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More on Anonymity
"Personal anonymity is the right of every D.R.A. member. We
practice anonymity at the level of public media."
|A core principle behind the
Twelfth Tradition is placing principles before personalities.
Anonymity not only protects individuals from stigma but protects
us all from mistakes that might be made by individuals who might
carry the DRA name into the limelight of public media where the
reputation of DRA could get mixed up with the mistakes and
notoriety of the individual. Anonymity is really the spiritual
foundation that allows our Fellowship and our program of recovery
to work and to survive.
IN OUR OWN WORDS: Members
share their thoughts on the Twelfth Tradition
I am so glad that DRA is based
on the Steps and Traditions. I am proud of my dual recovery efforts but
I want my name and what I say at meetings to stay right there and not go
any further. I don't want people gossiping about my latest personal
recovery issues. I don't want my picture spread around in some newspaper
or web site identifying me as a member of DRA. My job and my lifestyle
really depend on this Tradition of Anonymity and like most 12 steppers,
I take anonymity very seriously.
I have a
very unusual last name. I like to use my full name at closed DRA
meetings when I introduce myself. I don't have to, but I like to. At open
meetings where anyone can attend, I only use my first name. I feel
pretty confident that people in recovery from their two no-fault
illnesses--members of Dual Recovery Anonymous, will hold what I say at
meetings with respect and confidence, but when non-members can attend I
am a little more careful. Some of those people may not understand the
importance of anonymity.
of reinforces the Eleventh Tradition where it says we are all equal
partners in dual recovery. It don't matter if you are a rock star or
president of the local bank. When you come into a meeting you are simply
a member in equal standing. Your outside status makes no difference.
There are no stars or gurus in DRA.
Anonymity at the level of
public media also protects the image of the DRA Fellowship as a whole.
No one so far as I know has been elected or appointed to be the official
spokesperson, poster-boy or poster-girl for DRA. Our image and
reputation as a 12 Step self-help organization should never be tied to
how well any one person does in recovery.
asked to give a presentation about my dual recovery to a large audience
of social service professionals and students up at the college. It was
being videotaped for possible inclusion in a TV documentary. I had to
figure out how to talk about my personal journey of dual recovery
without identifying myself as a member of any specific Twelve Step
Group. I ended up using only my first name and saying that
I had found support for my dual recovery through a dual focus twelve-step
group. I did not give the name. I just told them how important it was to
have a group of understanding supportive friends there that I could talk
to about things like my depression and medications and how I was trying
to cope with those issues on a day to day basis in a healthy and
the message not the messenger that counts in DRA. When I
participated in a recovery program on our local cable access channel to
tell about DRA, I asked them to block out my facial features. I told
them how important DRA was to my personal dual recovery and how to
contact the World Network Central Office, but I remained anonymous.
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