Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?
Post Reply
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:28 am
Location: Northern Kentucky

Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Post by chefchip » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:34 am

Sorry for that subject line. I'm nothing if not a queer, obscure-quote loving geek -- who also is amazingly well-versed in show tunes, but that is another subject entirely! :lol:

Normally, I can use the handy-dandy e-AA search tool and find any post I remember reading. Not this time, however. A few days/weeks ago, Shaunagus posted something about his sponsor telling him to go find someone to share with, someone to mentor, someone to sponsor. And, Shaun, in his usual self-deprecating manner, was both excited and scared -- probably the first recovered alcoholic to ever have those two feelings! Anyway, last night I received an email with direct bearing on this subject.

I've shared that, last year at this time, I had just been discharged from a detox unit, the last one I ever hope to see as a patient. While there I met a man (shall we call him Samuel, for kicks and giggles?) with whom I clicked. You see, he is a musician and music instructor and I am a pianist. He loves food and I cook food. He is an alcoholic and I had the "occasional" problem with alcohol. (sigh :roll: )

Anyway, turns out that our Samuel had heard from a friend, of a friend, of a friend, that I was active in AA and was coming up on a year recovered. So, after a year of no contact, he sends me an email to my cafe's public email address. In the email he reminded me of our connection in detox, etc. And then he asked if I would sponsor him because he was struggling and "just can't get it."

So, Shaun (or anyone else), here's the thing. I have never looked for a sponsee. I have never put it out there that I am willing to sponsor anyone. It is just not the way I do things. Weirdly, neither does anyone in my sponsorship family. However, it is obvious to those who pay attention -- when we share from the heart, when we stick to the program that worked for us in those shares, when we make it a point to meet and listen to newcomers. Eventually someone notices and screws up their courage to ask.

Oh, for the record, I'm not saying NOT to put yourself out there, man. Your sponsor is right there. People need to know that you can and want to help. It's just not worth stressing over, in my opinion.

That's my experience, anyway.
The only constant in life is change.

User avatar
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Post by ann2 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:58 am

Fantastic Chip.

If folk wanting sponsors would just realize how much AA members love being asked to sponsor . . . !!

I wish you both the best. And I wish I could eat your food. And sing some showtunes with you.

"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

Forums Contributor
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Post by shaunagus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:17 am

I have a soft spot for show tunes myself. You would love Radio 2 on a Sunday - Elaine Paige has her own show.

My favourite at the mo is avenue q - hilarious and that duet with Cookie Monster speaks right to my "page 69" issue n

I just read "wicked" I haven't seen te show but the book is surprisingly good.

Congrats on landing a sponsee - that's a bit more sobriety heading your way:-)
“I am a seeker, a poor sinful creature, there is no weaker than I am,” Dolly Parton

User avatar
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Post by Tosh » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:49 am

chefchip wrote:People need to know that you can and want to help.
Spot on. I'm not one to wear rose-tinted spectacles over A.A. history, but I believe they really did have better recovery rates because the onus was squarely placed on carrying the message.

From page 84 of Not-God:
Yet, like the early New York adherents, the Clevelanders were missionary-minded. They not only had a message to carry, they had to carry that message. Reinforced by the program as newly published in the Big Book, from the title of which they had seized their self-conscious identity, and acutely conscious of their traumatic separation from the Oxford Group, the early Cleveland A.A.s were especially aware that working with other alcoholics was essential to their own sobriety. [emphasis mine]
Page 88 of Not-God
Fundamental to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous from its moment of self-conscious origin had been "working with others."
I hope you enjoy your journey with your sponsee, Chip.

(Can you tell I've got a new book? :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)

User avatar
Trusted Servant
Posts: 4069
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Waiting for Sponsee (with apologies to Samuel Beckett)

Post by Brock » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:08 pm

Looks like Tosh got the Ernest Kurtz book, good stuff, there are quite a few of his tapes on you tube on the same subject. For me it is important to remember that the literature speaks of the importance of working with others, sometimes they don’t even say working with other alcoholics, but I know that is what they generally mean. But they don’t necessarily say sponsoring others, and for those who don’t find a person to sponsor for whatever reason, we can still endeavor to work with others. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained in being the person to always open the meeting room, and encouraging newcomers who arrive early, or going along to a local hospital to offer assistance.

"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Post Reply