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Wisdom of Recovery
Tradition 12: Anonymity
Reflection. Tradition 12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. When we first read this tradition, it might seem strange to us. Anonymity a spiritual thing? Moreso, what does it mean for it to be foundational for other traditions? This may seem confusing for a while.
Then we begin our recovery. We go to meetings where everyone is treated with respect. We see no one judged, and everyone accepted where they are. We read the literature of the program, which is authored anonymously. We hear our sponsor telling us that we should not put ourselves below others (a problem for many addicts). We find people who don't talk much publicly about their sponsors or sponsees, nor who said what at a meeting. We find people sharing insights without putting others on a pedestal. We see that in the fellowship, things are a bit different.
The key to this tradition is that addicts have big egos. When we begin, we aren't humble. Quite the opposite. We are in denial about the things we have done wrong, and we think we know best. Or we put ourselves down constantly, and hate ourselves for our addiction and for what we have become as a result. (Or both!) Eventually we see that neither of these represents humility, and that, in fact, it is our insecurity that feeds our need for superiority. In either case, the focus is on us. "I am horrible" lacks humility just the same as "I am the best" does. Humility is seeing ourselves as being on the same level as other gaming addicts--no better, no worse. We don't compare ourselves--whose addiction was worse, whose recovery is faster, who has done what.
And the program is a program created by recovering addicts, for the purpose of sharing what worked for us. We don't pretend to have all the answers. We don't assume that you want or need to do what we did; we simply share it in case it happens to be helpful to you. We also don't put ourselves down, and assume that we cannot help anyone else. We just participate. We're trying to recover together.
So anonymity is indeed a deeply spiritual matter. It leads us to humility. It leads us away from the relentless focus on ourselves that was the hallmark of our addiction. It reminds us that each one of us is equally important, and no one of us is better than another. It saves us from our ego.
Questions: Do I constantly put myself down and criticize myself? Do I feel the need to be better than others? Do I worry about what others think of me?
Actions: List several ways that you tend to think you are "better" or "worse" than other addicts. For each one, ask yourself if you are willing to let that attitude go.
Prayer: May I not focus on myself today, with either criticism or a need to be "better." Instead, help me to focus on working my program and helping others.
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.