Criminals & Gangs Anonymous
We came to CGA because of various reasons.
These are our stories
FromTHE WIRE , Our CGA Group Newsletter
But, I'm Not a Gang Member
Myfirst meeting was full of honesty and emotion. I felt right at home. I had always committed my crimes sober, but I had never put my past together until I went into that room.
I am addicted to a criminal way of thinking.
Ihave gone to other recovery programs for some of my problems, but until I came to CGA, there was always something missing. After my first couple of meetings, I began to feel that missing void was being filled.
After opening the CGA Big Book, I read Step # 1, and after just that much reading, I knew I had found "The Group" for me. The Big Book is so well written and easy to understand. You see, I am addicted to crime and if you are anything like me and want to stop the insanity … just read the CGA Big Book and follow the Steps.
Now after I have been working this stuff with a few people, I have began to change in ways I would have never imagined. Today, I am able to trust other people and I have not done that for many years. I am on the way to recovery, one day at a time. I will continue to work on my many addictions, mainly crime, and keep in communication with the God of my understanding.
(David F; The Wire, Vol.1; Issue 1)
Just Being Me
Myname is Joseph, I was caught up in a life of "bad habits"
Ididn't know how to stop doing the same old bad things. I allowed myself to get caught up so bad in my addictions, that I was powerless over them, "out of control", because of them and my life had become unmanageable. When I was face to face with myself, there was no way out, I was an Addict! I became Mr. Attitude in every aspect of my life. I only through of myself and how I could "get over" on someone else.
Ibegan doing crime at a very young age, and as I got older, the crimes became worse. I needed drugs or alcohol to give me the courage to be brave and do these crimes. Not only was I a criminal, but I was an alcoholic and drug addict.
As my life became more and more out of control, I ended up in a prison. While in prison I would wear masks and adopt all kinds of attitudes. I would lie through my teeth to others, looking for acceptance by them.
Ifinally started going to other recovery programs. It was there, I began to learn about powerlessness, addictions, and how to get what I need to get better if I want it enough. The only problem was I still thought like a criminal and I did not know how to change that way of thinking.
One day, a friend asked me to attend a CGA meeting. I asked what it was about and he told me that it was a program for guys like him, and maybe me. He said that it was a simple program that can show us how to live a better life.
Iwent to my first CGA meeting and it was the best gift God and my friend could have given me. CGA has shown me not only how to change my criminal way of thinking, but also my many other addictions. I now am able to see my defects of character and work through them with a simple 12 Step process. Now I take time out to look at some things in my behavior and attitude that may be stopping me from reaching my goals in recovery.
Then I try to address and correct the problem, for that day.
Change is everything to me now.
I have found that in CGA, just being me.
(Joseph M, Wire, Vol.1, Issue 1)
Ican only speak for myself as to why I chose CGA. I was tired of hurting both myself and those near to me. Although it usually wasn't done on purpose, I hurt those who were the closest to me. I hurt my family; mom, dad, sister, wives (ex) and my children. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I just could not manage to stop myself. I had become embarrassed to share with anyone all the things from my past. I was ashamed of what I had become. I felt guilty for doing criminal things. I hurt inside, and I did NOT like it, at all!
Ihad already made a decision to stop drinking and getting loaded. After 9 months of not using, I relapsed. I began to do crimes again in order to get loaded. My relapse awakened a sleeping giant that demanded my attention. I knew from my past that someone was in BIG TROUBLE! It was then, that I first thought I might be willing to do whatever it would take to stop the pain.
Iwent to other recovery groups, but I could only talk about alcohol or drugs. I found some help from these problems, for a while, but eventually
the criminal stuff kicked in
Some of my best crime I did, I did while I was stone cold sober! Afterwards, I'd get drunk or loaded.
In other groups I could not talk freely about crime or criminal thinking. I couldn't talk about the anger I felt when someone got in my face; why I taxed people for drugs or dealt drugs. I couldn't discuss the feeling that I had to do those things, in order to survive. I didn’t know why I hated people of different colors.
One day I was invited to a CGA meeting. Although I wasn't a gang member, I went. I felt right at home, because I was a criminal and there were other people there.
Just like me!
Iwasn’t fixed when I walked through the doors of CGA and I know I'll never be cured. What I have found is a way of living without all the madness, in my life. What is happening to me is truly a miracle, a blessing if you will. I could have never imagined it possible.
Iwas a screw up and I thought I would always be one.
CGAis leading me to an understanding of God and His will for me … helping others, not thinking of only me first. When I work the steps of recovery in CGA, my life becomes more manageable
(Wayne T; The Wire, Vol.1; Issue 1)
He Had What I Wanted
Myname is Matthew and I'm suffering from multiple addictions.
Ihave been using drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. I've been around other recovery groups for about 10 years, but I've never taken my addictions seriously. What I mean about being around other programs, is I've never worked on my disease. I only attended meetings. I've always tried to stay clean for all the wrong reasons; for my children, my ex-wife, never for myself.
Iam a selfish person. I use people, places and different situations to satisfy my wants and needs. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. I've tried to change my ways of living so many different times, but I always went back to my old bad habits. Finally I went to a 12 Step Group called CGA here at Mule Creek. I sat there and listened to a few people share their Experience, Strength and Hope. As I was listening, I could not believe the honesty of their sharings. It was real. I was unaccustomed to hearing that much honesty, I almost got up and left the meeting. I stayed, listened and I'm glad I did. See, I'm not an honest person.
Iknew a man, a friend of mine in the meeting and I listened to him share. I've known him for several years, but he was not the same person I knew before. Something about him was different and he said it was due to the CGA Process.
He had something I wanted.
This man was so sincere and honest.
Ialways had it in my head that this 12 Step Process was hard and I couldn’t do it. That was just and Excuse! Right now I'm reading the CGA Big Book, being honest with myself, keeping an open mind and listening to a few guys that are working these 12 Steps. I'm finding that if I am more patient with myself, my life seems OK. Some days are better than others, but I do not have to drink, use drugs or hurt anyone. I can talk with another alcoholic, addict or criminal and tell him how I feel and find a common solution to my problems.
There are times when I feel discouraged, but I take a little time and share with my Higher Power. When I do this, I feel better.
(Matthew M; The Wire, Vol.1; Issue 1)
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