I had not one but two disarming tricks played on me by God today. My friend Rich whom you all know as rcali4233.blogspot.com grabbed me before meeting this morning and gave me his 9 month chip. Pretty big for me because I received my 9 months when he started. I pray often for my fraternity bros who I know need what we have. It's a relief for me because I have had a haunting memory wrapped in guilt about a night where I played a part in getting him sent to detox. Now here he is 9 months sober! I wasn't expecting to start crying BEFORE meeting. Thanks a lot Rich! And seriously, thanks a lot.
Next I went into meeting and sat down next to my sponsor and gave him a card because today he was celebrating 20 years. He was chairing the meeting and called on a selected member to start calling off the chip milestones. In our group we do every month up to a year and then each year after that. After he called for anybody celebrating a year my sponsor stopped him and spoke up. I was shocked because something was not going according to plan. My sponsor said he wanted to acknowledge a birthday that our group doesn't normally recognize. He said he had a friend who was celebrating 18 months today. He stood up, hugged me and handed me a coin that has been the hardest one to get yet. I didn't even know it until I held it and sat through the rest of meeting recounting what has occurred in the last 6 months.
As I have blogged recently I have had a cherished friendship of 20 years finish. It was my best friend and brother Dave. He came to my meeting 6 months ago to celebrate and support me as I received my 1 year chip. Now he can barely look at or speak to me. And, he lives across the street. Of all the ideas I had about mending this thing the stupidest was... "Maybe if I go out drinking with him, he would see that this is so important to me I would even sacrifice my sobriety date." Didn't happen don't worry. My pain and anguish over this matter has nearly all left, as I have learned yet again, I'm powerless over other people. Any pain that still occurs for me is a sadness for his pain. I'm not even involved with his turmoil, but I get a front row seat to witness it from across the street.
So, thankfully and gratefully I was able to accept my sponsor's gift of 18 months with an honest, humble and grateful heart. My first sponsor always says, "That's a long time between cocktails" when somebody gets a chip. But, that's a long time between chips when you get used to having one each month. What a long strange trip this has been.
P.S. Now that I have 18 months does that mean I get a vote at group conscience or do I have to wait 18 years?