The following is submitted by the Oasis of Hope home group.
Motion: To research the feasibility of splitting up the Central Indiana Area of Narcotics Anonymous.
Intent: There is clear disunity within our Area. By splitting up, we will become more unified.
But Why Divide???
“Our common welfare should come first. Personal recovery depends on NA Unity.” 1st Tradition. “The unity underlying our common welfare requires personal commitment and responsible action.” IWH&W, Pg. 93.
• At this writing our Regional Convention ISNAC is lost to Merrillville for at least the next five (5) years. The largest area in the region can no longer host a convention that started right here in Indianapolis. A clear sign of complacency, indignance and lack of unity.
• The Area is too large. We have 109 groups on the current meeting directory. 10 groups go over the Steps, Traditions, or concepts. 47 groups read some type of our literature, and the remaining 52 groups are Open Topic/Discussion. We resemble more of a social club than a 12-step fellowship. We have great recovery in Indianapolis, but the members that have substantial clean time got their recovery a lot different than what we currently have today. Typically, 65-90 GSR’s show up at Area, but when it’s time to conduct the “business” aspect of the meeting there are normally less than 20 GSR’s left. This is not a true Group Conscience. If the Groups are OK with this type of behavior, let’s just open a Service Office where GSR’s can purchase literature 5-6 days a week. Basically, Area Service needs a major restructuring. This restructuring can be purpose driven, group focused, defined by geographical boundaries, collaborative, and flexible. A new service structure has been created through our World Services that I have attached to the end of this document. Some of the language has changed. The GSU (Group Service Unit) has now become the GSF (Group Service Forum), but the essence is the same.
• CIACNA was formed 12 years ago. This is our Area Convention. There was a lot of dissension amongst members initially, but there was more Unity. The first three conventions were very successful. CIACNA contributed a major sum of money to the Area (paying back the $500 we asked for initially for CIACNA I and much more). CIACNA was actually the major contributor that rescued the Area from financial hardship at that time. Members would rather drive 200 miles away and support a convention that gives absolutely nothing back to our Area, than support the Area Convention in their own back yard. Out of the 12 years in existence, there has been a motion to change or dissolve the convention in 7 of those years. Over the years, when there was a threat that CIACNA may need some money to help pay for the convention, Area donations were mysteriously at a record low. Coincidence? Yes, members have a choice about what they choose to support, but we ask you, “Is this a sign of unity?” If there is an issue with Trusted Servants, Finances, Music, Speakers, or Events at the Area Convention that turn you off, let’s discuss it. Again, this is our Area Convention, not some separate entity like ISNAC.
• To say we are not divided by race is absurd. I believe as members, we are naturally drawn to people that look like we do, but one of the disease’s greatest strengths is division. What’s sad is most of the division is not from without our particular race, but from within. There’s a Narcotics Anonymous Men’s Group that meets right here in Indianapolis, but members are more apt to have their “Men’s meetings” at someone’s house, than to support a NA Men’s group in their own Area. Some of these same members don’t believe in a NA Men’s Meeting, but they’ll share at a Men’s Rap at a Convention or Speaker Jam… The contradiction is mind-boggling, but “It’s difficult to see the picture when you’re in the frame”. Women’s meetings start and die within a year. Our female members within 5-8 years clean mostly leave the fellowship. In some circles, CIACNA is known as BLACKNA. “Sponsorship families” put on specific events to undermine other events that are going on in the Area. Just look around you at the next Area and observe how we are seated…Why is so much emphasis put on the “Personality and not the Principle”? The program of NA does not teach that. Maybe we are just romantics, but it’s my understanding, “we are a spiritual fellowship, with high ideals”.
• An Area Office was created in 2005 complete with a copier, mail machine and storage facility (it was very small, but at least it was ours). This was the precursor to Area purchasing its own building. A place to hold meetings, Area Service, functions and events. A place to house our Service Office where members could purchase literature. A place for members to fellowship. Currently we are scrambling to find a place for this function, or find a place for that event. We’re content to send every penny over the prudent reserve to Region & World instead of building up and cultivating our own Area first. We’d just as soon pay some outside facility $150 per month for three (3) hours of service than to create a legacy for our Area. Why? “Because that’s the way it’s always been.” The Area Office is gone and with it the dream of bigger and better things for our members and the addicts yet to come. Are we fully self-supporting through our own contributions? What’s holding us back? Fear? Control? Lack of trust in the process? Lack of Unity?
Lastly, like it or not, we are divided. If we can’t do anything to address our fear, lack of knowledge, disunity and cumbersome Area processes, a division will bring us closer together. Some believe that this is not possible. Divided, we will still be left with the same people, with the same belief systems. We disagree, we believe we won’t be controlled by mindsets that want things to remain as “they have always been”. “Recovery is an ACTIVE change in our ideas and attitudes”, but two of the basic aspects of the disease is fear of change and fear of the unknown. “This fear, based in part on past failures and disappointments in solving life’s difficulties, prevents us from making meaningful choices; choices which, if acted upon, would remove the very fear which blocks us.” IP #5.