Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Respecting Anonymity…

Respecting Anonymity


Respecting Anonymity

what does anonymity mean, anyway? Not the dictionary definition of the
word, but what does it mean to me and my recovery? How can I put it
into practice?

I think that:   It’s up to me, and only
me, to tell people that I’m in CoDA. I tell some people, but not
others, about my being in recovery. I want to make that choice myself.
I do not want others to take away my choices by breaking my anonymity.

think that:   I only feel safe in meetings where I feel that
my anonymity will be maintained by everyone there. I felt emotionally
unsafe during much of my childhood. In recovery, I have an opportunity
to learn how to create safe spaces for myself, and I want to be among
safe people. Respecting anonymity and avoiding crosstalk are two
practices that are crucial to my sense of safety.

I think
that:   When I see somebody out in the “real world” that I
recognize from a meeting, I should not speak to them (unless they give
me a sign that it’s OK). Maybe they don’t want to be recognized and
acknowledged outside of a meeting.   Especially if they are
not alone, when a companion would ask, “How do you know her?” or,
“Who’s that?”

I think that:   I should not identify
anyone else as being in recovery. I need to be careful that I not name
anybody that I know from meetings. Even if I’m talking with other
people in recovery.

I think that:   If I choose to
give my last name or other personal information to someone, I expect
that person to keep it confidential, that they not share it with others.

I think that:   Anonymity is crucially important to me, and to this program.

Judi T. (2000)


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