22 May 2009

Our 24 hour gift

Through my days in the AA program, I’ve always counted my 24 hour periods. Yes, the years mean something to me, but it isn’t possible to have one year of sobriety without having 365 - 24 hour sober periods.

Last week I had the honor of giving a 17 year old their one year chip. This person means a lot to me and our group as a whole. It was a very emotional night. In my little speech, I told everyone that one of the simple spiritual joys of AA is watching someone walk through the doors for that very first time.

We wonder will they come back for a second meeting or a third. Than we begin wondering when will they speak? We know it will come and we won’t rush the person, but like little children, we’re anxious to hear the words they have to say.
This person took awhile to speak, but they let us into their world and when that happened we were amazed at their strength and courage to battle the pressures of being a teenager in recovery.

I gave this person a hug and gave them their chip. Than before I was done, I gave them a second chip. I told everyone that without this chip, one week of sobriety isn’t possible. Nor one month or a year. And most certainly one year and one day isn’t possible without this chip. I gave them a 24 hour chip.

I than said to always be grateful for your 24 hours. It’s a very special gift we have and always give thanks to your Higher Power for that 24. And whenever the urge to drink hits you, look at that chip and remember how you got here and whatever problem you may have you can “survive” another 24. Got another hug and this time some tears. It was a very emotional moment.

Out of all the chips I have, I always carry my 24 hour close to me. In fact, I recently acquired a new one. After 13 plus years, my original was pretty worn out. The writing of the Serenity Prayer was all but gone. It served its purpose well.
I put a lot of power in my 24 hour chip. And tonight at midnight, I’ll be celebrating 5,000 – 24 hour sober periods. And for the 5,000 time, I’ll lay my head down and say my prayers and thank my Higher Power for another day of sobriety.

This entry was originally posted on Monday, May 12th, 2008

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