Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
Buck V
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Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 5:15 pm


Postby Buck V » Mon May 15, 2006 7:50 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right thread to post this, but here goes anyway. I have a concern that I'm hoping someone out there has some experience with, and perhaps some guidance regarding anonymity.

My wife was talking to a lady who attends our church. She has children about the same age as ours and they were talking about kids in general and the lady said "So and So's kid really misbehaved last Sunday. You know her husband is in AA too." (implying to my wife that she knew that I was in AA as well) My wife was was quite taken aback. really didn't know what to say, and changed the subject.

We have several members of our church who are members of AA including my sponsor. Other than him, and only at his insistance, I've not identified or discussed any other AA member by name with my wife. I've never discussed any AA member with anyone else unless they are AA members known to each other. I know my wife does not discuss my alcoholism with anyone, and I'm reasonable confident that the AA members of my church as well as AA members of my home group are very protective of our anonymity. I personally don't care who knows I'm a recovering alcoholic, although I don't sing it from the rooftops. I really don't know or really care how this lady knows all about "us". Perhaps she's just speculating because we pick up the pre-filled grape juice cups rather receiving wine from the chalice during communion, or maybe she sits outside the Camel Club and takes names.

My question is, is whether anyone out there has experienced this, and if so, what to do about it. Ignore it? Tell the lady to mind her own damn business? Start nasty rumors about her and the Pastor? My sponsor says get used to it, that there always has been and always will be gossipers and rumor-mongers, but it really does kind of tick me off. Not so much for me, but for my wife and kids. I've put them through enough without stigmatizing them further by being publicly labled an alcoholic. Although probably a lot more people knew I was a drunk than I think, the last thing I want is for some well meaning person to go up to my kids (12 and 14) saying "Your dad looks so much better now that he's stopped drinking".

Or maybe I'm just feeling "too sensitive" today?


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Postby blueangel » Mon May 15, 2006 9:53 pm

As sad as what that lady is doing, and I did love the idea about starting that rumor about her and pastor goes, what a shame to pin the pastor to her :lol: Too funny but I would say not a good idea. It's only my opinion but it seems best to just let her self destruct on her own gossip. Your wife could simply explain to her about anonymity and she will then either know, or if she does know and doesn't care who she hurts, she will only be hurting herself in the end.
God Bless, Kay

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Postby Dallas » Mon May 15, 2006 11:53 pm

Buck, if I were you... I'd listen to my sponsor (since you do have one).

I've seen this kind of stuff really get under member's skins and some nasty resentments get started, and it takes a huge toll on their sobriety.

I've also had much worse situations than this happen to myself, alkies that I was helping, and some that I have sponsored.

Sometimes, we just got to grit our teeth and walk away from it. Talk to our sponsor about it. Get some suggestions from the sponsor on how to deal with it.

Anger is something that we can't afford... and with us we can't judge it by whether the anger is justified or not.

I was just going to write a real live bad case scenario that recently happened to one of our newcomers... but it's so sickening that I won't mention it here.... and it was all done by the same person who claims to have been a sober AA member for 15 years... and recently I found out she brags about how many AA members that she has driven back to drinking. Figure that one out???

Sometimes some really crappy stuff is going to happen to us, but we made a decision when we started this thing, that we were willing to go to any lengths to be free from alcohol. And, sometimes, those lengths can become farther than anything we ever imagined.

On the bright side though, from my own experience I can tell you that AA is responsible for a life that is better than anything I could ever have imagined for myself. It's the only good life I've ever had and I wouldn't trade it for anything... I still get disturbed from time to time. I'm not perfect... yet :lol: but those distrubances do get smaller and smaller and the happiness gets greater and greater.

The rumors and gossip and other stuff that can be brought about by others can really hurt our loved ones... but nothing will hurt them more than our continued drinking. We have a chance, by staying sober, to make it up to them.

Thanks for letting me share.


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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:25 pm


Postby 918gma » Tue May 16, 2006 12:09 am

I blew my anonymity before I even understood it's worth. Like you I'm no longer ashamed of my disease or the program of recovery I have chosen to live by. Like every else has pretty much said. Don't let it eat your lunch. Not every one out there is as blessed as we to have a program for living.
Forgiveness is actually a selfish thing. You have to do it, to keep it from destroying you.
I recall a story about the late pope that was shot. The first thing he did when he was released from the hospital was to go to the jail and forgive the man that shot him. He offered him Communion. I wonder if he was in the program. Lets stick that in a gossips ear. LOL just kidding.

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