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Anonymity for Professionals in a Small Town

Old 03-02-2018, 06:03 AM
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Anonymity for Professionals in a Small Town

Posting for a friend:

She's concerned if she goes to an AA meeting in the small town she lives in, she'll lose her job. She works with kids.

I've suggested she drive to other towns but I don't think there are many around.

She asked me if there are AA meetings for professionals who need an extra layer of anonymity?
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:00 AM
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She will likely find that there are lots of other professionals at the AA meetings in her area too. It's a very common and unfounded fear that addicts have - that somehow help will actually not help.

There are also online AA meetings you can find easily by googling "online AA" if she'd like to give that a shot. Or she could access some of the many sites like SR that are completely anonymous and provide a lot of support as well.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:05 AM
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I hear this a lot. On the one hand it is easy to see why someone might think that their anonymity is possibly an issue. It has been my experience however that AA/NA meetings are made up of addicts....all of whom want to protect their anonymity. What would the AA member do? "I saw so and so at my AA meeting"....this would be outing themselves. Truly, I don't think its a huge issue. And if the town is that small, chances are the alcoholism is not such a secret.

There are also closed meeting (this is indicated on the meeting schedule). This means that no 'non' addicts (ie someones spouse or friend) can be there.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:44 AM
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Most licensed professionals of any type (accountants, lawyers, doctors, architects) and also non-licensed professionals (actors, musicians, etc.) have resources and programs for people in their fields struggling from addiction.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:24 AM
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I get it.

It would be an issue for me too.

I know its anonymous, but you go there, park your car, people can see you etc.

Maybe she should see how the online thing goes and take it from there.

I did hip sobriety online and enjoyed it.

Goes w/o saying that the quit is the big thing.

Nice of you to ask for her.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:10 PM
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AA meeting I shared at tonight there were 7 people. 2 of those people are teachers. One is a nurse. ALL AA meetings tend to have professional people at them. I have met surgeons, business met, counsellors, mothers, grandmother's, dentists, and citizen advise advisors. ALL the people there value their own anonymity and respect that of the others there. If she's worried she could drive to a neighbouring town.

Chances are my behaviour pre-AA was far more likely to damage my reputation than attending meetings while living a sober life in recovery was likely to, even if some one DID spot me in a meeting.

BB
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:12 PM
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Special circumstances for professionals? That was one of the very first things tried, right in the founding moment of AA. In fact, if one of the co-founders had got his way, AA might not exist today.

Bill had given Dr Bob the rundown on the program as it then was. He was OK about everything except making amends to those in the community he had harmed. He felt strongly that he would be ruined, his reputation shot to tatters, if he went out and fessed up to his problem.

He got drunk a few weeks later. Bill and Anne got him home. He was badly hungover and shaky and he rmemebered he had to perfom a surgery that day, one that had already been put off a few times. Bill gave hm some beer to steady his hands, and off he went to the surgery> (nobody seems to know how it worked out for the patient). After surgery, he disappeared again. Everyone feraed another relapse. However, he got home at midnight, having gone all round the town squaring things with the people.

He never drank again, and his practice and patients were all fine.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:17 PM
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I'm a professional in my community, I drank in public in my community and made an ass of my self, many times.
The best thing I could do is walk into those rooms. I mean, hey, I'm bettering myself how could this be worse had a client seen me in public?
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:48 AM
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"He got drunk a few weeks later. Bill and Anne got him home. He was badly hungover and shaky and he rmemebered he had to perfom a surgery that day, one that had already been put off a few times. Bill gave hm some beer to steady his hands, and off he went to the surgery> (nobody seems to know how it worked out for the patient). After surgery, he disappeared again. Everyone feraed another relapse. However, he got home at midnight, having gone all round the town squaring things with the people."

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Old 03-03-2018, 08:18 AM
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This does get posted a lot, but it's a good question!
She will not lose her job, it is anonymous and if she goes to a closed meeting, then it is ONLY alcoholics allowed at the meeting.
She will see other professionals there, I have no doubts about that.
Especially in a small town. I grew up in a very small town, lots of big drinkers. My uncle was actually the chair at all the AA meetings (there was only 2 per week, total).
Keep in mind that some people at AA have been sober for 15,20, 30+ years! You can be a professional and an alcoholic.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Pathwaytofree View Post
Posting for a friend:

She's concerned if she goes to an AA meeting in the small town she lives in, she'll lose her job. She works with kids.
AA is just that, anonymous. She will for sure lose everything if she keeps drinking.

Originally Posted by Pathwaytofree View Post
I've suggested she drive to other towns but I don't think there are many around.
AV excuses, take her to the local meeting and offer her no icecream afterwards if she doesn't.

Originally Posted by Pathwaytofree View Post
She asked me if there are AA meetings for professionals who need an extra layer of anonymity?
That's the point of AA, Alcoholics anonymous It sounds like your friend is making excuses. Until they are ready to get better, their world will just crash and burn.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Forward12 View Post
AA is just that, anonymous. She will for sure lose everything if she keeps drinking.



AV excuses, take her to the local meeting and offer her no icecream afterwards if she doesn't.


That's the point of AA, Alcoholics anonymous It sounds like your friend is making excuses. Until they are ready to get better, their world will just crash and burn.

Yes, offer to drive her, if she can't have her own car parked there.
In my old town, I was walking to meetings just to make it. Here, I've walked a couple of times as well, but it is much further and I'm not as comfortable walking in the city here.

I wouldn't worry about not remaining anonymous...never had any issues with that and I don't know of anyone that has.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:07 PM
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i got sober in a town of about 2,000( that covered a lot of square miles to get that 2,000). went to meetings where there was a sheriff,prosecuting attorney, surgeon, nurse, PC doc, pharmacist, couple of teachers, business owners......
all in small town.
they all seem to have had the same thought- they didnt mind people seeing them at the store stockin up or out at the bar getting drunk so being seen at AA wasnt a problem.

have her think about this- losing her job for seeking help yet no problem with losing her job with the drinking?

a little humility goes a long way.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:37 PM
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I was in this EXACT same situation. I don’t care what ANYONE says. People talk. If it’s even to level the playing field that “I” was at a meeting and saw xyz there. So he/she struggles too. I live in a very small town and I’d drive an hour + to go to meetings. I know it’s supposed to be anonymous, but it’s not. I went to an outpatient assessment @ a hospital 45 minutes away and not even 2 days later my ex husband was calling asking me what was going on. It HAD to be a nurse or someone who saw my records that told him. So much for Hippa laws. Do what you have too, but if kids are involved in her job I’d do online or far away. People talk, period. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:21 PM
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And also, I’ve dealt with HR at a company who has NO mercy for alcohol abuse. None. Just my 2 cents again. What’s written in black and white is what they follow. Absolutely no room for a grey area. Period. Any news of an adult who is abusing alcohol working with kids would very much damage her livelihood. At least for me it did. Don’t mean to be a negative Nellie though. Lol
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:34 PM
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I honestly don't want to put anyone off, but when I lived up in Glasgow, one guy 'lapsed' and went around telling everyone who he'd met in AA there. Needless to say, he wasn't invited back in but it does happen, sadly
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:45 PM
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I agree with Behappy1 and Zanna. People talk. I am just using SR for my recovery and it has been enough for me. I wish her all the best.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:01 PM
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I am sensitive to your friend's concerns.

But, for me, I just go to meetings everywhere, many of which involve people who know my profession (I'm a lawyer).

I have been active in my profession's support group across the state for many years.

It's funny how I came to be very open about my recovery, even though my firm and I kept it rather quiet when I first got sober.

I was, after all, a very public drunk and most people who knew me were likely relieved when I got help.

There are professionals all over who are in recovery and who are also brilliant and "successful" by most barometers of success.

I hope your friend steps across the threshold of the meeting and joins us.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:55 PM
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Lots of good feedback on this thread.
I would suggest that she at least registers on SR. Some people have quit using this site solely and she will also get exposed to different methods and get tons of support.

Tell her to make up a cute anonymous moniker, join this site as well as the Class of March thread.
https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...art-one-6.html (Class Of March 2018 Support Thread - Part One)

Thank you for looking out for your friend but as a F&F member my advice to you is not to let her issues consume you. You can point her in the right direction and support her but ultimately, it's her choice whether she wants to quit or not
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Anarock View Post
This does get posted a lot, but it's a good question!
She will not lose her job, it is anonymous and if she goes to a closed meeting, then it is ONLY alcoholics allowed at the meeting.
She will see other professionals there, I have no doubts about that.
Especially in a small town. I grew up in a very small town, lots of big drinkers. My uncle was actually the chair at all the AA meetings (there was only 2 per week, total).
Keep in mind that some people at AA have been sober for 15,20, 30+ years! You can be a professional and an alcoholic.
Thanks Anarock. I've seen this posted before, too, and I used to think that it was kinda snobby for professionals to want to be in separate meetings, lol.

I think my friend is still way in denial. She has already been in front of a judge and in rehab. She can't admit she's an alcoholic because she is filled with shame. I thought my telling her about me being an alcoholic and my recovery would help her. I made the mistake mentioning the God stuff. I can't go into details but she is very head strong and is going to try to work on this herself. I know it's possible; AA doesn't have a monopoly on recovery--but I know for a lot of people they do better when they stop trying to fix the problem with the same mind that caused the problem. I'm really worried about her. She's lost so much but is still not ready to admit what she needs to admit. I know why but I can't get through to her. It's that darn "label".

I worry that her fear of losing her job/career is going to cause her to not be willing to go to AA. She is so caught up in what others think of her. I mean, we've all been there, right? It just must be more difficult in a small town. But someone once said in a meeting that we think no one knows about our drinking, but everyone knows about our drinking and are happy for us when we finally go to AA and work a recovery program.

I love this line and I'm going to share it with her when she gets back from court: You can be a professional and an alcoholic.
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