Home Steps Guardian of My Recovery

Guardian of My Recovery

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My understanding and appreciation of anonymity has gone through several evolutions.

At first, I clutched onto the security and safety that no one would tell anyone else that they saw me here. Deep feelings of shame, humiliation, vanity, human respect, and all facets of my public face sought the protection of anonymity.

Gradually, I relaxed and began to identify with others and with their stories. I began to tell my own story, discovering the self that had been hidden behind the disguise of the image I thought was me.

I noticed a custom of courtesy in the rooms, which placed a gentle restraint upon my natural and undisciplined curiosity. I found that the people with whom I shared intimate things about my struggle with addiction did not ask me about my outside life. They did not seem to find that very important. I wonder still about the rest of their lives, but the spirit of anonymity curbs my curiosity, giving me the ability to direct my attention to what really matters: our experience, strength, and hope as recovering addicts.

Months and years later, I finally heard, “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation . . . .” (Tradition Twelve). What a revelation when it came! Anonymity keeps me on the right path. The Principles of the Steps and Traditions guide my recovery, helping me to distinguish between principles and personalities, myself, and my Higher Power.

Anonymity has become the guardian of my treasured recovery. Anonymity keeps a watchful eye on the doorways of the rooms and redirects my wandering attention to keep intact the gift of recovery. It is in this way that anonymity remains available to the next person who crosses the threshold of recovery.

I know that God, through the people in the rooms, will reveal more to me about how blessed I am to have been led into the Fellowship.

— Edited and reprinted from The Road to Recovery newsletter, Westchester United Intergroup, November 2004

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