I was walking through the grocery store parking lot yesterday with my two kids, and my youngest bent over to pick up what I thought was a green bottle cap. I got onto him for picking up trash, but he knew what it was…or suspected what it was. “Look,” he said, and held out a green 9 month chip:
Both children have seen me carrying around and holding my yellow sixth month chip, which is in my pocket now, but I’m a little surprised my four-year-old zeroed in on it on the ground. I stood with my kids in the parking lot and studied the green chip for a few moments, pondering what to do with it. The chip has certainly seen better days. I wasn’t sure if I should put it back down in the hopes that whoever lost it would retrace his or her steps and come claim in, or if I should hold onto it. I know the grocery store employees try to keep the parking lot clean, and I didn’t want the chip to end up in the trash. In the end, I put it my pocket with my yellow chip and went home.
I’ve been wondering about the chip’s history since then. Did someone actually lose it or just toss it on the ground? Judging by the wear and tear, the chip looks like it’s been trampled on and maybe run over by a car a few times. I don’t know, and I suppose it isn’t important. I have two months to go before I reach nine months, and I take the green chip as a two-fold sign: one, sobriety isn’t guaranteed for me. I could easily lose what I’ve gained thus far if I’m not vigilant. Two, my goal is within reach. It won’t be an easy path; I don’t even know why I want it to be easy at this point since that will clearly never be the case.
Come good days and bad days, I’m dedicated to this new way of life. I can’t imagine any situation that drinking would improve. That’s easy to say as I sit in my office, drinking a cup of coffee, with the day spread before me, but I feel that conviction in my bones every morning I wake up. I’m determined to return to bed in the same state in which I woke: