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Admitting you are powerless...

Old 06-21-2015, 10:17 PM
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Admitting you are powerless...

As I have said before I go to meetings and started working the steps with my sponsor.

I now have 72 days sober/clean and I am having a hard time in meetings when it comes the time to go get the coins...

I did not get up for my 30 day chip nor for my 60 day chip. My sponsor says I need to do it because it is a way of admitting you are powerless over your addiction and asking for help from other members....

But to me it is more like trying not to have a panic attack because I have to get up and talk in front of many people..knowing the members there even stresses me more..and it shouldn't.

Anyone felt that way ? Anyone has advices?
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:22 PM
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There were certain meetings I wouldn't pick up chips from.
it can be very nerve racking. I get shaky and sweaty and basically have a panic attack. It wasnt Worth it, newcomers see other people pick up chips - I didn't have to put myself through that so they could see people with time get chips. It says right on the chip to thine own self be true. My higher power doesn't want me to add to my already horrible anxiety like that.
Are there smaller meetings you can get chips at?
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:22 PM
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I'm very introverted by nature so I hate anything that calls for making me the center of attention. My sponsor insisted too that I pick up the all the chips in early sobriety because it is helpful to others to see that the program (AA) works. She always encourages me to share and I find that annoying. Not everyone is wired the same way and sharing , picking up a chip, etc. causes me anxiety and anxiety is what was the main trigger for my abuse of alcohol. I definitely understand where you are coming from.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:10 AM
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Hi.
It’s been a lot of years since I picked up last sober chip but it’s good to see/feel one to be reminded of that time period.
Part of the process of getting and staying sober is CHANGE and a little thing in life like saying thank you when a chip is received is a minimal effort, it shows progress.

I had the same type of self centered fears and was told “get over yourself” which I didn’t like but realized was correct. Again work and change keep us sober along with listening and practicing our steps.

BE WELL
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by IOAA2 View Post

I had the same type of self centered fears and was told “get over yourself” which I didn’t like but realized was correct. Again work and change keep us sober along with listening and practicing our steps.

BE WELL
I was to,d I'm not the center of the universe. Same reaction. Did my first open talk and was nervous( fear) of how it was going to go. Talked to my sponsor. He said," you were at last Saturday's meeting,right?"
"yup"
"who read how it works?"
"I don't remember."
"that's how important ya are in very one elses world.all the anxiety, nervousness,A d panic is all fear rearing it's head. Now deflate your ego and lower your pride a d start at step one on this and you will find the causes and conditions yourself a d also the solution."

Living my life in fear of what others thought of me wasn't working. I was giving them the power over me- they controlled me.
So i worked hard at making my HP's opinion of me #1. Amazing how in doing so, what others think of me doesn't bother me.
30,60,90 days sober is a huge accomplishment. Those with many years sober like to hear it happening. But we can't hear it if those with 30,60,90 days keep allowing fear to control them.

I'm also an introvert but not allowing the symptoms of that control me today.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:57 AM
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There's a difference between being "self centered " and having anxiety attacks .
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:16 AM
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hello newinrecovery

keep your main focus on continuing to Work The Steps ... maybe push your comfort level in small steps, like showing up early and staying a little after, and join in conversations. It felt very awkward for me, standing there wondering if I looked as 'stupid' as I felt, but it wasn't that difficult to just say to someone, "hey, I appreciated what you shared".

Sobriety has to be the main focus, then expanding within always comes after working the steps ... for as long as it takes.

Anyway, that is a small snapshot of what worked for me.

RDBplus3 ... Happy, Joyous, and FREE
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:27 AM
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You don't have to pick up the chips if you don't want to. While they are a nice reminder to ourselves of how far we've come and to others of how lasting sobriety is possible, at the end of the day they're just pieces of plastic and not worth causing this much anxiety.

One thing I love about the meetings in my current town is that they all say something that I'd never heard at other meetings before. When they offer the desire/24 hour chip, they always say, "I'm going to leave one here on the table in case anyone wants to pick it up after the meeting." It's a good acknowledgement of how stressful standing up in front of the group can be.

My personal advice is to just take a deep breath and get the chips at your next meeting. All you have to say is "Thank you for helping to keep me sober" and then sit back down and then all that anxiety will be over. You say you have a sponsor--I think it takes a WHOLE lot more courage to ask someone for help than it does to pick up a piece of plastic. You're doing great and keep it up no matter what decision you make in this case.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:33 AM
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I already get to meetings early and am normally the last one to leave...the problem is really just getting up in front of everyone to get my coins...

I have panic attacks every single time I go to a meeting and tell myself : I'm gonna go pick my coin today
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:36 AM
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Thank you Casey !

They say that to the meetings here too. My sponsor was the one to give me my 24 hour chip because I couldn't get up back then either.

Someone was nice enough to get a 30 day chip for me and give it to me outside a meeting. But now I need to do it and it really does stress me out
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:51 AM
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My sponsor knew how nervous I was to
speak in meetings and she told me something
that allowed me to calm down. She told me
that in meetings they have to have those
that speak or talkers and they have to have
listeners like me.

Some do too much talking as we well hear.
Then there are many who hide out like me
and hope to never be called on. And I did
an aweful lot of hiding out, but I was not unseen.

As my own theraphy and service work, I baked
lots of good treats to serve at many many many
meetings I went to for yrs for members to enjoy
with their coffee. In doing so it allowed me to be
seen and others to get to know me.

That little bit of work allowed me to calm
down and move forward in my own recovery.
Eventually I would go to the chairperson and
ask to read something before the meeting began.
Then I was able to sit beside a chairperson and
hand out chips to the newcomers or those needing
a new chip.

My sponsor told me that I would know it
when it was time for me to speak, and sure
enough it eventually came when I felt like
it was time to step up and give back for all
the days, meetings, yrs members passed on
their own ESH with me helping me remain
sober each day.

That was me becoming responsible in recovery.

Your time will come when you will know
its time to speak from your heart, soul and
mind.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:55 AM
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Maybe pick out a meeting where the chair is someone you like and talk to them privately beforehand about this? You say you already get to meetings early so that should be doable. Might help put your mind at ease and will also put the whole situation on an inevitable road to closure.

Like I said, just a piece of plastic and just a group of drunks who have all been in the exact same spot you're in. Nothing to fear here.

Or else just make a firm decision that you're not going to get the chip and tell your sponsor that and let it go. There's no mention of chips in the Big Book or 12&12. Once again, be proud of your sobriety, keep working the steps, keep posting in here, You're on the right path, chip or no chip.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:13 AM
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Congrats on 72 days. I hope I can say that in 69 more days I know how you feel I got some coins a few tears back. I have a real hard time even speaking in meetings let alone accepting the coins.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:18 AM
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After my first six months I stopped picking up chips.

I am only powerless when I put that first drink/drug in my body. Until then, I am not powerless. That is how I look at powerlessness.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:32 AM
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I was told to pick up chips to show OTHERS that the program works. My sponsor said it had nothing to do with me and that it was service work.

I have never heard "to show that I was powerless". I would never ask a sponsee to "show" that she was powerless.....she came through the door, didn't she? No further proof required.

The program and fellowship are about becoming an agent of AA and carrying the message to those who need it. That is our purpose. Picking up chips can be a part of that or not...neither is wrong. I only talk to sponsees about getting chips if they ask me. I am not a life coach or micro-manager. They can do the chip tour if they want. To some it is terrifying and to some it is a great comfort. To each her own.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:46 AM
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Thank you everyone. I felt bad about not picking up the chips but you all made me feel better about it
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:11 AM
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I've gotten chips month after month. I've gone months without getting one. I've gone to AA week in and week out. I've gone weeks and weeks without going to AA.

I've found that - for me - AA is one tool among many that I have used to maintain sobriety for over a year and a half.

For me, chips were sometimes a big affirmation, a reminder to carry, a way to help me remind myself of my choice of sobriety. And sometimes they weren't all that important.

My point is this; AA can be a tool and a positive part of sobriety in many ways, and it can be taken and used differently for different people. I know that will not be a popular statement among more purist AAers - but it is my belief and it has worked for me.

congratulations on your sobriety!!!
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:18 AM
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For years Id pick up my chips presented
to me from my sponsor in one of those
beginning or at the end of the month
meetings where multiple birthdays,
including my own would be recognized
and celebrated.

There have been times where my husband
has picked up my chip for me at the Central
office. Then times where Ive ordered special
ones for myself online, Ebay or a Recovery
gift Store.

2 years ago while in Sturgis for their bike
Rally, we rode to the central office where
I picked one up there.

This year for my 25th Sobriety Anniversary,
I will again be picking my chip up in Sturgis
where they will be celebrating their 75th biker
rally.

Picking up a medallion or sobriety chip
is a small token yet represents a huge
humble accomplishment and should be
celebrated because as any alcoholic or
user knows, any day sober or clean is
rewarding and an awesome gift to give
ourselves.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:41 AM
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Plenty in this well of posts to draw from, for certain.

Only requirement for membership........well, you know the rest.
I do as the spirit moves me at anytime - used to be as the spirits move me

The pomp of chip giving is highly regionalized including sharing when received. Some share, some don't - some groups encourage newcomers to share when get monthly chips, others do not. Some groups do not give chips, tokens, coin or medallions at all.

Regardless of what you decide, I'd suggest you have a heart to heart with your sponsor about it. I to encourage as part of willing to go to any lengths following the suggestions of your sponsor. I have also learned their should be expectations of behaviors established early on in the relationship.

When all else fails, I read the book! If it's in there, I will surrender to it with the help of a qualified step sponsor.

72 Days is remarkable = keep coming back!!
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:00 PM
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My sponsor knows I am too stressed out about it. She stopped asking me to go and said that I can go get them when I will be ready.

But other members are pushing me to get get them. Not in a mean way, just because they are happy I am sober and clean and working the program.
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