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All stories have been reviewed and approved by the Midwest Area Trustee
"The views and feelings expressed in the following story are the experience strength and hope of the writer and not necessarily those of Cocaine Anonymous as a whole.
We hope you will find the message inspiring and that that it may encourage you to attend several of our meetings before forming an opinion."

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Please enjoy these stories of Experience, Strength and Hope.
Realtor On the Rocks

I had been in and out of treatment centers and several 12-step programs since 1982. I was a functioning addict/ alcoholic, meaning I worked, paid my bills, put on a good show for the family, neighbors and friends. I attended church and coached baseball and football. I was a good person and highly regarded by my peer group. When I partied, I partied like a rock star. I was a top producer in the real estate business allowing me to go the distance financially. I would not stop using until I passed out from sleep deprivation. Out of sheer luck, I did very well at managing to stay out of domestic issues for period.

I was introduced to Crack in 2003, and I have to tell you, I loved this drug and the thrill of the chase to get it, have it, and use it. Crack helped me escape the harsh reality of life. Crack was all I cared about. In fact, when I cooked my first rock, it was a warped right of passage scenario. I was as proud of that accomplishment as I was having my first child, getting married, and graduating from school. Nothing mattered more to me. I would obsess about Crack all the time, morning or night it did not matter. I can remember re-rocking some Crack in my garage and a woman who lived in my gated lake community had heard me. She came up to the window and I heard her say to her friends, "Oh great this is our neighborhood Realtor getting high!" Can you believe this! My God what has the world gone to?" I had officially made it to the jumping off point. My wife had left me and my high school aged son had taken up safe haven at one of his friends. He knew everything was falling apart. I couldn't live with Crack and I couldn't live without it.

Having gone to treatment several times and attending many 12 step meetings, I knew that I had a problem. I could not stop using Crack. I would go four days without Crack, white knuckling it. Next, I would find my vehicle going into auto pilot mode to get Crack, just minutes after swearing off of Crack once again. I could not fix my addiction by myself. Several forms of fear drove me and nothing in life mattered anymore. I am very fortunate that God was watching out for me. When I wanted to end the game of life, a good friend called. The strange thing here was that I had intervened and helped him recover from alcohol 7 years earlier, as he was a real bad drunk. He said he would be right over, knowing I was at the end. I didn't leave. He talked to me and knew what was going on. He detected the loneliness and despair. He took me to the Hospital and told the nurse in ER, I was suicidal, as they couldn't turn me away someone in that condition. I visited with one of the mental health professionals, and he knew in a short while what the real deal was. He sent me to a detox center which allowed me to detox and make arrangements for treatment. I went to treatment and did well until the last week. I was asked to leave, as I was a bit of a rebel and was not complying with the rules of the treatment center. I went back home and I continued with my program, going to meetings and calling my sponsor. I did well for 18 months and I thought my system was cleaned out, that I could get high and somehow manage it this time. I was sold on the fact that I would not get as bad as I did before. I did ok the first week but between the 2nd and 4th week I had progressed past the state I was in when I admitted defeat 19 months prior. I was doing more drugs and more varieties of drugs. Having a brief moment of clarity and being honest with myself, I knew I could not manage the drug use and that it was managing me again! I had to concede to my innermost self that I was an addict and could not manage my drug using. The idea that I could use like normal recreational users was gone. I had to surrender.

As I write my story tonight, I am celebrating 3 years of continued sobriety and I am heavily involved with service work. My old sponsor, bless his heart, used to tell me, "if you're not moving forward your moving back cause there is no idle for this disease. Do as much service work as you can!" I am helping others achieve the same freedom now, freedom from the horrible disease of addiction. I am so happy and serene. I often tell people that I paid big money to feel as good as I do today! The members of CA told me to keep coming back and don't leave before the miracle happens. I thought this was a crock. I was convinced the damage I had done to my family, friends, career, and to myself was irrevocable. The truth is my relationship with everyone is far better that I ever imagined. I am a good husband, son, brother, and friend. My professional life is better than ever. It is all due to the awesome life skills I am acquiring through going to CA meetings, reading the Big Book, praying, meditating and sponsorship. I am a free man and my life is truly beautiful!

- Doug R.

Death at the Front Door

One cold morning in January, I was getting ready for work. I had gone outside to warm up my car. Upon my arrival back into the apartment, a former roommate who had accused me of being with his girlfriend, whom I never met, greeted me. I told him that I never met the woman. He insisted that I did. The conversation was going nowhere fast, so I decided to leave for work. I got in my car, shut the door, and heard a bullet ricochet off of the pavement that was meant for me.

This was an opportunity for me to apply the principals of the program. Having a good understanding of steps 1, 2, and 3 helped a lot. When it came to step 4, I didn't do as well as my will was filled with rage from within. I realized this fact after talking with my sponsor. He said that step 4 says, "We realized that the people who wronged us are spiritually sick", though we did not like their symptoms or the way they disturbed us. They too like us were sick. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would grant a sick friend. Because of selfishness and ill thinking I was unable to remember that we must avoid retaliation and arguments. I was also at fault. I know without sponsorship and a higher power the outcome would have been much worse.

- Ray M.

Giving Me My Life Back

First I would like to say thanks to the CA groups in Omaha Nebraska for giving me my life back.

In Jan. 2005 I relocated to Omaha NE. I started attended CA meeting there, and they kept saying keep coming back. The people in the rooms were sharing their stories, and they seemed to be talking directly to me. They were explaining to me everything that had gone on in my life for the last 5 years. Feeling and emotions I had been having had a name, and they were normal for a person like me. (AN ADDICT). I learned that I had to surrender myself totally. I learned that I had to have an open mind, be honest, and willing to work a simple program. I learned that I needed a sponsor, someone with a working knowledge of this program.

I met a lady, who agreed to be my sponsor, and she started working the steps with me. (God) my higher power used her to show me so many things I needed to do to have peace with myself. I am so grateful my higher power put me in Omaha Ne surrounded by people who were just like me, and they let me know that I did not have to hide anymore, I did not have to be ashamed anymore. All I had to do was let people be who they are and let go and let GOD.

I have returned home to St. Louis and I am not afraid anymore. I am living one day at a time and Today I am at peace. When I am not at peace, I know I have to LET GO AND LET GOD. Simple but not Easy.

Thanks for being there for an addict like me.

- Yvonne T.

Permanent Sobriety - How Sweet the Sound

One of my most scary thoughts early on was staying clean for the rest of my life. Thank God you taught me the concept of 'One Day At A Time' or less. I could stay sober for one day, one hour or one minute. In the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous, rarely do we hear the topic of Permanent Sobriety.

What is Permanent Sobriety? Well, I'm glad you asked. Permanent Sobriety is sober and then staying sober for the rest of ones life. Permanent Sobriety is not a theory; it has been proven time after time by countless Addicts and Alcoholics ever since Bill and Dr. Bob. Like our founders, we too can achieve Permanent Sobriety one day at a time. Staying sober for the rest of my life has went from being a scary thought to being a beautiful thought.

It's amazing the difference a psychic change can make in ones thinking.

The Big Book of A.A. makes mention of Permanent Sobriety four times. I won't tell you where they are, but they ARE in the book. I challenge you to find them. Happy reading and may I see some of you as we trudge happy road of destiny.

- Harry T.

One Long Day & Night

First off I'd like to say, that it's by the Grace of God my Higher Power that I'm able to share my experience, strength and hope with you today. For if it weren't for His Grace I wouldn't be here to share.

I can still remember my last bout with cocaine. Oh, by the way, my name is John S. and I am and always will be a Cocaine Addict. However I'm grateful to say that I've been clean for a few 24 hours. My last bout occurred August 21, some years ago. I remember telling my boss, who also happened to be a good friend from high school, that I'd be in to work over-time, because I needed cash. I can recall how subtle the urge was before my car ended up in front of the dope man's house at 9:00 in the morning. How long and fast the day and night went after I got started doing what I do. Paid Friday morning, broke Friday night. About that time, you know the horsemen were beating down. I called my boss and told him, once again, that I can't make it in. But this time there was a difference; I was humble enough to tell him the truth. I needed help. I have a cocaine problem. Yes, a moment of clarity. Or it could have been that I was blitzed and couldn't think of a lie. All I know is; That and a couple of other things that happened that one long day and night, ran me back in the C.A. rooms. But of course I had to stop by Detox again first, and even that was different because I went for myself.

It was only after I returned to the rooms that I knew how much I wanted sobriety. I've always needed it, but I wanted it now. So now I attend meetings regularly. I do the service work. I take suggestions. I got a sponsor. I do just what the book says. I trust God, clean house, and help others. And it seems that by doing so, my life has gotten better. See I no longer just read the 12 Steps… I live the 12 Steps. Today the Principles aren't just words, they're my actions.

Just think, out of all the times I went in and out of the doors of C.A., that one long day and night was exactly what I needed to want what I have now. I'll tell you… that was not even the worse time I had out there. But by God's Grace, it was the last day… I pray.

All I ever wanted was to be Happy, Joyous and Free, to find some Peace and Serenity. I finally got it, and I found it in the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous. Miracles DO happen.
Thank You,

- A Cocaine Addict named John S.

Today Was A Good Day

January 15th 2001. That's the day that changed my life. I got into drugs at a very early age. Over the years I used them for many different reasons; to have fun, to relax, to get a rush, to fit in. To feel different than how I felt without them, alone and inadequate. With the drugs I was a leader, well-liked, super cool, afraid of nothing. Without them it was just the opposite. I was an intelligent kid, but I never felt that way. I always felt that I had missed something, that someone, everyone, knew something that I didn't. Others always seemed to know how to handle life's situations. Not me. The drugs helped. When using I could handle what ever you could throw at me, or else I just didn't care.

Through my 27 years of using, I never saw any consequences. Not that there weren't any, I just never saw them. After all, the only person I was hurting was myself, right? That's what I thought. I never noticed the chaos that I caused in others lives. At the brief moments where I did, I would just use more to make it go away.

On January 15th 2001 the consequences caught up with me. Like an Appellation avalanche my life came crashing down around me. I wanted to die. For the first time I not only noticed how far into the mire I had sunk, but also how many others I had dragged down with me. Looking back, it was the best day of my life. That fateful day showed me, without a doubt, that I was an addict. For the next year I bare-knuckled it, I didn't use, but life still sucked. I still had the same anxiety, the same hole in the pit of my stomach that I had always felt. Why? I had quit using; everything should be fine and dandy. Why wasn't it fine and dandy? How was I supposed to deal with all the crap that life spat at me - without using?

Enter Cocaine Anonymous. When I went to my first meeting I found a bunch of guys, sitting around, laughing about things and situations that weren't funny to me in the least. They told me of the horrors that they had faced, the terrible feelings that they had felt… I felt like that. They connected with me in a way that only another addict could. Then they told me; "We have a Solution".

They began to tell me what C.A. had done for them. How working the Twelve Steps had changed their lives. How getting a sponsor and following his suggestions had led them to a Higher Power that they could understand and trust. They showed me hope. Still I fought it. I had to analyze the program. Figure out just how it worked before I would go any further. It just didn't make sense to me. How could doing things for others have anything to do with fixing me? I didn't get it. They told me to surrender. They told me to quit trying to figure it out and just do it, and that if I did, I would see how. I looked at them and their lives and I saw hope. So I did what they said.

Today I continue to try and do what they suggest and help others, to the best of my ability, and you'll never guess what… It Works!!! I don't know how. I don't know why. But it does. Today I am able to handle situations that used to baffle me, and whenever I think I can't, I call another addict. Today I wake up looking forward to what the day has to offer.
Thanks Cocaine Anonymous. Thanks to you... Today was a good day.

- Mike R. 01/15/2001

I Thought I Had Nothing To Give

When I first got clean & sober, I thought I had nothing to give. I had low self-esteem and low self-worth. I knew nothing about helping others unless it entailed money or drugs. All I knew was that my addictions ruled me. I found C.A., got a sponsor, and learned that I DID have something to give. Yes, ME! I can sponsor others like myself, suffering from this disease of addiction. I can give Love, Patience and Tolerance to others. I can give a listening ear. I can do goodness for goodness' sake. As the Promises state, "No matter how far down we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."

Today I have self-esteem. Today I have self-worth. Today I don't think of others as better then me. They may live better on the outside, but today I am truly Happy, Joyous and Free. Finally, and most important to my recovery, I give me Experience, Strength and Hope to others, to newcomers in and out of the rooms, when I give a clear message at meetings; The Twelve Steps work, IF you work them with a sponsor who was a working knowledge of the program.

- Charnette F. - 09/2000

The Rebirth
(9 years in captivity)

I escaped from slavery on April 29th, 2005. This may sound strange in this day and age, but it's true. I was a slave. I was owned by a master who went by the name, Crack Cocaine.

I had tried to escape many times before, but it just seemed that I couldn't get away. But now I have found the courage and tools to escape. With the help of the fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous, I now feel free.

But the fight must continue so that I can feel like a man again. The fight must and will continue. For this simple fact: I am a Dope Fiend. I am an addict with a disease that can lead to my recapture. Put back into bondage if I don't follow the few simple rules set before me to succeed. I've come to realize that I need God to be with me on this mission for this Freedom to continue. I compare my addiction to slavery because that's how it made me feel. Useless, worked for free, and owning nothing. I felt less than a man because I couldn't provide for my family. I loved my master more then I loved myself.

So let us not forget who we are underneath the new clothes. We are, and will always be, drug addicts. That's why I call this story 'The Rebirth', because to stay clean and sober, you must be reborn.

And with that, I'll take another 24.

- Butch W.

Giving It Away to Get It & Keep It.

My name is Harry T. and I've been in the fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous for a while now. I have been given so much from this simple program that I can't begin to count the ways. What it has done is recreate my life. How do you repay something like that? I don't think we can, but I can be grateful, which, as you know, means action. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery DEPENDS on C.A. unity.

What that says to me is that my very existence depends on the unity of Cocaine Anonymous. What I can bring to the table instead of what I can get was a concept I learned in the rooms of C.A. Through service work and self-sacrifice my recovery has risen to a new level. I am so grateful that I didn't settle for less.

Today I realize that I can't attend every meeting or event; that I can't volunteer for every service position. But I have no excuse for never supporting everything. I do have a duty and responsibility; when an addict reaches out, the hand of C.A. will be there.

- Harry T.

Grateful Addict
Hello, I'm a grateful drug addict and alcoholic.
I'm not going to go into the war stories because we all know what the problem was. I'll just let you know that my addiction took me places that I never wanted to go. It also took me places that I never knew existed!

The bad thing is that I was the last person in the world to know I had a problem. My wife tried to tell me and so did my mother, family, policemen, judges and toward the end even my dealers! But of course nobody knew what he or she was talking about.

It took me coming into these rooms to find out that I didn't know as much as I thought. Here people told me that one day I would find a way to live without having to use and would find a way of living to where I would not want to use. I never thought that day would come! It did and I'm grateful!

To me recovery is like the merry-go-round in the park. If I stayed in the center, I could stand up with good balance, feeling safe and protected. But the further off of center I got, the harder and harder it got to hang on. When it got too tough to hang on, I let go and fell off. There was a lot of pain involved! It's the same with recovery. If I stay in the center, I feel safe. But if I quit going to meetings, calling my sponsor, working the steps, etc., I might fall off and I know there would also be a great deal of pain involved.

If I keep doing the things that kept me sober today, I'm confident that my Higher Power will continue to do for me what I was never able to do for myself. If anyone can remain willing to learn and grow, remarkable things will happen. If you want your life to change, do what we have done and hang on for the ride. This program will also take me places I never knew existed!!!

- Just another grateful addict

The CA Police
I am sure you may be wondering what I mean when I say "CA Police". Well, let me tell you. By the way, this is just one addict's opinion and interpretation. Throughout my journey in this fellowship I have been exposed to what I believe to be individuals who make it there "right" and "authority" to police Cocaine Anonymous. Here's how the "CA Police" operate. They attend meetings throughout our fellowship. They analyze and judge how an addict shares, what meetings they attend and the regularity of that attendance. If you do not have an "accurate message of recovery" and you do not attend specific meetings, you are not working the "program". Just how do the " Police" reach this conclusion? You have to understand that they are well versed on the Big Book, 12 Steps, Service work and they are in "fit spiritual condition". According to them, if an addict shares in a meeting and they are not "on point and transmitting an accurate message," the "Police" have the right to "arrest", (take their inventory) and denounce their sincerity and fitness to serve and share in Cocaine Anonymous in certain capacities. Oh yes, if you happen to be one of the individuals who is not "working a program" you can make coffee, pick up cigarette butts, greet addicts and maybe provide transportation to people to and from meetings. However, when it comes to chairing meetings, holding chairmanships, speaking in institutions or sharing your story, you have to step back.

Don't get me wrong any type of service is BENEFICIAL TO ANY INDIVIDUAL ADDICT, but when it comes to positions, which require more representation, or more out front, you had better have your program together as well as be connected to the "Elder Statesmen". I had one "Elder Statesmen" tell me that even though the suggestion that I made was relative, (it was in regard to another issue) the fellowship would listen to him more because he had more sobriety than me. He did state that it was wrong however, that is just the way things are. You may think that I am being fictitious however; I am simply trying to get a point across. I must remember that the Third Tradition says that "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using" and the Second Tradition, which states that, our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern".

I believe that each and every addict that is so blessed to have made to Cocaine Anonymous has a story to tell, or a message for some addict who is still suffering. It is not for me to say that your message has no "depth or weight" simply because I personally cannot relate to you. The Big Book tells me we need to concentrate on "similarities instead of differences". The bottom line is this, our disease of addiction has manifested itself in us in many different ways and we took different roads to get here but thank God that we made it. Our "primary purpose is to carry the message to the addicts who still suffer". How are we expected to do that if we are busy taking inventories, analyzing, policing and antagonizing one another?

Unfortunately, I too have been guilty of being a " CA Policeman", however, I have been truly "beaten into a state of reasonableness" and I cannot afford to count you in or out of this fellowship. I am here today because you took a moment of silence followed by the serenity prayer because I was still suffering. I do not take my recovery for granted today. Remember, "we are people whom ordinarily who wouldn't mix", but none of us are ordinary, right?

- But a Trusted Servant

A Better Life - (Willie's Story)
Click Here to read the story
Walking with Dad
A few days ago while driving down the street, I saw a young man walking with a young boy--apparently his son. They didn't seem to be in any hurry, and they were holding hands.

What struck me was the ear to ear grin the little boy had on his face. I imagined him feeling safe and secure, without a care or worry in the world, as long as he held on to Dad. I have vague memories of feeling that way when I was a young boy--any and all of my needs and fears were met by my parents.

When I first got to CA, I struggled with the "God" stuff. I needed a confirmation that God was there for me--that he loved me and would take care of me.

What I was looking for was for him to reveal Himself to me on my terms instead of His. Through the years, he has made his involvement known to me hundreds of times. What it took was my abandoning ALL of my old ideas--in other words, turning my will and life over to Him ABSOLUTELY.

While I recognize how impossible it is to do His will perfectly, I strive for the willingness to consider what He wants me to do. To me, I strive for my relationship with my heavenly father to be like that of the young boy on the walk with his dad. If I can accomplish that much, I have a reasonably good chance of staying sober and having a decent life.

- Steve K. - Omaha, Ne

By the time I made it into the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous, I was willing to do just about anything to put that crack pipe down. My life was truly on the line. Too many brushes with death and realizing, as I smoked in a hospital bathroom with a IV stuck on my arm, that I had reached my "bottom". I was an addict.

When I attended my first meeting I was stunned. Here were people talking openly about cocaine and they were talking about me. Seeing how happy they were was something I wanted more than anything else in the world.

I listened as they said that they do it 'One Day At A Time'. They told me to get a sponsor and start working the program.

I wasted no time.

Today I don't try to run the show, I surrender that to my higher power. I believe that my higher power, whom I choose to call GOD, has a plan for me. I work with others and go to as many meetings as I can. They keep me grounded and I love the hope they give. I never had any hope while out there in the madness. I am a miracle and I am so grateful. They told me to just 'Keep Coming Back… It Works', but only if I work it, and I do.

Fear, anger and resentments have been changed to love, patience and tolerance for me now, and today I would not change a single thing in my life except that I didn't find this program sooner.

I keep my past "tapes" right by me at all times, they remind me of where this disease can take me. And that if I don't take that first hit, then I don't have to worry about anything. That is the answer for me.

Thank you C.A. and the ones here in the Fellowship who have given me their experience, strength and hope. But most of all, I thank my higher power everyday for giving me just one more 24 hours.

- Lori S. - Omaha, Ne

Faith Restored
Before I found the C.A. group, I had no faith, no trust in anyone, anything. I had no faith in myself, and more importantly, I had no faith in my Higher Power-God. I felt sorry for myself about fifty percent of the time, and the other fifty percent of the time, I just hated myself. I was truly a miserable person.

About a year ago-August 6, 2002-to be exact, was a day I will never forget. This is the day when my children were taken out of my home. My four beautiful, wonderful children that I had totally taken for granted! I remember at first feeling that I was being punished for whatever I had done wrong in my life up to that point. In my sick mind, I thought God must hate me so much! He must think I am a terrible person to deserve all of this! When I think about this now, it just amazes me.

I feel about 150% different about everything now. That is due mostly to C.A. and everyone in it, and of course, because of my relationship with God right now. I do believe that God makes things happen for a reason. I believe that my kids got taken away so that my husband and I could get clean, and get our stuff together. I also believe that God puts all of us into the rooms of C.A. to help each other and ourselves. I cannot express the gratitude that I feel for Cocaine Anonymous!

I am still trying to get my children back into my home, and it has been a daily struggle. There have been many chaotic and frustrating things that have happened along the way, but I know that no matter how bad things get today, they will never be as bad as they were when I was using. Even my worst day today is still better than my best day back then! I have faith that I will get my kids back. I have faith that I can be the person that I want to be. And the reason I have all of this faith is because I know God will help me through everything. I have my faith in God back! Thank you, C.A. for helping me to turn my life around!

- Amanda L. - Omaha, Ne

It was 1977. I was laying in a church fountain all hurting and dope sick, looking up at some kind of statue, pleading for Help. I didn't know how or if I would ever be able to get out of the mess I was in. That 'beast' had me. A week later I ended up in the San Diego County Jail for sales of cocaine!

23 years later, all that pain and desperation I had long ago experienced, never entered my mind when I did that first line.

My electricity, shut off for over a week in the middle of winter with a 20 below wind-chill. My kids lay cold in their beds, hearing their daddy outside the bedroom door, geeking for crumbs on the floor all night long. I could only think of getting that next hit. Nothing else mattered, nothing.

Powerlessness ... I was trapped in my own insanity ... again!

With every hit I would take, that voice in my head, would say "This is evil" ... "You're killing yourself" ... "Is this how you want your children to see you die?" ... and still I would light that pipe. Hoping that my heart would just burst, ending it once and for all.

I will never ever forget that night ...

I didn't have to be told that I was powerless over cocaine, one hit and I would be off and running again. Just how could I stop myself from taking that first hit? That was my problem.

How was I to live without drugs? I sure didn't know. I was introduced to C.A., Cocaine Anonymous, while I was in treatment. They talked about the Twelve Steps. Those first couple of days of this journey, were a bit shaky. I was introduced to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous at these meetings. This book saved my life!!!

I have been attending C.A. meetings ever since. I can relate to these people. They truly understand what I was going through. It was suggested that I work the Twelve Steps.
I found a Power Greater than myself in the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous. Living, 'One Day At A Time', is so much easier to say than to do. But some how I have managed to stack a few of them in a row. I now have peace like I have never known before.

As written in A Vision For You "Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny."

- Phil P. - Des Moines, Iowa

Truly Greatful
I am truly grateful today when I think about being an addict. I must thank my Higher Power, whom I call God, as well as sponsorship and the strong fellowship of C.A., and the 12 Step Principles.

I had been beaten down many years before I truly made an honest effort to seek help. I understand today just how deadly my pride and fear can rule me. They both wouldn't allow me to ask for help even though I was long over due for the needed assistance that I found in the 12 Steps of recovery.

The Big Book directed me to a power greater than myself. It opened me up to take an honest look at the inside of myself, a place I had not gone before completely.

I must admit I felt much pain in discovering just who I was for real and not what I pretended to be for so long, strange as it may seem. I found relief in every discovery I made of myself. As I understand it today, it's just another phase of my development as I journey to know myself. Fear no longer robs me, and today I've some leveling of my pride.

As a direct result of applying the 12 Steps in my life today, I know that peace is far greater than any lump sum of money one could possibly give me. I'm easy in my skin today, and yet I know that there is still plenty of work yet to be done with me. I'm not perfect, and it's not about that for this addict, it's about learning to live life on life's terms and not mine. It's about looking those ugly character defects in the face and working to delete them from my personality and life. On my own I can't do this, but with my Higher Power (God), I can. I know through my own attempts that self can't overcome self.

Today I know where the power is and I continue to stay plugged into it. Through work and self sacrifice for others and being committed to my recovery. I'll remain joyous, happy and free.

So I say if you're new in this process, stay around to see your life transform to a better you. Remember, it works when you work it. I must work to keep what I have attained. Peace and power I choose today.

- Orlando - Omaha, Ne

To Be At Peace
I sometimes forget that I am not as unique as I once thought. Learning to adapt to any and all situations was the norm when I was actively using. To become one with my inner being in sobriety was a completely different task. While living under the influence of cocaine and other mind- and mood-altering substances, my best reasoning led me to a life of hopeless and unfulfilled desires. My purpose and aim in life was set on destruction of self (and whomever else I could drag along with me).

Life had no meaning before I began to realize that we all have a place in the society we share with all God's creatures. Coming into Cocaine Anonymous I found the relief that my mind, body and soul had been seeking throughout my existence. This Fellowship has taught me how to first like myself in hopes that someday I will learn to love and forgive myself. I am constantly reminded that my tolerance of others begins with my tolerance of self.

To be at peace brings the freedom of not having to decide where I belong. Just knowing that I belong is sufficient today for me and for my Higher Power. For it is by God's grace and mercy that I was saved from these fates, I have no right to allow any type of prejudice, envy or insecurity to prohibit me from carrying the message to those who still suffer. It's more important to help save someone's life than to allow my own perceptions to destroy both our lives.

If the forefathers of our Fellowship did not seek the counsel of a Higher Power to inspire the Steps and Traditions, where would this Fellowship be? With peace comes spirituality. It is the spirituality of the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions that govern my life today. We are all bonded by our common problem and our common solution.

- Ray R.

We Need You!!!
Hello, my name is Harry and I'm a drug addict. I like many others needed the rooms of Cocaine Anonymous long before I got here. Once I got here it took some time before I realized how much I needed the fellowship (people) to maintain my sobriety. I thank you for sharing your experiences, strength and hope with me, for accepting me as I was, insanity and all. So it is with much gratitude that I give back in whatever capacity that I can. I can't do everything and you have never asked me to. I am as busy as the next guy. I have a wife, family, job , and a life thanks to Cocaine Anonymous but somehow I find the time to attend meetings, get into service, and sponsor newcomers.

There are some questions I must ask myself, so I had to search my heart and meditate on some things. This is what I saw; there are thirteen active CA meetings, why haven't I attended them? The meeting of the month is to promote unity. Unity means the combination of parts into a whole, quality of being in one accord and in harmony with one another (unification). What part do I play in my recovery? Our common welfare comes first; my personal recovery depends on CA unity. WHY won't I support the fundraisers given by my fellowship? They really need my support. WHY won't I sponsor newcomers? Have I gotten so comfortable in the world and myself around me that I think that it doesn't matter whether I show up or not?

Well think again (my thinking got me here). It does matter. My life depends on it BIG TIME! What I discover through my experience is that when I don't participate, I settle for less. When I do that, there is no peace, love, joy, or serenity in my life. But, when I give freely of what was given to me, I get more peace and joy than I could ever dream possible, so I give back freely.

I say to you; Come join us as we trudge this road together.

- Harry T. - Omaha, Ne

I have been working with my sponsor, and we were discussing "The Doctors Opinion". I was asked in what ways I identified with the passage and this was my response. It amazed me that back in 1935 when this passage was first written, it is like they were writing about me.

I am an addict of the worst variety. I had the obsession of the mind and the allergy of the body. I would swear off drugs only to start using again that same day. I thought all of my behaviors were normal. I thought and believed I was doomed to die a helpless, hopeless addict.

But today I know if I work closely with my sponsor, I have hope. If I work closely with another addict I have hope. If I follow this program of recovery outlined in the first 164 pages of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have hope. I also know and believe whole-heartedly that I must have complete abstinence from all mind-altering drugs. If I do all of these things I believe I have hope. For today I am not a helpless addict doomed to die.

Today I am not here to laugh at Cocaine Anonymous; I have remained to pray with other addicts such as myself.

- Cathy C. - Omaha, Ne

Do or Die (Recover or Relapse)
This twelve step program of recovery has been a blessing in disguise. It has been what I've been looking for over the past twenty years. My life has been really twisted, as a direct result of my using. But by an act of providence (A God Thing), I was exposed to the C.A. program.

At first, I could not or would not follow the program as laid down before by the Big Book, my sponsor, and others that had achieved sobriety. So I went back out and truly almost died. Again, by the grace of God I made it back to the rooms of C.A.. I got back with me a strong sponsor and we got busy in the big book. I went at the program of recovery with all I have. Life today is good (not perfect).

So, to anyone who is looking to save their life from drugs, this is the chance of a lifetime. God can move and will move mountains out of people's lives, but the person or individual must do the footwork and apply themselves to this simple program or the chances are…for me… not to good, maybe death. The choice is mine (to apply or die) God bless!

- Bother in Recovery

So Far From Yesterday
Because of fear, resentment, self-hate, and faithfulness, I made a conscious decision to block out reality. Thus I decided to get involved in a life of drugs. Finding myself surrounded by people who were just like me, who had given up on life. I managed to believe that I was where I belonged. After coming to the realization that I am an addict, I found that suggestions freely given to me through the process of recovery and working with my sponsor and accepting the help of my higher power, whom I choose to call God, something miraculous happened in that bitter life. My weakness has become a great part of the strength I share with other people in our network and fellowship. Today I live one day at a time. Today I know that as I put action behind my willingness and action behind the other positive aspects of this process of recovery and continue to turn, even the smallest matters in my life, over to my higher power that I have hope!! Just for Today!

- Wil S.

Good Orderly Direction
A few twenty-four hours ago, along with being two thousand miles away from home was the beginning of the end for me. Instead of using the tools that were given me on my road to recovery twelve years prior, I allowed myself to take control of my life again. Well the rest is history, same as everyone else, my story isn't any different, however it took place in another country. Bottom is bottom! However, the madness began with just a drink instead of a meeting or calling my sponsor whom I dismissed one year prior. I had a situation not a problem; however the choices I made created a big problem, which could have resulted in death. Therefore, God had to step into my life and carry me along the way.

Stuck in the insanity that drink led to a long road of three years of madness. Yes, the drink led to weed, the weed led to coke, the coke lead to crack instantly. That's right, where I left off twelve years prior is where I started, just like is says in the Big Book, however the seed of recovery was also planted twelve years ago. After almost loosing my right hand in an accident, along with being told I was going to be disabled the rest of my life it was time to get some help. Coming back to the United States to start my life all over again, along with seeing the best hand specialist in the United States I was given another chance. Stuck on stupid I didn't take advantage of this opportunity again, especially since I had gotten my hand under control with therapy, four surgeries and plenty of Demerol. Being dishonest again by not telling the doctor I was an addict, led me into more secrets and continued insanity. The guilt was killing me to a certain extent, especially after coming down and looking at my family. After a lot of rationalization, paranoia, sickness, a dysfunctional relationship, it was time to go to treatment along with a geographical move. Determined to get back on track I went into treatment, however stayed in the dysfunctional relationship because I was codependent as hell. I thought I could help them when I should have kept the focus on me; unfortunately, I was convinced that it was ok to make a little money while in recovery as long as I didn't use. How long do you think that lasted? That's right, not long at all before I was back using again, however still determined I knew I needed to get out of this relationship making another geographical move. However, I had it all figured out. I needed to be closer to my family before entering treatment. So I made that move back home with a lot of support positive and negative. Holding on to some of those secrets still continued the madness. Yet still not hopeless, just helpless in my mind, along with stubborn, I was basically refusing to let go absolutely.

Finally the moment of truth came, however the paranoia was still there it just didn't matter it came. Of course another treatment center came into play along with another geographical move, but that was ok. As long as I was on the path it was truly ok especially since I didn't have any problem getting on the path anyway. Staying on the path was my problem, along with surrendering the control to someone other than myself, that one is God and I have found him now!

Where I am today with that God of my understanding? He is still driving for me one day at a time. We attend 4-5 meetings weekly, talk to my sponsor on a regular basis, stay in the steps, along with prayer and meditation. He gives me enough light to take the next step. God has truly given me Good Orderly Direction. Those promises have come true.

- Just Another Addict

Stay Greatful
I've come to realize that when I practice an attitude of gratitude, finding a positive out of the negative occurrences in my life are possible. I'm able to overcome the desire, or even contemplate picking up a drink or a drug. I pray consistently; and when feelings arise that I'm uncomfortable with -- I talk to my sponsor, my network, and get to a meeting if need be. A year and a half ago, October first, I would not have been able to express myself that way. I've learned so much by listening to the ones that have come before me (the winners that is). Since I arrived here in Omaha, I call home for now, and until I get further instructions form my higher power to whom I choose to call God.

I have progressed such that some close friends could see the change. Believe me, I was a pretty mixed up individual, at least today I have an idea of the direction I'd like to go. I still need a lot of repairing and adjusting, which perhaps will take a lifetime, but I don't mind. My recovery is so sincere; I don't find it difficult to say "To Thine own Self be True" anymore. I'm doing what's in front of me to maintain quality sobriety. I feel I'm at least doing the very best I'm capable of in each twenty-four hours. I am working towards a more purposeful life. I've also learned I don't have to be perfect, "progress not perfection." A defect of character of mine is assuming that I could be perfect. Knowing today I don't have to be perfect in order for people to accept me for who I am. Still changing slow but sure. In the past I never thought I needed to change; I thought I needed to change clothes, shoes, hats, etc… The materialism has lessoned and I've accepted the fact that I need to change me and only me.

Because of Gods guidance and my obedience I didn't make that trip back to hell as I call it (Tampa Fl.) where I know today I would not be where I am. Having had the opportunity to receive long-term treatment that I'd never received before. First go at an Omaha Recovery Center, I found I was humble enough to say in. I let my pride down because that is how much I wanted recovery. I took the suggestion from my sponsor and stayed, which proved to be well worth all my efforts. I stuck it out with Gods help. Being there was a stepping-stone to my recovery. Last but not least, I was accepted at a Transitional Housing program where I've truly had time to grow. Learning to live life on life's terms.

I have completed my story; there is success. I'm ready to move on into a life on my own, raising my two children. Being at New Creations was quite rewarding; the treatment and after care I receive has shown me humility in a whole new light. I've built a new life here in Omaha with lots of support. I'm glad I stuck it out. Today I can say I am a Miracle just working and waiting the rewards of sobriety. Being of maximum service to God and others, I want serving to become a part of my daily life.

Thanks for Listening.
Thanks again God for everything, especially the fellowship of CA

- Shereata

We're Here and We're Free Cocaine Anonymous is a Fellowship of, by, and for addicts seeking recovery. Friends and family of addicts should contact Co-Anon Family Groups, a Fellowship dedicated to their much different needs.
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