I love a little recognition. I know, I know. I remember. Be careful of ego. It is not good to be grandiose. Don’t be too full of yourself. I know ’em all. Sometimes, I truly am able to feel those things. Nonetheless, if I may say, sometimes I even need a little recognition from time to time. Yes – I am saying it out loud! I’ve worked hard haven’t I? I live an honest life! Can someone one please tell me they see that? But then I find myself, once more, only able to pretend that flying under the radar is a good thing. Yes, I can pat myself on the back, but what is so wrong with needing someone else to do it too once in a while?
I blame grade school. I bet it all started for me that first time my teacher stuck that tiny, beautiful, glistening, twinkling gold star on my finished work. Boy oh boy did I love that gold star! I carried my school work home proudly and presented it to my parents for them to witness the presence of my gold star! I felt so proud! But, alas, I out grew the gold star. And as a young adult, receiving my gold star as a gift and a surprise, turned into something quite different. I choose to reward myself when I felt I needed it, by stealing a beer from my father when he wasnt looking. As I grew older, after a hard day at work, on the way home, I’d stop at a bar and reward myself with a good strong drink. It usually was a double-something. Or a margarita rocks, extra shot, no salt on the rim, another shot of tequilla on the side. Thank you. Perfect. I did not drink like a lady sometimes – because sometimes I did not want to. When the day arrived that I knew I had to give up my reward of alcohol, the truth is, I was devastated. Like God himself chose me to play some crazy game with. Me of all people not able to handle alcohol anymore? Hey! That’s not fair! Because, I need my liquid reward!
So, here I am with my 23 years plus one month of solid sobriety. My alcoholic mind was thinking. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body and spirit. An allergy of the body that takes over the mind – even with out alcohol – if I am not spiritually balanced or spiritually fit.
All I had was a moment of that dark thinking that I seem to visit once in a while. I got back in balance, and then I let go of my colorful self-centered thinking, thank goodness. My need for that gold star vanished and was forgotten. And as I’ve come to notice in life, the pleasant and unexpected things somehow are the most rewarding things. And it happened when I was gathering my mail for the day. A small padded envelope addressed to me in that precious familiar handwriting that belonged to my 25 year old son. (He is only my most favorite person in the entire universe is all) I sat down and slowly opened the envelope from my son. I sat in my comfort and enjoyed the moment. I looked inside the envelope and he had mailed my favorite type of A.A. chip in honor of my 23 years sober. The only style of chip that I’ve had on my key chain for 23 years. It is my tradition. On this chip there is a picture of a camel because they can go 24 hours without drinking. Along with the miracle number: 23. The enclosed note said: “Hi Mom – Here is your A.A. chip. I’m glad to give it to you. And will do it again next year. Love, Tyler”
That is the most beautiful recognition and gold star of all – and my son gave it to me.