This blog started as my alcohol recovery journal. Now that I’m past 30 days, I’m wondering what are the most important dates in overcoming alcoholism.
The obvious answer is every single day matters. That’s why we talk about living one day at a time, ODAAT.
But I really like adding up my total days without drinking. It’s giving me an extra reason to wake up in the morning. I want to see that sober counter add another day. I know it’s no guarantee about my sobriety tomorrow, but it feels good to see progress in a way that can be measured.
So today, I did a little digging online. I wanted to understand what recovery milestones are considered most important. Most of what I found relates to the AA token.
Wikipedia has an article on the sobriety coin and describe the poker chips and what the different colors signify:
- White Chip – 1 day/24 hours of sobriety. Called the “desire” or the “clean” chip.
- Silver Chip – 30 days/1 month of sobriety
- Dark Gold Chip – 60 days/2 months of sobriety
- Red Chip – 90 days/3 months of sobriety
- Yellow Chip – 6 months of sobriety
- Green Chip – 9 months of sobriety
- Blue Chip – 1 year of sobriety
AA tokens (poker chips) are not an official part of the program, but local groups often practice this widespread tradition. It varies by meeting, personal sponsor, and even region. You can read some examples on this Quora post. Here are the relevant quotes:
I’ve seen Chip Meetings offer chips for Newcomers, 30 days, 90 days, A year, Each anniversary. The big ones seemed to be 5 years 10 years and 20 years.
In the US south, groups give poker chips for 1, 30, 60, 90, six months, 9 months, first year, subsequent years. One group gives 18 month chips. In parts of the US Northeast, some groups give 1 day, first year, 5 year chips.
You can find specialty shops online who sell a variety of AA chips. Based on their inventory this seems normal: the 24 hour chip, then monthly through one year, and after that annual.
Of course there are other milestones that can’t be counted. For example, I’m excited about my first sober birthday or celebrating Christmas without alcohol. Another way to measure progress is working the 12 steps of AA.
Some other interesting links:
- Psych Central has some more ideas for celebrating your recovery.
- The Dual Diagnosis blog lists 30 and 90 Days — 1, 5 and 10 years as the major milestones.
- I found this page on Pinterest with tons of Sobriety gift ideas.
I’d love to hear from you. What dates felt the most important in your recovery?