The 27th London convention, an experience I can’t wait to share with you.
On arrival, we received our personalized lanyards, print out of the programme as well as a warm welcome from the committee members, all of which reaffirmed this years theme of LOVE, LIFE, Comm-UNITY.
This years meetings were based on topics from the NA living clean book. On Saturday alone, 22 meetings took place, ranging from meetings in Farsi, for LGBTQ and Young People as well as “desperation to passion” and “connection to ourselves” topic meetings. Having planned our meetings, we also had more than enough time to talk to old and new friends in between. I bumped into peers from my time in treatment, staff members that worked there, people from the Norfolk & Suffolk area as well as one of my family members. Having such a diverse amount of people, at various stages in their recovery, some of whom were at the start of my journey, all in one place, was immense. Throughout the day tears were shed from identifying with the shares, as well as laughter as we related to the madness and heard messages of hope.
We could not stop talking about the powerful shares we’d heard, even as we went out for a meal later that evening. We ended the day on a high note, quite literally, as a group of us sung along to some live music and danced away. It was such a stimulating day, that there wasn’t much sleep to be had. However, no amount of sleep could have prepared me for Sunday.
The first share was on romantic relationships, unsurprisingly, the room was filled with eye rolls, nods and laughter. We then geared up for the main event. The prison link up, share and clean time countdown. The atmosphere in the room changed as we connected with the prisons, clapping for each and every addict who introduced themselves through the live link, one of which had celebrated 10 years clean.
The clean time countdown gave me goosebumps. The cleanest person in the room was 37 years. Over the 3 days, the total tallied up to over 10’000 years clean. 10’000!!! Anyone under 7 days was invited to the stage, received a massive cheer, basic text and NA t-shirt. Some having stopped at the start of the convention, celebrating two days clean and others showing their desire, by picking up a white keyring. As if seeing that wasn’t enough to stir up a load of emotions, the room quiets down as people, including the prisoners still live in the room whisper, shout or mumble the names of people lost to addiction. Tears slowly building up as we remember. My friend turns around to me, both with tears in our eyes, and says: “we’re the lucky ones”. A reminder of the consequences and where addiction has, and will continue to take too many of us, if we don’t work this programme.
It’s hard to put into words how it feels to be part of a fellowship that represents strength, hope and unity, as NA has done for me. Let alone on a weekend where the miracles of this programme and the love it spreads was so clear to see. No matter what, WE can.
This was my first experience of a convention this size and I intend to go back next year, the committee members will begin preparations for LCNA 28 on the 1st of May.
Hopefully we will see some of you there!