As recovering gangsters we find joy in representing a more positive approach to life. In our day to day struggle with living life as normal people we often fall into despair. We are type cast as criminals in every area of life. Some are lucky enough to appear innocent, while others have the look of the super predator. We learn to stand in our own brand of dignity throughout all negative scenarios. We have seen the worst of us overcome the initial stigma of the recovering gangster. Recovery has many rewards and gifts . We have come to realize the longer we stay gangster free, putting our freedom first, the easier life becomes. We begin by eliminating the negative opinion from our karma. We then eliminate the negative opinion from our personal space. Money property and prestige will begin to play an important role in our recovery. Everyone witnessing our struggles will place these three items above any and all things important to us. We must remember where we come from and where we were headed when we placed these three items ahead of our recovery. With our higher power and patience we in recovery have come to realize freedom first.
We develop recovery-oriented goals for ourselves as we work this process. When we see that we’ve been afraid to go forward in a particular area of our lives we can resolve to take a few risks, drawing our courage from our higher power. When we see that we’ve been selfish, we can strive to become more generous in the future. When we realize today that we’ve fallen short in any area of our lives, we don’t have to be overwhelmed by feelings of dread and fear of failure. Instead, we can be grateful for our self-awareness and begin to feel a sense of hope. We know that by applying our program of recovery to our shortcomings we will change and grow.
Our experiences as active gangsters taught us one truth, this mentality is a life destroying sickness. The progression may happen overnight, or it may take years for it to become apparent, but one thing for sure it will always bring crime and death around us. As long as we are actively engaging in this gangsters’ mentality our lives will continue to suffer. It would be impossible to diagnose a gangsters’ mentality in a way that everyone accepts. However, the illness seems to show its self in the following ways; mentally we become obsessed with thoughts of superheroism, illegal riches and expensive material goods. Physically, we develop a compulsion to continue to protect illegally, rob and commit crimes to purchase expensive material goods. Spiritually, we become very self centered in everything we believe including the power over life.
Looking at a gangsters mentality as an illness makes perfect sense to members of Gangsters Anonymous, in our experience, the mentality is progressive, contagious, attractive and incurable.
At Gangsters Anonymous, we deal with all signs of our illness, not just its most obvious symptoms; our persona. The mechanics of our illness are wide ranging. By practicing this process, we learn to uncover, discover and discard the ways in which our mentality affects us individually. Regardless of the personal effects of this mentality on our life, all of us share some common characteristics. Through working the 12 steps of G.A. we will address the obsession, the compulsion, denial, and what many have deemed the “Absence of Spirituality.”