Yet another "Fix" article has moved me to write. I need to thank them for the inspiration :->
At first glance, AA’s “chip club” celebrations would appear to be nothing more than a happy occasion in which to recognize its participants’ success at having remained sober by adhering to the tenets of the program.
In reality it is just another reinforcement of AA’s obsession with time. It is the basis
of its continued existence and growth.
One never accrues a sufficient amount of time in the halls of AA because there is no
finality to recovery in its philosophy. Whether you have just “celebrated” 2 months, 2 years or 20, it is never enough. There is no exit plan, it’s a lifetime of living as a “recovering” alcoholic “one day at a time” for ETERNITY.
Ms. Williams’ observation that; “Others believe this method can shame
the chronic relapser” is more accurate than she knows.
Nothing brings home the assertion that if one leaves the program that they are destined for relapse, to be followed by jails, institutions or death, more efficiently than this practice accompanied by the looks of shame and failure seen on the faces of those who have to humble themselves in front of the AA congregation as they meekly stand in judgment as
they go and “receive” their “New or JUST COMING BACK” chip. To leave is to DIE as is very clearly stated in AA literature (page 174 of the 12&12) “Unless each AA member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant.”
It serves very nicely as a notice to the “newcomers” exactly what will happen if you stray away from the flock and actually believe that you have “recovered”. You can see the “knowing” looks on the faces of the old timers and sponsors any time this practice takes place.
I can’t get out of my head the pained looks of failure and guilt that many of those that
are made to stand before the court of AA judgment are forced to endure.
How many, not wanting to face that humiliation, don’t bother to come back and end up
believing that they actually are failures and as a result, do in fact go on to continue to hurt themselves because they have been led to believe that they are “powerless”.
It’s all a lie because most people RECOVER on their own with no program whatsoever. You have the freedom to recover without surrendering your will or life to anyone or
anything or in declaring yourself as a powerless alcoholic whose best case outcome is a lifetime of recovery.