First and foremost let me say that I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m also a part of a nonprofit women’s recovery organization (A2WG). I am anonymous in this blog so I will not be breaking tradition 11. Alcoholics Anonymous has the 12 traditions and the Ann Arbor Women’s Group has bylaws.
The Differences in Governance
Here’s where it gets a little dry, but bear with me, I promise it will get interesting soon.
The Ann Arbor Women’s Group has a board of directors and is ruled through its bylaws. Note that “rules” is a synonym for bylaw.
- a rule made by a company or society to control the actions of its members.
- a regulation made by a local authority; an ordinance.
Synonyms: rule, regulation, ordinance
Alcoholics Anonymous is guided by a set of principles. On a personal level the principles are the 12 steps and to preserve the AA group there are the 12 traditions. Note how different a bylaw is from a principle.
Anonymous vs UNanonymous, What’s the Right Choice For You?
I recently wrote a blog called Does Our Silence Define Us? The Downside to Anonymity and a few things were brought to my attention that I missed in that article. The first point is who should break their anonymity, and secondly, why being open about your recovery is important.
Who Should Break Their Anonymity
If you are newly sober, you should probably solidify your sobriety by doing these three things before you get “loud and proud” at a public level about your recovery.
Does Our Silence Define Us? The Downside of Anonymity
When I began writing this blog I subscribed to Google Alerts for anything pertaining to substance abuse and recovery to stay up to date on recovery and addiction topics around the country. Let’s be honest, Washtenaw County is its own little recovery bubble. Because of a big treatment facility in Ypsilanti and another treatment organization in Ann Arbor, and the really large recovery community that is here, it’s easy to forget there are people out there that have different views on addiction and recovery. Some folks believe addiction is a matter of choice and others believe that 12 step recovery makes addicts victims.
What else are they supposed to believe? We don’t bother to educate people about recovery. We sit in our anonymous meetings because of the stigma of addiction and our silence allows people to define us. Maybe it’s time we take a page from the history books of LGBT community and get LOUD AND PROUD!