This time last year we were getting ready for Carole to have her new knee. She might disagree, but I think the year with the knee has been a success. This year we’re having a bit of a quiet but busy time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Blessings still abound.
At the end of November, the Eleventh Tradition got a bit of attention at my local meetings. I’ll say it here, since this is a blog, that I don’t understand why some AA bloggers put full-face photographs of themselves on their blogs. Also, in general, I think people take the case of their own anonymity a bit too far. Just my opinion.
Something interesting I have noticed and, despite my attendance at AA meetings far and wide, I can’t say that I ever paid attention, so I can only speak to here. Some people give their last name at meeting, saying, “My name is Ebby Thacher, and I’m an alcoholic.” (I’m picking on Ebby because my cat, Thatcher, is bothering me while I type. And I’m disturbed to know that Ebby spelled it without the T) Others only give their first name.
I’ve always only given my first name, I think because that’s the way that was dominant when I was getting sober. It still is the dominant way. But we were reading one of the AA “approved” books and someone expressed the opinion that we needed to give last names because we can’t be anonymous to each other. Someone needing help can’t find us if they don’t know us.
Of course today, help is instantly available to anyone with a phone or computer. But I wonder. My last name is no secret at all, and anyone who cares to know it, does. People from my meetings also know me pretty extensively outside the rooms due in a large part to Carole. But I’ve never hidden from AA folks.
Someone at a meeting I was at on Thursday said that his sponsor told him that the rooms need both people who say their last name and people who don’t, because if everyone said their last name, some people at their first meeting would never come back.
I think I would be more inclined to say my last name if my first name was more common in the rooms. I don’t know. I’m eternally grateful that we think about and discuss these things and that AA has survived until now.