Tradition One: 1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OLGA (OLG-Anon) unity.
Since I'm only a member of OLGA, this post is about the unity necessary in OLGA.
I'll start with a quote from AA's 12 and 12. I've replaced "AA" with "the fellowship" and "he" with "they." Could be OLGA or any fellowship of recovering addicts.
12 and 12 wrote:
Does this mean," some will anxiously ask, "that in the fellowship the individual doesn't count for much? Are they to be dominated by the group and swallowed up in it?" We may certainly answer this question with a loud "No!" We believe there isn't a fellowship on earth which lavishes more devoted care upon its individual members; surely there is none which more jealously guards the individual's right to think, talk, and act as they wish. No member can compel another to do anything; nobody can be punished or expelled*. Our Twelve Steps to recovery are suggestions; the Twelve Traditions which guarantee the fellowship's unity contain not a single "Don't." They repeatedly say "We ought..." but never "you must"
One might ask how unity can be achieved when we are so accepting of everyone's right to go their own way. Here's what it says:
12 and 12 wrote:
Those who look closely soon have the key to this strange paradox. The member has to conform to the principles of recovery. Their life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If they deviate too far, the penalty is sure and swift; they sicken and die. At first they go along because they must, but later they discover a way of life they really want to live. Moreover, they find they cannot keep this priceless gift unless they give it away. Neither they nor anybody else can survive unless they carry the fellowship's message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a group, another discovery is made--that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns that they are but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the fellowship. They learn that the clamor of desires and ambitions within them must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not.
At my open AA meeting this morning, there followed sharing by one after another person of how the group took them in, accepted them, accepted them back after their relapses, but also shared the truth even when it was painful. We share our own experience, strength and hope. We don't say, "this is how you will recover," we say "this is what helped me." Our unity grows from our common experience of learning to live with our disease without living with the behavior that it is pushing us toward. And to do this, we have to silence our ego, not insist on our way, become open to hearing from others, and tolerant of difference. Then we will have unity; then we have a fellowship.
If you have received help here, then, there is something very important for you to do: turn and help another. It takes a village to save an addict. That village is us.
*the website is not quite the same as the fellowship: in order to maintain a safe space for recovery on the site, we do have some guidelines and governance. But apparently people who want to recover seem to be happy to follow the website guidelines; we very rarely need to enforce anything, except to deal with trolls and spammers, etc.
I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.