".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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clouds
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".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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From the chapter 'Working with Others' Page 95 :

"If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, you may have to drop him until he changes his mind."

How do you "drop" a prospect who appears to be using you?


And on page 96:

"To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy."

I'd like to know how you deal with this situation in your 12 step work, what do you say as well as how do you know when someone is one of those who is taking up time better spent on another alcoholic.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Tosh
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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clouds wrote: How do you "drop" a prospect who appears to be using you?
I try not to allow myself to be used. I'm not a taxi service for trips to and from hospital after a drinking binge, or a lift back from a police cell when they've woken up behind bars in another town. I just say "You're big enough boy to get yourself into these scrapes, you're a big enough boy to get yourself out of them! Phone me when you're serious about staying sober". And I hang-up.

I'm soft though; I'll often phone them back after a few days to see how they are. :lol:

Or if they don't drink, whether they get their Step 4 done by our agreed timescale is a big indicator (when I show a guy how to do a Step 4, after we do the 3rd Step prayer, we choose a mutually convenient date for his Step 5). If he's not worked on his Step 4, that's a good indicator he's not interested in our solution. I'm happy to set another date though, if that's what my sponsee wishes, but I will point out that I kept our original date free for him and it's not fair on my family or myself to keep on changing it.

I've lost quite a few around the 4th Step.

Or if they just keep on relapsing, week-after-week, then I assume they're not interested in our solution.

When I let one go, I always remain friendly, I explain why I'm no longer their sponsor and I suggest that they find another sponsor who might be more effective with them than I was.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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PaigeB
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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I feel so sad when I see sponsors "fire" folks after a slip. Now if someone I sponsor has repeated slips, I have to tell them the truth. I am obligated to be honest, whether it hurts me or not. I already know them to some extent and might be able to help them pinpoint where things went wrong. But after 3 or 4 "slips" I think maybe it might be worth a good case of the shakes if they find out for sure. Committing to this process is very scary. So is dying. It is their choice.

The question my sponsor asked me is, "Do you think you are still able to help her?" Hummmmm

If not, I think I would say, "I does not seem like our sponsor/sponsee thing is working for you. The goal here is to get some sobriety and get through the Steps. You might want to ask someone else to sponsor you this time. Maybe Jill is an option? I know she has some things in common with you and she is willing to sponsor. Here is her number. Call me and let me know what she says. Otherwise, I will see you on Tuesday and we'll talk about some more options."

I have sponsees come to my house, that way I am not sitting somewhere waiting for them or knocking on their doors. If they don't show up, I consider it some free time.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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clouds
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

Post by clouds »

These are comman sense straight forward responses and very helpful, thanks!

I quit going to newcomer sponsees houses alone after once arriving to find said newcomer totally out of her mind drunk and very aggressive. I walked into it never even thinking that was a possibility, how dumb is that? I never saw that one again, I dont know what happened to her, but figured she could always come back, she lived a block from a large AA group that met a few days a week.

I like the tip about having sponsees come to my house, because I dont think very many who get totally off their face would be able to get all the way to my house or would probably not even bother to show up if drunk.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Tosh
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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If they can drive, and if I think they won't scare my family, I ask them to come to my house.

But often I get newcomers who don't drive (I've got one now); public transport is horrendous in this rural area, so I'll drive for those ones.

I'm always happy when I get a newcomer with a license and a road legal car! :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Niagara
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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I tend to make it clear at the start that the onus is on the sponsee to take responsibility for their life and recovery. As long as they are willing to do what's required I'm available to help.
I don't drive though yet, so haven't had that to deal with.

A line my sponsor used to use. 'carry the message, not the alcoholic'. He's much stronger than me though, and has no problem simply withdrawing until they've hit the deck and really want to get better. I'm a bit softer and will keep trying. I'm learning. I try to keep in mind what is the most loving action...and sometimes it's to let them realize that doing things as they always did really doesn't work.

Not sure if women are able to get away with more cr*p than men, but I know I needed that harshness, and I needed to know he would take none of my bullsh*t. I'd been getting away with it all my life after all...I was a bit manipulative. I had to change the game with him if I wanted to get well, and harsh as it was it was an incredibly loving action on his part that he was absolutely prepared to drop me on my backside if I tried to continue with my ingrained habits and behaviours. I thank him for it.

Sometimes refusing to enable by carrying them is a kind action, even though it may go against the grain because we want to help. Standing on my own two feet = essential for recovery.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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clouds
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

Post by clouds »

Great sharing of ESH here, thanks everybody.

It was nearly two years of sobriety before I got an old dodge dart to drive and
a driving license.
One of my early sponsees didnt drive and she used most of the time to and from meetings to take her inventory.

Niagra you remind me, I used to wonder why my sponser was harder on me than the other two gals she sponsored.
Later I saw how I was the lucky one. She didnt mince words when she saw me getting off track. :lol:
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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PaigeB
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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If they can drive, and if I think they won't scare my family
Yeah - I have had those too and the local Deli on the main bus line works just fine.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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tyg
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Re: ".... you may have to drop him....." Step 12

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Niagara wrote:I tend to make it clear at the start that the onus is on the sponsee to take responsibility for their life and recovery. As long as they are willing to do what's required I'm available to help.

I do what Niagara does too. If they are not willing to do what is required I can tell because they start canceling often for our meetings to do Step work. When someone is canceling a lot, without good reason, they are not willing to do what is necessary to recover. I need to stop working with them otherwise I am enabling them and stopping them from growing. I meditate a lot and get guidance from God on each person I am working with.

I feel my main responsibility as a sponsor is take a person through the steps so they can find that psychic change and get them comfortable around the fellowship and help them build a support group there. It is very simple & pretty much it, though, I help with other stuff too, go to court with them, house hunt, help write resumes etc. But again, if they are canceling our appointments to meet to do these things as well, then I stop doing it. I am open and honest to them about my boundaries and limits.

It is good to offer support when I can, but not do for them what they can do for themselves. I trust my God-consciousness with each person and follow what I think it want's me to do. It is always hard letting someone go.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

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