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Grapevine : December 2011
aagrapevine.org 31 A nonymity is the spiritual founda- tion of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” i hear this at the end of most meetings that i attend. Perhaps it should be read at the beginning, when everyone’s attention is piqued. it seems the underlying connotation skips by some people. Anonymity, as defined in my dictionary, is the quality or state of being unknown or obscure. in this Fellowship, protect- ing another’s anonym- ity is a moral or ethical standard by which we are supposed to live. it is one of the key elements of our program. When i was a new- comer, i was scared to death to tell anyone of the things i had done, so i never acquired a sponsor. This resulted in picking up about a dozen white chips in my first year. When i had finally had enough misery, i submitted to the program. i allowed myself to trust, got a sponsor and did a thorough Fourth and Fifth Step. That reli- ance on someone else to keep my indiscretions confidential was a huge step for me. And partly because that person was trustworthy, i stayed sober for a long time. Life happened, and i al- lowed myself to fall out of my program. i relapsed. By the grace of God, i re- turned to the rooms and situations arose where i had to make a geographi- cal change. The new sponsor i chose turned out to be a mistake. my secrets were revealed to another per- son in the program who knew me. Subsequently, my walls of distrust went up in a hurry. With less than a year back in the program, i was flounder- ing with several situations and didn’t have anyone i could rely on to confide in. What i did do was talk about the distrust issue in a meeting. i received some much-needed feedback that made me explore myself a little and learn to forgive the person who betrayed me. Had i still been in my unstable first year, i prob- ably would have left and never made it back. Perhaps we need a reminder that anonymity not only applies to what is said and who is in at- tendance at a meeting. it also pertains to the assurance of confiden- tiality when speaking one-on-one with another member. When i practice the twelfth tradition and stand on principles rather than on what Shakespeare called “foul whisperings,” i’m living on the spiritual foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous, and i am going to stay sober, just for today. Anonymous Anonymity not only applies to what is said and who is in attendance at a meeting. It also pertains to the assurance of confidentiality when speaking one-on-one. For more stories like this, v isit aagrapevine.org / topic/twelve-traditions GRAPE_30-31.indd 31 10/20/11 6:54 PM