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Published May 2012.

The Anonymity Principle

He confided in a co-worker about his recovery in AA, and later he had to pay a price

When it comes to "practice these principles in all our affairs," it is one thing to do so in our AA community and quite another thing to do it in our every day life. I discovered this takes some effort, especially in the work place.

I went out on a limb one day at work, sharing little bits and pieces of the AA program with a co-worker who was aware that I was in recovery from alcoholism using the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. It would prove to be a mistake. Because of the nature of my job as a quality control technician I would invariable find myself with this individual, whose job was to operate the plant. On certain days, when production was slow, we would shoot the breeze about various subjects, but inevitably he always seemed to steer the conversation toward the program. I suspected he was curious because maybe he had a problem with his drinking. After all, there were Mondays when I would enter his trailer and the unmistakable scent of alcohol fumes—which secreted from his pores—permeated the room. On these occasions, it was a definite struggle to remember my AA training and not to judge or condemn a person as "one of us."

-- Matt S.

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

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