Anonymity, Meetings and Belonging
What does Anonymity mean?
Defined as ‘lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability’ in the dictionary, GA practices anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and internet, to preserve the Unity and Principles of the Program. Such practices include, not using last names in meetings, or exposing someone else’s membership to the fellowship in public.
I haven’t lost everything. Do I still belong?
With reference to GA, we feel gambling is an emotional problem; a thinking and living problem. Therefore, money problems seem only to be a symptom of the problem itself. See also “Isn’t compulsive gambling basically a financial problem?” in the Combo Book.
I belong to “another” 12-Step program. Can’t I just use that program to help my gambling problem?
Perhaps. However, many cross-addicted members in the fellowship feel that their other 12-Step groups do not provide the understanding found in GA for their gambling problem. Many have found that only GA can help them with their gambling problem.
What if I see someone I know at a meeting?
Anonymity is the basis for the Gamblers Anonymous program. Therefore, unless agreed mutually, members should not discuss outside involvement within a meeting, or vice versa.
How many meetings do I have to attend?
GA believes that “Compulsive gambling is an illness, progressive in its nature, which can never be cured, but can be arrested.” Therefore, most members feel that recovery is dependant on a program that includes the attendance of meetings. Some members will suggest “attending as many meetings as possible” for at least 90 days. After such time, a member can make a better decision on whether the program is right for them.