Another milestone approaches

In a few days time I’ll be able to collect my latest sobriety chip.  For those of you who don’t use AA the background is that some groups give out chips or medallions to celebrate lengths of sobriety.  In the first year these are monthly then annually from there on.  However the most important one anyone can get is their first 24 hour chip – the first day they didn’t drink.   I never got that one as I rocked off to rehab rather than just arriving at the doors of AA unaided.  On my night stand I have two chips – the one I was given on my “graduation” from rehab and my current chip.  I don’t collect them I recycle my old one back into the chip pot in my home group so that someone else can collect it and I view being able to hand one over it having been in my sight first thing every morning and last thing every night is a good luck omen, I hope, to anyone who subsequently receives it.

However the AA birthday approaches and I’m less focused on it now than I used to be. I just accept being sober, being in recovery and all that as such a part of my life it is just there.  But I shouldn’t forget whilst I don’t have a daily battle with the obsession to drink I still have a daily battle with life at times.   I had a stupid blazing row with a lady who parked across my drive at the weekend at the point we were all leaving to go somewhere.  I provoked the situation, added coal to the fire and then was more enraged when the lady reacted to my provocation.    By the time we’d driven to where we were going I was embarrassed, remorseful and sorry for how I acted.  Step 10 – When we are wrong promptly admit it (paraphrasing).  I apologised to my wife and daughter about it.  It was laughed off but it worried me.  I could (should) have just sat there, asked the lady to move and waited a few minutes then just gone with a smile and wave.  Why didn’t I?  I don’t really know – underlying stress about things?  Maybe…  I need to think on that more and look for any patterns in thinking and behaviour but it was my old style of behaviour… just stupid, childish and crass.   Reflect, consider, learn, move on.  That is what I try to now do.

As an interesting additional thought – I had a drinking dream the other night.  One of those ones where I was in a situation, looked down and had a pint in my hand – lager which is interesting as I didn’t regularly drink that back in the day and then knew I’d had some already and was thinking – “Too late I’ve started again”.  On waking there is that heartbeat or two when my rational brain is trying to make sense of what I was dreaming and there is a moment of “Was that a true or implanted memory?”  One of two breaths later I know it was just a dream but …. that behaviour, drinking dreams….  Possibly the anniversary isn’t as benign as I said at the top these anniversaries, these cycles can dredge up stuff unconsciously that it is important to process possibly.

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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8 Responses to Another milestone approaches

  1. ainsobriety says:

    Sometimes I get into situations life that. One’s where I just MUST inflict my will or opinion on others. Where is want to prove someone else wrong.

    Those times almost always turn out like you said- with embarrassment and a real wonder as to where that want to be right came from.

    Progress, not perfection. Next time you will take a deep breath and smile and things won’t become so stressful.

    As for the dreams…go get your chip. Celebrate all you have accomplished. Be proud of yourself. You have made a better life. It is an inspiration.


  2. The content and relevance of dreams is fascinating, isn’t it? You always sound so in tune with yourself to me – like I’m an expert! Hahaha! Happy chip collecting. x

  3. I’ve heard about these chips and have always wondered what they look like. A Google search uncovered dozens of designs and variations. An interesting subculture.

  4. Hi Graham!
    Happy Almost Anniversary!
    I have to watch my temper when I am cut off in car.
    Dreams are interesting. When I was a teacher I always had scary student dreams before the new school year. I’d always wake up in a complete panic thinking I’d lost a 5 year old at the zoo!!!!

  5. Congratulations! I, too, keep my chips in my night table.

  6. Happy almost anniversary, Graham! I doubt I’m giving you any new information, as you have gobs more sober time than me (I know, I know, the person who got up earliest, yadda yadda yadda) ;)…

    But… I find that I get squirrel-y for no discernible reason right before each anniversary I’ve had thus far. And I talk about it in meetings, and everyone says the same thing happens to them.

    So for what my two cents is worth (likely less than two cents), I’d not worry that something deeper is going on, just something cyclical.

    Then again, I’d have been yelling at that woman right along with you, so perhaps I should keep my advice to myself 🙂

    Back to the original point… congratulations on your milestone, put a picture up of the coin once you have it!

  7. elsieamata says:

    Happy birthday (anniversary), Graham! Good program work and many congrats! Step ten and four when it came to the neighbor. You did them and that’s the important thing; reflection. Progress, not perfection. I find when I dream about using, it’s because something in my life is off-kilter and I’m in denial about it. Or maybe that’s a bit harsh to say. I usually know about it but I’m avoiding it for whatever reason…work is too busy at the moment, kids need me, or I’m not emotionally ready to handle it and need time to process mentally first. As long as I acknowledge the stressor is there, I’m okay though and I know you will be too. You’re good like that.

  8. Suburbia says:

    Wow, an emotional post. Congrats on your continued success. It is weird how old patterns rear their ugly head. Something – for me- triggers it if I pay attention I can locate it – Small rejections can send me into a tail spin.

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