Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anonymity





When I first came to the Program several years ago, I told no one until I had 45-60 days of sobriety (I can't remember exactly how much time I had, to be rigorously honest). Then I started "coming out" to people. This is how I found out that everyone knew I had a drinking problem, but few said anything about it. I would muster up the courage to tell family and close friends, and no one had the decency to act shocked or ask me if I wasn't being a little bit rash. Instead, everyone said, "Oh M, that's wonderful!".


Like I was the last one to know or something! Sheesh ...


So now I'm in to win, but I still have to be mindful:


I don't volunteer it, nor do I hide it. When I am offered a drink by a so-called-normal person, I decline politely. If it is offered again by the same person, I state that I do not drink alcohol. If that person then asks why, I reply that I am allergic. Yes, I am then tortured by the standard tale of Someone-They -Sort-Of-Know-Who-Breaks-Out-in-Hives-If-She-Drinks-151, but I have not made the Normie uncomfortable by stating that I'm in recovery.


I put others' anonymity before my own. The vast majority of my friends are in recovery. If a normie asks how I met a recovering person, I simply say "Through friends" or "At a get-together." I may not care that the normie finds out I go to meetings, but my recovering friend might!


I accept the fact that in some arenas, recovery makes normal people nervous. When I lived in Dallas, I was told by several folks that there existed a super-secret meeting close to a major airport only for airline pilots. It was invitation only. I know that this is a potential violation of Tradition One. In reality, I want airline pilots (and doctors and lawyers and all other professionals who often hold the course of other's lives in their hands on a daily basis) to be able to get this thing, and if that means super-secret meetings, so be it!


I think about my internet usage carefully. Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook pack a double-edged sword: they help me meet others in recovery, but they also have all kinds of vehicles for breaking others' anonymity.

And so do blogs, so as usual, I sign off with no name!


1 comments:

Kristin H. said...

I found that breaking my anonymity in terms of social circles got a lot of monkeys off my back. Once people found out I was an alcoholic, they stopped coming around. God does answer prayers :)