Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Have I lost the right to remain anonymous?

An amazing week in Zion, where Oz, my husband and I met up with my brother (who's in AA with two years sober). It isn't hard to know there is some Higher Power guiding us when one looks at the magnificence of Zion. The dusting of snow, which turned more intense late in the day forcing us to abandon touring more parks, made everything amazingly pristine.

Back to the reality of Arizona, I was lunching the other day, reading Facebook and eating a Smashburger (sorry, Vegans), when two men sat down next to me. One was older and he was questioning the younger, painfully thin man across from him. The story the young man told in response to his questions caught my ear.

The young man admitted he was "hitting the pipe" and was trying to quit using. The older man suggested he help the young man get a job to get him back on track. I know from first-hand experience that it will take more than a job to help this young man.

I didn't want to intrude, but felt impelled to do something. I didn't have any literature in the car, but I did write a note and give them the number of NA, telling them I had over 30 years clean in the rooms. I also gave them the number for a local detox center. They took the note, read it and thanked me as I left. I didn't feel like I could say more.

I celebrated my 30 years clean and sober last week. I've been reflecting a lot on the past three decades. And what I've come up with is that for years, I've kept a veil of anonymity between my recovery and my career. I don't tell people I'm in recovery unless they need to know. 

Somewhere I read that the original founders of AA didn't believe we should be "too" anonymous. People should be able to find us if they need help. The early AAs gave their first and last names at the podium, so that if someone wanted to look them up in the phone book, they could, I think I heard early in my recovery.

When I had my 30 years, I did post on my non-personal Facebook page about my anniversary. No one said too much, and I don't think most people knew or suspected. But truly, when I was blessed with this gift of recovery, I wonder if I have lost the right to too much anonymity.

What do you think?

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