One of the joys of being a member of a 12 step program is being able to share in the anniversary of a fellow member. There are different traditions surrounding this celebration. Sometimes the celebrant will share his experience strength and hope; sometimes he or she will get a speaker. There is almost always a cake to go along with our perennially present pot of coffee. There is also a coin ceremony where the celebrant receives his or her coin marking another year of sobriety.
These coins mean a lot to us. Many of us carry them wherever we go. They are a constant reminder of the recovery path we embarked upon when we entered the program. In some rooms, there is a tradition of passing around the coin just presented to every single person in the room. We are not doing this because we view the coin as some magic talisman that will prevent us from going out. Rather, by having all people present touch the coin we are affirming our deep connection to one another. It is oft repeated that this is a “we” program. Our sobriety only came about because we had the opportunity to share with one another our fears, problems, resentments, progress and insights. We are symbolically demonstrating that each of us has a role in the sobriety of his or her fellow, as do they in ours.
Personal Reflection: How have others helped me get my coins?