Member:
Perry H in PA USA.
Date:
11/8/97
Time:
10:39:53 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Perry an alcoholic of sorts...

And the topic this week is:

Anonymity...... or sometimes easier t understand, the
word SACRIFICE (service to others)

The "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" states that
"Anonymity is the greatest protection out society can
ever have". It says also that " The spiritual substance
of anonymity is sacrifice."

The following comes from the A.A. pamphlet AA
Tradition, how it developed:

At the beginning we sacrifice alcohol. We had to, or it
would have killed us. But we couldn't get rid of
alcohol unless we made other sacrifices. Big shot-ism
and phony thinking had to go. We had to toss
self-justification right out the window. We had to quit
the crazy contest for personnel prestige and big bank
balances. We had to take personal responsibility for
our sorry state and quit blaming others for it.

Were these sacrifices? Yes, they were. To gain enough
humility and self-respect to stay alive at all we had to
give up what had really been our dearest possession--
our ambition and our illegitimate pride.

But this was not enough. Sacrifice had to go much
further. Other people had to benefit too... So we took
on some twelve step work; we began to carry the A.A.
message. We sacrificed time, energy and our own
money to do this. We couldn't keep what we had
unless we gave it away.

This ends the quote from pamphlet...that Bill Wilson
wrote...

How do I sacrifice my time , energy and effort to help
people ( or even my loved ones and family) in and out
of these rooms? Sometimes a coffee commitment can
seem to be a big sacrifice. Or a jail commitment. Or
any position in a home group. Scrubbing ashtrays or
picking up cig butts... Washing out coffee cups...
Long heated business meetings... Giving rides to
meetings to people I don't care for, etc.

Funny thing... I have to... or I can't stay sober... thus I
want to ... Service to others is the topic. (sacrifice thus
becomes a benefit fully returned by another day sober.
Maybe even doing Gods will for once in my life!
Thanks for letting me share.



Member:
Willa M
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
2:47:26 AM

Comments

Anonymity for me is gratitude in action. I cant just
take, in this program, or I feel lost and alone again. Its
never enough, just to go to meetings, if I run away
from new people and stick to my own friends... the
hand of AA could just as easily be mine if Im willing.
It is a sacrifice but so little compared to what Ive been
given and even better is what I gain in return. Keep on
trudging...



Member:
Juliet DM
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
5:01:22 AM

Comments

When I was drinking I could never see the point of
doing anything for anyone else unless there was a
payback for me. I'm amazed at how much I have
changed - today it brings me great joy to do things for
other people and not necessarily disclose my actions. I
love being anonymous - I spent my life trying to be
somebody and prove something - now I find great
comfort in simple things.

And the bizarre thing today is that although giving up
alcohol may at one time have seemed like a great
sacrifice, today I see it as the greatest gift ever
bestowed upon me.



Member:
Judy K in Maine
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
12:09:29 PM

Comments

Anonymity for me means everything I've read so far --
and it means BELONGING -- to the Fellowship, and
yes, to the human race (which I was never a part of
before when I was so blasted special!

When I was first in the Program, I was an observer --
and then one day it stopped being "me" and "you" and
it became "US!" that may not spound too profound,
but for me it was. My isolation was over and I was
willing just to be "Judy" and alcoholic. Not a bigshot,
but part of the solution.

Still brings me to tears when I think of that moment!
Ego out and Spirituality in! (Well, but of course I
have to keep working on that!)

thanks, Perry -- and I appreciate your educational
quotes in this meeting.



Member:
jason
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
3:33:45 PM

Comments

any body here



Member:
Bill G.
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
8:41:01 PM

Comments

Hi group,I'm new to this online stuff,but willing to
type w/ two fingers. Our sobriety is the best gift GOD
has given us! HE Loves us unconditionaly as WE need
to do. When I try to help someone, I feel real good
when I retire for the nite. You get back two fold. Then
when you see this person again at a meeting or they
call you I just say to myself "Thanks GOG for the
opportunity to help and another day of Sobriety!!!!



Member:
TY J.
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
9:05:37 PM

Comments

Ithink that the spirit of ananonity is wery impsrtatnt it
strenghens us and binds us ..



Member:
M.C.
Date:
11/9/97
Time:
11:51:14 PM

Comments

Hi. My name is M.C. This is my first "chat." I'm glad
it's about recovery, & I'm grateful for anonynymity in
this & all meetings. To me, anonymity means that I'm
equal with every other recovering person in this
program, regardless of our station in life. And this is
how God sees us! It's easy to forget that in daily life,
when we automatically notice each others' dress &
demeanor. The thing that matters in this program, & to
God, is whether we seek God & want recovery.

I love this program.



Member:
Richard G.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
1:29:47 AM

Comments

I'll have to second M.C's remarks. I am new to this
group and am excited to have found you all. I am
gratefuul to be clean and sober today and will be
looking forward to signing on to this meeting in the
near future. I am looking forward to another 24
ODAAT.



Member:
Diane R.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
2:42:46 AM

Comments

Hi, I'm Diane and I joined this group yesterday
afternoon (Sunday). Little did I know that my
husband, Bill, would end up in the intensive care unit.
He's on kidney dialysis and his blood pressure was sky
high and had trouble breathing.

I got home and started projecting and then asked God
for help and then I remembered this group.

I have been sober 10 years and it still amazes how
God always helps and I ask Him. I found God in the
halls of AA and he is a loving God.

Please include Bill in your prayers because I believe in
the Power of Prayer.

I thank God for one more day of sobriety and God
Bless you all.



Member:
Tim V. in PA, USA
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
7:35:35 AM

Comments

Hi everyone, I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic.

Anonomity first meant safety and security to me...
refuge with my shame and humiliation. Then with
some recovery, I learned that anonomity also meant
responsibility... for maintaining the same refuge for
the next newcomer, as well as for the old timers at
both my elbows. Finally, with some sobriety, I
realized that anonomity was a blessing that provides
me with the spiritual climate in which I can grow and
my ego cannot.

Many blessings,



Member:
mike t.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
10:24:16 AM

Comments

anonomity is a great. but I do think that as the time
pasts that my anonomity is broken by my own choice.
Many of us regrade anonomity sacred. What do you
think?



Member:
John H.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
11:41:38 AM

Comments

I`m a new member. Anonymity may be very important
for some folks, but most of my friends know I`m in
the program and respect me for it. I don`t go around
with the AA logo on my T-shirt, but I`m proud to be a
recovering alcoholic. I respect the anonymity of others
in the program.



Member:
SteveB
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
2:11:11 PM

Comments

This topic is one that I have seen come up many,many
times in my over 14 years of sobriety. The problem
with becoming too publicized is that you receive too
much "help" from others. Being human, this help has
an attached moral code and judgement. This takes me
away from focusing on the real issue (not drinking
today) and gets me off track. Singleness of purpose
and focus has lead to my not drinking today. I cannot
see anything more effective than that. There is
certainly a sacrifice associated with anonymity. For
me, it makes me stronger and not so self centered.



Member:
Lynn M.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
2:40:24 PM

Comments

I guess I understood anonymity meant sacrifice and
that sacrifice was the topic. Well, I guess they both
are. What really irritates the tar out of me is when I
sacrifice my time and trouble to help someone who
doesn't want help. I went up to someone in church
who was asking everyone to pray for him to stay
sober. He had achieved 6 days of sobriety. However
when I spoke to him, he immediately discounted his
request byt stating that "the bills have been piling
up..." etc. I recommended to him that if he thought it
was getting rough to head for a local free Detox
program. The bottom line is he wasn't willing to
receive that. I walked away saying why do I bother and
my conscience immediately reminded me that-that's
the 12th step. I did give him my phone number and my
husband's phone number and our names. Sometimes
there's a very great relief in my anonymity. At other
times, I share who I am because I know that it is
pertinent. I almost always share it in a job interview
for instance. The people I work with know. But what
is more important than anything else is that I don't
share someone else's anonymity with anyone. It's no
one's business. Someone did that to me one time and
it was to my boss. If he hadn't have known
already-how would that have settled. I confronted her
and she was just amazed that I could be so upset.
What is so truly important about this program is that
we must guard others anonymity as we would have
our own guarded. My husband celebrates 5 years this
Saturday.



Member:
LAUREN P
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
5:40:10 PM

Comments

HI, I'M LAUREN A GREATFUL RECOVERING
ALCOHOLIC. I BELIEVE I BELIEVE IN BEING
ANONYOUMOUSE TO A POINT. IF TELLING
SOMEONE I'M IN RECOVERY WILL HELP
THEM THEN IT'S WORTH REVIELING. i'VE
BEEN SOBER 11 AND A HALF YEARS AND
PROUD TO BE FRIEND OF BILL W AN D DR.
BOBS. HELLO AND LOVE TO ALL MY FELLOW
AAS



Member:
Frank B Portland, Oregon
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
5:59:12 PM

Comments

Hi i'm an alcoholic named frank...what anonymity did
for me was helped me focus on me, inside and staying
out of you (which i is was very good at) and at first i
didn't really care if anyone knew if i was a drunk or
not since most already knew (it wasn't a big secret)
and when people would comment to me about my
changed behavior i would always reply by the Grace
of God and this program.i've been in recovery for over
six years and sober for almost 18 years but it was this
program that made the change in me. i reached that
point of incomprehensible demoralization after 11
years of soberity but NO CHANGE. This program has
taught me to accept the healing Grace of God..by
working the steps and service to give to others what i
was so freely given. thank you for your input it has
been great and God Bless you



Member:
Doug A U.K.
Date:
11/10/97
Time:
5:59:35 PM

Comments

Hi everyone I am Doug and I am alcoholic.

Thank you for your share Perry, and it was nice to
receive your E mail the other day. Anonymity in the
U.K. is sometimes held to be a bit sacrosanct. When
Bill visited this country in the 1950s he observed that
the fellowship was so anonymous that it ws difficult
to find. Sure we need to keep a low profile. The shame
of the newcomer would never be overcome if we
didn't maintain the physical fact of anonymity. AA is a
safe place to come. The spiritual principal however
goes much deeper. An old sponsor of mine suggested
that I take a postal order for 5 ($10) and post it to
GSO. He suggested the money order because unlike a
cheque, you do not have to sign it. It would be totally
anonymous. The other condition was to tell no-one
about it. I have to say I failed. At that time I could not
do without being the big shot, I am. Today I
understand what he was driving at. We must give of
ourselves feely, without the pat on the back, otherwise
our gifts have strings. Gifts with strings are not gifts,
they are opportunities to manipulate. I could only
understand anonymity, when I had a clear grasp on the
first step, and the steps and traditions art welded
together. Today I keep it simple and use the Just For
Today card to help me in the endevour to walk the
path of this wonderful journey.



Member:
Anna T.
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
1:38:27 AM

Comments

Hi, My name is Anna, and I am a recovering alcoholic
from California with 7 years of sobriety. I use
discretion when it comes to breaking anonymity. I
have a few close friends outside the program who
know I'm an alcoholic. I would heisitate to tell a boss
or co worker or college professor. Unfortuantely, a
lot of people out there don't understand the disease, a
and feel prejudice. They feel contempt prior to
investigation.



Member:
Tim V. in PA USA
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
11:27:43 AM

Comments

Lynn M.

We do it so we can stay sober today!

If he gets the message thats a bonus.

If we remember the message we might not drink
today.



Member:
Laren B.
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
11:35:14 AM

Comments

I believe that in some cases, anonymity is necessary to
protect ourselves, but in other instances it may be
helpful. I have a bad habit of breaking my own
anonymity. AA is the only group I've ever felt a part
of. Sometimes I forget that others don't see at as being
"socially acceptable". I don't really care what most
people think, but it is important for me to protect
myself from the potentially damaging judgemental
acts of others. Therefore, I guess I should really try to
be more careful about revealing my past. Those who
are closest to me know the truth (ie my boyfriend)
However the fathers of my 2 children don't know I'm
an alcoholic, nor do their parents know. I have to keep
it that way, or they could try to gain custody. (I have
been sober for over a year). Anyway, I don't know why
I rambled on so long. It's nice to finally find a meeting
on the Net. I've been trying for awhile, and have not
been successful.

s



Member:
Randy T.
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
4:50:56 PM

Comments

Hi I'm Randy alcoholic,from Georgia When I was
drinking I didnt care who knew I was drunk, so when I
began to get sober it wasnt any thing i tried to hide
from. today I dont hide the fact that i attend AA. I dont
announce it either. In service work anonymity is a
must, my ego doesnt need any pumping like it did
before i got to AA. I beleive anonymity helps us stay
focused on why I am in AA, to get sober and help
others achieve sobriety keeping me out of it. I'm only
a recovering alcoholic in search of sobriety, god has
given me the ability to help others get sober, thats all.
I'm only doing today what I shouldve been doing all
along, helping others. It took AA for me to see my
selfish-selfcenteredness and to work daily on letting
go of this malady. how better for me is it to help
another expecting nothing in return. Today im happy
just being a drunk in sobriety. I havent had any
problem with those (out there) knowing i was in AA.
Ussally when someone finds out they ask questions
and want to know more about AA. being in AA is not
an embarassment for me today its my life!! Im grateful
to AA and the God of my understanding as well the
good ppl in this wonderful program. In Love and
Service



Member:
Joanie O Portland Pa. usa
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
5:27:46 PM

Comments

Hi all Joanie O alcoholic here,I just got back from the
Pa eastern convention it was great and the speakers
wre sparkling and spiritual,just the best way to start a
long and cold winter. My sense of anonymity starts
with preserving the unity of our fellowship, I must be
always aware that Imust preserve thi program to be
attractive to all who enter here and to those who still
need our help. We are a fellowship of men and women
who care for one another and help one another
unconditionally. It is our business of staying sober
who we see here stays here and what we have done in
the past stays here. If we break this we are playing
God. The doors must remain open for all of those to
come to seek refuge and soberiety here . For that I am
responsible.



Member:
Mark B. in Pa.
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
7:53:31 PM

Comments

Hi I'm Mark And I'm an alcoholic.

Anonymity is something I struggle with all the time.
When I first got in the program I told everybody who
would listen that I was in AA. That was because I
wanted them to know that I was getting "better". I
wanted them to think differently about me. Maybe just
a little self centered I think.

This program has taught me so much. I hope today
that nobody outside of AA really looked at me closely
and thought of me as AA. I wouldn't have been a good
advertisement for this wonderful fellowship. I still
wouldn't be alot of days today.

Today, the people close to me know that I'm in the
program, and I do break my anonymity when I think it
will help a suffering alcoholic, and a few other times
when that self centeredness slips back in. I'm not what
is important, the fellowship is.

Tradition 12: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of
all our traditions, ever reminding us to place
principles before personalities.

That pretty much says it all for me.

Have a sober day! :)



Member:
Diane H.
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
8:14:42 PM

Comments

Anonymity is something that is important to me,
maybe too important. I am terrified of someone
finding out I am recovering at work. I work in
administration and I see how they get rid of people,
recently someone who admitted they were recovering.
I am terrified. Also, I attend meetings far away
because I am afraid to go locally. I live in a very small
town.



Member:
Missy G. PA
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
8:29:08 PM

Comments

Great topic ! Unfortunately I have had to learn things
the hard way as far as anonomity goes, just like
everything else I value so much today. I heard
anonymity meaans not blowing your own horn !
difficult task for this drunk. I shared my story at a
university once as aa part of service from the gso. two
yrs laater i got drunk and parted all night with a girl
who looked across the table at me at 5 in the morning
and said Now I Remembeer where I know you
from..."You spoke about AA in my college"..We may
be the only example of the Big Book others get to
see..a another hard lesson learned. But for the grace of
God I have beenn given the gift of sobriety again..9
months thanks to you all and God.



Member:
Pat W. in PA
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
9:05:47 PM

Comments

Diana H....They can not fire you because you are
recovering. That's like firing someone who just found
out they have diabetes.



Member:
Lois C, PA
Date:
11/11/97
Time:
9:32:41 PM

Comments

Thanks, Perry for a good topic! I don't care about my
personal anonymity but my non-alcoholic husband
does -- and I still bear his last name. (It's a miracle he
stuck with me all through my drinking years.) Like
many other spouses, family, etc. he was ashamed of
my being an alcoholic. So I don't usually give my last
name at an open AA meeting. I'm protecting HIS
anonymity, not mine.

As for the spiritual substance of anonymity so aptly
described in the long form of the 12th Tradition, I find
this very comforting. I liken it to "doing something for
someone else and not telling anyone about it." It's
about humility. And Lord knows I need to be humbled
every so often.

Bill once aptly described the earlier anonymity
breakers as "turning from AA members into AA
show-offs." I liked that. It's a good stopgap.

I'm new to online, too and appreciate you're being
here. Thanks!



Member:
Gman
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
12:59:24 AM

Comments

anonymity is fine, but it's the people who do know,
that I am an alcoholic and make judgement though. It's
tough trying to live and let live when I am being
judged.



Member:
Barbara S.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
9:56:10 AM

Comments

My name is Barbara and I'm an alcoholic (writing
from north New Jersey, USA). Anonymity is the
theme of both the 11th and 12th Traditions. From my
readings of these, there are several ways to apply it in
my life as an AA member. (I'm grateful that my group
has a once-monthly Tradition meeting to discuss these
things.)

But the essence of anonymity, for me, is this: for once
in my self-centered life, I have learned to place
something ELSE (that is, the Fellowship of
Alcoholics Anonymous) FIRST, before my own wants
and desires.

Thanks, Perry. Welcome to all newcomers. It's
exciting to see people from everywhere in world share
here!



Member:
Phil R
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
10:08:51 AM

Comments

Hi Gang, I'm Phil recovering alcoholic and have been
real busy doing everything. I try to live by a principle
if you see something good that you can do, do it! At
times this could be an ego thing or trying to use
performance to prove self worth to myself and others.
In service, the improper motivation may diminish my
intrinsic reward, but if the action is appropriate the act
itself is good. If I tell a pastor or Doctor to give my
phone number should someone need an alcoholic to
talk to I have not compromised my anonymity but,
accomplished my purpose -

:)TO GET MY EYES OFF MYSELF (:

When I first started sobriety it was pridefull to let my
friends know - "No, I'm not going to drink, I'm going
to AA meetings!" After two months sobriety I can start
to see that I've been trying to 'portray' myself to others
my whole life. Just being me and letting God rule in
my life is a whole different way. If I slow down long
enough and seek Him,what I should do becomes
clearer and more natural.



Member:
Barry H.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
12:51:01 PM

Comments

I'm an alcoholic- my name is Barry, and I'm greatful to
be here sober with people who understand me !
Anonymity is a geat principal and the foundation of
our fellowship, but let us not forget that our program
is called Alcoholics Anonymous; not- Anonymous
Alcoholics. When I first came around AA I went to
meetings 40 miles away from my home because I
"feared" how others would judge me. In all my years
of drinking I never feared how they judged me when I
was thrown out of the bars or seen staggering and
stumbling down the street, in the same town where I
owned a business on the Main street. I have heard in
the halls that it is none of my business what others
think of me, that if I am really trying to live my life as
I believe my "Higher Power" wants me to live it , then
I have nothing to fear.



Member:
John R.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
3:42:18 PM

Comments

Good point Barry,I've seen more bs around this
business of anonymous than anything else. People
who's program otherwise is great compromse things
by going overboard with being a secret. I no longer
hide from or run from anyone. I love me and thats
what counts...



Member:
PATRICK L
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
3:51:56 PM

Comments

MY NAME IS PAT, RECOVERING ALKY,DRUG
ADDICT AND BAD SPELLER....

I WOKE UP, PRAYED, WENT TO A MORNING
MEETING, ONE OF THE BEST (KCMO) REALLY
HELPED. THEN I HAD A JOB INTERVIEW, IT
ENDED,STILL HAD TIME TO MAKE THE
12NOON MEETING, THOUGHT YEP.. THIS IS
WHAT I NEED AFTER THAT GREULING
INTERVIEW THERE WASNT ANYONE
THERE,....SHIT NOW WHAT I HUNG OUT IN THE
HALL FOR A WHILE, STARTED TO SHAKE.
WHO CAN I CALL? WHAT NOW,I DONT WANNA
DRINK (YEAH I WANTED A DRINK)SOMEBODY
HERE DUCT TAPE ME CAUSE IF I LEAVE I
WILL DRINK, MAN AINT THAT SOMETHING
GONNA BLAME AA FOR ME DRINKIN. WELL
IM 5 DAYS, AND SHAKIN LIKE TINA TURNER
IN THE SHOWER,ON A COLD DAY. I WENT TO
A BAR,(STUPID) BARTENDER KNEW ME, SAID
ARENT U IN AA NOW. SAID YES, BUT VERY
LITTLE BACKUP, SHAKIN REAL HARD.
BARTENDER SAYS, HERE TAKE THIS AND
SHUT UP TOOK IT,(DRINK..BLOODY MARY
VIRGIN) AND I DOWNED THAT SUCKER IN 2
SECONDS. I LEFT THAT BAR DRUNK..... IF
THEY WOULD HAVE GIVEN ME A
BREATH-O-LIZER I WOULD ;HAVE PASSED.
LATER SHE CALLED ME, ( HOW DID SHE GET
MY NUMBER) SAID, CUT YOUR ASS OFF,PUT
IT IN A BAG AND THEN PUT IT IN YOUR
WAGON,AND DRAG IT TO A MEETING. I
ARGUED, THE USUAL, NO ONE THERE NO
ONE CARED. SHE SAID I DO. MAKING A LONG
STORY SHORT, SHE WAS ONE OF MY
DISABLED CHILDS,TEACHER .......NOW......LETS
TALK RESPECT SHE PICKED ME UP, SMACKED
MY FACE SHOWED ME HER TITS AND ASKED
ME IF I WAS AT THE BOTTOM.... TOOK
SEVERAL MINUTES TO RESPOND, DIDNT
TOUCH HER NEVER WOULD, BUT YES IF
THERE WAS SOMETHING LOWER I WOULD
DIE, SHE TOOK ME DOWN TO THE RIVER AND
SHOWED ME.... BAD SUGGESTED I GO OUT
AND DRINK SOME MORE UNTIL I WAS SURE
NO WAY, HUGGIN A TOILET,MAKIN EXCUSES
TO MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER WERE
ENOUGH....FOR NOW SHE TOOK ME TOO A
MEETING,(GREAT) SUZI PEOPLE SAID, I
NEEDED A BACK UP, KNOW EVERY PLACE
WITHIN 20 MILES OF A MEETING IF THAT IS
WHAT IT TAKES BUT GET THERE.... WENT
HOME AND HERE I AM. HELP ! LOVE
PEOPLE,DOGS,MUSIC,COMPUTERS, AND
HAVE A DESIRE TO QUIT DRINKIN. I QUIT
HERION WHEN I WAS 16, NOT EASY BUT A
HELL OF ALOT EASIER THAN ALCOHOL, YA
CAN GET BOOZE ON ANY CORNER...CHEAP.
AT LEAST WITH HERION YOU HAVE TO LOOK
AROUND,==== CAREFULLY. ANY ONE OUT
THERE? ANYONE GIVE A RATS ASS? HELP ME,
I KNOW SOME OF THE STEPS, KNOW SOME OF
THE TRADITIONS, DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT
GETTIN OR STAYIN SOBER. WITH ALL
RESPECT, LOVE , AND THE BEST OF IRISH
LUCK, YOU STAY SOBER SO YOU CAN KEEP
ME SOBER. THE PROGRAM (AA) WORKS, BUT
IT TAKES US LOVE, PAT LAFFERTY
PAT_LAFFERTY@HOTMAIL.COM
DIRTYFERTY@HOTMAIL.COM
WEENIE@SWBELL.NET



Member:
John R.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
3:55:09 PM

Comments

Why are you yelling Pat?



Member:
DIRTYFERTY
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
4:07:33 PM

Comments

PLEASE HELP ME SO I CAN HELP OTHERS

THANK YOU YOU ARE NEEDED, AND LOVED
PAT_LAFFERTY@HOTMAIL.COM (OR NET NOT
SURE)



Member:
BruceM Erie,Pa.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
4:47:05 PM

Comments

When I was a practicing alcholic my wife use to say
that I was GOOD FOR NOTHING! Since being a
member of AA I can BE GOOD FOR NOTHING!
Meaning that I can give it away to keep it and not
expect anything in return material wise. Being good
for nothing keeps me sober and humble one day at a
time. I have to give it away to keep it. I may not have
alot of money but I'm the richest man in the world!



Member:
emh
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
6:17:31 PM

Comments

Hello...my name is Harriet H. I can use that because
no one knows who that is. I am an alcoholic, when I
drink. I am oh, so very new to this program, don't
know the steps, and have been to very few meetings.
Would like very much to connect more, to feel
comfortable enough to talk, so that by being that
comfortable, the same need to drink might not be
there. Glad that your here. Hope to hear more. Thanks
for the opportunity.



Member:
Lynn M.
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
7:32:58 PM

Comments

Well...let's see that's a hard one to follow. Keep
coming back, Pat. As for Tim in PA-I KNOW THAT!
Thanks. I needed to add something, it you feel like you
shouldn't share your anonymity-don't. You'll know.
My co-workers found out when we traveled and I
returned to my room after dinner and didn't go to the
bar after the day ended or after dinner. I learned to
carry my AA books with me. I try really hard to share
where I am at, what it has been like for me and I know
that it might not work for others-there was a time
when I told no one because of intense shame and
embarrassment. The program has helped me to put it
behind. God bless everyone....



Member:
Judy P District 31
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
9:32:04 PM

Comments

Hey Gang, just wanted to respond to Diane H's
situation regarding anonymity in the workplace. Being
terrified of being found out must be heartwrenching
for you. I work in a treatment facility so I must admit I
tend to forget how it feels to out in the "real" world,
so to speak, but I've been in your situation, in fact, in
very early sobriety, and I put my faith in my God, that
if I disclosed that I was in recovery, which I felt
pertinent to do for me, I'd accept the outcome. If that
meant I could not feel comfortable and be myself in
that environment, I didn't belong there in the first
place. This is just how it worked for me. I had another
situation where I returned to college, again, in early
sobriety, and I felt so overwhelmed at one point, I told
one of my professors where I was coming from, etc.
Surprise, surprise! He had ten years himself! God
grace in disguise, once again. Yet another of many
miracles that occur in my life of sobriety. God Bless,
Judy P in West Chester, PA USA



Member:
The Treasurer of Staying Cyber
Date:
11/12/97
Time:
10:57:17 PM

Comments

There are no dues or fees, but we are self supporting.
Your donations pay for server time and the extra is
passed on to the General Service Office of AA. Please
see " Pass The Hat" at the bottom of this page if you
would like to contribute. Thanks for all that have
recently sent in a donation. We are still running
exceptionally lean .... Great Meeting! Your Treasurer:
Perry H



Member:
Rich G
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
2:59:36 AM

Comments

Hey Perry, Great topic! MY anonymity tain't so
important to me,as long as you are NOT trying to
pedestalize me ( and please don't as I may fall off my
high horse) but yours IS, in my way of thinking,
VERY important for me to protect. If in fact it is the
"Spiritual foundation of all our traditions", it would
seem to me it makes us more equal rather than
different. After all, it is NOT what makes us different
that holds us together, rather what makes alike (i.e.
King Alcohol) the rapacious creditor. Mucho thanks,
Mr. "Leader"

I seem to be getting an error URL on the 7th. Would
somebody send me the PO Box info so I may make a
small contribution, please? Thanks 4 ur time, love,
Rich : )



Member:
Chuck S
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
1:31:36 PM

Comments

Hi My name is Chuck. To Perry H in Penn. Being a
little bit alcholic, is like being a little pregnant'' It ain't
so. Good Luck



Member:
chris d. in philly
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
1:55:55 PM

Comments

hi everyone. my name is chris d. im an alcoholic. i just
wanted to get my hand up????!!! im new to this. but i
think its great! stay tuned for further developements!



Member:
Laurie I
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
3:08:29 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Laurie I, & I'm an alcoholic. The topic of
anonymity is truly a confusing one, especially for
newcomers. Anonymity is actually a concern of mine
expecially on the internet. By the way I'm new to this
cyber/sober thing. I've been sober for 3.9 years. It's the
best thing thats ever happened to me. This internet
thing is great has I haven't been to a meeting since
Monday night. I usually attend about 5 meetings a
week. I started a second job recently so getting to
meetings might be difficult. But staying sober is the
most important thing to me. First things First. Stay
sober and everything else will come. I;m not sure if
this has anything to do with the topic but Its a desire
to talk about it right now. First of all I didn't attend
the meeting where the problem occured, I heard about
it from a sponsee who was there and left feeling like,
Is this AA?, and what kind of sober people are these
anyways?. A fellow who has been in the program
longer than I, but only has about 2 years of sobriety (
or dry time). He's not actually an alcoholic, but is a
cocaine user. He cannot attend the two other programs
as they've banned him from there. He is a very active
13 stepper. He is consistently bringing young!! women
newcomers to meetings, introduces her to many
women, but won't actually let you talk in private to
her. He caused a scene at a meeting lately, accusing
someone else of making a newcomer drink (which we
all know is our choice, noone can make us drink).
there were WORDS back and forth until a lasdy
stepped in to share and try to bring the meeting back
on track.. There were alot of accusations about
amount of sobriety and the fellow even suggested they
vote on her sobriety. My problem is that this is very
common practice for this fellow. Can AA ban him as
the two other programs have. The fellow is very sick,
and he's very hard to pray for. He's also a great actor
and show off. Is this breaking people's anonymity
when people who attended the meeting, feel a need to
talk about it because that's what we are taught. If it
bothers you, talk to a fellow alcoholic. Or is this
gossip. How do we decide whether we are using the
Traditions right of are we abusing them? How do we
deal with these sick people who do things that the
parents of young alcoholics, that have sought help, do
not bad mouth aa because of 1 individual who is
doing things against the very idea of helping other
alcoholics.. I know we can't help everyone but how do
we help the ones that want it, but by some twist of bad
luck, get stuck with a loser rather thant a winner. I
know that if you have a desire to stop drinking and
that if you say you are a member then you are
welcome in AA. But can this be used/taken to the
extremes. Are there some quidelines to have some sort
of control(not a very good word for an alcoholic to
use).Does this happen in other club rooms. Is it a
problem just with club rooms or with other meetings
as well. I hope this is still on topic. Does anyone have
any suggestions, comments, or answers. Well I think I
will close off now. I just had a noon meeting on the
internet. Thank you, I wish everyone another 24 hours
and thank you for mine. Don't quit 5 minutes before
the miracle happens. That's all for now.



Member:
Tech
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
9:14:11 PM

Comments

Test - Sorry folks the web locked up for a little while



Member:
CW
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
9:18:59 PM

Comments

IS ANYONE HERE RIGHT NOW



Member:
Phil R
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
11:02:54 PM

Comments

Yes, here.



Member:
Peter E
Date:
11/13/97
Time:
11:24:59 PM

Comments

This is in response to Laurie I. In my experience, we
never run people off for being drunk at a meeting, as
long as they behave themselvses. If they get out of
line, they are asked to leave. If it gets extreme and they
won't leave, calling the police is in order. We also had
a man at our meeting who persisted in going to a lady
members job (restraunt) and making remarks about
"meetings". He also sat next to her and made her
uncomfortable. A few of us larger members braced
him and told him, "You are welcome to attend our
meeting, but her sobriety is important also. You will
sit at another table or leave." He left.



Member:
Pete396
Date:
11/14/97
Time:
12:21:41 AM

Comments

I'm just another alcoholic named Pete. To Laurie I. It's
an awkward situation but ask yourself if your HP
would ban him from the meeting. To Peter E. Thanks
for those suggestions. We probably should have done
this at the coffee pot. A safe and sober wish for you
all. Have a good night.



Member:
Anna T.
Date:
11/14/97
Time:
12:57:01 AM

Comments

Hi everyone, I just wanted to respond to what Lauren
said about her exes gaining custody if they found out
that you are in the program. As long as you are sober,
I doubt they would have a chance. I don't reccomend
announcing it, but if they accidentally found out, they
would have to prove you unfit, but you are fit since
you are sober. From what I understand, judges usually
prefer to leave kids with their mothers, and the father
would really have to have a strong case, being a sober
recovering alcoholic is not a strong case against you,
it goes in your favor. I don't think you have anythikng
to worry about. Do you think you will ever tell your
kids about your alcoholism? I have a 4 year old
daughter who knows I go to a "meeting class" a
couple times a week, but she doesn't know what it's
about, and I know she is too young to understand. Her
father can't use this against me since he is also a
recovering alcoholic as well. I am not sure of his
program, he doesn't pay suport and does not visit her
anymore, but this is off the subject. Maybe I'm doing
his inventory, but darnit it ticks me off, he acomes
back into her life, lets her get attached and splits. I
don't know which is worse, a custody battle or a dead
beat dad. They both can be damaging to a kid.
Changing the subject, why the blue background?
Black on white would be easier for me, like the way it
is in the comment box. Oh well. I am going to visit
AOLaaonline before retiring. One more thing. I am
from California, USA. Anyone else out there from
California? Thanks for letting me share. God bless
you all.



Member:
Laurie I.
Date:
11/14/97
Time:
6:36:37 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Laurie, an alcoholic. In response to the lady
worried about her husband finding out about her
being in AA. i had the same concern when I was going
thru a divorce. When I asked my lawyer about it, he
said not to worry, That the Judge would look in great
favor as long as I attended meetings, and stayed sober.
It could not be used against me. This was not even an
issue during the divorce proceedings after. I don't
know if this would be the same in all cases, but this
was my experience. On the subject of Anonymity.
Most people knew we drank, and assumed we were
probablly alcoholics before we even knew. So what if
they find out we are in the Program! At least now we
are sober. Signing off for now.



Member:
Laurie I.
Date:
11/14/97
Time:
6:37:17 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Laurie, an alcoholic. In response to the lady
worried about her husband finding out about her
being in AA. i had the same concern when I was going
thru a divorce. When I asked my lawyer about it, he
said not to worry, That the Judge would look in great
favor as long as I attended meetings, and stayed sober.
It could not be used against me. This was not even an
issue during the divorce proceedings after. I don't
know if this would be the same in all cases, but this
was my experience. On the subject of Anonymity.
Most people knew we drank, and assumed we were
probablly alcoholics before we even knew. So what if
they find out we are in the Program! At least now we
are sober. Signing off for now.



Member:
Rita M
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
8:33:15 AM

Comments

Hi, Rita an alcoholic here....

Perry.....great intro and I think that you did a fine job
of gathering your "data". Never had equated
anonymity with sacrifice before.

I Feel very strongly about anonymity and respecting
"others", but I also respect the fact and I and anyone
that cares to can "break" their own anonymity as long
as sit is not at the level of i.e., press, media, TV.

There are times when I believe too many take this to
the extremes and it is very difficult for the hand of AA
to reach out when we cannot be found! (especially
within the fellowship!) You cannot fine Rita in the
phone book if you need to talk to someone.

Once heard a guy tell a story in a lead.....he was the
guest speaker and when he was introduced, the
chairperson said, and to my left is our speaker, Tom
C. Seating to his left is his wife Mrs. Curtis! (now, I
ask you?)

Have a real pet peeve though, and that is that people in
an "open" meeting are often guilty of using last names
of other alcoholics. As I said, I think we need to
respect the anonymity of others!

Many things in the fellowship are changing and
misinterpreted! If traditions are not being followed,
then, perhaps it is because "sponsorship" has gone by
the wayside a bit, and we must continue to "help" the
new people to learn about them! I am Responsible!
(one of my favorite slogans)

Thanks for letting me blow off some steam!



Member:
Ron L. E Stroudsburg PA
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
10:30:43 AM

Comments

Hi! I'm Ron L. a grateful alcoholic,

When I first got sober I had to tell everyone. My
father-in-law also in recovery but much longer than
me said "please don't tell anyone you are in AA you're
going to get drunk and give the program a bad name! I
still blurted it out every chance I got. I guess it was my
way of processing the thought "I really am an
alcoholic!" Since then I've experienced several other
awarenessess in my life and every time I seem to need
to repeat the same pattern for a year or two sometimes
less I blurt out my new realization all over the place. I
hope I haven't hurt too many people in the process.
Today, hopefully, HP will let people know me
without me having to wear a neon sign.

Thanks for the meeting.



Member:
Barry H.
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
11:24:51 AM

Comments

To Rita M. -- I say ditto! I'm an alcoholic- my name is
Barry and I'm greatful to be here sober with people
who understand me. Thank You !!!!!!!!!!



Member:
john o'
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
1:18:34 PM

Comments

hi john from nj thanks for



Member:
john o'
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
1:19:26 PM

Comments

hi john from nj thanks for aplace to go i needed it
today i missed my meeting



Member:
Frank K
Date:
11/15/97
Time:
9:14:07 PM

Comments

Hi Everyone,

My name is Frank and I am an alcoholic.

Anonimity is very important to me, particularly in this
type of forum. I don't try to hide the fact that I'm in the
program, but I find that there are still a lot of people
who don't understand what AA is all about. I didn't
until several months after coming into the program.

Then after being here awhile and going to 3 or 4
meetings a weeks, it seems like everyone in my life is
in AA and I start to take it for granted. (Some day I'm
going to come into a busuness meeting in the real
world and say "Hi, I'm Frank and I'm an alcoholic!")
Sometimes I forget that everyone is not as familiar
with the program as I.

Many people still think drinking is only a matter of
will power and consequently look down on us poor
slob drunks.

So, I value my anonimity, but I will always be there to
help.

Ummm, this is my first share with this group. I enjoy
the sharing and look forward to these meetings.

Frank In Sunny South Florida

P.S. Record cold here tonight. Should get down to 55!