As I was getting up to leave, Dave came up to me and said “The monster is really taking you for a ride isn't he”. I asked him what he was talking about. I'd never met this man before in my life. He told me “I can see the disease in your eyes and it's whipping you like it's bitch isn't it?” I hadn't heard anyone really talk about anything but drugs in the meetings so I wasn't sure what he meant by “the disease” at first. Then Greg and Bo came over and invited me to go to coffee to talk more about what they also could see in my eyes that night. Mind you I had about 18 months clean from all drugs but they could see I was the one truly “suffering” at that meeting that night from the “disease” as they called it.
I spent all night talking to these men about the nature of addiction and recovery. This led to more and more phone calls as they each went back to the east coast after the convention. As they introduced me to more and more people who worked a “different' type of program than what I was surrounded with in Los Angeles, I knew I needed something “more”. Social acceptability does not equate recovery and despite my outside success, and even my time off drugs and away from any crime, I felt I wasn't going to make it through life without getting more of what these men had. I felt it so strongly I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and went to go live in a basement in Atlantic City in 1989 just so I could spiritually apprentice back there among this group of people.