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Old 06-27-2009, 12:42 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
Everyone chant "Here! Here!"

You forgot that part. How can you forget that part?
Jim,

You missed my post, the last 2 "heres" are actually "hears" as in "hear hear" as in "I strongly agree".
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I always thought how nice they put a tradition in there to protect me from AA, then I found out it was the other way around. Anonymity is to protect AA from me. It went even deeper than that, practicing anonymity is a practice in humility. How many times before you got sober did you want recognition for what you did? Honey, I took out the trash for you, now lavish me with praise!!!! In AA we learn to serve without the expectation of reward or recognition.
Here hear!
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Here hear!
No it's "Here! Here!"
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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it don`t sound too good to me
my home groups uses this


The anonymity of each person is a prized possession over which he or she has control.We ask you to respect this right by not revealing by name those in attendance at this meeting.
However,feel perfectly free to discuss any thoughts or ideas you may have gained.


I`ll check and see where it came from,and it may have come from ala non
Ireally like this...might bring that up for one of our AA groups that currently reads the other.

For my self i try to use some judgement about what i would share and how outside the meeting itself to others. And I think this version is a great guide. I've made it clear on ocations to others that for me I would want anyone to share anything i said in a meeting or outside if they thought it would be useful to someone else.

Sure there are things i don't particularly to be spread aruond that i will talk of in a specific meeting a specific time, but I want to be of service to others. I would hate for a person to come to AA with some issues similar to mine, and have them suffer in silence because they don't know anyone else has been there.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:21 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I believe we should discuss thought or ideas we gain from inside the rooms,but not discuss people.I really like it and it was given to us by the old timers who have gone on before us.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I follow this principal out of the BB as a guide:

Quote:
We families of Alcoholics Anonymous keep few skeletons in the closet. Everyone knows about the others' alcoholic troubles. This is a condition which, in ordinary life, would produce untold grief; there might be scandalous gossip, laughter at the expense of other people, and a tendency to take advantage of intimate information. Among us, these are rare occurrences. We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.

Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize to laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often produce the contrary effect. Members of a family should watch such matters carefully, for one careless, inconsiderate remark has been known to raise the very devil. We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap.
BB 1st ed et al
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:31 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Cool

"What you hear here, What you Say here, when you leave here, let it stay here."

FightingIrish wrote........:

"...But it also means (for me), that I shouldn't tell someone who missed the meeting last night but is normally there, "gee, John B. came in last night and told the group he was thinking about drinking again..."
I dunno, am I wrong here?..."

...to which laurie6781 replied......:

"...NOPE, you hit the nail on the head I M H O!
Now that saying does not preclude me from having a 'light bulb moment' from something someone shared, and sharing that "moment" with my sponsor or someone else, .................. ie sharing the moment, but NOT WHO said what.
J M H O..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, perhaps I'm just stirrin the pot here, or yankin a chain, but for me, it's all about the word 'here' NOT the 'here, here' or 'hear, hear' (whichever one prefers), BUT the 'let it stay HERE.' ...and for me that 'here' means AA, the whole of AA, and not just the 'here' as to the four walls of the room for that particular meeting. Therefore, if I heard a person in a meeting say they were struggling and thinking of 'going back out' I would have no qualms in speaking of this (including the person's name) to another friend (also in AA, but not in that particular meeting) who knew this person, and would be concerned.

...just an opinion here.....(ah, another 'here' .... LOL).....something to think about...... (o:


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Old 06-27-2009, 10:22 AM   #28 (permalink)
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One of ours reads
Quote:
Do not discuss outside AA circles who was here or what was said here
Therefore we can continue to discuss the issue or what was said at another meeting.
Assuming we would ever want to.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:24 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Is that the way it is commonly done in AA? It is considered to be OK to discuss what someone said at another meeting with one another even if one of us wasn't at the meeting where it was said, and we can use names?

We also read that same thing out in NA meetings "Who you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here." I was just curious about the specific expectations on us if we want to stay true to the traditions. The issue was on my mind recently when a friend, Terry, told me "I'm really worried about F." F is a mutual friend/addict in NA with us. So I asked her "Oh, is he ok?" Terry said "I dunno, he shared something really bad in the midnight meeting last night." I asked what it was, concerned. Terry said "I can't tell you, that would be violate our core tradition. I would have thought you'd know that." It was late, so I had to wait til the next day to call F and see if he was OK. He told me that a dear friend of his had died, and that he was struggling with staying clean as a result. I was worried about him. Sometimes I wish people wouldn't say anything at all if they can't tell you the whole thing. Know what I mean? I guess I'm a bit nosy, but mostly just concerned. I prayed for F, and he made it through the tough time clean and sober. So that's all that matters, really.

Love,
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The issue was on my mind recently when a friend, Terry, told me "I'm really worried about F." F is a mutual friend/addict in NA with us. So I asked her "Oh, is he ok?" Terry said "I dunno, he shared something really bad in the midnight meeting last night." I asked what it was, concerned. Terry said "I can't tell you, that would be violate our core tradition...."
IMHO had your friend told you this, it would not violate the 12th tradition. No one's anonymity would be threatened at all, all 3 of you were already aware the other 2 are in NA.

There may be other legitimate reasons not to tell you, but if that is the case why bring it up in the first place?
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Oh, come on people! Don't tell me I am the only one who still suffers with a fragile

ego. And who depends on anonymity as the spiritual foundation of all of our 12 Step

Programs. The AA 12X12 says that to discuss anyone even when trying to be helpful

when they are not present amounts to character assasination. When I share in the

"hallowed halls" the four walls...of the room I am in, in a meeting...I am there to either

a) save my a** or

b) help another...especially a newcomer to get sober, or stay sober...and to encourage

my fellows.

I am not there to have my story spread around other rooms or for anyone to call my

sponsor or friends with concerns. Sheeesh, I may have just been having a bad day.

I am all for "What you hear here, stays here." "Here Here!"

Great thread, MGD!
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #32 (permalink)
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The AA 12X12 says that to discuss anyone even when trying to be helpful when they are not present amounts to character assasination.
I hear what you are saying, and the twelfth tradition actually merits it's own thread IMO.

I was actually reading my 12 X 12 when I saw this, and was thinking about character assassination, what it says is this:

Quote:
Self righteous anger can also be very enjoyable. In a perverse way we can actually take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority. Gossip, barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has it's satisfactions for us too. Here we are not trying to help those we are criticizing: we are trying to proclaim our own righteousness.
Of course it depends on us and our motives, I frequently get phone calls, "Hey, call your sponsee/friend etc. they are having a hard time" without the person divulging the details.

Gossip is different then "I am worried about _____" in my opinion.

once again, my rule of thumb is:
Quote:
We families of Alcoholics Anonymous keep few skeletons in the closet. Everyone knows about the others' alcoholic troubles. This is a condition which, in ordinary life, would produce untold grief; there might be scandalous gossip, laughter at the expense of other people, and a tendency to take advantage of intimate information. Among us, these are rare occurrences. We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance.

Another principle we observe carefully is that we do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may criticize to laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but criticism or ridicule coming from another often produce the contrary effect. Members of a family should watch such matters carefully, for one careless, inconsiderate remark has been known to raise the very devil. We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap.
If you and I were "real life" "fellowship" or even not, I would absolutely want to get the phone call, "Hey, Trucker is not doing well, give him a call"

It would be a loved based decision and action following a love based decision and action. Of course my friends are discerning enough to not call me with "Trucker is having a bad day and is b1tching like a red headed step child", there is a difference.

Anonymity IS the foundation and as such merits it's own thread/discussion in and of itself.
BB 1st ed et all 12 x 12
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:29 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Thanks Ago..good point too.

Maybe, it's because I am from a small town...area, if you will. Been there, done that

too. I'm no saint. But I am a new GSR too..yay! A "Guardian of the Traditions"..lol.

Learning a lot on the journey...

No wonder I'm such a stickler...if I wasn't hardcore before, I sure am now!

(still have the soft center)
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:37 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I'm glad this thread has provoked some thoughts that have us at least pondering and discussing traditions. This was an unseen benefit.

In my group, we talk about each other. We are concerned with each other. We had a guy in our group that was in bad shape. He chaired a meeting one night and was not happy. He thought it was unfair that he had to chair a meeting when he was in such bad shape. Later, we found he was in a financial pinch. I told him I thought he could have just brought up the truth and it would have been a great topic. Instead, he would catch the judgement and wrath from someone in the group for his actions. I defended him. I was accused of "coddling" him. I told the "elderly statesmen that he had no right to gossip about the guy who wasn't there to defend himself. I was told that there is a time and a place to talk about someone. "What are we supposed to do? Ignore the fact he's in a mess?"

I stood my ground. But the guy who was in dire straits fessed up and cleared things up with the group... gossip or not.

"There are no secrets" seems to override "Let it stay here" in our particular group. Not saying it's right... just the way it currently is.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:48 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I seem to derive a lot of benefit from using 12th Tradition as a guide for anonymity. "we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance...It reminds us that we are to actually practice a genuine humility."

When I think of anonymity as a spiritual principle, reminding me that in my alcoholism, I am undistinguished from others who suffer, that I am sick like them, but have been shown a way out through a spiritual awakening, the questions about what to say and who to say it to, kind of answer themselves.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I had time to think about this. What I abhor is gossip. Thanks to Ago for quoting the

reference in the 12X12. I have suffered from it, and seen the effects on others in the

program. I have seen people stay away from meetings after they have learned that

they have been talked about..that their anonymity was broken.

I, myself, did too..for one week..until I did a tenth and my HP showed me that I

hadn't exactly been a saint in this area and I needed to pray for the offenders

and forgive as outlined in the Chapter Freedom From Bondage. Gossip hurts, badly.

And when it comes from trusted members and friends...it can destroy a weak or

struggling one. Some..with dual diagnoses can imagine all sorts of persecution

scenarios until they "get the straight scoop" and suffer needlessly while waiting.

Heck, any plain old alkie deserves a straight shot of respect and truth.

A lot can get lost in translation.

Isn't it better to go straight to the person (at) the meeting and offer help?

I've learned a lot about restraint of pen and tongue..the hard way.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Anonymity being the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, to me, has nothing to do with our "normal" interpretation of the word.

To me it means do good things and don't take credit for them. Don't believe my own PR. To know I am only the hose, not the water. The vehicle for the message, not the message.

To learn this, my sponsor made me do the exercise of doing a good deed every day for thirty days, and if you get caught, or tell anyone it doesn't count.

It literally changed me as much as working the steps, maybe more so in some ways, it broke my brain, it makes me understand what it means when it says anonymity is the spiritual foundation.

If you have never tried it, and would like to have a good laugh at yourself at your own expense, try it. For me it went against every single natural instinct I possessed.

Not to do good deeds, I was good at that, to not tell anyone, because all those "good deeds' I was doing were me manipulating myself and everyone around me, I was manipulating my ego, and manipulating you to get what i want.

Don't believe you are anything like that? try it yourself haha.

I think the carpenter said something like:

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

That, to me is what the foundation is, and remember, I am not a Christian nor believe in a diety per se, but that quote says everything that needs to be said.

it aint about gossiping in a meeting, or not saying who was there or who said what, if you are aligned with that, you CAN'T gossip, it just doesn't work, that would be like me taking credit for my own sobriety, or credit for the birth of a child or something.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:32 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Thanks for that Andrew.

The principle is so misunderstood. I had an experience yesterday at work that comes to mind, hopefully I can share it without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn.

The agency I work for houses the county detox and I happened to be in there doing some work in the dayroom yesterday. There's always a few alcoholics in various stages of detoxification sitting in there and me being who I am, I naturally end up talking with them or doing some subtle Twelfth-Step work.

Yesterday I was talking to this alcoholic, a man, and he was telling me about himself. The thought came to me that I knew someone near where he lives that he can connect with when he is released. So I called my friend Pat, who said sure, get me his phone number. So I did.

Long story short, one of the women who works in the detox is five years away from a drink, and this is going to sound really judgmental, but really untreated and doesn't have much of a clue about how to really work with these alcoholics. I came back in to tell the guy that my friend would be calling him and she is giving him a lecture about anonymity because he gave me his number.

I said to her "How in the hell are we supposed to help him if we can't contact him or him contact us? Anonymity isn't about being a secret. It means that I'm nothing special, that in AA I'm just a member and at work or to the public I'm just a regular guy."

I have to admit that I have some inventory to write here. It's about how some of the people that are so-called AA members in recovery that work in the field are more screwed up than the people they're trying to help.
Jim
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Hey Jim... Might the lady have been freaked out not because of AA anonymity, but potential HIPAA violation? The guy at that point was a patient at this place, yes? So by calling your friend and saying "There's somebody in here who lives near to you, can I give you his number so you can help him out", assuming the guy had not given you the ok first, that could violate his right to confidential treatment. Because even if you had not told your friend this man's name, the fact that he lives near your friend and is in detox is identifying information. The point's moot if he told you it was ok. Anyway. Food for thought.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #40 (permalink)
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SS,

I cleared that before hand, as I am well aware of HIPAA laws. And he did tell me it was OK. In fact he started crying when I told him I knew someone who could help him.

Actually what I did was a "Bridge The Gap," which you may be aware of. The local H& I committee keeps those forms in the facility, and I just had him fill out one of those. I plan on giving my friend the form this weekend. The patient will have been released by then.

And no, she was freaking out about anonymity, not HIPAA, because it was her anonymity she was talking about, about how she hates it when her anonymity is broken. It's like she's an AA member and works at this place where alcoholics who cycle in and out of AA meetings show up. What does she expect?

Anyway, I appreciate you bringing that point up. I see people I know all the time either in detox or in our outpatient facility, so I do keep on my toes regarding the law here.
Jim
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