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Post Info TOPIC: I hate the chip system


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I hate the chip system
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I tend to be an AA cynic. However, I also appreciate much of what the program has to offer.

My problem is this....I don't like the chip system. I find it to be hypocritical. I was taught that it's a "One day at a time" program. How can it be that way when AA groups measure time with poker chips? Why poker chips? Is it because one loses all their time in AA if they relapse? Is their a gambling component to this?

I don't get this.

Can someone give me some insight?

 

 



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Q. Why do AA members use tokens, medallions, and chips to mark sobriety? When did that practice start?


A. The chip system is thought to have begun in Indianapolis in 1942. The tradition is believed to have started with Doherty S., who originally brought A.A. to Indianapolis. Doherty himself, in a letter to Bill, seems to indicate the practice originated in Indianapolis in 1942.


Nell Wing wrote in 1962 about the history of the chip system: "The chip system might have begun in Indianapolis.reference was made in a letter from Doherty to the start of giving out chips and tokens. This was in 1942. I imagine this would be about right, because most of the early groups started in 1940 and it would take about a couple of years to think of anniversaries and marking any time of sobriety. I asked Bill about this and his memory is that the system started in Indianapolis."


In Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers, it indicates that Sister Ignatia in Akron, working at St. Thomas Hospital, also used medallions: Sister Ignatia gave each of her newly released patients a Sacred Heart medallion, which she asked them to return before they took the first drink. She would occasionally give out St. Christopher medals as well (page 195).


We dont know precisely who started this system first, or when and how it spread to other groups. As with many things in AA, the exact nature of the history eludes us!

 

My personal take...I think Sister Ignatia should get the credit for starting it. Hope that helps.

Source.....AA.Org


 



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Thanks for that information. I really appreciate it!

However, I want to know how other people feel about this. Really feel about it.

What is up with measuring sober time with poker chips, or, any other means to measuring someone's sobriety, whether it be marbles, beads, etc? How does this fit in with the idea of "One day at a time?"

I think it is a multi-facted inquiry. I'd like to hear your opinions.

 



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Welcome Hootchy, ... ... ...

Here's my 2 cents worth ... To me personally, I think it's a 'good' thing ... the 'white' chip signifies the 'universal' sign of surrender, which I feel is an important 1st step for a new-comer ... and NO, I don't give a flying 'f' how many you got, as long as you keep coming ...

The 1st year chips are very important to the new person because they usually come here after hitting their bottom ... having absolutely 'NOTHING' to look forward to and having accomplished very little, if anything, in recent months or years ... SO, ... To give out 30 day, 60 day, 90 day, 6 months and 9 month chips lets the new-comer know it CAN be done ... AND it gives those receiving the chip a sense of accomplishment, which they so desperately need ... It gives the new member a sense of HOPE if nothing else ...

A lot of us with multiple years, have come to 'down-play' our medallions because we don't want to come off arrogant AND we know full well that we're only one drink away from oblivion and failure ... but I was told by my sponsor ... YOU WILL get up and get your medallion ... cause it proves to others that "it works, if you work it" ...

SO, ... ... ... I'm ALL FOR the chip system ... You should try to remember the smiles and hugs we get when we get our chips ... that alone is worth the effort ...

Take Care and God Bless,
Pappy



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I think it's all about the newcomer....I remember I was going to make it to three weeks....Which was a miracle for me...And I saw a guy get a one year chip....I couldn't even imagine that. But I just kept going with my 24 hours at a time...And I got my month chip....I was fricken amazed....And I got my one year a few weeks ago....And I could see that look in new people eyes when I got it....I had the same look....It's all about hope...That little chip means nothing...But hope. And without hope....This thing don't work.



-- Edited by Stepchild on Friday 20th of July 2012 10:25:00 AM

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I don't pick up chips for 2 reasons. 1. Being sober is what I was supposed to be doing all along, and I refuse to think that I deserve special recognition for doing so 2. I don't want to be publicly rewarded for my accomplishments. I don't like my faults to be public, nor my achievements. Recovery is personal to me. So is my private pat on the back. My first three sponsors didn't even know my sober date for three months or more.

But, some people feel that it's a reward, a way of motivation. A "nothings gonna take my (rme sober) keytag from me" sort of thought. Also, though sober time does not necessarily equate a good recovery, it's a subtle way to show new comers 1. Yeas, it's possible to have x amount of time and they may be the person you want to make friends with.

Recovery is personal, if you don't want a key tag, don't get one. And don't show up to anniversaries.

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So for my first few months, I didn't take a coin. In my homegroup, that's what they give. Aluminum coins marking months 1 - 11, then you get to "heavy metal" at 1 year plus. Once I finally started "doing the deal" and actually staying sober, my sponsor told me that taking the coin isn't about me, it's about showing the newcomer that days turn into months which turn into years, all 24hrs at a time. My 24hr coin is the most important one I have, and I carry it with me always. It reminds me I'm always just one step away from that drink, and when I get crazy in my head, I hold on to that and think the process through. So far, it's worked, for almost 13 months, one day at a time. A fellow member in my homegroup who took a 26year coin the same day I took my one year said he always has to remember not to get so many years that he loses track of the days. And that's why he keeps coming back. Peace

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Good stuff nezyb!

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We don't use it here. At least not in this area. I think it would have been nice early on - one month, three months - as they were HUGE milestones in my head. Now I don't think I'd care either way if one was offered to me.

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nezyb wrote:

Once I finally started "doing the deal" and actually staying sober, my sponsor told me that taking the coin isn't about me, it's about showing the newcomer that days turn into months which turn into years, all 24hrs at a time.

 

This is my take on it as well.  For the OP, it is not necessary to accept a coin.



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HOPE..... I found a sense of HOPE knowing I got 30 days, 60 days,.... And sobriety can be done, ONE DAY AT A TIME!

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I agree with many points that have been made so far.. The few chips i have I felt weird about claiming. Like, ok I've been a good girl! I want my sticker!! Or something. I, too, don't like big ceremonial displays, and typically avoid them ( didn't even attend college graduation). My sponser also advised me to get up and get my chip, damnit! It's for others.. I personally love to see others get their chips. I also feel as though I've accomplished something, after years of being stagnant and wallowing in atrophy. I like that people are proud of me, and happy for me when I get a chip. I need the support at only 64 days sober. It's been a long time since I've felt I've done something that people respond to with "great job!" or "you're doing great", or really anything positive. It may be childish or arrogant, but it helps me.

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I apologize for responding back to back, but I also wanted to add that the chip system also humbles me in a way. At the meeting I've received chips at, which meets once a week, there is also an anniversary celebrated weekly. These women have years of sobriety, and here I am getting a 60day chip! It both inspires and humbles me. Like yes, it's possible for the days at a time to accumulate..and "damn, I really don't know anything".

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AA%20Tok4.jpg

6a00e551f9630d88330115700da460970b-320pi

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Most meetings I've been to in the IK don't use the chip system, although we use metal tokens mostly over here.

Having said that I got a 1 year coin from my sponsors partner at 1 year, with the words, when you feel like a drunk, put this in your mouth and when it dissolves, go for a beer.

I was pleased to get the token, but it was given to me privately. We do celebrate anniversaries, and at teh yearly ones there's cards and a cake and the birthday boy (or girls) usualy does the main share.

I passed my one year coin on to someone else when they got to one year.

I also got a five year coin - don't know where it is now, but I had a likeness tattood on my shoulder.

For me I remember still early days and I was quite surprised that people got 1 year, 5 years 10 years 20 years etc. It was a bit inspiring for me, my pride and ego told me if they can I can. Now it's like wow that's just great. I saw a young man, just over 20 yrs old, pick up his year coin and party and do the top tale share just a few weeks ago. We're all so proud of the man, he came in as a boy and grew to a young man in AA and is a shining example to us all, God bless him.

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A day at a time will add up. We are not a glum lot and celebrations are fun :) It's a time to reflect on your growth in the program. We deal with problems and focus on our lives 1 day at a time, but lasting sobriety is a goal. The clock doesn't start over every 24 hours exactly because we build upon our knowledge. During medallion ceremonies, I am often really moved to hear what people stayed sober through in a given year. I also need to hear how people with more time than me got to where they are. If it was all about 24 hours, I wouldn't even know it was possible to make it more than the time I already have cuz nobody would talk about their sobriety time. As far as chips - they helped me and I was always striving for the next one int he first year. But they aren't for everyone I guess.  I believe we try and make a persons time in the first year rather public because the newcomer needs the "we" aspect of the program really bad.

There are many contractions in AA and it takes understanding them in context I guess. The program also says "No major changes in the first year." But then there is also a saying about "What must you change in order to stay sober? Everything?" Hrmmm.



-- Edited by pinkchip on Friday 20th of July 2012 08:05:58 AM

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Like others have said picking up a coin is not about me, it's about we.

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I guess I have never thought of them as "poker" Chips but rather medallions or tokens. Yes, it is "one day at a time" but I think it is also important to celebrate milestones both new and old. 

Here is a little blurb about medalliopn history:

Brief History of the AA Coin

AA CoinSister lgnatia, the nun who helped Dr. Bob get the hospitalization program started at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron was the first person to use medallions in Alcoholics Anonymous. She gave the drunks who were leaving St. Thomas after a five day dry out a Sacred Heart Medallion and instructed them that the acceptance of the medallion signified a commitment to God, to A.A. and to recovery and that if they were going to drink, they had a responsibility to return the medallion to her before drinking. Click to see Sacred Heart Medallion The sacred heart medallions had been used prior to A.A. by the Father Matthew Temperance Movement of the 1840's and the Pioneers, an Irish Temperance Movement of the 1890's.

The traditions of chips, medallions and birthdays vary in different parts of the country.

There is evidence that early on many people in AA carried personal mementos to remind themselves of the importance of their sobriety. Clarence H. Snyder - "The Home Brewmeister had his last drink on February 11, 1938 and he carried this medallion made from a silver dollar and a watch fob up until just before his death on March 22, 1984. It has been dated back into the mid-1940's, if not before, and the holes represent 46 years of sobriety. Clarence started AA group #3 in Cleveland in 1939, and in the beginning had a higher recovery rate than Bill and Dr. Bob combined. His story, can be found on page 297 of the Big Book.

 

 

 


-- Edited by John on Friday 20th of July 2012 03:11:15 PM

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great topic and great shares. AA has to do with forming new habits and patterns of living. the 24 hour chip is a great way to recognize a new life. every year i trade in my old chip for the new chip. i don't collect them, it is just to show the newcomer it can be done. all we all have is this day to choose to not drink or drink. a daily repreive is provided by my God to give me the strength to turn to Him before i turn to alcohol. my AA friends and sponsor are great sounding boards for what ever is going on in my head. Last night i had a drinking dream about losing my 3 years. i could not imagine my life without AA friends, so i went to my meeting and raised my hand for being in my 1st 30 days of sobriety. when i woke up i was elated that i still had my 3 years. my life is so much better and it gets better everyday. jj/sheila






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II'm with smacman7 in that I never thought of them as poker chips,either. In my area,we get medal medallions or plastic keychains. I am enjoying reading this bit of history here. I, myself, made four month chips for two friends of mine who got sober around the same time as me. They loved them because there aren't any chips between months three and six. Chips really are about "we" in that they are a simple way of acknowledging our victories as well as celebrating that we are overcoming this disease together.

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Some groups use actual poker ships. White, blue and red plastic chips. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, Dollar Store, etc.

One meeting I go to designates the white chip for those starting the program or coming back to it. Blue chip is one month continuous sobriety and red chip is 1 year or multiple years.

They probably do it because they're cheap and readily available.



-- Edited by Tanin on Friday 20th of July 2012 06:25:40 PM

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I made a meeting today, and Someone was celebrating their 5 year. Another new comer then shouted "what, did they just release you from jail?!?" even I enjoyed the humor. But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?

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That's pretty bad....

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nezyb wrote:

So for my first few months, I didn't take a coin. In my homegroup, that's what they give. Aluminum coins marking months 1 - 11, then you get to "heavy metal" at 1 year plus. Once I finally started "doing the deal" and actually staying sober, my sponsor told me that taking the coin isn't about me, it's about showing the newcomer that days turn into months which turn into years, all 24hrs at a time. My 24hr coin is the most important one I have, and I carry it with me always. It reminds me I'm always just one step away from that drink, and when I get crazy in my head, I hold on to that and think the process through. So far, it's worked, for almost 13 months, one day at a time. A fellow member in my homegroup who took a 26year coin the same day I took my one year said he always has to remember not to get so many years that he loses track of the days. And that's why he keeps coming back. Peace


Great advice Nezyb. I just celebrated 11 years this month, myself. So I know a thing or two about achievements. But for me it has more to do with humility today not grandiosity, so the best advice I can give is to pass along a little token of my esteemed gratitude, courtesy of A.A. 

So when my home group asked: what advice can I best give the newcomer? I said, the same advice my sponsor gave me 11 years ago...it's about quality of sobriety today not quantity. The amount of years I've spent sober doesn't equate to anything extra ordinary, especially if I still exhibit those alcoholic tendencies I once did. For me, I'd rather improve upon my spiritual condition today, so I can give more back in return - that's how recovery works by the way. I know, it's about progress today not perfection, but what does the program teach us anyway? Anything? Well, it has taught me a lot -including doing the next right thing. So that's what I'll do then -lead by example, and the rest is just gravy.



-- Edited by Mr_David on Friday 20th of July 2012 07:48:16 PM

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Neophyte wrote:

 But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Wow, that's cold.



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Ya.. That is pretty twisted..they're probably missing the business. As someone who works in the business..and this is awful.. Alcoholics pay many people's rent..they're consistent, and the neighborhood drunks tip the best lol.. I actually got a call last week from and old friend/bartender who was wondering why he hadn't seen me in so long. I told him I'd "gone sober "..his reply?? "ahhh that's too bad, you were one of my best customers and always tipped great"!!

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Col


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Wow col... That's harsh... We were just money bags to those people. But relating to solano, my sister made me her own 1 year tag and gave it to me on her birthday when I gave her a gift. (my sober date is two days before her birthday and she was 16 at the time) I carry it on my key chain.

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Neophyte wrote:

But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Not really. If you are going to throw away your sobriety for the price of a free drink then you are really just looking for an excuse. Anyway, the bar isn't responsible for our sobriety and they are not going to hold us down and force me to do drink the freebie.



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Congrats on 11 years Mr. David ... ... ... XI ... ... working my way to you, one day at a time ...

Pappy



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Yes, indeed. Happy AA anniversary, Mr. D.

Keep up the good work . . .

 



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Frodo wrote:

Neophyte wrote:

But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Not really. If you are going to throw away your sobriety for the price of a free drink then you are really just looking for an excuse. Anyway, the bar isn't responsible for our sobriety and they are not going to hold us down and force me to do drink the freebie.


maybe I'm wrong, I just found it to be similar to exploitation. Thanks for the insight though. Takes two to tango I guess.

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Neophyte wrote:
Frodo wrote:

 

Neophyte wrote:

But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Not really. If you are going to throw away your sobriety for the price of a free drink then you are really just looking for an excuse. Anyway, the bar isn't responsible for our sobriety and they are not going to hold us down and force me to drink the freebie.


 

maybe I'm wrong, I just found it to be similar to exploitation. Thanks for the insight though. Takes two to tango I guess.


 

It's not a right or wrong thing. It's just how I see it. I know damn well that the 'free' drink will cost me tens of thousands of dollars and a bunch of stuff I can't put a $$$ value on. If I take them up on the offer then I'm just looking for an excuse that I'm going to find just about anywhere I care to look. If I keep my self fit the way AA suggests I'll laugh at such an offer. If I don't then I'm going to be walking around looking for something like that until I find it.



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Frodo wrote:
Neophyte wrote:

But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Not really. If you are going to throw away your sobriety for the price of a free drink then you are really just looking for an excuse. Anyway, the bar isn't responsible for our sobriety and they are not going to hold us down and force me to do drink the freebie.


 Well, it really is a sleazy act on the part of the bar. One can benefit by judging this small example of man's inhumanity to man. I am a little saddened, too, that someone would do such a thing.

But that is reality. And we must live in reality.



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I understand where you all are coming from now. I didn't before. It must be a sign of some type of achievenment and significance that you were looking for before sobriety. Someone who is posting a lot on this site said that if someone isn't an alcoholic or doesn't have a life should read this one.



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I have read it...And replyed in it.....I didn't come into AA looking for things I hated....Or to argue with people...I came into AA to save my life....Maybe that's why it worked for me.

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Thanks for your feedback Stepchild.

I didn't come into AA looking for things I hated. However, I did come into AA knowing that I have the right to question.

I feel as if you have a resentment toward me since I tend to voice my opinions and speak my mind.



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I don't resent you at all...You can question it all you want...For me the easier softer way was doing what worked for those before me. Have at it!

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Stepchild wrote:

I don't resent you at all...You can question it all you want...For me the easier softer way was doing what worked for those before me. Have at it!


Remember, everything in AA is suggested, Step.  That means people get to question AA. People have been questioning AA for about 77 years. AA wouldn't work if it didn't accept questions. In AA, questions are good.

If someone questions the chip system, it is OK.

What does "the easier softer way" have to do with anything?" confuse

I like the chip system--if it is simple. I've heard of groups that give out Zippo lighters or silver dollars (with coin's year matching sobriety year). That's a bit much.



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You can question anything you want Tanin...The steps are just the suggested program of recovery....But it's the only suggestion they got. I didn't go in in with a lot of questions...Or looking for things that were wrong. I guess I was beaten enough I was willing to follow what ever suggestions they gave me. I took this paragraph literally...

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.



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Tanin wrote:
Frodo wrote:
Neophyte wrote:

But it's a real shame that the bar around the corner will give you a free drink if you hand over your token. Isn't that phucked up?


 Not really. If you are going to throw away your sobriety for the price of a free drink then you are really just looking for an excuse. Anyway, the bar isn't responsible for our sobriety and they are not going to hold us down and force me to do drink the freebie.


 Well, it really is a sleazy act on the part of the bar. One can benefit by judging this small example of man's inhumanity to man. I am a little saddened, too, that someone would do such a thing.

But that is reality. And we must live in reality.


 I've actually heard this practice quite a bit, and I was sickened the first time that I heard it.  But you've got to remember that to the bar and other practicing alcoholics, AA is a joke and getting sober is unfathomable.  So they aren't taking it seriously.  It's about the same, thought wise to them,  as someone who was going to weight watchers deciding to go have a double ice cream cone.  I'm not condoning their flippant attitude, just saying that they don't know the ramifications of this kind of thinking.  As for the practice, It's pretty common.  Heck the taco place I go to frequently was started by College students at UCF.  During the school year they post flyers on the wall  "Bring in you "F" grades for a free beer", with some kind of crap like,  We know bad you must feel, so have a beer on the house.  no



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As for the topic, I like the "chip system". I've got a jar with all kinds, including the old ones that had AA on the back. In the '40's through early 50's AA coins were made out of clay. There were some in the photo that Tanin posted. I've bought many older AA medalions off of ebay.

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I like what Stepchild and Pythonpappy said. That's my two cents, not even worth a chip.

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Welcome to MIP dkp, ... ... ...

Post a little more about yourself so's we can get to know ya ... ... ... glad you're here ...


Love ya and God Bless,
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There are lots of places where meetings don't hand out any kind of chip or medallion or celebrate sobriety milestones in the meeting, and it's either done one-on-one between friends and sponsors, or not at all. There are also lots of places that only do this once a month in the meeting, and some that do this at every meeting. And in the places that do have some ceremonial celebration in the meeting, this can take all sorts of different forms. There is no single 'official AA policy' for this at all. It's up to each group and each meeting to decide.

I live in a large urban area with a  huge number of meetings. Most meetings here don't hand out chips at all, but that's largely because there are so many meetings that anyone who does want to participate in the practice can easily do so at a number of other nearby meetings on any given day. It's just not necessary for every meeting to do it. Of the meetings that do hand out chips, most do this once a month. And most of them start with handing out a 'welcome' chip for people with less than 30 days, followed by chips for various lengths of sobriety from shortest to longest, and ending with "are we all celebrating a sober day TODAY?' which, I think, both shows the new people that people are really staying sober in AA, as well as celebrating the fact that we are all living sober one day at a time.



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Perhaps the chips represent goals, which are so important to each persons sobriety. We all set a goal of making it to the next day and, when we do, it represents success and validation. It represents self-efficacy and self-control, something that we were missing previously. Finding success each day as we move farther away from our previous state, that was completely self-destructive, gives us a sense of strength we can carry forward and that strength is shared by those who may be just starting out. It may give them a sense of inspiration and strength and solidifies the decision made by those receiving the chip and those starting out, who are there to witness the success. Kind of like when someone receives a belt in martial arts. Those that are there to share in the experience are inspired in their resolve. I think we all need that, whatever the circumstance may be.

Just my thoughts....

D

Perhaps the best gift when someone receives a chip is to say...."Take mine, you made through another day. Well done!" and pass it on. And let them know they are not alone.




 



-- Edited by GoingtoTry on Tuesday 23rd of December 2014 02:34:57 AM

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And if I could make just one suggestion......remove the word "hate" from your vocabulary. If you consciously replace it with a more positive and accepting sentiment your day just gets a little better.....just a thought.....

All the best,

D





-- Edited by GoingtoTry on Tuesday 23rd of December 2014 02:43:39 AM

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Col wrote:

Ya.. That is pretty twisted..they're probably missing the business. As someone who works in the business..and this is awful.. Alcoholics pay many people's rent..they're consistent, and the neighborhood drunks tip the best lol.. I actually got a call last week from and old friend/bartender who was wondering why he hadn't seen me in so long. I told him I'd "gone sober "..his reply?? "ahhh that's too bad, you were one of my best customers and always tipped great"!!


 Where's Col? Haven't seen her in a while.



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I've been wondering the same thing ... Tasha may have a connection to her ...

You out there Tash ??? ... Heard from Col lately ???



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When I was only one foot in the program and not very serious about my sobriety I too found silly things to nitpick and complain about. In retrospect I realize it was the addict in me trying desperately to focus on anything other than my own alcoholism. During those times I had issues with pretty much every aspect of AA and would eventually convince myself that the program wasn't for me. I was "too smart" to do it "their way". I was better than them.

I was an idiot. I was too stupid and stubborn to take this simple program and apply it's principles to my life. I didn't get a sponsor, didn't work on true acceptance of my problem, didn't do the steps, didn't listen with an open mind at meetings, etc. And then in the pinnacle of my stupidity I decided that the program didn't work and was a bunch of nonsense. I shudder with disgust and embarrassment at what a f-ing moron I was.

I'm spending Christmas with my wife and daughters and I'm sober with no desire or even thoughts of drinking. I'm a better husband and father than I've ever been. I feel happiness and peace that I'd forgotten was possible. I like who I am again. All possible because I finally started working this simple program.

I wish you all the best.

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Forgive me for saying so Tipster, but this is the type post I never thought I'd hear coming from you ... thank God it looks as though you ARE making 'progress' ... ... ... Miracles can and DO happen in our rooms ... you've been in my prayers for a long time ... hopefully your 'parachute' will stay open for the duration ...



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Yer gettin' it. Keep up the good work, Tipsy!

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I tend to be an AA cynic....I think you got it!!  Cynics from my own personal experience are people who don't like to have fun or dabble in gratitude.  I was reminded at this mornings meeting that my oppositional defiant disorder was  taproot of my cynicism until I got tired of hating myself along with everything else. Chips are chips...when you're done with the one you got a year ago...pass it back and watch someone else get it and smile.   (((((hugs))))) smile



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I've read through many valid replies. Thank you.

I think it must come to an individual decision. I personally don't like the chip system. That's not to say it doesn't work for other people. I personally don't like it and I think I've presented my point.

There are probably many points about AA that people don't agree with. The chip system is one of them.

If anyone would like to talk about something else, please let me know.

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I just don't get it. If you honestly accept that you're an alcoholic on a collision course with an agonizing life of despair, shame, guilt and suffering why in gods name would you choose to give a shit about something as insignificant as what bloody token of achievement is given out at AA meetings? I'm guessing that, if you're anything like most of us, you came into the program a bit of wreck. Most likely with your emotional and mental health in shambles. It's a courageous step usually driven by desperation for relief from the pain and chaos of active alcoholism. So now you're here and feeling a little better because you've abstained for a while and what do you decide to do? Waste your energy finding fault with stupid shit that doesn't matter.

 

Enjoy your next relapse. 

 

Hope you make it back.

 

 

 

 



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PS. I've been full of shit about recovery for long enough to spot when others are full of shit about recovery. I have little patience for people who are like I used to be. All the kindness and helpful suggestions offered to me was a waste. I was deaf, dumb and blind until I made the decision to stop being deaf, dumb and blind.

Don't waste your time on people who don't want it. If you've got to "sell" them on it they're not ready. Let them go marinate some more. Hopefully they'll come back before they kill someone driving drunk, choke to death on their own vomit, commit suicide, etc. Or maybe they won't. Whatever.

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Hey Tip, ... you still have a way with words !!! ... ... ...

Hey Cathie, ... just go to the meetings and take what you can use and leave the rest ... AA saves lives for those who truly want to change ...


God Bless,
Pappy



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Did I mention I'm 5 days into quitting smoking? Might have had something to do with the tone of my posts last night.

"...and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it."

I'm not saying that I was "wrong", just that perhaps I wasn't totally right.

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I've stopped smoking before, ... ... ... that'll do it, LOL ... ...

Some people I've seen DO need to be shook real good before they 'wake up' to the condition they're in ... it happens!!! ... so I wasn't intending to sound as though I had any disagreement with your post ... actually, I quite liked it ...



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Pink Cloud Chip .....PinkCloudChip.jpg



-- Edited by 2granddaughters on Sunday 28th of December 2014 10:05:37 PM

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Thanks for the Laughs TIPster...was speaking with another brother this morning after my home group and told him that one of the greatest lessons I got from my early sponsor Don T was to honestly consider the question..."Could I be wrong".   For me there isn't a fluffly margin around the response.   biggrin



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LIVE AND LET LIVE...'TO EACH THEIR OWN'...I THINK IT MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE...WHEN I GOT MY FIRST CHIP IN AA ANOTHER AAer PROMPTED ME TO GET ONE...TOLD ME TO AFTER 3 MONTHS OF REFUSAL TO DO SO...OR ME I THINK IT WAS 'FEAR' AND 'LOW SELF ESTEEM' NOT TO GET ONE...PROBABLY PRIDE TO GET ONE AND PRIDE NOT TO GET ONE...ALL IS VANITY SO SAYS SHAKESPEARE...AS A NEWCOMER I WAS JUDGEMENTAL ABOUT GETTING ONE AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS...50% OF THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO AA AND LAST 6 MONTHS STICK AROUND...SEEMS TO ME 6-12 MONTHS IS THE MOST CRITICAL TIME AND , WHETHER A PERSON THINKS THEY DESERVE RECOGNITION OR NOT , GETTING A CHIP IS GOOD WHETHER RECEIVED PUBLICALLY OR PRIVATELY...ON SECRETARY SUGGESTED CARRYING IT IN YOUR POCKET AND THROWING IT IN THE GUTTER IF YOU DRINK BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL END UP...I STRUGGLED WITH THE CHIP THING FOR A LONG TIME...STILL DO A LITTLE AND FEEL I'M FORCING MYSELF AND SOMETIMES DON'T LIKE TO TO IT BUT DO IT ANYWAY...1. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE FELLOW WHO SAID IT'S HUMBLING. 2. EACH TIME I GET A CHIP I REALIZE WHAT A JERK I AM BECAUSE I WANT PEOPLE TO COME SHAKE MY HAND AND HAVE A 'POOR ME' FEELING WHEN NOBODY DOES...SOMETIMES A PERSON WILL AND I FEEL GREAT ABOUT THEM AND MYSELF'...AS FAR AS GETTING A CHIP TO IMPRESS OR ATTRACT NEWCOMERS I BUY THAT TO A LIMITED DEGREE...THE NEWCOMERS AND THOSE I SPONSOR 'KEEP ME SOBER' AND I HONOR THEM BY GETTING A CHIP...I PASS IT AROUND TO GET GOOD KARMA...I VALUE THEM AS A SYMBOL OF MY SOBRIETY , GOD GIVEN SOBRIETY...I STILL BELIEVE, FOR ME, AND MANY OTHER THE REFUSAL TO GET A CHIP IS 'REVERSED EGO', 'FEAR' AND 'LOW SELF ESTEEM' AND NOTHING NOBLE OR HUMBLING ABOUT IT...IT'S NEITHER GOOD OR BAD AND EACH HAS THEIR MOTIVE...ALL MY MOTIVES ARE MIXED BUT, AT LEAST IN PART I GET A CHIP FROM LOVE FOR OTHERS AND MYSELF...ALSO, IF I GET A CHIP AND OHTERS DISLIKE ME FOR GETTING ONE THEN I CAN DEVELOP THEIR TOLERANCE...OF COURSE '24 HOURS IS THE WORLD RECORD FOR SOBRIETY'...HOWEVER , THERE IS SOMETHING EXTREMELY SPECIAL ABOUT 1 YEAR SOBRIETY...MANY MANY MORE PEOPLE STAY SOBER AFTER 1 YEAR THAN THOSE WHO DON'T MAKE ONE YEAR...BUT, CHIPS ARE INCIDENTAL...AS I SAY 'TO EACH THEIR OWN'...IF I VALUE THEM I VALUE ME, OTHERS, AA AND MY HIGHER POWER....WHY HAVE A ROSARY?...SAME THING AS A CHIP...A PERSON COULD PRAY HOLDING THEIR CHIP...I KEEP MINE IN A SPECIAL SPOT ON A GARGOYLES HEAD...SOMETIMES I GET 2 TO OVERCOME FEAR AND TO GIVE TO ANOTHER PERSON...WHY 'GET MONEY'...WHY GET A CAR...AS LONG AS I COME FROM MY 'GIVER' I'LL STAY SOBER...I GET A CHIP FROM MY GIVE NOT MY GETTER...MORE ACCURATELY, I 'RECEIVE' A CHIP NOT 'GET' OR 'TAKE' OR STEAL IT...IF I DON'T RECEIVE THE GIFT OF A CHIP I'M STUCK UP AND TURNING DOWN AN OFFERING OF LOVE....THE REASONS TO RECEIVE A CHIP ARE GREATER THAN NOT RECEIVING A CHIP...THERE'S A GUY IN 'MY CROUP' WHO DRANK AFTER 19 YEARS ... THEN, DRANK ONE DAY...HALLOWEEN HE'LL GET A 5 YEAR CHIP AND HE'S THRILLED AND SO IS HIS FAMILY...WHY GET A 'WEDDING RING'?...GETTING WEDDING RINGS IS STUPIDER THAN GETTING A CHIP AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED...IT'S BLATANT SHOWING OFF ON A DAILY PASSES SAYING 'LOOK AT ME I'M MARRIED WHOOPEE'...SO WHAT?...THERE ARE MANY REASONS, GOOD REASONS TO GET A CHIP...FOR ME NOT TO GET ON IS 'FEAR' AND 'PRIDE' WHICH ARE WHAT BROUGHT ME TO AA AND STILL KEEP ME THERE ALONG WITH LOVE...AND GETTING A CHIP IS 'HUMBLING' AND A CHANCE TO OVERCOME FEAR AND PRIDE'....THANKS FOR 12 STEPPING ME

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Welcome to the forum, i33. Thanks for posting your thoughts about chips.

Gotta say that was the most emotionally complicated essay on the subject I have ever read.I rather enjoyed it, actually.

I had to pick up a chip this week (twice) and now have chip taker's remorse.



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I didn't mean it to be emotionally complicated but i'm a complex guy who may express in a complex way but i do keep it simple in daily life. Basically, it doesn't 'hurt to get a chip'. It is not hypocritical to get a chip. A SIDE NOTE: I DON'T THINK CHIPS ARE SOLD ON THE AA OFFICIAL SITE IF THAT TELLS YOU ANYTHING. Personal choice. Of course the 'world record' for sobriety is 24 hours. I haven't drank in 37 years. I'm 74 years old. I had my last drink June 22, 1980. My belly button birthday is July 24th. I started getting a chip on my belly button birthday because i don't feel a whole lot like 'celebrating old age' but i do like feeling good about not drinking. The 'chip' is only a symbol. People coming into AA keep me sober and my Higher Power. There's nothing wrong with getting a chip. For me , personally , i had the revelation that i didn't get a chip from 'ego', 'pride' and 'fear'. Again, i don't 'get' a chip but i 'receive' a chip. If i were to 'get' a chip i would order one online. If i were to 'get' a birthday cake i'd go by one at a store. Or i could MAKE a birthday cake but that would not be 'getting' or 'receiving' a birthday cake. But, usually, people 'receive' a birthday cake. A bride 'receives' a wedding ring to celebrate her marriage. I receive a chip to celebrate a 'marriage', 'a union' valuing my 'God Given' sobriety. Again, i think not getting a chip, for me, is 'low self esteem. 'e.g. i'm not worth to receive one. I received a 'college diploma' which i earned. I earned a sobriety chip. I don't earn initial sobriety. Getting sober is But For the Grace of God'. Stay sober is the 'grace of me'. I earned a chip. My life 'became unmanageable' , powerless over alcohol. Once i stopped drinking my life became 'manageable' (to a greater degree). A chip is a recognition of a degree of manageability. A 10 year chip is 10 years of managing my life with the help of my Higher Power. Burn into the consciousness of every man they can get well regardless of anyone. (statement in Big Book). I have a lot to do with whether i stay sober but nothing to do with whether i 'get the gift of sobriety'. I know people who wanted sobriety worse than i did i think but they are dead because they didn't get the Grace. No fault of their own. Olympic athlete accept medals for running around. Students accept degrees for achievements. I don't 'get a chip' but i receive and accept a recognition for my achieving an ongoing life of not boozing it up. If i refuse a chip if it is offered to me, even if i'm afraid to pick up up, i'm denying another person the opportunity to GIVE ME A GIFT. It is better to 'give' than 'receive'. Therefore if i 'receive' a gift of a chip when someone 'gives' is to me i am allowing the other person, in that moment, to be 'better' than i am. (in a way). If someone 'gives me a compliment' , even if i feel i don't deserve it , this is no reason to shun their gift of a comment trying to make me feel good by recognizing what they think is good in me. 'DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR A CHANGE' is an absolute. I can not change unless i do something different. I suggest what i have done. If i accept a chip every year then don't accept one for , at least , 1 year. (for a change) If i never get a chip then accept one. This black and white attitude about chips is silly i think. Bottom line, just doesn't make a difference. Super Bowl winners accept rings for their achievements even if they don't play and knowing that their good health and talents are 'God Given' but they did MANAGE to workout and develop certain habits to keep themselves in chap. If i manage to 'trust God and clean' house then why not accept recognition for that. I know i have not drank in 37 years and i know people who have been sober for 3 months who are much more mature and stable than i am. I'm not accepting a chip for being better than anyone else. I'm the best and worst person i know. I'm just accepting a chip for myself and others as a SYMBOL. It's no big deal if someone does or doesn't want to get into chipland. To each their own. Also, for me accepting a chip does create a 'looking forward to, or an 'anticipation of' and both states are pleasant. There is some effort to 'staying sober'. Their is some effort to getting up in the morning, to graduating from school, working on a job and some effort in staying sober. A chip is a symbol of effort. I agree the 'longevity' isn't significant of diddly squat but it is, eh. The chip is a sign of appreciation. I have 37 years of appreciation and 37 years of gratitude. And, i do think there is some truth to others seeing people receive those landmarks of sobriety may help them along. But, mainly, i don't guy that. Mostly, my accepting a chip is 'selfish' but so what? 'THROUGH NO EFFORT ON OUR PART WE WERE GIVEN A NEW ATTITUDE'. A 37 year chip, in a way, shows years of attitude changing. I no longer 'get' why people aren't willing to receive a chip. For me 'fear' is why i don't. I'm not saying that is why others don't. I tortured myself into accepting a 37 year chip in front of a group of 100 people just to do 'something different for a change'. As always when i get a chip i 'feel i don't deserve it'. I think lots of people who don't get chips do so because they can't cope with the undeserving feeling they get when thinking about accepting a chip. Admittedly, for me the whole thing is an ordeal. When i accepted the 37 year chip a fellow after me got a 58 year chip thus on upping me. Funny. Anyhow, enough. Live and Let Live. To Each Their Own.

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Let me add one thing. I HATE, I MEAN HATE CHIPS WITH DR. BOB AND BILL WILSON'S FACE ON THEM. I would not accept a chip with their faces on them. I have mentioned this to others in AA and they say 'lighten up'. But, this is serious stuff with me. On this forum they show the 'history of AA chips' and show a medallion with Bob and Bill's faces on them. AA's site probably doesn't sell chips because it is an 'outside issue' after all. I imagine the minority of people even get chips.
DR. BOB AND BILL WILSON WERE SUPER ADAMANT ABOUT 'ANONYMITY'. THOSE GUYS DIDN'T WANT RECOGNITION OR ANYTHING SPECIAL SAID OR SHOWN ABOUT THEM. (i'm sure Bill struggle with ego going back and forth on the matter but, bottom, line, in principle Bill was totally against being awarded for his sobriety and wanted anonymity. To have their FACES on coins is a slap in the faces of Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson and their families and living relatives. Talk about breaking their anonymity. I doubt they approve of having their kissers in every AA hall in the world. Not every AA hall but you know what i mean. I started a meeting in this town and i'd never let their faces be seen in the room. I imagine they are their in spirit but i know Bill and Bob would roll over in their graves if they say their faces plastered all over the rooms and on coins. Neither one of those guys is Jesus Christ. In fact i don't think Jesus would like His face and hanging on the cross all over the place. WE live in a weird world. I'M AGAINST MEDALLIONS WITH DR. BOB AND BILL WILSON'S FACES ON THEM AND WOULD NEVER ACCEPT ONE OF THOSE.

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This has become the most intricate, or comprehensive discussion on chips I've ever heard or read ... some very good points made ... I now have to go lay down and rest ... I am simply exhausted for this and other reasons ... tomorrow I will give this subject some more thought ... thanks and good night ...


Pappy



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Mostly now "Chip Day" is the opportunity to recycle.  I turn my old chip back in for the next guy in line and if I don't drink again I keep the new chip for 365 days and nights.   I have only had 1 chip.   I keep my chip on my key ring and my key ring in my pocket ceptin when I'm home.  I love the feel of it.   smile



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From someone who has been in AA for a little over 90 days and have recently already relapsed I kind of understand where you're coming from. I have earned 4 tips so far but now I feel like I have to start all over again because I relapsed. Now I look at these chips and I feel like a failure. I wasn't strong enough. And I failed. Now that I have relapsed I feel like those chips are a reminder of how I failed. I hope this doesn't sound bad but I wonder if I should not even do the chip system in case I fail again.

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The chips should be viewed as success, not failure ... it's all in how you 'THINK' about it ... if you don't 'think' you earned it, or them, then you didn't ... We must learn a different way to think ... about everything ... we need to be rid of all negative thinking ... anything is possible as long as we believe it ...

I've known members I thought there was no way possible they could stay sober, but they did by simply changing the way they think ... (this is in the BB too ... )


God Bless,
Pappy



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Robinator2448 wrote:

From someone who has been in AA for a little over 90 days and have recently already relapsed I kind of understand where you're coming from. I have earned 4 tips so far but now I feel like I have to start all over again because I relapsed. Now I look at these chips and I feel like a failure. I wasn't strong enough. And I failed. Now that I have relapsed I feel like those chips are a reminder of how I failed. I hope this doesn't sound bad but I wonder if I should not even do the chip system in case I fail again.


 I've heard feelings like yours before. The chip systems (and keyring tags, marbles, etc.) are good and positive. But they also can have negative aspects.

Luckily, the practices are totally optional. Give it some thought. If you decide that chips are bad, feel free to not do them.

Lots of AA members eschew chips.

The main thing is to not drink. If you can do it, ONE DAY AT A TIME, you will be alright, R2448.



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