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get the red out Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:55 AM
Original message
Anonymity
I attended my home group last night and the chairperson brought up personal anonymity as a topic. He did such a good job with this, and even read a snippet from an old Grapevine article that I shared my experience on the matter and what it meant in my recovery. Most people in the room were in complete disagreement with the chairperson and myself on the matter and made it quite clear that they believed anyone who wouldn't basically tell anyone and everyone that they are an alcoholic was wrong and in fear. I reminded myself that my role might be to say something that helps someone who choses not to speak rather than to say something the more vocal members of the group automatically approve of and applaud.

I do understand that anonymity at the level of press, radio, tv, and films is the statement in the traditions; but I believe we can maintain some personal anonymity in our lives without being considered someone who suffers from undue fear. I am a private person in general with people I do not know well, so privacy is something I value as a matter of course. I view whether I tell someone I am recovering or not has the best outcome if I attempt to be practical and look at whether it is helpful or harmful in the situation. I can brag and say I am willing for my work-life to possibly become uncomfortable and tell everyone in the office about my alcoholism, for instance, but do I trust myself to deal with whatever consequences might come from that? Is it a way of proving my fearlessness to my fellow AA's or simply not thinking things through (doing the same things expecting different results)? Is it to be helpful or egotistical? Does it harm my family?

I thought I would start this thread to see if anyone had any musings. It is so easy to get an isolated view that doesn't reach outside one's geographic area.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. At my point in life, I don't care who knows that I'm a recovering
alcoholic. The time I should have been anonymous was in my drinking days. When I speak publicly, I never mention AA.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-13-09 08:32 PM
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2. That's a very good topic!

My local Alano Club has a FaceBook page now.

I just joined and have also joined the' Friends of Bill Wilson'
group on FB, as did my sponsor.

So, the anonymity is gone there.
But it's MY anonymity.

Anyone else's anonymity remains anonymous,
unless they direct me otherwise.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-13-09 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. I tell people I don't drink
I rarely go into ANY gory details though...

If someone tries to push a drink on me I just laugh and say "No, really, I need to be home by Labor Day (or Christmas or whatever holiday is months away)"

and I don't mention the program except to carry the message, but only if someone asks me for help.

"When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to always be there, for that I am responsible"

usually that means supporting meetings and our local intergroup, but it can be one on one if needed in the work place, the grocery store or where ever I can help. I don't broadcast it, most people at work couldn't care less about my personal life and/or drama, so I don't share it. I know I couldn't care less about most of theirs......
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. "No, really, I need to be home by Labor Day (or Christmas or whatever holiday is months away)"
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Dyedinthewoolliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. Well you know us alcoholics!
If there is ever two sides to anything we will line up both ways, arguing ours is better than yours :)
I don't stand on the street corner broadcasting it but I'm not overly secretive about it either.
There are those who would try using that bit of information to their advantage. They are sick. I am trying to get well.
I also try, (I repeat try) to remember that not everyone is going to give a rats ass that I'm working a program that allows me to go through the day without thinking about alcohol.
For me, I don't mention it unless I suspect there is a still suffering alcoholic within the sound of my voice.......... :shrug:
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