Excerpts from A New Leaf
Read some of these excerpts from past issues, or for a free electronic PDF version of the current issue, click here.
I started a chapter of MA because I wanted my recovery to involve people who were addicted to the same substance as me. I chose to follow a 12-Step program because quitting marijuana left a spiritual void in my life. Since the closest MA chapter was in New York City, some three hours away, it was necessary to start a chapter within a reasonable distance of where I lived. (Even an addict doesn't want to drive into New York City during Friday night rush hour!)
Finding a place to hold the meeting was easy to do. A couple of my old smoking buddies belonged to a church where AA meetings were already being held. The church elders approved the use of a room for MA meetings. We have a wonderful room and can come and go using our own key to the church.
What was it like? Well, what can I say? Using, using, and more using! It's difficult to remember exact dates, but I can give you a rough estimate of where I was, my frame of mind, and my daily routine.
I had moved back to my place of true memory, North Hollywood, two months before. The week I moved up here (sometime in early September) I was immediately offered a job with an organization I had been affiliated with for the last thirteen years. It was a very laid-back job that I figured I could do "under the influence." The job was a step up from what I had done in the past—it was actually a position of authority!—and it scared me.
I am a recovering pothead. If not for the MA program online, I could not introduce myself as "recovering" because when I found MA online there were no MA meetings in the my home state of Georgia. I didn't try pot until I was 26 because I was scared of it—scared because it was an illegal drug—but mostly scared because I might enjoy it. This fear helped me to just say no many times before I finally said yes. The first time I tried it was on my wedding night. I won't go into details here except to say that my worst fear reigned true-I liked it (the pot... the honeymoon was great too, but I am talking about the pot here). Anyway, my disease was unleashed that night. I wanted to smoke it as often as possible, and I did.