Anonymity Hurts More Than It Helps???

This video came to my attention through this op-ed.

I like the video and agree that making recovery more visible is important in reducing stigma. Last year I wrote:

Am I the only one who is really underwhelmed with these recent pieces on whether anonymity in AA has been rendered quaint?

To me, they seem to fundamentally misunderstand AA’s anonymity.

There’s plenty of room within AA’s traditions for activism and public education, AA members are just advised not to identify themselves as AA members in the media, avoid presenting themselves as representatives of AA and draw attention themselves.

There is nothing in AA’s traditions that prohibits publicly identifying oneself as an alcoholic in recovery as long as they do not identify as an AA member. The 12th tradition does, however, encourage caution and humility.

I’m out as a recovering person, my full name is on this blog, but I also respect the dangers for individuals and mutual aid groups.

I wish this project all the best, but losing the tradition of anonymity is  pretty frightening to imagine.


One thought on “Anonymity Hurts More Than It Helps???

  1. Hi Jason.

    I am also in the medias, public, small scale though, here in town in Trois-Rivières, Québec.

    I have come public with not only my drug addiction, but also with my gang rape a long time ago.

    Yes, I am a regular fellowship / sobriety meeting goer.

    I have reservations about anonimyty also.

    I always have had.

    I do look up to someone for my well being (not entirely, but – let’s say – “enough”.

    I have not met him just yet, but with the help of some good friends, at the end of 2013, if all goes well, they will make this work for me.

    His people do not help at all (never did for that matter) out those who ask to meet him (for reasons like mine for example) , and getting to this person is quite hard, so you have to know other, much more humanly persons who will make you meet him that is.

    I’ve been wanting to thank him for my life and my well being ever since 1998, although I’ve been completely sober (except for one single relapse, in 2011) since 1991.

    Through his very own influence and recovery in helping others like him, he has helped me also.

    (Unfortunately, he does not talk enough about this part of his life, he should though, he should go to schools and speak to kids, etc…)

    Anonymity is not the most “sinful” thing in the world, but many of us, addicts have come out publicly, in order to help others who are still suffering, which – when you think about it – is one of the things that the 12 Step program teaches us, us, addicts in recovery.

    How can us, addicts, do and continue to help others if we remain in the dark, with our anonymity?

    It makes no sense to me.

    Sylvie Groleau
    Trois-Rivières, Québec

    My Blog:

    I do specify in the Blog header that this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with showbusiness (or music) at all. You will never see any post on music in my Blog neither.

    I am here to help out others, through my very own experience , like you are..

    Thanks for your great work, I always do enjoy your posts.



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