Friday, January 2, 2009

Dear Narcotics Anonymous,

It seems like I might have learned my lesson by now about having expectations about addicts' behavior, but I haven't.

Or really, I think it was the steps I had put my faith in, especially that 12th step. And also maybe the 5th tradition. I thought that if someone was struggling with a drug problem and came to Narcotics Anonymous, that person would find help.

My husband recently was turned down by the fourth sponsor he's asked to guide him through the steps, again because of the methadone mess. He left the meeting, got in the car, and cried. "I can't believe that not even the drug addicts will have me," he said. "Even the drug addicts think that I'm a piece of shit. I'm an outsider, even here."

I'm really frustrated for him. I'm trying not to get into his business, but I can't let it go. He is seeking help, and he's not getting it. Everyone he asks to sponsor him insults him and denigrates his commitment to getting better, and it's discouraging. I am afraid for him. These folks are trying to save their lives, and I believe that the kind of attitude he is facing could cost a life.

I understand that there is a conflict with methadone. I understand the complications...I really do. So does my husband. However, I do not understand why my husband can't have a sponsor to support him through the process of getting off methadone. I don't understand why no one is willing to answer his phone calls and talk to him about the program while he's ready and willing to listen. I don't understand what good can come of denying someone who is asking for help.

It's like if I denied a newcomer at a Nar-Anon meeting because she hadn't yet left her husband. Or maybe if I refused to sponsor someone because she sometimes still enables. It doesn't make sense.

The guidance and support of a sponsor while he is going through the long, painstaking process of detoxing from methadone would be priceless. I am having a hard time with all kinds of aspects of this mess...what lesson is God trying to teach him? To teach me?

And what else is he supposed to do? His latest plan is to go to every N.A. meeting in our town, to tell his story, and to keep going until he finds someone who will sponsor him. If he doesn't find anyone, he says he'll quit going. It scares me that he might quit and that this window might close before he has a chance to get better, but I understand his frustration. I hope he finds the right person or the right group.