For the Newcomer

and we would like you to know

You may be new to recovery as an alcoholic, addict or someone who is in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict. Or you may be someone who has a problem and would like more information about recovery. Whoever you are, you are welcome to Recovery Stages.

If you are an alcoholic, then you can find others at AA meetings who will share their recovery experience.
If you are an addict, there are those at NA, CA and some AA meetings who will share their recovery experience and help you get started. If you are in a relationship with someone who has a problem, you may check out Al-Anon. If you would like more information, please do not be afraid to ask questions. The only bad question is the one not asked.

Being a newcomer can be overwhelming. Many of us felt scared and confused. We were isolated and alone. We were Dr. Jekyll on the outside, pretending to be someone we were not, and Mr. Hyde on the inside, hiding someone we did not want to be. It was easy to feel broken and fragmented. Trying to change oneself was extremely difficult if not impossible. It was much easier to go back to what we knew than it was to change. This was true even if we knew it would lead us downhill into a self-made hell. That’s the way it was until we became a newcomer.

For some, the early days of recovery are a great relief. The main problem is recognized and accepted. No more denial. The result is a happy and euphoric feeling known as a “pink cloud.” For others there is the pain and agony of facing their problems, not knowing where to go or what to do. In either case, our experience has been, “this too, shall pass.” We suggest keeping things simple for awhile in the beginning. For One Day At A Time, that is just today, don’t drink or drug and go a meeting.

The experience of others can be very helpful in finding a new way to live. That is one of the main reasons we have meetings. We willingly offer our experience, strength, and hope. Remember we were newcomers also. We found a way to recover and will share that experience. It is easier if you use the information about what worked and what did not work for us, rather than repeating the pain of learning we went through. We gained strength and support by joining the group. We moved from a ME World to a WE World. We were no longer alone. Hope comes from seeing those who found recovery and are enjoying what they found. Many are truly comfortable in their own skin. Many help the newcomer believe in recovery.

We all benefit from the knowledge of others. It makes sense to use 12 step meetings as a pillar of support in recovery. The level of support from this Fellowship is high because 12 step meetings are so widespread and established. Recovery is about finding a new way to live. We are always in the act of creating our life for ourselves, whether we are aware of it or not.

Our choices today determine who we are tomorrow.