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Cash Conscious

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I’ve had a few interesting occurrences happen with the Seventh Tradition. The first I can remember is a time I didn’t want to go to a meeting. I realized I didn’t have any cash, which sounded like a really good excuse: “I don’t have two dollars, so I’m not going.” Right? I used the restroom at the college I was attending and, lo and behold, what was on the bathroom floor next to the toilet? Two one-dollar bills. Needless to say, I picked them up and went to my meeting that night.

I remember mentioning my find at the meeting and everyone laughing when I told them they might not want to make change with the “bathroom bills” since I couldn’t vouch for their cleanliness. I don’t remember what else was said, but I do know that my Higher Power will provide, even to meet my weak excuses. Also, I no longer skip meetings if I happen to be out of cash!

Just recently, I came out of a nasty relapse. When I was in relapse I had a very strong relationship with the vending machine at work, constantly feeding it all my single bills and change and using the thoughtfully provided change machine to make change from larger bills. Even as I was granted abstinence and a small measure of serenity, I still wanted to keep one-dollar bills in my purse as a sort of security blanket. Coming back to meetings made me face giving away my single bills, and it was difficult at first. Then I realized that, without making a conscious decision about it, I was giving OA my crumpled bills while still keeping the nice crisp ones in my purse.

I now make a very conscious effort to give the crispest bills in my wallet. In this way, I am realizing the Seventh Tradition is almost a tool for me, a way to keep myself honest. When I start hoarding my crisp dollar bills, I know something is wrong!

— Erin M., Roseville, California USA

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