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    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



    “Developing a personal style for carrying the message rests on a simple requirement: we must be ourselves.” (It Works, page 119)

    After I completed the writing assignment my sponsor gave me on the 12th Step, I reread the Step in the Basic Text and in How It Works. What I understood from doing the previous steps was that the best way for me to carry the message was in the way that I lived. Yet, I still wondered if there was anything our literature suggested as a guide for “working” the 12th Step.
    You see, I recognized my spirit coming to life since Step One and I’ve been aware of it growing with each step, but my desire to carry a “sufficient message” inspired me to investigate further.

    What I ultimately found was that there was no singular or uniformed way to carry our message. Each member has a certain technique, talent or method of expressing how the NA program has worked in their lives.

    In our meetings, some of us evoke laughter while others can touch our hearts and bring us to tears. Some of us are inclined to recite what we’ve learned through reading the literature and listening, while others are able to convey that same knowledge and experience without referring to the Basic Text or other NA literature. The ways we carry our message are as varied as our members and no one addict has a “better message” than another.

    Whether we routinely tell someone that NA works, or we simply demonstrate recovery at work through our interactions with others – how we carry the message is not the most important issue. What is of most importance is that we try. Trying to carry the message also has it’s limitations. An addict who wants to continue to use will most likely not be receptive. And it’s none of our business to decide who is ready to hear our message or not. We can only carry the message; we cannot determine who will receive it. This is why I don’t get involved in search parties – trying to save addicts who aren’t concerned with seeking help.

    Help only becomes available for addicts who admit complete defeat. It is through this admission that we become willing to try something different. When we are willing to try something different, we reach out for help. The addict who reaches out is surely entitled to our attention, compassion and unconditional acceptance. It’s only by giving away what we have freely received that we are able to keep it.



    The awakening of my spirit clearly shows on my face. It is more relaxed. My voice is calmer. My attitude is more caring and tolerant. This means a great deal to me coming from someone else and they tell me. My disease sometimes traps me into focusing at what I don’t have. I am learning not to be too hard on myself.
    I carry the message by trying to live by example, by making amends immediately when harm is done, and by avoiding acting on the defect causing harm in the future.
    I try to be available after meetings, through the web, and by phone, as much as I can,for those seeking my little experience in how I managed to defeat my disease today.
    This is soo much not the junkie me!
    I try to relate my Steps to situations throughout my day everyday.
    It gets better with practice, much better.

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