Terry's Story

All Photographs + Text Copyright 2012 Christopher Keeley

Terry's Story

I kept starting meetings all over NY City because I found a home in Narcotics Anonymous and freedom from active addiction.

My Story

My name is Terry Ryan I used heroin and every other drug I could get my hands on from age of 13 to age of 32.

I was strung out like a research monkey and knew no other way. I got clean in the penitentiary in NY in 1979. I got clean in AA because we did not know about Narcotics Anonymous in New York City. When I had 1 ½ years clean I went to Orlando Florida to visit my Aunt that hade 25 years in AA.

After that I continued to Fort Laurderale to see my old friend and using partner Maureen who also got clean in the Joint in Florida. While down there, Maureen asked me if I wanted to go to an NA meeting and I asked what is NA. I had no clue there was a fellowship that existed just for Addicts Just like me. Even though I got clean in AA, I new in my heart I did not belong there.

While I was in Florida members of NA said I should go Back to NY and start NA. At the time I had a hard time walking and chewing bubble gum. I yes them to death and had no plans of starting anything.

On my return to NY I went to a meeting of that other fellowship, (AA), and one of the old timers was ranting about how Low Life Addicts did not belong in AA and they were taking over there meetings. When it came my turn to share, I said I was going to start the first meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in NY. Two weeks later we had our first meeting with the help of members of Both Sides of the coin meeting of AA.

Which was a special interest group where members could share about there Drug Addiction. The first meeting was Awareness Group at 93 street and 35 Avenue in Jackson Heights Queens. I kept starting meetings all over NY City because I found a home in Narcotics Anonymous and freedom from active addiction. I was told from my dear friend Nona that it was none of my business what God did with my life.

I became friends With the Founder of Narcotics Anonymous Jimmy Kinnon a relationship I will treasure till the day I die. We hade 4 meetings in NY at the time and I would write to the World Serv ice Office of NA and ask for literature. They would send me a starter kit with 7 information pamphlets and a white book. Which did not meet our needs. So I wrote a letter to the Office.

To whom it may concern: It would be easer to get an ounce of pure heroin from my old connection than it would be to get literature from you people. In loving service and if you don't like it I will meet you in the parking lot of the 11th world convention and we can discus it. A week later I got a phone call from Jimmy saying since we got your letter we know NA will grow and flourish in NY. We just sent you $500.00 worth of literature pay us when you can. I have lived in Conn, Florida, Los Angles, and now Heber Utah and everywhere I go, I start NA meetings.

I got to all these places chasing women and looking for happiness. Where I live now is where I want to die in Utah. I have the most wonderful wife and children a successful business which I owe to the fellowship of NA. I have 27 years clean in Narcotics Anonymous and been blessed with a very spiritual life. I will go to meeting till the day I die.

Most of the people I got clean with are no longer with us and a lot of the old timer are dieing out and I miss them dearly. .When I was 16 my mother took out a life insurance policy on me so she would have money to bury me. Because of Narcotics Anonymous I'm still here and go nowhere else for my recovery.


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