+ Part One +
Asia Pacific Forum Newsletter
Sun, 5 Jan 2003 23:56:15 -0500
NA in Indonesia
I'm an addict named Vickie L. The first time I used
drugs, I was about 15 years old and the event was
a night out with two other girls. The fact that all three
of us were named 'Vickie' is not the only reason that
this was an unforgettable evening. What I found that
night blew my mind...in more ways than one. I was
quite excited about this discovery and was looking
forward to the next opportunity to do it again before
I even got home that night.
However, that unforgettable evening was not over
yet. I got in bed, covered up and here comes my
mother to hug me and tell me that she is glad that I
am home. She immediately knew that I was high and
it seemed as though her entire life flashed before her
eyes because her perfect, precious daughter was high.
When she said that she was awakening my father, I
pleaded with her not to do so, but she brought him to
my room immediately. I truly believe that if he had
beaten me or just hit me once, I would have used that
as a 'blaming' technique in my angry excuse to use
again. Yet my father hugged my mother and he cried.
That kept me from using again for about ten years.
Talk about a progressive disease! Even after ten years
between the first and second times using, I can look
back and see exactly what that phrase means. It was
just as though I had continued to get high all those
years and from then on, I was on a downward spiral
at the rate of a non-stop avalanche.
Because of using, my life included such as the
following: my children taking care of themselves...and
me; my parents and grandmother going through
enough heartbreak to well make up for my ten years
of abstinence; giving up a job that I really liked
working with juvenile delinquents in a detention
center; losing almost everything...including my mind.
Although the following events did not take place all at
the same time, some were continuous through out my
active addiction. I experienced physical and mental
abuse, beaten up, back broken, rape, and much more.
But to top it all off, I was gunshot in the left side of my
head (left temporal). During the neurosurgery, my
family was told not to expect me to live, but that if I
did, I would be paralyzed from the neck down, have
total memory loss and completely lose my left eye. None
of this happened, not even slightly losing any vision.
While in active addiction, miracle after miracle after
miracle happened to keep me alive.
Did I stop using? No! I decided that I would quit this
drug, but not that one or that other one and also
decided that maybe I should add this one or two.
Insanity in active addiction.
When I finally hit bottom and admitted myself into
the hospital for help, I had no idea what was about to
happen with my life. After 'Detox', the hospital took
me to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and my whole
world suddenly became real. I honestly shared with
them that I knew I had a problem with this drug and
that drug, but I did not know how I would be able to
live without a few other drugs. They knew what I
meant, understood what I was talking about and told
me about Narcotics Anonymous. They explained to
me that the disease of addiction can attempt to easily
convince an addict that she needs drugs, while they
are killing her all along! They told me that an addict
'cannot do just one' of any drug, that 'one is too
many and a thousand is never enough'.
Everything that those members of NA told me that
night, I could relate to! I was beginning to understand
exactly what they were sharing with me! And one of
the most memorable feelings of that evening was that
I finally felt at home! I finally felt that I fit in
somewhere, that I belonged!
This night my clean date: April 12, 1994 and I thank
NA and the God of my understanding for that evening
that turned my whole life around and I could finally
begin to get to know the real world...and the real
Vickie. Since I have been clean, there have been even
more miracles! The God of my understanding has
continuous 'coincidences' take place and I am
constantly amazed. There have been some very painful
times, such as my mother's death, but my strength
comes from the very loving, spiritual fellowship of
NA and from a relationship with the God of my
understanding that I could not have previously
dreamed about. I remember when I was a few months
clean, a man shared in a meeting that it is a good idea
to write out a list about your dreams. He said to make
a list of the dreams that you would like to see come
true in the next five years; the next ten years; and
fifteen and twenty. He also suggested keeping them
in a journal, perhaps, and to look back on them one
day...that you would be suprised at how many of them
have come true. I looked back on my list for five
years and it is amazing! Yes, almost all of them have
come true and the ones that did not, believe me, I am
grateful that they didn’t! I must add that one of them
missed it by a little. I dreamed to visit Ireland because
it is the homeland of my ancestry. That has somewhat
taken place because I flew over it en route to
After very much prayer and watching many closed
doors opening, I accepted a position in a recovery
centre in Bogor as the female house administrator
and drug addiction counsellor. The primary means of
recovery at this centre is to have all of the residents
in NA or we know that it will not work.
The first meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in
Indonesia took place on April 1, 1997 in Jakarta. This
was started by an addict named David G.. He
recognised over 50,000 addicts (in Jakarta alone) with
no recovery program available. There was a “med
detox”, but no NA meetings, no aftercare of any
nature. David G. knew through his own experience,
strength and hope that if this did not immediately
change, many deaths could not be prevented. NA
began and there are now many recovering addicts in
In Bogor, there are three meetings per week:
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays...with more to
come. The attendance for two of these meetings is
usually 50-70 members. One of the meetings is closed
for addicts with HIV/AIDS. We see that this is seriously
needed in Indonesia. We’ve come to believe that there
are other diseases that quite often adjoin themselves
with the disease of addiction. At the recovery center,
the present statistics are as follows: 64 residents, 20%
HIV positive and 80% Hepatitis C positive. However,
twelve of the residents have not been tested as of yet
and with practically watching these percentages grow,
we know that it will continue to do so.
NA in Indonesia is presently in need of areas, regions,
conventions and especially in need of translated
literature! Friends of ours in the New Hope Area of
NA in North Carolina of the United States got
together and told our story here to the World Service
Office. The members there bent over backwards in
order to get NA literature (English is certainly better
than none) and key tags to us! I wish many more
could have seen these members, some who had over
a year clean, go up to get their key tags for the first
time! I believe many of us have been taking such as
this for granted in comparison with the members here.
I see the Steps, the Traditions, the spiritual principles
of Narcotics Anonymous at work on a daily basis
with these residents here. I know without the
meetings, without the unity of the fellowship none
of us could survive. We have so much to give
together, such unconditional love that comes with
the experience of recovery.
The Asian Pacific Forum Newsletter presents the
experiences and opinions of individual members of
Narcotics Anonymous. The opinions expressed are
not to be attributed to Narcotics Anonymous as a
whole, nor does publishing of any article imply
endorsement by Narcotics Anonymous.
Please send articles, list of events, or other
material to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to
Ivan, 28/d/ Police Court Lane,3rd Flr., Fort
Mumbai 400 001, India.
. . . . . .
TO BE CONTINUED
Send Vickie email!
All Photographs + Text © 2005 Christopher Keeley
Return to Intervention Home Page