When I started coming to NA, it wasn't with the intention to stay clean. My motivation was to temporarily get clean long enough to try and get out of trouble with my Juvenile Justice case worker, who had me ruled as a C.I.N.S. Kid... Child In Need of Supervision; which meant that instead of my Mom being responsible for me, they now had control of my life. My adolescent addict brain said "Ooooooooooohhhhh Shit! This ain't good." After a couple of threats from my case manager about what was going to happen to my existence, I was impressively motivated to start making some changes... one is not getting high, and coming up with a negative UDS, and the other was going to meetings and hanging out there, as I began to cut connections with people I was using with and places I was getting drugs from. Most addicts understand and know "The drill."
In the process of getting clean, I accidentally began to get into recovery. Instantly people in meetings started working with me, instead of doing it at me. They didn't focus on drugs. They said get clean and stay clean so we could work on the real problem. They talked to me about what was in our addict mind: the isolation... the thinking and feeling different from everyone else... the whirlpool of thoughts and feelings that sometimes felt so big in our head, that it was like we were going to die or drown in the currents. That pressure... that panic in our chest and mind is a part of what pushed us to try, try, and try again to get temporary relief from the noise in our mind; using the drugs, food, sex, money, being a baller coming out of the hood, burbs and the holler, etc... as methods of performing our own version of a frontal lobotomy, to stop what was going on between our ears. They too knew the thoughts and subsequent feelings of being damaged goods... defective... expendable... and all the acts of regret that flooded behind that mentality.
That sharing of their experience about that stuff and how they got better, helped me to begin building relatedness, instead of doing what I'd done in the past... destroy it. It was a startling awakening that intimacy with people was something far bigger and more meaningful than I had in my emotionally suppressed heart and mind when I was younger. Only healing is healing.
I began to see the stories in my head about I was depressed and was always going to be depressed... that I didn't deserve to live... that I was alone, all by myself in the universe... life's a b*$ch and then you die... was crap. Soon the imaginary walls came down. It was weird the first time I noticed that I laughed. Things had gotten so weird, that I literally found myself trying to remember laughing because something was honestly funny. I couldn't.
Fellow NA members having taken me under their wing of experience, raised me with compassion, positive action, respect, and empathy, teaching me how to share that forward with others when newcomers like myself came through the door seeking to get out of their own version of trouble. The result was going from whatever I was, which the word addict falls short, into a human being. Instead of running away from things, before I knew it I was moving towards something that I didn't believe was possible... or sustainable... liking myself enough to stop dipping out on myself. At some point, I went from being someone who changed their mind and motivation as to why I was here in the fellowship... and why I decided to remain, despite those original legal reasons having gone away. It was cool when my case manager literally said... "You do need me anymore... you have real friends now." You are no longer a CINS kid.
Just for today... I give myself permission to change my motivations for doing the things that I'm doing. Unwholesome motivation can be changed to wholesome... the past doesn't equal the future... just because we start things one way, doesn't mean we have to continue or finish in the same way.