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Ensure Your Anonymity As A Professional At A 12-Step Meeting

Ensure Your Anonymity As A Professional At A 12-Step Meeting

Honesty is one of the primary tenets in the philosophy of 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. At the beginning of most AA meetings a portion of Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as “The Big Book” is read from Chapter 5 titled “How It Works”. In the opening paragraph, the chapter discusses the need to be honest in order for the 12 steps to successfully work in someone’s life. Men and women who cannot find success in the 12-steps are typically those who are incapable of being honest with themselves. Honesty starts with step one, when we admit we have become powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable. Every day that we wake up in the knowledge we are alcoholic or addicted, we are recovering, we repeat that honesty and that step one. Going to 12-step meetings enforces that honesty and disallows any kind of deception to sink back in when it comes to the very real issue of alcoholism. However, honesty can feel threatening to professionals who are known in their field and carry very real responsibilities for the lives of others, due to their profession. Anonymity is needed, but cannot always be guaranteed when other people leave the room. Avoiding 12-step meetings altogether would be a detriment to our recovery. Just as we desire to take the 12-steps, there are other steps we can take to ensure our anonymity as professionals at 12-step meetings.

Use A Different Name

When you announce yourself at meetings, use a different name. You are still there as you, but you can be, for at least an hour, you by a different name. In the event that your name is well known locally as a doctor, lawyer, therapist, or other professional, people may not recognize your face as much as your name.

Go To Meetings Outside Your Immediate Area

12-step meetings are offered in areas spanning the globe, leaving you with a long list of options for attending a meeting. If you know, for a fact, many people who you serve attend a specific club house or area for meetings, you can choose to attend meeting somewhere else, though it may be inconvenient.

Find Professionals Meetings

There are professional-focused 12-step meetings, like Doctor and Lawyer meetings, which are catered to the specific needs of high profile professionals. Other subsets do exist, giving professionals a place to feel even more welcomed.

Set An Example

One of the most bold and brave things you can do as a professional in recovery is be yourself, be committed to your sobriety, and show up for your recovery in full. Owning and embracing your struggles, for you, may mean having no room for shame or pride in your recovery. Go to local meetings and be yourself. You’ll be telling people: if anyone can suffer, anyone can recover.

Never live in shame of your addiction or co-occurring mental illness again. Call the Center for Professional Recovery today for information on our Professionals Treatment Program for more information:855-422-4129

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