Because they don’t give out 4-month chips in AA…


4monthchip…I made one.

And I dedicate it to my friend, A., who celebrates four months in the program today.

A. and I used to work together, and we ran into each other at a speaker meeting last night. I had wondered how long it would take for me to encounter someone from my crazy, dysfunctional work world. I’m truly surprised it took this long.

We shared a bit of our stories, and agreed to get together in the future for a meeting and then coffee/lunch/dinner.

I’m really thankful for our fortuitous meeting, and I’m very proud of and happy for A.

Congratulations. Enjoy your hangover-free Saturday, and your chip — best served with some local salsa and a virgin margarita.



9 Responses to “Because they don’t give out 4-month chips in AA…”

  1. You are incredibly creative. I love it šŸ™‚

  2. 2 Chaz

    I have a love-hate relationship with chips.

    I love seeing a newcomer take a hard-won chip and I love the fact that I took them for a year.

    I would hate to ever have to take another one.

    I think they are a good visual indicator and reinforcer of our progress. In our AA community, there is a women’s recovery house who attend a lot of the meetings… and I swear to you, the ladies must prep for hours on nights when they are taking chips… their stiletto’d “chip strut” to take their chip at the busier meetings (btw…. the busiest meeting in town is typically 60 – 100 people and the number of chips given at that meeting are disproportionaltely high).

    It is almost embarassing sometimes but also a painful reminder of how we stop maturing during our active alcoholism. Many 30-somethings and 40-something women act like giddy teens walking past the boys soccer team when they take their chip.

    But none the less…. I am glad they are taking chips. It is so much better than the alternative and it is where the majority of us start.

    OK…. when the length of the reply exceeds the length of the post, it is time to quit.



  3. Oh that is truly awesome. I love that chip, I love em all!

  4. 4 Ashley R A

    C: I feel so blessed. You brought me a tear or two. What a blessing we get to experience ever corner we turn. Can’t wait to share some of it with you. THANK YOU for my chip. I was hungry!

  5. I love this chip!!! What a loving and creative 4 month chip…and how amazing to run into someone else you know…take care!

  6. 6 C

    Thanks, all, for your comments.

    Chaz, I hear ya about the chips. I love that phrase — the “chip strut” — I can just envision the ladies you describe.

    I was initially inclined to think the whole chip thing was kinda silly, like all those damn AA sayings that I considered corny at first. But I can understand how both came about, and I appreciate the purpose they serve.

    I will admit that at my 4-month mark, I felt a bit of a letdown when I didn’t get a chip to commemorate the occasion. And now I’m gonna have to wait 5 1/2 more months till my next one! Holy Cow!

  7. 7 Sarah

    So nice to meet you!! Kristen gave me a link to your blog. I like the way you write. And I, too, have a child that was born with a scary, unpredictable disease. He was born with Shone’s syndrome, a deformity of his heart.

    Stop by. I’ll definitely stay tuned!

  8. 8 Chaz

    Oh ya, the “Chip Strut” is a local legend.

    It requires tightest jeans, spikiest heels, push-upiest bra, and lowest cut top available.

    I say this only half in jest. I do not mean to mock either. It is simply an observation that a particular grouping of women in our community new to AA whose background has conditioned them to gain attention this way, (and enjoy it as any of us would), take the opportunity of receiving their chip to get some attention using what they have.

    Maybe why it stands out to me is that in the early days, I enjoyd the attention I received in being a newcomer who was a seasoned public speaker. I have trained in public speaking for many years and was part of what I did for a living. So I got a lot of affirmation on how I communicated meaningfully. I got to enjoy it. So was I any different?

    I was playing my “self” card the same as they were.

    As I matured in the program, I actually look for ways to keep attention off myself. I keep my sharing short and as relevant as possible. I never ask to share and never, if the floor is opened, volounteer to speak.

    I will only share if asked to. I instead focus on my listening skills. So that I can gain from the experience of others in an effective way, and then pass along the valuable turths I receive.

    This is a little off track of the original post but I suppose it is a good point. Is it not essential to have the working of recovery flowing through us? Rather than just being around it for some outside purpose like attention?

    By having a message of recovery flowing through us, we need to be good at hearing, applying, and then sharing in that order?

    We must be cautious not to allow outside motives like attention-seeking to take away from our recovery experience. If we do, we will get watered-down recovery.

    But hey…. if the chip strut is what we are capable of in the first few months, at least we are getting our chips….hopefully meaningfully…. and this is better than being “out there”.



  9. 9 Sharon

    Thanks Chaz for your comments… I enjoyed them šŸ™‚

    The 4 month chip is creatively brilliant!!!

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