Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 1/2/00
Time: 7:34:29 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic, sober today only by the grace of God and the Fellowship. Welcome to the newcomers! And thanks everyone for sharing!

I try to be conservative about my anonymity, simply because so much emphasis is placed on the significance of anonymity in the literature. I think anonymity is also important because it's consistent with AA's emhasis on humility as a means to remain sober.

In terms of principle before personalities, I think this is important not only as it concerns public figures but also because it helps maintain unity by discouraging disunity.


Member: Lil
Location: SE USA
Date: 1/2/00
Time: 9:32:43 PM

Comments

Hi, my name is Lil and I am an alcoholic. I have been dropping by this meeting and just "listening" for a couple of weeks. Thought I would join in for this topic.

I would like to hear more on traditions than I have heard at meetings I go to. I may be wrong, but my understanding of tradition 12 is that it is not important who you are outside of AA or what your profession is or status. In AA we are all equal. Just a bunch of drunks sharing how we stay away from a drink one day at a time. This way we do not get puffed up with self importance. None of us has all the answers.

Happy New Year Thanks for the time and space.


Member: anonymous
Location: MTL QUE.
Date: 1/2/00
Time: 10:00:43 PM

Comments

Principles before personalities, Hmmmmm, sounds good on paper but where is it in the meetings ?


Member: JCP  ^\^
Location: Penn's Woods
Date: 1/2/00
Time: 11:41:43 PM

Comments

If every A.A. felt free to publish his own name, picture, and story, we would soon be launched upon a vast orgy of personal publicity.--As Bill Sees It, p. 278.

J here, a grateful alcoholic: Even though I have worked in publication, anonymity to me has always been not accidentally tellin on a fellow member, to perhaps a mutual acquaintance. When I was early in A.A., my anonymity was blown at work not by another A.A. member but by a fellow drunk from a different department coming back under influence of a liquid lunch, slurring, "How come you never come down any more than bend an elbow?"

"Him?" a couple of my associates teased. I had worked hard to conceal years of daily drinking. Now there is a local celebrity on TV spots as an alcoholic, but he is advertising a rehab and doesn't mention A.A.

My concern is to not blow anybody's anonymity to friends, enemies, etc. But I think I have become more aware that it's the principle of the thing that is most important for all of us. I think that only after we try A.A. awhile can we begin to appreciate the primacy of its simple principles. (Meanwhile, get to meetings and don't take the first drink.)

Ironically, the principles gained Bill notoriety as a star of the late, great century, and are reflected in his citation among the 100 heroes

http://www.pathfinder.com/time/time100/heroes/profile/wilson01.html

but principles before personalities has turned out to be a good and sober principle to run any group on.


Member: Bones
Location: Bonesville
Date: 1/3/00
Time: 3:45:06 AM

Comments

Were this a cult of personality it simply could not work for long. Anonymity promotes acceptance, and it is good to guard it. It is a good thing too that we do not insist upon one name or understanding of our higher power. Strange for this newbie to say that I find a new sense of peace in my AA moniker: Bones, an alcoholic. It has been sufficient password to allow me a fresh start, and to meet some amazing people, who contribute daily to this revitalized life I am living today. Thank you.


Member: Tim V
Location: Poconos, PA
Date: 1/3/00
Time: 11:45:25 AM

Comments

I think good sponsorship is the key to good understanding of the traditions.

Anonymity, to me, is at once the promise that I am safe here from the shame of my past, and free from the obligation to my twisted ego that I be better than someone. Relieved of those two tortures, I am free to listen and learn without pride and fear, the roots of all my character defects.

With that „spiritual foundationš, I can be guided by the principles of the program, without getting hung up on the personalities.

That doesn‚t mean I‚m not distracted by personalities and my own ego. But I have an easy way to get back on track when I choose to become willing again.


Member: KATHY D
Location: MTL QUE
Date: 1/3/00
Time: 11:49:55 AM

Comments

One of the reasons I have grown disenchanted with meetings is that very often I noticed long time members who would break others anonymity and felt fearful that If I could'nt trust them then who could I trust?


Member: Von
Location: OH
Date: 1/3/00
Time: 12:37:00 PM

Comments

Von, Alcoholic, and very grateful to have survived another day. Good stuff on the site today. Anonymity is essential to the integrity of our God Given program called AA. As Stanley put in in the discussion meeting, we have the choice of free will. Just because I see or notice other AA members not acting as I think they should, who am I to judge them? Who am I to decide whether they are right or wrong, worthy or unworthy?

I have a choice today to be honest, pure, unselfish, and loving (the 4 absolutes). I have a choice today to be compassionate and understanding because I recognize what God has done in my life. I heard it said best when my friend in AA said, "Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and Grace is getting what we don't deserve." So today, as I grow and heal in the rooms of AA, I guard against putting people down. It is none of my business how they act, if they are sober today, then I thank God for His love for all of us.

The 12th tradition is crucial to me because Principles before personalities means that rather than worrying about other AA member's behavior, and rather than spending valuable precious moments doing their inventory (instead of mine), I need to remember that it is the principles of the 12 steps and 12 traditions that have saved my life today. That because of adherence to these principles, the rooms of AA welcomed me with open arms, and for the first time in my life, I felt loved and accepted.

I must alway remember, it's not about me, it's about us. This is a "We" program, not a "Me" program. If I am truly focussed on God's will, then I need to focus on how he can make me an instrument so I can be of use to Him and to my fellows. By practicing these principles in all my affairs, I know that God can give me the reprieve of yet another day of Grace. Thank God for His principles, not our personalities.


Member: Terri S.
Location: WI
Date: 1/3/00
Time: 8:00:19 PM

Comments

Hi every body Terri Grateful Alcoholic here, Hi again Kathy D. Thank God for me today My Sobriety & Happyness is through my reliance on God & living my life as & open book, I do not go around telling every one I'm an alcoholic,because of my job & peoples ignorance. but if needed I would in a heart beat,because thats were my sobriety is today. my life.:-)by the Grace of God & the A.A. fellowship, which is all you people, That is what is so wonderful about sponsorship, cause when you have a good one you trust them with your life cause thats what we are really doing, that is what sponsors are for guidance through the steps & with daily lifes ups & downs, mine is teaching me about what gratitude is all about through my common sense that I have recieved over the last few years of my sobriety. :-)I wish you all a wonderful 24 Welcome to all the new comers.


Member: robert j.
Location: sunporch
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 1:56:56 AM

Comments

12th Tradition, long form...

And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankfull contemplation of Him who presides over us all.

pages 567-568 of your Big Book


Member: JLP
Location: Florida
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 9:42:58 AM

Comments

Hello to everyone. I am a new comer and I'm thankful for this site.Don't have much to say right now, but I'll be back.


Member: JCP  ^\^
Location: Penn's Woods
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 1:56:56 PM

Comments

Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this step.--12&12, p. 33.

J here, a grateful alcoholic: For me there was a time in A.A. before sponsor or steps or any conscious faith when all I had to do, to beat those awesome odds, was get to tonight's meeting without taking a drink.

It's easy to rationalize here on a computer, but my urge to drink was not too rational. I knew booze was lethal--the spiritual or intellectual ramifications could wait.

So, if you have attitude problems like I did, who else is going to fight them for you? I was surly and withdrawn. I did not buy a Big Book. My Higher Power finally decreed that I win a Big Book in a group raffle. I read it fairly steadily--often during work lunch hours in a car parked down by a river.

Now, you may notice, I quote a lot. It's for me, not you--you're not required to read this, so if you don't like it, take a . . . hike?

Some people, I admit, may do it properly, like they say here, a) visit a "f2fš group, b) line up a sponsor, and c) sit down at a computer and write everybody else how to get sober the "right way." Old song used to say, "Nice work if you can get it." As I recall it was a song about bankruptcy

However, MY program was not to quit drinking RIGHT, it was to quit AT ALL. And some things never change. I may not be too far out of line, if we have a slogan to sum this up, which you already guessed, I'm sure:

Whatever It Takes!


Member: LA
Location: SD
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 2:00:12 PM

Comments

Thank You all for sharing, When I get into myself and the things of this world, I loose site of the simplicity of life. Trust, Belief in a higher power and surrender to him. Anonymity is a pressure commodity. I take caution before sharing my sobriety with others. God usually lets me know just when I need to step over the threshold and mention something if I need to. Sponsers and those that have been here allot longer than me have shared wisdom and helped me along also. I am so grateful that I don't have to go it on my own anymore. The whole crux of my problem was hiding from myself and others who I was, am and should be. I don't have to go there anymore. It is so freeing to be out. As far as my disease and sharing I must first ask myself (seek God's wisdom, other's wisdom) is there any good reason for me to share? What is my motive? Sometimes I don't know the reason, but God does. Love to you all. This is such and awesome way to live. My God is so faithful, there are people here to show you how to live. Show me how to live. Thank God for AA.


Member: j.luv
Location: chicago il
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 6:45:16 PM

Comments

im new to this site , so be patient with me.i feel so good to know god is on my side.i have taken too much from life to worry about being anonymous to my family/friends.the feeling is overwellimg to me .today is day 1 for me and i am looking foward to adding zeros to that day.i thank god for my second birthday.


Member: j.luv
Location: chicago il
Date: 1/4/00
Time: 6:45:18 PM

Comments

im new to this site , so be patient with me.i feel so good to know god is on my side.i have taken too much from life to worry about being anonymous to my family/friends.the feeling is overwellimg to me .today is day 1 for me and i am looking foward to adding zeros to that day.i thank god for my second birthday.


Member: Doug S.
Location: Okla.
Date: 1/5/00
Time: 12:58:15 AM

Comments

Hi. I'm Doug, a recovering alcoholic. This is a wonderful site. I don't know why I hadn't looked out here in the WWW for a Meeting. I should've known you would all be here. After all, we seem to be everywhere. Why not here?

I've discovered that anonymity is sometimes for me, sometimes for you, sometimes for "them," the non-addicted. I seldom need it for me anymore. I don't mind if the word gets out. I'm not threatened by it any more. But I've found several situations where the person that learns for the first time of my "problem" becomes very awkward and apologetic. Well, not that I'm trying to keep the big secret, but I'd rather not put that person in a an uncomfortable situation. Now, for the other reason to observe anonymity. Your -ism is your business, not mine. If you choose to share it, that's fine. But I have no right to share what is yours.

I love this format of meeting with other folks on the recovery path. Here I sit, in my living room, and no smoke. This is a very democratic way to meet. We each can indulge our own comforts and needs while participating in recovery-talk.


Member: Brad M
Location: Canada
Date: 1/5/00
Time: 1:57:12 AM

Comments

Thank you for the comments Doug S. I'm very new to this, never been to a meeting so I'm certainly not going to say anything (good or bad) about an f2f, but right now this is what I'm comfortable with, sitting in my living room trying to figure out which path is best for me, anonymously.


Member: Pattw/2tees
Location: Oregon
Date: 1/5/00
Time: 9:10:42 PM

Comments

Anonymity=humility.


Member: Michele D.
Location: WA
Date: 1/5/00
Time: 11:54:20 PM

Comments

Hello Michele alcoholic. Anonymity is something I think about more recently since I have changed careers. I'm in the Army and was not completly honest about my drug and alcohol use when I enlisted. I completed training and am at my first duty station and noone I work with knows I am in recovery. They think it is a little strange that I don't hang out in the club or go get messed up on weekends. I have been clean and sober for 5 years and before this never really cared who knew. I feel it is mine to break and is important to let others break there's in there own time and place where they see fit. To Kathy D. disenchanted. I felt sad when I read your comment. People in AA are still sick and I learned the hard way that just because a person has time in the program does not mean they are well. I went to any lengths and took great risks at times to get a drink or drug so shouldn't I be willing to take the same risk to stay clean and sober? I hope you do not give up on going to meetings. For me the only way I have gotten over my fears is to face them. Thanks.


Member: Richard D.
Location: Seattle,WA
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 12:09:25 AM

Comments

Richard D. Alcoholic. It's amazing to think that when we were out there, we would cuss at people, we would puke in public, we would stagger and stummble in public, we would piss our pants, we would go to jail and beg all kinds of people to get us out, from bosses to our children. We would expose our most shameful behavior to the world and then we come to AA and don't want anyone to say that we are there. That's amazing. At some point we are supposed to not only become comfortable but love the idea that we are members of AA and model to the world what AA has done for us. That means I can break my anonymity with anyone. I no longer have to hide from anyone. Tradition 12 to me means to create a safe environment for people who are scared to death because they are new in the program and they need time to arrive at the same above conclusion. We need to not break there anonymity. I don't give a damn if you break mine I love being a member of AA.


Member: Happy Days
Location: Quebec
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 10:15:41 AM

Comments

Good morning friends of the fellowship. This is great subject. I've been going to meetings lately and there seems to be problems with the "twelve tradition". I also experienced my anonymity being broken. I also shared some pretty personal stuff to a member and it was repeated. I was hurt and had alot of resentments to the program and the members in it. I have known A.A. and the way it works since I was 21. I have always tried to follow the steps and traditions to my best ability. I always say to myself when someone is sharing in a closed meeting or one on one with to remember how it is so important to keep it to myself because it is so important that the member feel safe that he or she can get this baggage off their back. If you can't trust members who can you trust. At a closed meeting I brought up this subject to remind everyone how it is very important to respect each indivdual's anonymity.I still have resentments towards this member but I am really trying to practice the tradition 12 "PRINCIPALES BEFORE PERSONALITY" I like what Von said we are not here to judge one another, we are all alcholics trying to stay sober. I can just try and do my program the best way I can and pray to my higher power to take away this resentment I am feeling.I want to wish everyone a good 24 hours. KEEP SMILING!!


Member: Dennis P
Location: Wisconsin
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 12:47:13 PM

Comments

Hi All. Dennis here, alcoholic. Richard.D--I must agree with much of what you are saying. When I made the decision to stop the BS denials and start accepting the fact that YES I am very much an alcoholic, there were not too many people out there who didn't already know it. They were not surprised that I am alcoholic, they were surprised that I finally accepted it. I found that the people who are REALLY our friends and really care about us are the ones who don't care what we are, they're still here when we need them. Sure, the phone stopped ringing for awhile. My "friends" just found someone else to pay for their parties. ( They also didn't want any of that nasty recovery crap to rub off on them )

I feel that the more people that know I'M in recovery, The less people that will offer me a drink. Like I said, they already knew that I'm alcoholic anyway. As far as confidentiality in meetings and someone elses anonymity, I will take that to the grave. Thanks for letting me share this with you all. GREAT SITE!!! Dennis


Member: greg w
Location: se usa
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 4:38:36 PM

Comments

HI, My name is greg and I am a gratefull recovering alcoholic. This is my first time to an online meeting and I will be back. It is only by the grace of my higher power and the strength & fellowship of AA that I am alive today in 2000.

Thank You


Member: Bitsey
Location: NC CA
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 6:54:20 PM

Comments

Bitsey here and I am an alchohalic. This is a good subject. After a meeting the other night we having a smoke (the meeting after the meeting). One of the people in the group began talking about a situation that occurred the night before at another meeting. He named names and specifics. Since I had been at the meeting I knew what had occurred but several other people had not. Is'nt this breaking anonymity? I felt very uncomfortable and the 12 tradition came to mind. I guess I should have been less than a coward and spoke up. The person that was talked about is not well liked. I felt this is really where princeples before personalities comes in. As far as my personal anonymaty goes, I can pick and choose who I share my recovery with. Many people at work know I am on the program, some people just know I don't drink, and others it would not be safe to share that I am an alchohalic with. One of those whatever can be used againest you etc. Also, some people are just ignorant of the disease so why bother? Same with the world outside of work. I find the times I find myself less and less concerned about who knows that do not drink, and share more often about being on the program. I am amazed how I seem to be finding an intuitive draw to the alchohalic who still suffers and the ability to share a bit of the E S & H i have. A question also, when I am in a meeting and someone says "I was in a meeting yesterday and so n' so said...." again, isn't this breaking anonymity? Should something be said? I have not spent as much time in here as on the coffe pot, I can't wait to start at step 1!!! I have ten months but I have not worked the steps beyond # 3 (seem to be stymied at that FearFUL moral Inventory!). I know- do you I have a sponsor? Yes and No. But I am looking forward to participating here.


Member: Corky S.
Location: San Antonio, TX
Date: 1/6/00
Time: 9:46:47 PM

Comments

Down here we say that I have the right to tell anyone that I am a member of AA but I have no right to tell anyone that you are. That about sums it up. As you stay sober longer, your anominity is less importaint and other peoples become much more importaint. Love you all! Corky S. 7-8-71


Member: Tim V.
Location: Poconos, PA
Date: 1/7/00
Time: 11:04:20 AM

Comments

Richard D. Yep, I agree too, especially with the fact that you didn't break your own anonymity. It is the principle of it!


Member: Mary J
Location: Seattle
Date: 1/8/00
Time: 8:03:53 PM

Comments

Hi,

I'm Mary and an alcoholic. My interpretation of the 12th tradition is that before we came into the program we were all personalities and no principles. We were the life of the party, the butt of all drinking stories and jokes, being told we were sloppy drunks. Oh we had personality.

Being anonymous means being equal to all others in the program. Outside of the AA meetings we may be all types of people in different walks of life. In the meetings we are all equal in that we are all drunks.


Member: KATHY D
Location: MTL QUE
Date: 1/9/00
Time: 12:13:36 PM

Comments

I have not been to a meeting for almost 2 yrs but, I am still very much in touch with my sponser, she has been a suregate mother to me and she has instilled a love for A.A that is irreplacable . A.A has given me to me and for that I am grateful to GOD . YET.... PEOPLE, still frighten me ,I still have not figured out how to deal with this.