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Published January 2019.

Write Your Sobriety Date in Pencil

Changing her sobriety date after a relapse, a woman discovers genuine humility

What a week this has been! What a month!  It struck me while changing my date in my Big Book and my Twelve and Twelve this morning. I had written my last sobriety date, December 3, 2008, in pen in the front of my Big Book. It hurt to ink over it and write above it May 18, 2014. When I flipped back to my Twelve and Twelve, I noticed I had written my date in pencil there. Erasing the old and penciling in the new was much less traumatic to my ego. 

Speaking of the ego opens up Pandora’s Box, because ego deflation is one of the keys to recovery in any program. We have to know in our gut that we are powerless over certain things and that we must surrender to truly recover. However, as I look at my feelings over this whole thing—how it felt to relapse, get a white chip, relapse again, get another white chip, and then finally write my new date in my books—it strikes me that writing down a sobriety date in pen is nothing but hubris in the first place.

-- Lisa B.

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