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 Tradition Twelve 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:54 pm
Posts: 55
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:54 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:59 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Colorado (Front Range Urban Corridor)
State/Province/Country: Colorado, USA
I was recently reminded that it's a good idea for me to look at my own recovery in light of our Traditions from time to time. I thought I'd post here. I'm going to start exactly where I should, with Tradition 12. :)

Tradition 12: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

This tradition is kind of a summary of all the traditions. It identifies the basic principle behind all of them--anonymity. What's great here is that there is no hierarchy, nobody in charge. Leaders serve the group, and the group decides what to do, through our wonderful group conscience process (which so far has worked perfectly). What happens here is not about me or any other specific member--it's about the principles of the program, the steps we take, the support we give one another. It's not you or me--it's the magic of the fellowship that builds this safe space around us. It's higher power that restores us. We don't need someone to tell us what we have to do. Our disease tells us that, and more. What we do here is band together to defeat it, day by day. And anyone and everyone can help someone else. No one of us is indispensible, but we are all important. Not our names or the details of who we are, but the simple fact that we're here, that we keep coming back.

To work this tradition, I need to remind myself that I can learn from anyone, no matter how much or how little time they have in recovery. I remind myself that no one is above or below anyone else here. And I remind myself that it's the principles of recovery and higher power and the magic of the fellowship that's important, not one particular person (like me) or particular ideas (like mine).

_________________
You have to go the way the way your blood beats:
If you don't live the only life you have,
You won't live some other life,
You just won't live any life at all.

I was dan1 in a former life.

skype: dan939f
reddit: DansNewLife


Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:16 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:59 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Colorado (Front Range Urban Corridor)
State/Province/Country: Colorado, USA
As I continue to think about the importance of Tradition 12, I am aware of something I've learned and done in meetings. This has been a four-year process for me, and it's just now become clear how important for me Tradition 12 is as a meeting leader (as well as a meeting-goer).

When I'm leading a meeting and a newcomer comes in (either first-timer or someone who only has a few weeks or months), they often feel some reticence to share. They may be shy or embarrassed :oops: about their gaming addiction and where it has taken them, and/or they may feel that they have nothing to offer to the group (which is not at all true). When I was first in the fellowship, people often complimented one another on their shares, and I was often doing that as well. But at a certain point I have begun to realize that it might be a problem for others, particularly newcomers, who maybe only shared haltingly, for a minute or two. The newcomer already feels isolated and alone, and for the first time they have found people they can relate to on their addiction. They may be in a lot of pain and distress. XD They are very likely extremely down on themselves. If I compliment someone on their share ("wow, what a great share") then it's a positive thing for that person, for sure. But others may feel that they can't really address the topic, and if they do share and don't get a compliment, they may interpret it to mean that what they have to say isn't valuable to the group.

Tradition 12 ("Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.") reminds me that there isn't a hierarchy of shares. We share our experience, strength and hope, and we can't be sure whether it will be helpful to any particular person.
To me, as long as a share is honest and doesn't attack others, then it's a good share (meaning that somebody can probably be helped by it). I've been helped by shares of people who are in the meeting for the first time. No kidding. And what we are fundamentally about it being a fellowship--a group of addicts who can support one another to stay away from our addiction, one day at a time.

We don't have any gurus here, we don't have anyone telling us what to do. That's why CGAA came into being, to be a place of mutual support, where we can apply principles of the program, which include the 12 Traditions. If you didn't game today, then good for you, and I didn't either, so we made it. :thumbsup: That's all there is. I can (privately) feel some shares are more helpful to me than others, but I've stopped believing that I can really judge what is going to be helpful to someone else. I can't always judge even what's going to be helpful to me, turns out.

Tradition 12 is a foundation for the other traditions: We have only one level of membership (desire to stop), we have no one who tells us what to do in our groups (except the conscience of the group itself), we work together in unity :hugs: for everyone's recovery, etc., and it's magic, big, big magic. So when I'm moderating a group, my goal for myself is going to be to encourage everyone as best I can by simply thanking them. I haven't done this perfectly in the past, and I'm pretty sure I won't do it perfectly in the future, but I've been reminded of the importance of Tradition 12 for us, and I'll do my best. And of course, I'm not the only one in the meeting, so I trust the higher power of the group to make sure everyone gets thanked for their share. :clap: Because we're all trying to stop.

That's my share, and that's all it is. :) Thanks for listening.

_________________
You have to go the way the way your blood beats:
If you don't live the only life you have,
You won't live some other life,
You just won't live any life at all.

I was dan1 in a former life.

skype: dan939f
reddit: DansNewLife


Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 100
State/Province/Country: NC, USA
In my AA home group, I noticed that no one ever complimented me or others on their shares after the meeting (of course we didn't do it during the meeting, being a Face-to-Face meeting). After a while, I started to pick up on this and realized that it is a part of the recovery process. As Jeff mentioned, we have no gurus or experts, etc, and that was a part of the reason for the behavior; but one of the reasons that I noticed that no one ever complimented others on their shares is because no one ever complimented me on mine. I noticed because my ego and pride wanted the compliment! I wanted outside affirmation that I am special when I am not. God knows I have ego and pride enough without folks complimenting me on my shares, so it was best that no one ever did (or does!).

I appreciate the perspective Jeff offers on the new comer and I think it could be expanded. I know for myself that, even with years of recovery, I am still sensitive to when folks are regularly complimenting/commenting on someone else's shares but not mine and can come to feel like I am not part of the fellowship when that happens. In that way, publicly complimenting someone else's share can also disrupt the unity of the fellowship (Tradition 1).


Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:14 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
I know that when I first came to the fellowship, I didn't pay much attention to how many adjectives people put into their "thanks for sharing" messages after a share. I was too busy trying to cope with the newly realized reality of being a gaming addict, feeling tense about whether/what I was going to share, or feeling relief that I shared and didn't get laughed at or minimized in some way. Once I got to the point where I was starting to do at least a little bit better (but before I got more than a few weeks at a time off of games) I started to notice very much what people said (or didn't say) after a share, and also to notice (and watch for) people's apparent reactions DURING my share. If nobody was putting up "nods" or "relates" or anything else, then I would start to feel like my share wasn't "good enough", and if all I got was the "vanilla" appreciation when I finished ("Thanks for sharing"), then my share definitely wasn't good enough.

I'm doing much better with both of these things at this point, but I do still find myself looking for people's reactions to my share while I'm speaking (I do this in my f2f meetings too, although not as much), and there's still an emotional reaction when somebody says something "more complimentary" about somebody else's share than about mine, which just goes to show that I still have plenty of things to grow in.

I hope to continue to grow in all of this, and in being content to simply share what I feel like I need to share without worrying about what other people think about it, but I appreciate the perspective of looking at all of this through the 12th Tradition. If recovery is about principles instead of personalities, then people complimenting me about my share is concerning on 2 levels...first, that they might be starting to think more highly of me than is wise (with potentially bad consequences when they find out that I'm just like they are), and second, that I might start to think more highly of me than is wise (with distinctly bad consequences when I am next reminded by the fact that I'm just like everybody else). Yes, only one of those is on my side of the street, but I do think it's good for the fellowship to generally avoid calling out particular people, even when it's being done to praise somebody.

I have been at a few meetings in which somebody spoke very highly of something that I said in a share once, and although I was grateful and encouraged the first time that happened, I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable with it because neither recovery nor the lesson I'd been sharing about learning is about me. When somebody says "LS says..." or "LS said..." or any of a whole host of things that communicate the same idea, then for a brief moment the meeting becomes about me and what I have or haven't said in the past...and for that brief moment, the meeting cannot carry the message to the addict who still suffers, because the message isn't "LS can help", the message is "the program can help". I'd rather let the program carry the weight, not me. It's a lot easier that way, and produces better results too.


Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:32 pm
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