Come to the point

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?
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Come to the point

Post by Sweeney »

My sponsor says I've come to the point where I need to start working with other people. I've been around the fellowship for just over 3 years and practicing the program for a little over 18 months.

I'm not sure if someone asked me if I'd be ready to work one on one with someone, I do speak to new comers, regulars and socialise with them we talk about everything from recovery to "normal" day to day things, I also do a few shifts in my local phone office (which I'm told is the front line) I enjoy all of this but feel a certain amount of pressure of working with one individual. Whilst I know that if a person asked me to take them through the book that I am not then responsible for their recovery or sobriety I'm not sure how that will feel, if it ever happens that is.

Anyway just a bit of a ramble there, not sure if it makes much sense.

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Re: Come to the point

Post by Tosh »

Sweeney wrote: I'm not sure if someone asked me if I'd be ready to work one on one with someone,
No-one ever is when they first start, but my advice is just to work direct from the Big Book - treat it like an instruction book - and when you go through it with your sponsee, just follow the directions as it's laid out. I do this and it's like I'm not responsible for them or their recovery (which I like), and funnily enough if your sponsee is honest, open and willing, it works. Oh, and don't be afraid to say stuff like "I don't know", or "Maybe you should find someone who has had similar problems and find out how they dealt with them?", or my sponsor's favourate, "I think you should pray and meditate on that!".

I love A.A. history; early on as soon as 'pigeons' were sobered up and taken through the 12 Steps they were EXPECTED to carry this message, even though the smell of booze hadn't long left them. That accounts for the better recovery rates early in A.A.'s history. Our whole program is geared towards working with others.

As far as I'm concerned, my 'job' is only to help them with A.A. related matters (service and etiquette etc), and have that spiritual awakening by providing some structure through the Big Book and steps, to listen to their 5th Step, and to share my experience with regards the program. I'm am not a spiritual guide, a guru, a 'controller' or know what they should be doing in and with their lives.

Some guys would like more 'direction' from me, so one-or-two have said; but I'm unwilling to give it because how the heck should I know what they should be doing? One guy (who is very highly educated) once said to me, "Hey, this is fantastic. I've got a Higher Power, I've got this program, and I have a sponsor who I can run any decision through first so that I will never make a mistake again!"

"Oh dear!" :lol:

Oh, and enjoy it. Sponsoring is ruddy marvelous; if A.A. was just meetings, that'd bore the moobs off me; each guy is a mini-adventure and a constant source of spiritual experiences (for the sponsor).
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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Re: Come to the point

Post by chefchip »

In a few weeks I will note a year of sobriety and recovery. A few days ago I met with the third person who has asked me to sponsor them. Nope, no one who is humble and honest is ever ready. And if we all waited until we thought we were ready, every drunk for the last 50ish years would be dead or insane from their alcoholism, including probably you and me. It always sounds strange, but the most qualified person to help a drunk recover is another drunk who has recovered. Who else is going to understand us, or be able to call us on our bulls&$t?

I can add nothing to Tosh's approach to sponsorship, as it is exactly mine. Reading what he said, I'm starting to think we might have a common sponsor ancestor! We are guides, sometime mirrors, always the example of can happen with hard work and desire. We are also recipients of blessings that come from sharing what saved our lives. Pretty cool, in my book.

Jump in. The water's great!
The only constant in life is change.

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