When first exposed to the principle of anonymity, one tends to presume that their membership in a 12 step fellowship or their sobriety itself should be couched in secrecy.
This important principle can be very misunderstood. Its correct application can help protect fellowships against the inflated ego of its members and keep down unwanted controversy's.
It does not however govern ones right to tell others about their personal recovery or sobriety.
Today because of stigma and discrimination, alcoholism and addiction treatment are tragical underfunded and the urgency a society should have about the negative consequences the afflicted or affected can suffer is almost completely ignored.
If you put the suffering of cancer and heart disease together, they don't make up the numbers that addictive illness touches.
I have heard senators state that money for addiction treatment is not needed because "they are doing it to themselves".
Addictive illness is a very unorthodox illness. It presents in very uncharacteristic ways. There is so much misunderstanding. Its misunderstood by people who suffer from it. Its misunderstood by family members of sufferers. Its misunderstood by people who treat you for it.
This is really the number one healthy threat in North America today. We need more understanding, more access to treatment, more social conscience and legally protected non-discrimination policy's for those in recovery.
We need everyone who can make a difference to stand up and say - recovery is possible, I am an example, instead of becoming part of an underground and silent subgroup. This can be done without violating anonymity principles in ones 12 step fellowship by omitting details of your membership in it in press, radio, TV and Film. Too many people die each year because of misunderstanding of the problem and a lack of recovery examples.