Member Stories

GSR Stands for Group Service Representative, but It Means So Much More!

I have been fortunate to be a GSR for a little over one year now. Before I became a GSR I wasn’t sure that I was the right fit for this position. I didn’t know any of the other GSRs, and I only knew 2 of the RSC members. I also did not realize the value that a GSR would be to the NFG.

I have now participated in the GSR Teleconferences for over one year. By the end of the first teleconference I knew I was right where I belonged! On the monthly calls, I consider all of the GSRs, and the RSC members my good friends. I appreciate how supportive they are, and how they share their service experiences in Nar-Anon. The RSC members keep us informed of everything going on in the region, and the organization. The GSRs are encouraged to share their experiences in their NFG, and to bring up any discussions that are needed to assist in the success of their position.

I look forward to the one hour each month that I get to speak with my friends! I learn something new every month, and I am so excited to bring this new knowledge back to my group!

I am so honored, and privileged to serve as the GSR for the Schaumburg, IL Nar-Anon Family Group! I cannot wait to participate in the next GSR Teleconference with all of you!

–  Ilene – Schaumburg NFG

What has Nar-Anon done for me? For us?
Nar-Anon saved our marriage.

We were an old couple when we learned that our only child was an addict. This brought us to our knees and thus, into the rooms. Pride was replaced by humility. Religion was enhanced with spirituality. Love flowed back into our hearts. Trust replaced suspicion. Step by step, we began this painful walk into an un-chartered future.

The call that changed our lives came from our son on March 17th, St. Paddy’s Day, a few day’s after one of the worst fights we’d ever had… a car was involved. My son spoke cautioning me in an even, but serious tone, “Are you sitting down?” Upon hearing that, I pressed “speaker” so we could both listen. “I’m an addict.” No! It couldn’t be! Was this the soap opera, “As the World Turns?” Yet, our relationship with him had deteriorated over eight years. And then, “Mom, can you come here?” I packed while he spoke, but during that long drive, I thought of the 12 steps of AA and Alanon, praying for Serenity and wondering, was there a group specifically to help drug addicts and their families?

With time away from my spouse to think, I felt that we’d spent too much of our lives angrily blaming each other. Now, at this time, we coalesced as a family. And as parents, we knew this was not our fault. We didn’t cause it. As we publicly turned our will and our lives over to God in meeting after meeting, week after week, it dawned on us that we couldn’t change the addict either.

Taking a moral inventory, sorting out our fears and resentments, we found peace with ourselves and with one another. Churchgoers for years, we found faith through Nar-Anon. We live in this world so our lives are dictated by nature. Each stage of life from conception to death is a given. Somehow in the vibrancy of our adulthood, from 20-60, we forgot that. Vowing to love one another, we saw this equation as 1 + 1 = 2. But if we view our marriage in a supernatural light, we realize that God is part of this equation, and so it’s more like; 1+ 1 + 1 = 1. Our love binds us into one, dependent upon God.

Our strength also comes from the Hope we have found through the experience of others in the Nar-Anon program. We speak to our friends and we listen to newcomers about our recovery. Following the 12 Steps of Nar-Anon broke the cycle of bitterness and isolation. Nar-Anon has brought us closer together as a couple than we have ever been before.


My story begins with me being addicted to my addicts. I started in Al-Anon 12 years ago and found some comfort there. True healing for me came from Nar-Anon, after 2 of my addicts moved from alcohol to heroin. The fellowship at Nar-Anon and the SESH daily reader helped me to see that I was important and that I am not responsible for my addicts’ recovery, only mine. By letting go of feeling responsible for their disease, I have taken control of my life, and have come to realize that I must model the behavior I want to see in my addicts. This is where my power lies – in helping them to see that life is truly wonderful, not life spent in addiction, but a life lived as a recoveryee.

Christine Z. – Branson NFG

Why do I go to Nar-Anon?

I go to Nar-Anon to be with others who have loved ones who are addicts.

I go to Nar-Anon to learn to live in the solution of this family disease of addiction not in the sickness.

I go to Nar-Anon to learn to be myself – just me. Not who I should be, not who I could be, not who someone NEEDS me to be and not who I NEEED!!! To be for someone else to MAKE them be OK.

I learn that being who I am and learning to respect myself teaches me to respect others and gives us all the space we require to see ourselves and grow.

I have discovered that being myself is worth the effort and much less exhausting than futilely reconfiguring myself to help in ways that are not helping and having expectations of myself and others that are not in my power to accomplish.

I go to Nar-Anon because I and my loved ones are worth it. I am willing to let recovery begin with me.

I will always love the addict in my life, I have been affected by this family disease and I am willing to learn and grow and change. Change creates change that is just the way it is- it is not control.

In Nar-Anon I am no longer alone but I am with others who have hope and serenity in their lives and I want it too.

In Nar-Anon I keep coming back because this program works when I work it and I and my family are worth it.

This program is a gift that I choose to receive.

I attend Nar-Anon meetings as often as possible in order to keep myself focused.  My addict has not chosen recovery; he is my adult son in his 20’s.  I am a testament to the fact that one can have a fulfilling life even when chaos reigns in a loved one’s life.  Do I wish things were different?  Of course!  But I no longer spend my days concerned with fixing him; I focus on improving myself and my life.  I cherish the empathetic ears in my Nar-Anon group.  My friends there do not try to solve my problems, but they allow me to listen to their stories and make decisions on my own on how best to live my life.  I also “use” them to keep myself accountable.  When I am faltering and headed back to old, enabling ways, I “fess up” in a meeting.  Just stating something out loud gives me the strength to make a change.  I know they care.  What a wonderful blessing to be among such folks!
– Pam – Shawnee NFG