The First 30 Days
Welcome to Cocaine Anonymous. We are all here for the same reason—our inability to stop using cocaine. The first step towards solving any problem is understanding the problem.
The problem, as we see it, consists of an obsession of the mind and a compulsion of the body. The obsession is a continued and irresistible thought of cocaine and the next high. Once we have given in to this thought, our bodies take over. Our compulsion consists of an absolute inability to stop using once we begin. Thus, our recovery begins with complete abstinence from cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. This allows us to begin living in the solution.
We wish to assure you that there is a solution and that recovery is possible. It begins with abstinence and continues with practicing the Twelve Steps of recovery one day at a time. Take it easy. Addiction is not a moral issue. Addiction is a disease—a disease that kills. Here are some suggestions to help you stay clean and sober for your first 30 days:
Abstinence – Do not use any mind-altering substances! Experience has shown us that the use of any mind-altering substance will ultimately lead us back to addiction in another form or to our drug of choice, cocaine.
A Meeting a Day – Attend at least one meeting a day–or more. Meetings are where we go to share our experience, strength, and hope with each other.
Get a Sponsor – It is a good idea to get a sponsor during your early days, when C.A. seems unfamiliar. A sponsor is simply a sober addict who can give you more time and attention than is available at meetings.
Use the Telephone – Get phone numbers from C.A. members and use them. A vital part of our recovery process is reaching out to others. If no one is available, call Cocaine Anonymous.
One Day at a Time – We stay clean and sober one day at a time, and, when necessary, one hour or even one minute at a time; not one week, or one month, or one year, just one day at a time.
As we get clean and sober, our feelings begin to surface. Cocaine helped us escape from ourselves; it altered our reality. It helped us cover up, avoid, and deaden our feelings. Getting clean and sober can be painful, but with help, we find our lives get better one day at a time.
When we attended our first C.A. meeting, we knew deep down inside that cocaine had become a problem in our lives. Seeing this was just the beginning. This is where the program of Cocaine Anonymous comes into play. We begin by surrendering and working the Twelve Steps of
STEP ONE: We admitted we were powerless over cocaine and all other mind-altering substances—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Most of us disliked the idea of being powerless over anything. We thought that cocaine made us invincible and powerful, when in actuality, it wiped us out financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We were out of control and had reached the depths of despair. The extent to which our lives had become unmanageable, of course, was different for each of us. The fact remained that our lives had become unmanageable. Not until we got honest with ourselves and surrendered, did we begin to know peace.
STEP TWO: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Two involves open-mindedness. Having admitted we were powerless over cocaine and all other mind-altering substances, we became open-minded enough to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could remove our obsession to use and restore us to sanity. The obsession to use will be removed. This Power may be, but does not have to be God. Many of us use the Fellowship of C.A. as our Higher Power. After all, what we had failed to do alone, we are succeeding in doing together.
STEP THREE: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Cocaine Anonymous is a spiritual program, not a religious one. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Some of us arrived with a God, while others used the group until they found a Higher Power of their own understanding. A key phrase in this Step is “as we understood Him.” In Cocaine Anonymous, each individual can choose a God of his or her own understanding. As we worked the Twelve Steps of recovery, we began to see some of the Promises coming true in our lives:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.*
*This excerpt from Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 83-84, is reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.