Working the steps without a sponsor

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:38 am

Hello,

I have attended around 10 to 12 meetings so far & I am enjoying them. I feel like I now have some support etc. I really need to start working the steps but I have no idea how to start.

I have not asked anyone to sponsor me yet as I am still getting to know people. Can you work the steps or at least start to work them by yourself without a sponsor?

Thanks.

User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3860
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Brock » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:27 am

Welcome here Seva.

My answer to any question regarding not having a sponsor is a definite yes, mainly because I never had one. I was one of those who couldn’t hold a glass in the morning due to shaking hands, and had to use a straw for the first couple of drinks, every morning for years. But then came the time lying in a mental institution with no hope left, that I finally surrendered. So step one became easy for me, and it’s the step which we must be 100% sure about. After that with the help of computer guidance, and asking a few old timers the odd questions at meetings, I got through the steps just fine.

But on the other hand, it is my firm belief that if I had the right sponsor, I would probably have had an easier task. And to me the right sponsor would be someone who shows me from their experience how they did the steps, not tell me how to live or how to dress, and too many try to play amateur psychologist, and are overly strict in what they insist newcomers do. I was scared off by the first person I approached, telling me the prayers I must say, they said no others are allowed just these, I said no thanks I will do this alone. I am not saying these things to scare you off, but if you choose a sponsor and he starts trying to control you in these ways, you can politely say thanks but I don’t need help like that, and then ask someone else.

You will find on the internet, (for me you tube is the easiest place to search), under titles like Joe and Charlie big book study, or Chris R big book study, long discussions on the steps, you can follow in your own book, just a bit at a time stopping when you like. And please any further questions feel free to ask here, we love having newcomers.

I will put up links to a leaflet on sponsorship, and also to a temporary online sponsor service we have here.

Leaflet - https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

Online sponsor - http://www.e-aa.org/form_sponsors.php
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
PaigeB
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 8123
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by PaigeB » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:39 am

Can you work the steps or at least start to work them by yourself without a sponsor?
I wouldn't suggest it and this is an AA slogan that tells me why:

"You can't fix a broken tool with a broken tool".

My brain had been stuck in a rut for so many years I could not even recognize a rut from a straight road. I didn't know true from false. I was prone to arguing with myself, especially about good things because I really had trouble believing in Good at all. So it took me seeing a room full of happy healthy recovering alcoholics to give me some HOPE and when it came to one-on-one to work the Steps I needed to SEE that face to believe that she believed in the power of working the Steps. And trust me, her brain had A LOT more ideas that I would have never thought of... she encouraged me to keep working even when my Spirit lagged and when balked at ideas... she challenged me to reach out and do the work that would save my Life.

I could not fix my broken brain with my broken brain. I could not fix my broken Spirit with my broken Spirit. :idea:
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5043
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:11 pm

It helps to have a guide. The guide can help you understand what we are up against. Moreover, for the 5th step, we definitely need another person who understands the process preferably withing the fellowship so you can become selfless.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:45 am

Brock wrote:Welcome here Seva.

My answer to any question regarding not having a sponsor is a definite yes, mainly because I never had one. I was one of those who couldn’t hold a glass in the morning due to shaking hands, and had to use a straw for the first couple of drinks, every morning for years. But then came the time lying in a mental institution with no hope left, that I finally surrendered. So step one became easy for me, and it’s the step which we must be 100% sure about. After that with the help of computer guidance, and asking a few old timers the odd questions at meetings, I got through the steps just fine.

But on the other hand, it is my firm belief that if I had the right sponsor, I would probably have had an easier task. And to me the right sponsor would be someone who shows me from their experience how they did the steps, not tell me how to live or how to dress, and too many try to play amateur psychologist, and are overly strict in what they insist newcomers do. I was scared off by the first person I approached, telling me the prayers I must say, they said no others are allowed just these, I said no thanks I will do this alone. I am not saying these things to scare you off, but if you choose a sponsor and he starts trying to control you in these ways, you can politely say thanks but I don’t need help like that, and then ask someone else.

You will find on the internet, (for me you tube is the easiest place to search), under titles like Joe and Charlie big book study, or Chris R big book study, long discussions on the steps, you can follow in your own book, just a bit at a time stopping when you like. And please any further questions feel free to ask here, we love having newcomers.

I will put up links to a leaflet on sponsorship, and also to a temporary online sponsor service we have here.

Leaflet - https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

Online sponsor - http://www.e-aa.org/form_sponsors.php
Thanks for your reply. There are a few people at my meeting that I would like to ask to sponsor me but as I have only attended since October this year I wanted to make sure I asked the right person.

I searched Joe and Charlie big book study on YouTube last night & listened to a lengthy talk & it was fantastic so thanks. They explained a lot & there's more to the BB then I realised.

Thanks for the links too!

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:46 am

PaigeB wrote:
Can you work the steps or at least start to work them by yourself without a sponsor?
I wouldn't suggest it and this is an AA slogan that tells me why:

"You can't fix a broken tool with a broken tool".

My brain had been stuck in a rut for so many years I could not even recognize a rut from a straight road. I didn't know true from false. I was prone to arguing with myself, especially about good things because I really had trouble believing in Good at all. So it took me seeing a room full of happy healthy recovering alcoholics to give me some HOPE and when it came to one-on-one to work the Steps I needed to SEE that face to believe that she believed in the power of working the Steps. And trust me, her brain had A LOT more ideas that I would have never thought of... she encouraged me to keep working even when my Spirit lagged and when balked at ideas... she challenged me to reach out and do the work that would save my Life.

I could not fix my broken brain with my broken brain. I could not fix my broken Spirit with my broken Spirit. :idea:
Thanks for your reply & it does make complete sense.

I just wanted to crack on with the steps until I found a sponsor just to give me a start before Christmas which will be a challenge for me.

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:48 am

avaneesh912 wrote:It helps to have a guide. The guide can help you understand what we are up against. Moreover, for the 5th step, we definitely need another person who understands the process preferably withing the fellowship so you can become selfless.


Thanks for your reply. Yeah I can see that some of the steps you would definitely need guidance from someone who has already worked them.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5043
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:43 am

There are words that we assume that we know the meaning or because of our pre-conditioned notion we may avoid looking at other meanings. So to see the true meaning of powerlessness and un-manageability, you may have to dig into the chapters deeper. The terms allergy, peculiar mental twist, spiritual malady, obsession, craving all these are very key terminology that the person entering recovery come to grips with. Otherwise, we could take things lightly or dig into it deeper without the right understanding and losing the steam when it comes to completing the process.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:59 am

avaneesh912 wrote:There are words that we assume that we know the meaning or because of our pre-conditioned notion we may avoid looking at other meanings. So to see the true meaning of powerlessness and un-manageability, you may have to dig into the chapters deeper. The terms allergy, peculiar mental twist, spiritual malady, obsession, craving all these are very key terminology that the person entering recovery come to grips with. Otherwise, we could take things lightly or dig into it deeper without the right understanding and losing the steam when it comes to completing the process.
Yeah after listening to Joe and Charlie big book study yesterday evening I realised that the BB shouldn't be taken lightly. There are some words, sentences, paragraphs that should be looked at with a deeper understanding.

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by positrac » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:42 am

One point is rigorist honesty as I know I can BS myself the best! So having a person preferably of the same sex as yourself, as the knowledge and explanations can be the clearer method. You have nothing to lose by finding a sponsor and I highly recommend that the person you ask to sponsor is and has a active sponsor. Why? keeping us honest and clear of our duties in sobriety.

When in doubt ask at a meeting and like life you will receive a lot of "opinions" and really your life and quality of life depends on it.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:28 am

positrac wrote:One point is rigorist honesty as I know I can BS myself the best! So having a person preferably of the same sex as yourself, as the knowledge and explanations can be the clearer method. You have nothing to lose by finding a sponsor and I highly recommend that the person you ask to sponsor is and has a active sponsor. Why? keeping us honest and clear of our duties in sobriety.

When in doubt ask at a meeting and like life you will receive a lot of "opinions" and really your life and quality of life depends on it.
Is there any requirements for a sponsor such has does he / she have to be sober for a certain length of time?

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5043
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by avaneesh912 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:13 am

Is there any requirements for a sponsor such has does he / she have to be sober for a certain length of time?
The key is they understand the process. See if they can help you see the selfishness and self-centeredness in each of your resentments, fear and the relationship issue.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Seva
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:31 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by Seva » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:21 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
Is there any requirements for a sponsor such has does he / she have to be sober for a certain length of time?
The key is they understand the process. See if they can help you see the selfishness and self-centeredness in each of your resentments, fear and the relationship issue.
This is why I am hesitating asking someone to sponsor me because without sounding like an ass I assume that there are good & bad sponsors? Just like anything in life I guess one sponsor can guide you better than another one due to their level of understanding & interest in the steps & process. I don't want to sound choosy but I want my sponsor to have a deep understanding of each step & what each step is there for & not a sponsor who just basically says do this step with minimum effort.

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by tomsteve » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:09 am

Seva wrote:
This is why I am hesitating asking someone to sponsor me because without sounding like an ass I assume that there are good & bad sponsors? Just like anything in life I guess one sponsor can guide you better than another one due to their level of understanding & interest in the steps & process. I don't want to sound choosy but I want my sponsor to have a deep understanding of each step & what each step is there for & not a sponsor who just basically says do this step with minimum effort.
thats a very good concern there and yes-there are good and bad sponsors. a sponsor should not only have an understanding of each step and the "why" behind each step.they should be able to answer questions yet also to say,"i dont know" to some questions. no single sponsor has all the answers.

the good news is that choosing a sponsor isnt a permanent thing. you may or may not like how the sponsor is GUIDING you. if that happens, you can get another sponsor.
its all about the motive.

i didnt get a sponsor for quite some time. however, i was going to a lot of meetings and listening the best i could( i was a wee bit of a mess),reading the big book, showing up early and staying after meetings,asking questions now and then, bringing up topics at OT meetings,praying like crazy, and not drinking in between.

the bb was a bit confusing for me. i hadnt really ever read a book that was written so eloquently and with the proper use of english- english and its proper use this redneck wasnt used to. =biggrin
thats where asking questions and bring up topics helped.

User avatar
PaigeB
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 8123
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Working the steps without a sponsor

Post by PaigeB » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:09 am

They say "You only have to perfect Step 1" Read the Doctor's Opinion, before the 1st chapter.

I found my answer to that on page 30. "We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics."
Fully
Concede
to our
innermost
selves...

In the Appendix on Spiritual Experience (pg 567) it says: "With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power Greater than themselves."

That deep innermost self (for me where the Shame lived). I "went" there in meditation and TOLD it "I have a disease." And I realized that deep inside myself was also my inner resource. Work on Step 1. It is an Inner Journey.

But get a Sponsor WAAAAAYY before Christmas. Heck, if you said you were bringing the beer and you were going to be an hour late, I'd chew my hand off! No reason to delay. You are not asking them to marry you! Ask if they have worked the Steps and if they will take you through them. Set a time to meet. Don't be late! :lol:
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

Post Reply