Thursday (Day 1) – WCNA 35

I realize this blog has become about my personal journey at the Narcotics Anonymous World Convention in Philadelphia, PA. Fitting because the tag line for this year’s even is The Journey Continues…

It makes sense these articles are focused on myself. Obviously, I am going to have my perspective on the conference. I arrived here with ten others and we do see each other often, but the scope of this event is absolutely huge and we simply go our separate ways. Most of the time, not even meaning too.

Anyhow, first thing this morning was about Merchandise. I arrived late and the line was long, but I started talking to the group members and just followed them in. Probably not the most spiritual but I am sure I have done much worse.  The selection was huge. My focus was on T-Shirts and I found a few that I liked. I even bought a t-shirt for my sponsor Dave O. from Overland Park, KS.

WCNA 35 T-shirt design 1      WCNA T-shirt design 3   WCNA 35 T-shirt design 2

My friend John S. from Baldwin, KS asked me to get him a lapel pin. John is awesome and this is my gift to him.

Merchandise WCNA 35

At 11:30, I attended a workshop with two AMAZING speakers. The workshop was titled “Growing Pains” and featured Rick H, from Connecticut and Vickery H, from Maryland. The workshop was held in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Room 201.

Here are some quotes from these two:

“My needs are fine… I can handle those. It’s my wants that get me into trouble.”

“Concerning Emotions; The only way to grow ourselves is to plow through them.”

“Empathy is not a behavior it is a lifestyle.”

“Acceptance is not an event. It is a process that goes on and on…”

“Misery is an option.”

Here is a pic of them setting up the room:

meeting_room_workshop

More to come…

-Jeffry L.
Lawrence, KS

Meetings Begin…

I feel like a young boy in the 1920s visiting the city for the first time. The sense of wonder and awe as I enter my first speaker meeting at the Narcotics Anonymous World Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

People exiting the convention center after speaker meeting

I was blown away as I saw the size of the room and then I noticed the sheer numbers in the room. There had to be over a thousand people in attendance. To think, this was the Pre-conference meeting the evening before the official start day of the meeting.

The speaker was Yolanda from Aruba. She talked about how she started meetings in Aruba. I could tell she worked very hard to get NA in her island/city. I was humbled by the fact I found a meeting in my hometown that had five Noon meetings a week. Anyhow, she had an inspiring story and I really enjoyed it.

Directly after the speaker meeting, the Marathon meeting began. I would estimate there was over 200 addicts at this meeting. There was a ton of enthusiasm in the sharing that I heard. The message was almost exclusively speaking to the solution. I was so taken by these meetings, I stayed for two and a half hours. I met a guy from New Jersey. Ex-cop that found his way to the program. I also met a woman from Philly. Lots of personality. Frankly, what you would expect from a large city like Philly.

I took down a couple quotes that grabbed my attention. Yes, i got a few looks because I was typing quotes on my phone so I wouldn’t forget. I think members thought I was texting. Ohh well, cannot control others no matter how hard I try.

Quotes:

“I found NA and I was rescued from myself.”

“I thought I was cool, but I was playing a mirror’s game. I was really functioning over here, but I was using a mirror to think I was actually over there.”

“Thoughts are not real and emotions don’t last.”

Okay, off to the first official start day of the 35th World Conference of Narcotics Anonymous!

-Jeffry L.
Lawrence, KS