Last night's As Bill Sees It meeting was about how we are too stay anonymous at the level of press, radio, and television, but it's okay to quietly disclose our membership in AA if we feel it might help someone.
I was taught that the reason we are warned not to disclose our AA membership in public forums is because it may give AA a bad name. How's that you ask? What if I become famous for some odd reason (not likely to happen, but play along with me) and I end up on the Oprah Winfrey show (another unlikely event) and I happen to tell everyone that I am sober today thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous. The next week, I decide to pick up a drink, and the press gets wind of the fact and publishes a story about this guy who was sober and going to AA is now drinking again. One could conclude from the story that AA just does not work, so why bother going there!
When you let someone know that you are sober and go to AA, it might be the ticket that saves an other's life. For example, I was 12-stepped and taken to my first AA meeting by Ed P. who worked in my office. He disclosed to me that he in AA and stopped drinking many years ago. I told him about all the people I know who should go to AA. Of course, I didn't think I was alcoholic at the time, but a funny thing happened. Two months later, when I couldn't stop drinking and couldn't stop the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde behaviors, my wife had had enough and asked me to leave. I came to work that day, told Ed what happened, and he asked me to come with him to a meeting. I have not had a drink since.
In all the years of my sobriety, I have had the privilege of taking several people to their first meeting, including two bosses, because I let them know I was sober and in AA. I worked with a guy who did not drink because he had many problems with alcohol in the past and was now 6 years without a drink. But he was so unhappy. He had been to AA before and did not like it. I begged him to give AA another chance. He came with me to several meetings until he stopped coming one day. So I let go, and let God. About 4 weeks later, his wife called me, out of the blue, and asked me to take her to a meeting. She wanted desperately to stop drinking. She's been coming to meetings now for over 20 years.
God uses us for his purposes. I believe he sobered up everyone of us in AA and all he wants is to see us stay sober and help others. Love and service. There is no greater honor that to be used by him to save lives.