Tuesday, May 12, 2009




Recently I witnessed a "chip" moment when, in our area, we give out a chip for continuous sobriety time. To do or not do this is a group-by-group decision, and not my rant. My Coin is a reminder--in my pocket always--of where I came from, and the fantastic trip to where I am now!

The following, however, really pissed me off. The "chip person" held up the one-day-to-one-week chip, asking for whoever might qualify, and wish to be recognized as a "new or returning" member. When nobody came up, the chip-guy almost whispered, "If anyone wishes a 24-hour chip, and is too shy to come up and get one, see me after the meeting, and I'll give it to you in private." If I had been a female newcomer attending I might have wondered WHAT he was wanting to give me "in private"....

In My Opinion, some reasons for someone new being asked up front to receive a "Desire" chip, is to inject a small dose of humility right off the bat; to let others see who is new; to allow the new person to feel a part of, rather than--you know--apart from; to get accustomed to the feel of coming away from the "back wall, to the front of the room"--which is a real achievement for many of us.

I believe we in AA sometimes thwart the initial growth and therefore the staying power of new people, by lining the bed of the newcomer with a feather mattress.

Really, I LOVE new people, as do you bloggers. I shall NEVER forget the first morning after I was "introduced" to this online group of bloggers with a link to my new blog on "ONE'S" blog. A whole long list of 12 comments appeared welcoming me to the "group", and how welcomed I DID feel! Have I ever thanked you for that? Every one of those "welcomers" is still here (12 of you) except for a lady named Ann P., sober about 35 years now, age 76--does anyone know her URL? If so, please get it to me. Thanks!

A wondrous thing about the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can keep making mistakes, keep screwing up, making amends, F**king up again and again--and STAY SOBER all the while! How about that? I've heard it called "the process"...and I'm in that process, now and forever. Amen.

Peace and LOVE,
Steve E


Anonymous said...

I don't know Ann P. If I find her, I'll let you know.

So, no more rants this week?

Gin said...

Rants are good for the soul. Once we rant we are able to move on and get focused. That's the good thing about a blog. We do with it what we like. And the good thing about our fellow bloggers is that when we rant they still like us and support us.

Joe said...

If you want someone to pick up the rant-slack, let me know and I'll post one tomorrow.

On your note, it seemed like a desire chip provides a sense of recognition and a mechanism of support for those early days. Tough to do in private, I suppose.

Steve E. said...

Kristin, this week is Blong not over!

Joe, please rant tomorrow, IF you dare -grin!

Gin, yep they like us and support us and stop reading us -grin! But hey, what is...IS!

vicariousrising said...

I agree with you on this. Get up and get your coin and show your humility.

Actually, I was so excited to get my first coin. I'm a total nerd. I was surrendered, oh yes I was.

Syd said...

I like the idea of a desire chip. It indicates a willingness. And hopefully surrender.

Ed G. said...

If those are the only 2 things you find that are worth getting upset about at chip meetings, you're not getting to enough chip meetings...
In 25 years, I've seen more chip meetings run amok than any other - I don't think it has much to do with chips but everything about adherence to our principles in all our meetings' affairs. Chips are just the vehicle for some mischief.
Of our 3 regular meetings, we do sort of a low-key chip presentation once a month. It is strongly formatted and if you deviate from the format, you don't do chips again - works for us.

Mary Christine said...

Thank God there were no desire or 24 hour chips when I was new.

Shadow said...

it's the little things that count, that make it worthwhile, especially in the beginning, when doubts and fears, insecurity and helplessness, are so overwhelming.

Kathy Lynne said...

I agree about the getting it in private thing. Sort of defeats the purpose doesn't it? And to add to your rant..I hate it when members shout out..."no shame". That is shaming imho.

But receiving my chip was an acknowledgement of my surrender and so I am grateful for that moment. I wouldn't go up at that first meeting, but I promised the wonderful woman sitting next to me who was urging me to accept the chip that I would come back...I had 29 days (ours our 24 hours to 29 days) to do so and I would...and I did. Because I had promised her. She is one of the lights that guided my way into sobriety and AA and its all because of that chip. So I'm on the for side....xo

Kathy Lynne said...

ps...personally, I'm loving the rants:)

chubskulit said...

Somehow that "desire Chip" always happen in our church everytime there are new attendees. It's actually good by=ut if you are a new member it's kinda embarrassing (just my opinion).. Thanks for the visit..

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Ah these rants are fun!

I waited 3 months to pick up my 'desire' chip so I was actually picking up my 90 day and desire chip at the same time.

I'm a stubborn alcoholic.

Indigo said...

Getting up and getting that first coin is a testament to your desire to stop drinking. If you get your coin in privacy of no one knowing, whats to keep you from taking a drink in private. After all no one knows right? I'm with you...Take a stand, make it known you're truly ready to take that step. (Hugs)Indigo