This is What Happens When You Write Publicly About Your Experience in Alcoholics Anonymous
Tracy Chabala

After reading your article I had some very strong feelings that would have come out as words towards you in regards to breaking your anonymity. But, I have learned that that is not a good plan. So, here’s my watered down version.

If you want to break your anonymity, cool. Whatever. But, if you relapse (saying you are still sober today), people might blame AA for your relapse instead of your own lack of action to stay sober. That is a big reason why the anonymity thing is so important. If everyone in AA went out saying they were a member, all over TV, then it would be personalities over principles. People who might get the message of AA as it stands now would see all of these people speaking for AA. Hypothetically speaking, if they were to publicly relapse, people wouldn’t say “oh, that person wasn’t working their program”. They would say “Well, if that person didn’t stay sober then AA doesn’t work”, and they could miss out on a life-saving opportunity to try the Program for themselves.

Second, the whole point of that tradition is because of humility. So one or several members don’t go spouting off to the press and TV saying how great they are, how great AA is. Once someone does that, their ego gets to be the size of Texas, and they could potentially relapse. All of the sudden it’s them keeping themselves sober instead of AA and their Higher Power.

Third, I don’t think that letter was passive aggressive. I think they were doing their job to protect the Program and Fellowship of AA. A Program and Fellowship, by the way, that has been saving lives for over 80 years. Like the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Also, I would recommend asking yourself, why are you so angry about this letter if you did nothing wrong? Seems to me you wouldn’t be getting so hot under the collar if you truly believed you were doing no wrong. But that’s just my opinion. I challenge you to write a 4th step inventory on that and see what you come up with. If you truly want to grow in your sobriety, then go to any length to get free from anger, frustration, doubt, etc.

Mind you, this is just my two cents. Read it if you will, or don’t. But I stand for something I believe in, and I believe in AA.

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