Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My medallion

I carry my Al-Anon medallion in my wallet. It reminds me every time that I open my wallet to take life "One Day at a Time".

It's just a regular bronze medallion. But to me, it is so special. It means that I can choose to incorporate the principles and steps of our awesome program into my everyday affairs. It helps me remember the willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty of living each day. It is a physical representation that my Higher Power is always with me.

I have had a few people remark about the medallion because it shows when I open my wallet. One fellow told me that he had one of those too. I just smiled.

I'm lucky that my home group decided to give out chips for each year in recovery. Not all Al-Anon groups do that. I wish that more Al-Anon groups would do the chip celebration. I think that it's special to be recognized for the milestones in recovery when that time comes. It is a great feeling to celebrate someone's birthday and have the medallion given by their sponsor to them. I've seen the medallion once held by a sponsor given to the sponsee--a passing of the spirit of recovery if you will.

My wife carries her chip in her wallet too. I remember when she showed each of her chips to me. I was touched by that. She told me that the chip is not a promise never to drink again, but just as mine says to take it "one day at a time".

In AA it is easy to know if you have made it one month, a year, or whatever in your program, simply by counting how long it has been since your last drink. There are some Al-Anon members who would say that not a day goes by when they don’t “slip” in some way from their emotional sobriety. The general consensus, however, seems to be that members decide for themselves if they want to get a chip based on the amount of time that they have been steadily working the program.

If you are in one of those fellowships where chips are rare, become a part of the Group Conscience meeting and propose a change. The beauty of a 12 Step program is that there is no one person in charge and everyone has a say and a vote. If you believe in the importance of celebrating recovery at your meetings, be the change you want to see!

"...I carry my medallion
To remind no one but me
That the Promises will unfold
If I let God work with me."


  1. Be the change you want to see - is there really any better advice than that? Beautiful Syd.

  2. Twice a year I used to buy a new wallet--to replace the one I just had lost. Now I carry everything in a pocket -money, cards, everything--including, of course, my chip which has a big 35 stamped on it's front.


  3. i love this post, i have my coin with me too.

  4. Syd: I want to start by saying I've read your blog for most of the day here at work, well as much as I could fit into my schedule and know that I'm doing the right thing by saying......I'm an, uhm alcoholic. damm. You don't know how hard that is. My husband is mad at me and I hiding bottles through out the house in shich he is finding and just being a really bad wife.

    I've been drinking daily for a year now. It started just a drink after work to blow off the stress from my job and is now I have a drink in the morning to get rid of the morning shakes, kinda hair of the dog thing. I have never mentioned this on my blog and have never mention these words to myself. After reading your blog I have realized I need help.

    I'm sorry, so sorry. I don't mean to drop this onto you. You just seem very open and respectful to the cause. Thank you for your writing. You have a gift that brought this out in me. I will search for help in my city and thank you for making it seem that there is a end to this and it can be workable. Thank you and yours again. You may have saved my life, if not my wonderful marriage. Thanks Syd!

  5. Awesome. You never know when what you write is going to help someone else!!

  6. What a great way to remember every time you open your wallet what you should really be focusing on...it's so easy to slip and not realise for hours, even days. And I'm so pleased one of your readers is seeking help after reading your blog....what an achievement in itself.

  7. I have my 24 year AA medallion in my wallet.

    They don't give out Al-Anon medallions here. Maybe I'll see what my home group thinks. Thanks for the idea.


  8. Thank you Syd.

    Thank you too, Cat. All the best to you and yours.

  9. I never gave the notion of an alcoholic having a clearer way of keeping track of recovery time...but even for us, I think not-drinking days and recovery-days can be quite different. Much the same as a person in Al Anon is not always on track, so too the alcoholic (even though still sober). Very good post, and I love the idea of a daily or constant reminder. Hope I made sense :)

  10. i think it's important to celebrate. it shows motion, change in progress, and it's necessary some days, especially on those days when hope and motivation are down, down, down.

  11. I keep two chips in my pocket, so I get to handle them daily as a reminder. I love the chip tradition.

    Cat, I hope you find your solution, because there is one.

  12. Just sending love, Syd. Nice post.



  13. Hi, I have added you to my recovery journey links. I have been blogging since Nov 2004 but didn’t have comments. Recovery date is Nov. 24, 1976. I would be honored if you’d check out my main blog, kathyberman.com

  14. We have not done chips but I think i would really like to propse this - thank you for this wonderful idea!

  15. awesome.. wonderful gifts :)

  16. Syd,
    Another wonderfuol post and a great quote from Anonymous.


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