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Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

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ADH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by ADH »

Hello,

This has been bugging me for a while already. Basically, the format does not mention the 12 steps at all nor the 12 traditions in a clear way (and not even all of them). If a newcomer hears somebody share about the steps he'll go "huh???" He basically doesn't understand what they are. He has no clue what our solution is and so he has no clue how to deal with computer gaming addiction. A lot of newcomers will start thinking: oh, the steps are just OPTIONAL and not really required for dealing with addiction and so will proceed in I life full of misery and eventually leave to never return: "CGAA doesn't work."

I think we are keeping newcomers in the dark regarding the solution we have and what they can expect of our meetings. In my opinion this is not ok.

I've come to believe that it should be a requirement to read the steps and traditions aloud at the meetings. Yesyes, it is a concern people will leave. I think that that actually will not happen, especially if somebody else then the chair is asked to read the steps and traditions. In the Dutch meeting we have lots of readings and nobody runs away from our meetings.

Thoughts?
Scott
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:53 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by Scott »

We had a long discussion on this issue a couple of years ago, found here: 12-steps-12-traditions-absent-from-cgaa ... 0-s10.html

My thoughts remain the same:
Scott wrote:If we want to have a recital of the twelve steps at a weekly step meeting, then yes, by all means, let's do that. But if we're talking about putting one particular reading at the start of all seventeen of our meetings, such that it is the very first thing a newcomer hears, before he or she has a chance to hear a single story or relate to a single member of the fellowship, then it must be something that is helpful to newcomers. We need to meet them where they are at. It is a disservice to skip over steps A-H and to imply that our program consists solely of steps I1-I12 or to imply that if you're not ready or willing to take those steps then our program has nothing to offer you.

In my mind, there is a huge difference between deciding on how to run one particular meeting frequented by a particular subgroup of members and deciding on a change to all seventeen meetings attended by all of us, including large numbers of newcomers. There are all kinds of things that I would find perfectly fine for one meeting that I would not want for all seventeen meetings.

Also, we've had discussions where it has been repeatedly pointed out that it's simply not true that the steps are the entirety of our solution. They don't even include abstinence, never mind meetings, fellowship, sponsorship, and all of the other parts of the program that are not within the steps and bring people to a place where they can begin formal step work with a sponsor (such as getting a sponsor.)
ADH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by ADH »

Yes, well. Abstinence is not equal to recovery.
Also, meetings is where we meet one another and the newcomer. NOT where we get our recovery. We can get useful suggestions there and hear inspiration and experience, but not complete recovery.
Then there's the steps. The steps provide a solution to the disease of addiction. It's the only solution we have. This is how we work on our recovery, not through attending meetings and sitting there listening to one another complaining or listening to one another what our day was like.
Of course, yesyes, people have found therapists to be helpful. Yes, well, is this a training program to become a therapist? No! Is this a talk-group which we can use besides therapy, talking about our experiences with therapy? No! ...But it does seem to happen lately.
Now, you would ask why. Well, simple: the newcomer looks for a solution, and doesn't find one here (he comes in here, becomes abstinent and... doesn't get handed a solution) or starts thinking meetings are the solution (which they're not) and remain miserable or relapse again and again, eventually not returning because they think CGAA doesn't work.
LND_5678
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by LND_5678 »

Hi ADH
From my perspective, the 12 steps are only part of recovery, they are not the whole. I don't think I would still be moving forward in recovery and would still be here at CGAA if it were not also for twelve traditions, the principles, and being in fellowship with other members during meetings. I'm pretty sure I would have left CGAA if the first thing parroted at me during meetings were a long recitation of the twelve steps. I've been at face-to-face meetings (other types of 12 step addictions) where they spend an inordinate amount of time at the beginning of the meeting reading paper handouts that drag on and on, leaving only a tiny portion of the meeting for members to share experience, hope, and strength. I can't get myself to go back to those meetings. They didn't convey the spirit of recovery to me, as a newcomer.

thanks,
Linda
ADH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by ADH »

The 12 steps are the only solution we have. Yes, meetings are helpful. That does not mean that they are the way to recovery. I know of some examples who seem to think that way, and their lives are miserable. I find myself wondering when they will leave to never come back.

They think meetings are the solution, and that's because we don't inform them of what solution we have.
MorganF
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Reading the steps and traditions at meetings

Post by MorganF »

A part of the issue, there, Xander, is that we don't have step and tradition meetings regularly enough in the OOMG.

This is on the agenda.
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