- Anonymity


Discussion related to the 12 Traditions


Postby 918gma » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:21 am

Ok guys, I'm going way out on a limb here, but this concept is very near and dear to my heart. Mostly because I belive it to be the most missunderstood workd in the porgram.

Bill W was once asked why, when writing the steps and the Big Book, why he used different words that all ment the same thing. He said that in his youth, he remembered an English Teacher saying that it wasn't good to keep using the same words over and over, so he tried to comply with that rule.

Keeping that in mind, He still when writing the traditions used the word Anonimnity, or a form of it 5 times. Even going to far as to refer to it as the spiritual fondation of all of our traditions. That sound pretty important to me.

I always get a dsmile when I hear a new commer reading the traditions and tripping all over it. It reminds me of when I did the same thing.

The reason I would like to talk about it is becasue for me personally, I blew mine out of the ater before I even got a small grasp of thie importance of it.

Part of it is simple. We don't go waving flags infront of the press, we don't talk about what happens in a meeting to outsides unless we are using generalities. We don't gossip. Where I blew it, was how much of our own alcohalism does the outside world need to know. I told every one. I wore my sobriety like a badge. I talked about it to every one that would listen. I figured, it was like a safty net, the more people I told the less likly I would slip because every one knew. As I'm saure you can guess, that bite me in the @#%$ in a hurry.

I realised all too late, that my progress in the program should be a personal thing. To be shared with my higher power and my sponsor, and no one else, unless I was needed. It was an endless source of greif for me. I have since learned how all encompassing the concept truley is. It is covered in chapters 8-10.

I hope I have done justice to this important concept. Please feel free to jump in and add whatever I forgot, or maybe twisted around. Every one new and old needs to share on this one.
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:25 pm
Location: Arizona


Postby Uncletoad » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:23 pm

I was never an anonymous drunk. My drinking behavior was obnoxious and caustic. It was no surprise to any of the family or acquaintances I had left when I announced I had a drinking problem. They also assumed that my newfound AA recovery would be yet another “identityâ€
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:03 am

keeping the mouth'a shut

Postby Rusty Zipper » Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:38 pm

hello all, Happy Labor Day :D annonimity huh? or keep'a the mouth shut! i think humility plays a big role in this one. as, others. when i first came in. there was a bit of step nine tossed about. without out a true understaning of it. i wasn't the big blabber mouth type. did mention it too those that were close. and yes the owner of my local fave bar. he say, that AA take another paying customer away. lol ... a interesting story. a few months ago, was playing at a club. ### im a drummer #### yup, motives in check. not there to drink, or chic shopping! lol ### gratefull for recovery buddie #### this older man comes up to me, and says. aint you the drummer from the rooms? ### so much for annonimity #### well, it didnt bother me much. we sat and talked. i listened mostly. he talked about his son, and how bad his addiction was. i call this man the stranger. the stranger says to me. if God would take me, if it might end his sons addiction! he was willing! i thought, how the disease of adiction effects many around us. i was able to comfort the stranger a bit. share some hope, and gave him my number to give to his son... yet again,the Power That Be! why was the stranger there that night? how did he find me?why was i there? all part of the big plan, huh??? ... herd talk of people in the rooms letting us down, damm right! when i was a newbie, put a few on the big pedistal. yup, thats right! one went out, another talked the talk, was a compleat ass out in the real world!!! a old timer ### yrs #### that has taken a like'n to me. has told me many a times. no one can keep you sober, not the rooms, not your sponser, not the books. ect... he says, the only thing that can keep you sober, is the faith, and trust in ones belief in God, the Higher Power, Jesus for some, the Great Pumpkin, whatever? for me, its The Power Greater Than! ... back to annonimity, for me. i just try to follow The Powers guidence. to know whom to talk about my recovery with, and whom not? i try to always look at motives, my ego, and pride, before opening my mouth. its no more knee-jerk respond, or responce! pause, take a little time. run the old serenity by my self! and then make a disission!!! so for now, i just would like to say. good wishes to all! my name is Patrick, and im an alcoholic! xoxo Rusty, aka PC :wink:
Rusty Zipper
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:19 pm
Location: My Room in CT.

Postby crickit » Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:58 pm

Hi all; Good subject. As far as annonimity for myself, I'm an open book. If someone asks why I don't drink, I tell them I'm an alcoholic. If someone asks why I'm walking funny today, I tell them I have MS. To me it's no different.

My problem is the gossip that goes on about other members. I guess we are all human but people who are working the program should know better than to talk about other people. I try to curtail it by reminding them that step 4 is about our own inventory, not someone elses and that will usually stop the discussion.

The perfect example is one of our members who was in a severe care accident a few years back. It doesn't discuss his medical condition with too many people because he finds it personal but he talks with me especially regarding issues with pain management and insomnia. This man sometimes rambles on in the meetings and doesn't make a lot of sense some times because of the damage done during the accident. Sometimes he gets so frustrated he will walk out of a meeting. Most people don't know why he's like that and I don't feel it's my place to say anything. When people come up to me with there comments I just tell them he's doing the best he can and maybe there are other things he is stuggling with. We are not suppose to be there to judge others. He is sober, for 2 years now and that's what matters. Principals before personalities. I actually heard back a few days later that conversation had been repeated through 2 other people and by the end of it's travels it was said that I had a particular 'liking' for this man which is why I was defending him. I just laughed and said 'of course I do. He's a fellow alcoholic. None of us are perfect.'

When we find ourselves talking about other people we are not working the program for ourselves. It actually makes me feel physically ill when I hear someone talking ill about another person. I'm glad people feel comfortable talking to me about there private thoughts and glad people can trust me to keep there annonimity.

When you point your finger at someone else there are 3 more pointing back at you.

Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:26 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada


Postby new2this » Sun Sep 11, 2005 2:57 am

Hi all----

Hope everyone is doing well!

I've been a little hesistant to comment on this particular topic, but what the heck? My sponsor, among other people, tell me to speak up and communicate and quit being a "door mat". So, I'll give my spin on it.

I admire people who are an "open book". I mean, the ones who really are open books and not just talk. I admire people who are comfortable with be un-anonymous. Maybe someday I will be that way, too. However, I am not one of those people right now.

I have lost jobs because I drank while working. I deserved to lose those jobs. I have lost one job because I was a sober member of AA. Well, to be totally honest, I would never have gotten the job if I had admitted that I was in AA. In my interview, I was specifically asked if I had a problem with alcohol. I said no. I thought...."no......as long as you don't put it in my mouth"! I just didn't say the last part. :wink: So anyway, I lost the job because of a "lie of omission". But that lie of omission would never have came to light if a couple other people would have respected my anonimity. These people broke my anonymity in my own workplace.....in front of numerous customers, fellow employees and management.

With that being said.....I deserved to lose that job, too.....I should have been honest from the very start.

Yeah, it was my fault. I will never do that to someone else, though.

On a different job, an AA member broke my anonimity by interuppting a discussion with a customer to ask me about a meeting schedule. I had been in AA for about two months then. I might have been sober for probably two weeks. The customer asked me(quietly.....without announcing it) if I was friends with Bill W. I replied...."Who?".

Immediately after I said "who?", the first member.....who, btw, is a really really a great person......covered the cell phone long enough to ask me yet another question about the schedule......in front of the entire business.

I gave up and was honest with the customer.

Should I just walk around telling every customer I have that I'm in AA? No. I have a business to run. Should other members walk into my place of employment(and it's happened more than once....or twice) and bust out my anonymity? No. Maybe that's why AA was named as it was.

The traditions nor the steps require me to do or tolerate either of those things. In fact, they clearly state that anonomity is "the" spiritual foundation of our traditions.

If someone is comfortable with not being anonymous......that's great. For them. Heck, I'm even finally getting a little less protective of my own anonimity. I do crazy things like speak when asked to at meetings, I don't mind being seen in public with other AA's, I brought my daughter to meeting where I knew there was a chance we'd be recognized. Heck, I knew there was a good chance I'd be recognized regardless of whether my daughter was there of not. Occasionally, I even forget to hide my BB and other books when I go somewhere(and not care that I forgot)!

But......there's probably a reason Alcoholics Anonymous was named as such and we need to respect those who choose to remain so. I've been taught that what is said in the rooms....stays in the rooms. I know I certainly appreciate the people who think that way. It would have been even more difficult(and useless) for me to keep coming back if everyone else had practiced different principles.

Gossip was mentioned. Ugh. I have, on more than one occasion, wanted to completely quit AA because of vicious gossip. About others and about myself. In fact, I quit attending more than one meeting just to avoid the crap. I was lucky enough to have a couple of other more experienced members tell me how stupid I was being and that I needed to get used to reality! :shock:

Yep, we're a sick group.....I'm finally getting accustomed to the idea that if I'm gonna hang with sick people, I better get used to a little vomit!!!

Or learn to spew it back at 'em!!!! :twisted:

Hey......I'm sick, too!!!! :lol: :lol:

Have a great nite/day/whatever....just have a great one! And thanks for letting me share.

Take Care,

Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:17 pm
Location: USA

Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:21 am

new2this wrote:Yep, we're a sick group.....I'm finally getting accustomed to the idea that if I'm gonna hang with sick people, I better get used to a little vomit!!!

It's okay to say that you are angry. But, get over it. You've got to find a way to live without anger and resentment or it will kill you.

I know the situation that you are referring to. The Traditions were broken. It's true that those people are very sick. And, that's between them and their sobriety and sanity.... don't let it get between you and your sobriety.

Why judge all AA members... by the actions of a few? It's not a fair or an honest statement, to just say "we're a sick group"... you know better than that. You know at least one AA member that's okay, don't you?

You've got a lot on your plate and it's been a while since you've been to a good AA meeting. Relax. Light some candles. Take a bubble bath. Read a good book. Eat some chocolate. Get some sleep. Any, you'll feel better in the morning!!!

Site Admin
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby new2this » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:00 am

Why judge all AA members... by the actions of a few? It's not a fair or an honest statement, to just say "we're a sick group"... you know better than that. You know at least one AA member that's okay, don't you?

Sorry to all. I really, really didn't mean to do that. In fact, until it was pointed out to me, I didn't realize that that was what I was doing at all. But it was.

And, yeah, I know at least one AA member, and a couple others, too, that are okay. Thanks, Dallas, for making me remember that. In fact, I've met a whole heck of a lot of people who are okay. Shoot, I even get to correspond with people that I may never meet.....and they sure seem like they are okay! :D

I have a whole lot to be grateful for!

Well, I guess I'll be off in search of chocolate......right after I finish my T.V. dinner!!! :P

Is there a "I really need to excercise instead of eat crap" emoticon? :lol: :roll:

Take Care All,

Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:17 pm
Location: USA


Postby Rich » Sat Oct 22, 2005 8:07 pm

Hi folks,looking for some feedback on this.I have a couple of friends well known and liked in my program circles.Lots of people care about them and they are always going out again.Problem is these using friends always tell me everything.When people see me and not them at meetings they always sincerely ask how is XXXX doing? I don't want to lie and I don't want to break their confidence either.I usually just say up and down but trying. How about some wisdom? Thanks, Rich
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: Cleveland

Postby Rusty Zipper » Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:47 pm

hey again, our friend Rich! did a bit of thinking ### oh, no! not that!#### what came to mind. this... the whole fellowship of AA is based about doing the right thing on a daily basis. when i'm doing the right thing, i have no doubt in my mind. i can be at peace with myself. my Band of Gypsy's in my head are on a vacation. i have serenity!... in The Power That Be's world, there is no right or wrong, no judgement... i believe that it's a individual choice. and that is unique to everyone. shure, the traditions say one thing. but ask someone what they mean. open for discussion? you bet! there are probably as many thoughts on them as alky's in AA. my point! only you can make the choice on what to do, or say. we do have that option now. if you think the right thing is to keep yer yap shut. then zip it up. if ya think, it might be ok, cuz they're in the rooms, ok. if you think you might say something because someone else say's it's ok. so be it. this is a amazing program. but as i always say. there was sobriety long before AA. three simple things. a belief in something other than ourselfs. ### by, by, #### honesty ### how bout step-4? hmmm! #### ,and freely giving!... i smell step 12 here! :lol: why its Step12.com. lol! sorry, no solicitations :lol: so Rich my sober buddie! you do just what you think is the next right thing... happy trudging my friend, and bless ... xo PC :wink:
Rusty Zipper
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:19 pm
Location: My Room in CT.

doing the right thing

Postby Rich » Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:24 pm

Thanks Rusty,Gosh, you mean I should make up my own mind and be responsable for my actions.Keep hearing that,hmmm,maybe its true.
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: Cleveland


Return to 12 Traditions Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Anonymity