More on Anonymity


Last night I received a very long and wonderful email from my good friend, William Cope Moyers. His answer gave me hope and couraged to make the difference. Here are the excerpt from that email;

Greetings from the United States , Noor Azman!

I think it is amazing that we connected long distance only because both of us are in recovery and care passionately about addiction, treatment, anonymity and recovery.

I am very grateful that you took the time to reach out to me. The internet sure is a way to bring us all together.

I encourage you to use the anonymity articles I have posted on my blog for your own use too. You can also direct people to my website.

Have you read my book? It is called “Broken” and I think you will find it very interesting, particularly the chapter called “Cancer.”

Remember, there is nothing at all that prohibits you or me from standing up and speaking out as addicted people in recovery. All we need to do is make sure that when we stand up and speak out, we don’t do it as members of AA or NA or any other 12-step group. I hope this makes sense to you.

Also, I think it is very important for people like you to stand up in your community, so that we can start to smash the stigma about addiction and recovery, no matter where we come from. When we do this regularly what we discover is that there are many others just like us living and working and playing nearby, and they will come forward too as long as we lead them.

Stay the course,
William C. Moyers

Still William Cope Moyers is not quite finish answering the question about Anonymity. Here's More on Anonymity. Enjoy reading it;

November 19, 2006

Dear Concerned Member of AA:

Thanks for your thoughtful letter expressing your concerns about my decision to break my anonymity. I too, have read the excellent article that Bill W. wrote about anonymity and the 11th tradition. Without question Bill combined his appreciation of history (the rise and fall of the Washingtonians and the Oxford Group) with his own humility to spawn a guiding principle that has helped to sustain AA for 70 years now.

So why did I break my anonymity? For me, it was a matter of telling the truth. My book represents my life’s work to educate the general public about addiction, treatment and recovery. I have been telling my story for a decade in my role at Hazelden. And whether it is in the news media, at Rotary meetings, in state legislatures or in churches, I have always been careful never to discuss my membership in AA. I have simply identified myself as an alcoholic in long-term recovery who finally got well because I got treatment. Generally, that has satisfied anyone’s need to know.

However, in the book it proved impossible for me to tell this story without explaining that treatment was only the beginning of my journey into recovery. That recovery is much more than just not using alcohol or other drugs. That God, other people like me, and personal accountability day-after-day are equally vital to the transformation that allows me to live the life I do today, flaws and all.

As I recount in the chapter called “Psych Ward,” it was when I discovered the 12-steps posted on the wall in the common room that for the first time I began to understand that drinking and taking drugs were merely symptoms of my disease. It was in the chapter titled “Lost” that I finally understood the cunning, baffling, powerful and patient nature of an illness that is at the core of my very existence. It was in the “Cancer” chapter that I fully appreciated the power of the “we” of the program and the importance of living my life on life’s terms, without getting high or drunk again.

To not intimately explain the role of the 12-steps in my life would be a disservice to anybody who read the book seeking insights and answers to addiction. As I have learned since the book was published in September, thousands of people have discovered hope and help through treatment and the 12-steps because they have related my story to their own. And that’s why I wrote so intimately not just about my addiction, but about my recovery.

I don’t pretend to represent AA. I certainly don’t speak for AA. I have protected the anonymity of my sponsors and my fellow travelers. I have even explained in the book how people can stand up and speak out, without violating the spiritual principle of the traditions.

In your letter, you made an assumption that’s wrong: “I assume you believe you are smarter than the founders,” you wrote. If that was true, I wouldn’t still go to meetings, work with a sponsor, read the literature, or pray to my higher power for guidance. At the same time, I am keenly aware that like most of us in the program, I have an ego that can get in the way of my own well-being. I recover despite myself, at times. So that’s why I will ask for your prayers too. I know the stakes are high. But so too, are the rewards.

About the Author:
Moyers has committed himself to helping people, families and communities understand the power of addiction and the promise and possibility of recovery. William Cope Moyers can be reached at He has also written about called "Broken" which is his story of addiction and redemption.

Below is an excerpt from ABC News:
Son of Famous Journalist Comes Clean.
William Cope Moyers Reveals Battles With Drugs and Alcohol in New Memoir.

Sept. 25, 2006 — Born as the son of exemplary broadcast journalist Bill Moyers, William Cope Moyers had a bright future ahead of him until alcoholism and drugs shattered his life.

"Broken: My History of Addiction and Redemption" tells the story his fall from grace. Moyers takes readers back to his childhood, his descent into the depths of addiction, and his many attempts to get back on track.

William Cope Moyers survived with the help of spirituality. Now, he shares his struggles.

Read an excerpt from "Broken" below:



There was a sharp rap on the door, followed by a muffled but unmistakable command from a voice outside in the hallway.

"We want the white guy, just the white guy. We know he's in there. He comes out now and there's no trouble for anyone later."

I was the "white guy." I knew in that instant that my family's desperate search to track me down had ended at this decayed two-story apartment in a violent pocket of Atlanta's inner city. Terrified, I rushed around the room, trying to warn the other crack heads to sit still and keep quiet.

"Don't panic," I whispered. "They'll go away." But nobody was listening because everybody was as high and as scared as I was. We bumped into one another as we tried to find a way out, but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. We were like wild animals trapped by a wind-whipped forest fire.

Who was out there banging on the door? Was it my father? My mother? My wife? My mind flashed back to the morning four days earlier when I left my house in suburban Atlanta. I remembered kissing four-month-old Thomas and two-year-old Henry good-bye. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I told Allison I needed to run some errands before dinner. I drove to the parking lot on the corner of Boulevard and Ponce de Leon, approached a drug dealer with a thick scar running from his left ear to the corner of his mouth, and paid him one hundred dollars for six marble-sized rocks of crack cocaine. I held them in my hand and thought, "These will keep me going for a day or two." They were gone in four hours.

The knocking became a relentless pounding that shook the door frame. I thought about escaping out the back porch door to the vacant lot and just running, running, running. But where could I go? They would find me, just like they had in Harlem and St. Paul. I'd been running for five years. Now I had run out of options.

I sat down at the old wood table in the kitchen, the place where the deals were made, the pipe was fired up, and the crack was consumed. I couldn't run anymore -- my legs felt weak and shaky. I couldn't hide -- there was no place left. I couldn't think, but I could still react, and with the instincts of the addict I did the only thing that was left to do. I reached into my sock and pulled out the cellophane cigarette wrapper with the rocks carefully stored inside like precious stones. My hands were shaking and I noticed for the first time that the tips of my fingers were scorched and blistered from lighter burns. I loaded the pipe, flicked the lighter, and inhaled deeply.

The sizzle of the crack and the euphoric rush exploding inside my head were suddenly all that mattered to me. The banging on the door was like thunder on the horizon. I heard the warning, but I didn't feel threatened anymore because I was back in my element, that faraway place where nothing on this earth could touch me. The rush hijacked my brain, and the knocking, scurrying, and fear disappeared. The memories of my wife and children were gone. I was gone.

I tried to grab on and hold tight to the high, and for a few moments time stood still. I was a Roman candle on the Fourth of July, bright colors and showers of sparks. This, I thought, is what it's all about -- stopping time, going higher and higher, explosions of light and heat, one after another after another. The rapture filled me for a minute or two, and then it began to fade, the sparks died down, the flame became a dying star far, far away.

I folded my arms over my chest, longing for comfort, for peace. I was so sick. So sick and tired of it all. In that moment I realized the hopelessness of my situation, and in a sudden, brief flash of clarity, I asked myself: Now what? I stared at the filthy wood floor littered with half-empty beer cans, cigarette butts, and used syringes. The answer wasn't here in this room anymore. It was all over. I was done.

I stood up and made my way past BJ, the Old Man, and the other addicts with whom I was living and slowly dying for the last four days. My steps were deliberate but out of my control as I walked into the hallway and out the front door, flanked by the two armed off-duty policemen who were part of the intervention team hired to get me out of the crack house and back into treatment.

A hard, steady rain was falling as we approached the gray van parked at the curb. The sliding door opened, and I collapsed into the backseat.

My father was sitting in the front passenger seat. Turning around to look at me, he saw a thirty-five-year-old crack addict who hadn't shaved, showered, or eaten in four days. A man who walked out on his wife and two young children and ditched his promising career at CNN. A broken shell of a man, a pale shadow of the human being he had raised to be honest, loving, responsible. His firstborn son.


"You're angry," I said. I didn't know what else to say.

"That's hardly the word for it." His voice was harsh and cold, like the rain outside. More silence.

"There's nothing more I can do," he said. "I'm finished."

All these years later, he tells me that's where the conversation ended. But whether I imagined it or not, I heard him say something else.

"I hate you."

And I remember looking in his eyes and speaking my deepest truth. "I hate me, too."

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures

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