Setting the bar too low?

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Setting the bar too low?

Postby IDontNeedASponsor » Sat May 21, 2016 4:28 pm

I just find it odd that people come in to their first meeting and they automatically get a grey 24 hour chip which looks like a silver medal.

I find it even odder that people get 2 months sober and they automatically get a yellow 2 month chip which looks like a gold medal.

Isn't that setting the bar a bit too low? You'd think 1 year would be gold, 6 months would be silver, and 3 months would be bronze?
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Patsy© » Sat May 21, 2016 4:45 pm

IDontNeedASponsor wrote:I just find it odd that people come in to their first meeting and they automatically get a grey 24 hour chip which looks like a silver medal.

I find it even odder that people get 2 months sober and they automatically get a yellow 2 month chip which looks like a gold medal.

Isn't that setting the bar a bit too low? You'd think 1 year would be gold, 6 months would be silver, and 3 months would be bronze?


I would strongly suggest that you DO need a sponsor, because picking up a drink is setting the bar too low, and being buried 6 feet under is the lowest bar set for an alcoholic!
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Brock » Sat May 21, 2016 5:19 pm

In my area we don't use those 'chips,' I tried to introduce them but members weren’t really interested. The ones I ordered like you said start with silver, then gold color at three months, finally green at nine. But having bought them, I can tell you that the first three are cheaper colored aluminum, then once you get to the yearly ones it's a nice heavy bronze. So all in all when you get to one year the coin is much 'nicer.'

I am not as adamant about needing a sponsor as Patsy is, and I remember you reported having some bad luck with the ones you did try, and feeling you were being bullied into getting another. But I do firmly believe, that a good sponsor can get us through the steps faster than we can doing it alone, and judging from your other post, you really should at least try to get to #5 fast, to avoid yet another relapse.

Best of luck to you.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Noels » Sun May 22, 2016 12:32 am

Good morning :D thinking back I was terrified that I would fail yet again at remaining sober so for my first three months I literally counted the days to receive my monthly chip. It was confirmation of another month sober = success.
For someone like me who lost all confidence in myself through drinking the monthly chips was very important. It was a physical reminder that I'm not that bad, that I can do it, and with every chip and another day which turned into another month of sobriety my confidence started returning and I started believing in myself again.
I don't care what colour the chip is. As long as I have to the ability to receive that chip again in a months time is good enough for me.
For an alcoholic like myself being sober one more day is an unbeatable achievement . Especially in the earlier days.
So I don't question the chips or ponder why they're there, their colours etc etc.
I'm just grateful that they were there and was when I needed something to hold onto in the earlier days when I was craving and my mindset was still ill.
Now it's still important but not that much as I hold onto my Creator in good and bad. The chips do however serve to remind me that it wasn't always like this and reminds me to hold on to the sobriety I now have. It serves as a reminder to practice gratitude each time I see or touch it.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Brock » Sun May 22, 2016 5:22 am

The idea for these sort of chips or coins is said to have originated with Sister Mary Ignatia, she worked with Dr. Bob at the St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, both Dr. Bob and Bill have said they consider her a co founder of AA.

When alcoholic patients were leaving she gave them a card, on which she had embroidered the sacred heart of Jesus, she told them if they were going to drink they must promise to return it to her first. I have read stories about men, who said they turned away from that first drink when they looked at the card, it is said she was a fiery lady although very small in stature, and these patients couldn't bear to throw away the card, but they were equally scared of returning it to her.

There are many historical writings about this great lady, and even a remastered speaker talk from her on you tube, this link is the aa.org one about her, and I put a picture with the card included.

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/sister-ma ... -1889-1966

Sr. Ignatia & Token scale.jpg
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Troy M. » Sun May 22, 2016 6:11 am

Awesome history link Brock! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun May 22, 2016 8:28 am

I just find it odd that people come in to their first meeting and they automatically get a grey 24 hour chip which looks like a silver medal.
I find it even odder that people get 2 months sober and they automatically get a yellow 2 month chip which looks like a gold medal.
Isn't that setting the bar a bit too low? You'd think 1 year would be gold, 6 months would be silver, and 3 months would be bronze?


Don't put too much importance around these. I would rather share with the new-comer, the real solution. The 12 steps.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Noels » Sun May 22, 2016 1:38 pm

Thanks Brock. That's very kind interesting. I'm definitely going to use that link to learn some more. Can you emagine how much love this lady had to embroider a card for each alcoholic? These days we are 'too busy ' to even bake a box cake that's pre mixed never mind putting time, care and love in embroidering a token of hope for another human being.
Thanks for sharing that.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Feeya » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:11 am

We actually don't use those coins over here, at least not that I am aware of.
But I do think they are a good reminder of the work and effort we put into getting sober.
They are nice to look at, have a positive message to newcomers (especially those that come to their first meeting or are in early sobriety), but I also think they aren't that important/ at least not necessary in order to stay sober.

Thank you Brock for the link!

Best of luck to you Idontneedasponsor!
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:26 am

Pretty funny story. We give out desire chips and the meeting leader usually also says, anyone want to turn in a wet one for a dry one?
So, one day, a person came up right after the meeting and turned in a wet one for a dry one.
Then me and the meeting leader looked at each other trying to decide what to do with a perfectly good chip laying on the desk.
We threw it away! We somehow believed it was actually wet and didn't want to give it to another person. :lol:
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby SmokingRoom210 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:27 pm

I'm with Noels , I needed that in early sobriety. A reassurance of what I was doing. It was a dinky thing, but it was all I had then.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby clouds » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:42 am

I sobered up before the days of chips but I like them and love seeing others receive them.

I purchased a few lovely ones that had the serenity prayer on one side and praying hands on the other, they have colored glass over raised gold. The others are bronze with 'One Day at a Time' : one of the A.A. slogans, on them. I give them to sponsees and people in my family who have sobriety.

I have found its good to carry these. I like looking in my purse or pocket and coming across something like this as a reminder that 'But for the Grace of God Go I', one of the A.A. slogans.

My home group gave me a bronze one with my name on it for service as gsr when I moved away. I'd been a member of that group for 5 years when we had to leave.

So, to me, they help as a little bit of a reminder. I'm not one who can keep all things in my head at once. A little gratitude reminder for my sobriety in a busy day can be helpful.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Setting the bar too low?

Postby PuppyEars » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:04 am

We dont get chips for ourselves. We get them to show newcomers AA works.
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