In modern recovery, anonymity is viewed as harking to a time when alcoholism was seen as a disgrace.
By DAVID COLMAN
Published: May 6, 2011
I’M David Colman, and I’m an alcoholic.
In the 15 years since I quit drinking, I’ve neither spoken nor written those words, and now, in doing so, I have more or less violated the first-name-only tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous, the grass-roots organization whose meetings have helped me (and millions of others) quit drinking. As A.A.’s 11th Tradition states, We need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
As for me I am nothing special , so the best I could do is refer you back to the source, the co-founder of what today is known as A. and A, Robert Holbrook Smith ,Anonymously known as Dr. Bob.
Dr. Bob had the handle on the candle when it came to the shadowy room of anonymity with the bright light of humility.
“Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. “It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.”
[Dr. Bob] said there were two ways to break the Anonymity Tradition: (1) by giving your name at the public level of press or radio; (2) by being so anonymous that you can’t be reached by other drunks. – Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers, page 264
Hi my name is fame and fortune and I am a man of wealth and taste, the spiritual giant you now see before your eyes was living in Dog Patch, under the plies until one glorious day I embraced A.A. I was a miserable wretch beyond redemption except for God’s timely intervention. I will toot my own horn and have become the fire of my own understanding. Follow me I am the pied piper of recovery.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
“Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination in the sight of God.”
Anonymity is spiritual humility in inaction.
The beau geste of the public platform may be the dubious luxury of the normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison. If you are fired up and want to give back the question to ask is when was your last Twelve Step Call? Are you sponsoring the next sufferer?
If you’re having trouble in finding someone to work with I will give you a suggestion, found on the RumRadio.org Big Book Sponsorship website
How to find a sponsee
I can go to skid row that I already know, and like Bob and Bill there is always the hospital. Now I hear tell they come under their own steam, washed but not clean, and desperate for simple instruction. Next time this golden opportunity walks through theÂ doors I will elbow and shove and help them find their seat so that I can continue to grow and make my own recovery complete.
See you on the radio