Travel for Tokens

If you have been following my blog, you would know that my local meetings do not give out many sobriety chips. At first I was very frustrated by this. I had to drive to a city two hours away to get my 30 day chip. I got my 90 day chip while on vacation in another city. I found it nice and convenient that I was to be traveling again for my 180th day.

I made plans to have dinner with an old friend. He and I have bickered about a lot of things in the past. When I first got sober, I stopped talking to him because of his comments about alcoholism.  He does not believe it is a disease. It is a choice.  I couldn’t handle that in my first 30 or even 60 days. I think it was near 90 days sober before I unblocked him and started to talk to him again.

He wanted to invite his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend to dinner with us. The problem is his roommate is my ex-boyfriend.  I told him I did not want them to join.  He said they might get upset if they are left out and I said “I don’t fucking care.” This guy was horrible with returning phone calls and text messages. He did not care when that hurt me. And the way we ended things was he called me about some papers and then said “you know that whatever happens, we will always be friends.” We never talked about it. We never had closure. And the last time I was in town, he canceled dinner plans with me to go see this girl. So I really did not want him and his new love joining my evening. I did not want closure with his arms wrapped around her. I could not handle that sober.

Thankfully my friend did not invite them. He and I had a great dinner. We talked and caught up. Afterwards, I felt bad that I seemed to monopolize the conversation with my recovery. He said a few times that he does not think I need to quit forever. I told him I know I do. He kept saying he thinks I can control it. If we had this talk a few months ago, I would have got angry. Instead, I just explained to him that I do not want to drink. I do not need to drink. He came up with his excuses for drinking and I told him that is fine.  I have no problem with other people drinking. I have a problem with my drinking.

After dinner, I started to drive him home. I was planning to go to a meeting. He even looked up meetings for me near his home. I was about to turn towards his street and he asked where was I going. The meeting is straight. “You want to go to the meeting with me?” He said sure. This was the first time I had someone go to a meeting with me.

It was a beginners meeting. The topic was higher power and God. I thought he would enjoy this because we discuss/debate religion and religious issues a lot. I got called on and felt like I was in school and had to write an answer on the chalkboard.  I have never been to a meeting before where they randomly call on people. But I spoke about my feelings of spirituality and using energy and the universe as my higher power. (Maybe one day I will get around to make a blog about my spirituality.) After the meeting, my friend thanked me for what I said. He thought it helped balance out all the God and Jesus talk. I think he might have enjoyed the meeting even if he does not believe everyone in that room has a disease.

There was a few minutes left and I did not see anyone with a box. I whispered to him “I guess no chip.” But then the chairperson asked for a volunteer to pass out chips. A huge smile crept across my face. They started out with 18 months. Then 12. Then 6. I jumped up like it was the lottery. I was the only person in the room accepting a chip. My friend kept clapping after everyone else was finished. It felt so wonderful.

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And then I thought I really hate my local meetings. Why do they deprive people of this awesome feeling of accepting a chip? Only 90 days and yearly chips? That does not seem like enough reinforcement.  Maybe I am just Pavlovian dog.

Mistake 182- Many years ago, I was at a party at the house of my friend that joined me at this meeting. I do not remember much (as usual). But I cheated on my girlfriend with some guy at the party. In most lesbian relationships, that is the worst betrayal. I do not remember much of the incident. The images of it are fuzzy like it didn’t really happen. Another guy witnessed it which is how I discovered what I did. Our group of friends made a joke out of it. I felt such shame because of the betrayal and the fact I had to be told by someone else what I did with my own body. Drinking controlled me. I finally gave up the losing battle of trying to control it.

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9 thoughts on “Travel for Tokens

  1. “I felt such shame because of the betrayal and the fact I had to be told by someone else what I did with my own body” Yikes – great way of putting that. Wow.

    Great that your friend went with you to that meeting – and hey, congrats on that chip!!

    They do chips here with 1,2,3,6, and 9 months. Some meetings even do for every single month.

    Seems silly to have only 90 day and one year chips.

  2. I am with 365, I wish they chipped you for every month until you get to a year. Just because it is such a struggle in the first year, first you have to GET sober, then you have to STAY sober.
    Since AA doesn’t I reward myself on a monthly basis, sober treats!
    Yeah, 365 a chip and you didn’t have to drive all over the place to get it!
    Happy 6 months! You are awesome!

  3. Congratulations on your six months! Do you have a home group that you belong to and help out with? Because when you do, you can bring up the chips and suggest a change. The group might not go along with you, but they might. Worth a try.

    • No, no home group. Every meeting in my area is like that. Not sure if it is a regional thing. But makes me not want to keep going. I feel a chip is reward for staying sober and listening to others whining for an hour.

      • Yikes, no, a chip isn’t a reward for staying sober. Remembering last night is the reward for staying sober. Not trying to keep track of your lies is a reward for staying sober. Not getting a DUI is a reward. Clarity of thought is a reward. Going in a positive direction, rather than further down the road that leads to death and insanity is a reward. Not being desperate for the next drink is a reward for staying sober. If you can’t be grateful for what you get, be grateful for what you escape.

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