Until 1986 there were very few Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the North West. I was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous at this time but I was having some problems with individuals in the meetings who objected to my mentioning drugs in my shares (there were also objections to any mention of sex). I didn’t see, and still don’t, how I could share my experience, strength and hope without talking about the other drugs I had also had serious problems with. In this I was not alone and a group of us (seven if I remember correctly) decided to look into starting an NA group.
By the way, I’m not going to mention any names as, although I am not concerned about my own anonymity (obviously as I am writing this), other people’s anonymity is their responsibility.
Anyway, we looked at what meetings there were. As far as I remember there was a meeting in Manchester, some 60 miles away, and one in Blackpool which was much nearer. We decided to visit the Blackpool meeting to try to get a better idea of how NA meetings were run. It was an eye-opener. It was a small meeting made up, if I remember correctly, of mainly middle-aged women, and the person doing the main share (this was just after Christmas), talked about having a glass of wine with her Christmas dinner, “not that I would advise you to do that”, she made a point of saying.
So we came away with a good idea of how not to do it.
We eventually found somewhere to hold the meeting, in Ryelands House on Ryelands Park.
This was in 1986. The meeting moved around a bit but eventually ended up at the Friends Meeting House where I believe it still meets.
After the meeting started I went to more NA than AA meetings. One thing I liked was that nobody said “you can’t say this” or “you can’t say that”. I don’t say this as a criticism of AA as a whole, it was just individuals.
After all, it was never about the ‘drink’, or the drugs. It was about me and, in order to recover, I needed to talk about all of the things that had been part of my ism.