Feet of clay

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on… others.

Basic Text, p. 82

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Many of us come into Narcotics Anonymous feeling pretty poorly about ourselves. By comparison, the recovering addicts we meet at meetings may seem almost superhumanly serene. These wise, loving people have many months, even years of living in accordance with spiritual principles, giving of themselves to others without expecting anything back. We trust them, allowing them to love us until we can love ourselves. We expect them to make everything alright again.

Then the glow of early recovery begins to fade, and we start to see the human side of our NA friends and sponsor. Perhaps a fellow member of our home group stands us up for a coffee date, or we see two oldtimers bickering at a committee meeting, or we realize our sponsor has a defect of character or two. We’re crushed, disillusioned—these recovering addicts aren’t perfect after all! How can we possibly trust them anymore?

Somewhere between “the heroes of recovery” and “the lousy NA bums” lies the truth: Our fellow addicts are neither completely bad nor completely good. After all, if they were perfect, they wouldn’t need this program. Our friends and sponsor are ordinary recovering addicts, just like we are. We can relate to their ordinary recovery experience and use it in our own program.

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Just for today: My friends and my sponsor are human, just like me—and I trust their experience all the more for that.

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