timers to safeguard our recovery with vigilance, lest we lose our spiritual soundness and attitude of tolerance to other addicts who have not yet learned how to practice spiritual principles in their new way of living without drugs.

Without a sponsor, many of us do not stay clean based on a spiritual awakening. Instead, we stay clean by chance, fear, self-will, stubbornness, or addictive rationalization. At some point, these non-spiritual methods no longer work. We did not use accidentally, so why do many of us accidentally stay clean? We must remember that "we suffer from a disease for which there is no known cure" but can be arrested through the Twelve Steps of NA. Because this is truly a life and death issue, we suggest that we continue to apply this proven program of recovery that has helped so many addicts who have gone before us. This can best be done with a sponsor.

Sponsorship is important for the newcomer as well as the old-timer. Sponsoring newcomers, and working with a sponsor ourselves, will help us to remain open-minded and teachable. The longer we stay clean, the clearer our thinking becomes, but we still need support and direction. Not just anyone, but another addict who knows us well enough to tell when we have slipped back into our disease, can best help us in our recovery.

It is important that addicts are willing to be active participants in their own rescue. Therefore, we suggest that as sponsors, old-timers still go to meetings on a regular basis, have a working knowledge of all Twelve Steps, and still write on the Steps as part of their personal recovery program. Likewise, we suggest that old-timers get sponsor who still go to meetings on a regular basis, have a working knowledge of all Twelve Steps, and who still write on the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous for their own personal recovery program. If we do not continue to move forward, we are in danger of moving backward...Begin Template: viewthread_post_sig -->

If I am not the problem....
then there is no solution...
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Where do I get a hold of the rest of this document? I would really like to see it in it's entirety especially

Basic Text Study Guides

Personal Inventory Worksheets

Basic Text Tradition Study Guides
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