Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Anonymity

I am not even sure I can say "I meant well." I did try to make this blog anonymous. I remember how surprised I was when I was able to name it "anonymous alcoholic" - I thought sure someone else would have taken this obvious, obvious name for an AA member.

"Publicly accessible aspects of the Internet such as Web sites featuring text, graphics, audio and video ought to be considered another form of “public media.” Thus, they need to be treated in the same manner as press, radio, TV and films. This means that full names and faces should not be used." -- Alcoholics Anonymous website - Q&A about anonymity

I really am not trying to be manipulative when I say that I am thinking of shutting this blog down. I am just sharing this process with my friends. Some of you bloggers truly are my friends - just as much as my friends from face-to-face meetings - so I don't want to just disappear. But I need to pay attention to the traditions. When this was just a little blog with a couple of posts, it didn't seem like such a big deal. Now it is over 2 years old. I post every single day, I am nearing a thousand posts. My readership every day mostly consists of people who get here from google searches for things either related or not related to alcoholism. To me, a blog is all about the interactivity of it all, the comments and the give and take of it. There is not much of that going on lately, so it really isn't even much fun any more.

So I think I have two options...
  1. Clean up my blog so that it is within the "letter of the law" - get rid of any pictures of my face or any other identifying information.
  2. Stop blogging.
I will pray about this, and I would ask for your prayers. My blog and my blogging friends have meant so much to me and have really enriched my sobriety... but as Bill Wilson said:

"sometimes the good is the enemy of the best" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 138

13 comments:

Banana Girl said...

I will pray for you today...and please check my blog for some thoughts on this...I love you MC.
(SoberWomanofGod)

Maainerevgal said...

I certainly respect your desire to remain faithful to the traditions--and I'm also truly inspired and blessed by many of the things you post. Whatever you decide, know that mine is a life you've touched along the way.
Peace, MaaineRevgal

Pam said...

I too commented about this, this morning on Sobriety Society. It is something I pondered all weekend. Hmmmm is there something in the air?
I don't want to represent AA or CA. This I know.
So....I do I blog about sobriety without calling myself a "rep?"
I still live a sober life with it's ups and downs, and that has always been the intention of my blog. So where to go from here my friend.

dAAve said...

I would hate to see you stop posting, but it's a personal matter and up to each one of us as individuals. together, though, we stay sober and in recovery.
I don't plan to stop writing. Yet. I enjoy it and have not seen where it does harm to anyone.

Kathy Lynne said...

We discussed annonymity at the roundup I attended. I can see where one could interpert that a blog is a website thus public media but I think I would disagree. I feel as though these sober blogs are like meetings and I don't hide my face when I enter a meeting room. Although those meetings can be next to laundromats, stores, etc. Anyone from the laundromat can wander in. But he'll probably leave, unless he's an alcoholic.

I don't know the answer but my initial reaction is that blogging is not a violation of annonymity. And in some ways maybe its the ultimate 12th step. I found a blog on my first day of my sobriety when I spent my hungover day on the internet to justify calling in sick. Had I not come across the blog I found (and I don't remember how that happened but I think it was a google search of maybe recovery), that I identified with, I'm not sure where I'd be right now. I was inspired to create my own blog to help me articulate my feelings about getting sober and then continued through the network to be inspired by others. And it was through the comments on my blog and what I read on other blogs, and through an online AA group (which is also public) I made may way into a "real" AA meeting. And without that happening I would not be where I am today, trudging the road to happy destiny. (and I say that without cringing at its corniness:)

But I don't know. It does get confusing. Not sure how you check readership and all that you refer too. Maybe too much information. Hopefully I have made sense in my clumsy way, because I'm not sure I understand myself what I am trying to say. It's just a feeling I have. Ultimately you must do what is best for you and what makes you happy.

Anonymous said...

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I do read your blog when I get a chance. It is just a nice way for me to know what's going on with a long time friend. You will have to do what you think is right for you. I have not really seen where you have violated traditions to the point of needing to quit.

There are ways to do this without violating traditions. Others need to understand that as well.
FAEA
I forgot my password but you know who this is

Scott W said...

I emailed my sponsor and asked that he think about it so we can discuss it during our regular Saturday morning meeting. He is fair and knows the traditions very well. We are studying them now, having completed my step work. It will be interesting what he offers. I am sure I will continue as I have but may drop any direct references to the program name.

vegan.mama said...

What I do on my blog is talk about "the program" and refer to people only by their first initial, if that. Good luck finding your own way -- I personally have found reading blogs of others in recovery to be part of my staying sober.

Anonymous said...

You've helped me by your writing and your thoughts, MC. I would miss your energetic determination for a sober life.

But whatever you feel is right for you.

Willa

Syd said...

I write because it is therapeutic for me. It also helps me to "record" my thoughts on this process of recovery. Some of what I write is deeply personal and could be hurtful to others. But I protect my anonymity as best I can.

Anonymous said...

i am currently a "relapsed" alcoholic. One of the things I HATE about the program is the ...crap like this.

I come here every day almost, even though I am currently drinking and not going to meetings.

Part of what was drilled into my head was "it's okay to say I am an alcoholic and I was at this meeting but not that I saw you here and you are." is that not all you are doing?

I've read this blog from top to bottom A LOT. and never are you saying HEY LOOK AT THIS ALCOHOLIC, and HERE IS A PICTURE OF HIM"

sigh.

I am incredibily irriated that AA of all things would take this place away from me.

But hey once again with the jargon "it's not all about me" I am just someone who is still drinking. It's all for the good of the sucessful ones in the program..

So sure tuck tail and run. I'm used to that. Because for Higher Power's sake... don't let someone with 20 some odd years of sobriety witness to the masses.

god this pisses me off.

Scott said...

I'll pray for ya MC... and know that I will miss you if you decide to shut the blog down. But, we do what we have to do!

Patrick said...

Someone left a comment on my blog and urged me to remove my picture for the sake of anonymity. They made it sound like I was risking the whole of AA because I was "putting myself out there" and what if I were to relapse? This is ridiculous, and if we all followed that attitude, we would never step and do great things in recovery and share our message in unique ways...simply because of the fear of violating the traditions. What about published authors who have written about their recovery in a book format? Are we going to jump on them too? Sheesh.

Each individual member chooses their own level of anonymity, and there is nothing we can do to stop them!