Always disappointing my sponsor

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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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Spirit Flower »

:D Good job raven
...a score card reading zero...


Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Noels »

Hi Raven :D well done :D I have learned that people is placed on our path at a given time to learn specific lessons. once we've learned from them what we were supposed to at that time. Not everyone we meet stays with us forever as we are constantly evolving with more lessons to learn and more 'teachers ' to meet. This also goes both ways - that the student become the teacher and the teacher become the student.
You are doing well and your gut is working perfectly. Keep doing what you're doing cause it's working.
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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by tyg »

Sometimes changing sponsors is necessary however, Now is the time for action and more action by getting through all the 12 Steps without delay. This will provide a solid foundation and a real chance at sobriety without having to find out the hard way if you are a real alcoholic or not.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Ravensgrl »

Thanks everyone for your comments. Things are going well. My old sponsor and I are still friends, we've gone to a couple of meetings with her since. i'm the kind of person that has to figure out how to live on my own terms, make my own mistakes. I don't mind when people give me suggestions, but I have a problem when they become more than suggestions. I'd like to find a sponsor to guide me through the steps, but I want to ask the group a question. Is a sponsor supposed to be more than that? Or is it possible to have a sponsor that lets me decide how I want my recovery to go, offer suggestions and be there for the steps? Is this my ego talking that I know best how things should go? Maybe, but I think it's more than that. I think it's knowing how my mind works and knowing the kind of thing that will push me away. I know what I want in a sponsor, but what I'm not sure of is if that is how the program is supposed to work.

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Stepchild »

I'd like to find a sponsor to guide me through the steps, but I want to ask the group a question. Is a sponsor supposed to be more than that? Or is it possible to have a sponsor that lets me decide how I want my recovery to go, offer suggestions and be there for the steps?
Hey Ravensgrl.....See if this makes sense...
If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking -"What do I have to do?"

It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.
pg 20

The only thing I looked for in a sponsor....Was someone that understood that. Show me how to do this right...Nothing more. That's what works.

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by PuppyEars »

Is a sponsor supposed to be more than that?
Do you want someone to be more than that? That is your choice.
This can go either way because if you look at my story, I burnt every single person I was in contact with while getting loaded so it was nice to have someone in my corner on outside issues that didn't charge $400 an hour. But if you have friends and family still, make it known you are only interested in step work.

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by whipping post »

Have you read this AA pamphlet on sponsorship yet? Here is the link

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Brock »

Or is it possible to have a sponsor that lets me decide how I want my recovery to go, offer suggestions and be there for the steps?
In my opinion that would be the perfect sponsor, and would probably stop me, and a couple of others, writing about some of the things we see wrong in modern day sponsorship. I say modern day, because if we look at some of the founders, Dr. Bob in particular it is boasted sponsored more than 5000 people, he was sober for 15 years, that works out to about one per day. And if all these people continued to call him for advise, or even if only 1000 stayed sober, it would just be an impossible task. So there is little doubt that the original intention was to go through the steps ASAP, and off you go and help somebody else.

The pamphlet on sponsorship contains suggestions like this - “Some newcomers actually flourish best left pretty much on their own. But there may be some danger in this approach: A timid or reserved newcomer may conclude that the group and the individual sponsor are not interested in helping.” I have not met you, but the writer Ravensgrl comes over as someone who is not timid, so what happens when someone like you shows a sponsor that part of the pamphlet, and says I am not timid and reserved. Unfortunately too many are likely to say just what you suggested, that's your ego talking, followed by what is often the worse words in AA, “I will show you the same way my sponsor showed me.” It doesn’t matter if they are timid and shy and had to be lead by the nose, and you say you are different, ordinary humans probably aren't qualified to see and accept the difference.

But you are passed #5, and apart from possibly asking advise from any other members, including those here, you are good to go. Those who hold on to sponsors I believe use them for advise on life's problems, rather than step questions, as Puppy Ears said “someone in my corner on outside issues that didn't charge $400 an hour.” No problem if that's what people need, but I always hope they cultivate a habit of 'going to the throne before the phone.' Because relying too much on other people, can replace much of what we are asked to do in step 11, from pages 86/87 – “We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while...We come to rely upon it.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Reborn »

Some people need more direction and the proverbial "kick in the ass" than others. Each approach should be tailored to the individual. Ultimately a sponsor's job is to walk the sponsee through the 1st nine steps(out of the big book) then turn them loose so they can pass the message. Raven the most important thing to do is keep moving forward...regardless of your sponsor situation your recovery is based on your relationship with your higher power. Get through the rest of the steps...start living the program and give it away to the next suffering alcoholic.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Troy M. »

The first guy that started working with me told me to read the BB and start writing and call if I felt the urge to drink. We only talked at meetings and both realized that our work and life schedules just didn't match up to talk - various voice mails, texts, etc. We now are just friends and that is fine. The second guy asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee some afternoon and we just started reading the BB aloud and spending a little time talking about what I was doing to put the steps in action. He gave me the time to work on each step and never told me that I had to do anything. After I finished my 4th step, I asked him if he could listen to my 5th step and he dropped everything and gave me an entire afternoon. After that, we went through steps 6-11 in the BB, talking through stuff and he said he was always available when I was ready to look at 12. Never once did he tell me to do anything specific like call him every day or whatnot. The only thing that was mildly annoying was when he would respond to some silly ass thing that I said about what I was doing by asking "And how did that work out for you?" It wasn't really annoying, it was just how he helped me uncover some of the B.S. of my behavior.

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by avaneesh912 »

Few here don't like the idea of listening to speakers, but, for me I love them. For me those talks and workshops were turning point in my life, in early recovery. There are some great great revelations listening to some of the talks. Most meetings you go to, if you pay close attention, it will be about calling your sponsor when you want to drink, or not taking a drink that day and calling your sponsor or about how many duis they got or jail they went to. And if you want to stop that, go to several meetings. Its almost like they want you to hide in the rooms of AA for your life. It was through these work-shops I learned that there is more than just going to meetings. Its about applying the principles and having a personal freedom. Thats the psychic change, thats the spiritual awakening, spiritual experience.

Oh the point. If you are just going to learn from one sponsor you are probably short changing yourself.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by PaigeB »

Here is a personal experience...

Yesterday my young sponsee called me from her car. She was having trouble spitting out the words, but she had been to see a friend about 30 minutes from town, an odd duck friend who didn't have many other friends. They were going to go to a meeting together. Turns out he was having a some symptoms of real insanity - like hearing voices and thinking the cigarettes had been poisoned. They went to the meeting anyway (she has seen this behavior before) but he could not sit still, thinking the crow outside was a bearer of an omen. They had to leave the meeting after about 15 minutes. Upon returning to his home, he was no better.... I will not go on with the details.

There was no AA advice to give here other than what she already knew - some issues are outside of AA and this was not a 12 Step call on him or on me. So I told her I was taking OFF my sponsor hat and putting on my old lady/mom hat. Then I proceeded to talk about physical safety and how one might handle the mental illness of a friend. Turns out she knows he has family that drops in on him often. We clarified there was not anything she could actually DO to assist her friend, that it would be up to his family. Otherwise she might be unsafe to make another visit alone. He does not need a meeting as he is not able to be honest, not having full command of his brain at this time. I did have personal experience of a friend in this condition, whom I was able to convince him to allow me to take him to the hospital for help, but I did not know how unsafe that idea was until we were well on the trip there. I remained unharmed even though I was deeply afraid. A person in this state of mind is unpredictable even by professionals.

My AA advise to end the call was to pray for her friend. If she continued to have uneasy thoughts, she might try to contact is family or his landlord for an emergency contact number. Otherwise she needed to try and accept that not all people are in our windshield for our personal action. She will try to have an open-mind about the Lesson she can learn here. She will try to get to at least one extra meeting this week, as her schedule allows and I will go to her work tonight at her cigarette break time. When we are going through times of trouble, though they not be AA matters, we do not need to go it alone.

We are starting Step 4 soon, but I suggested this was a great time to practice Step 3.
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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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by D'oh »

We are starting Step 4 soon, but I suggested this was a great time to practice Step 3.
Great Advice.

Turning it over, I believe means everything. Good and Bad, and although None (mostly) of us know much about Mental Illness other than Alcohol(ISM'S). But on the other hand, there is a Power greater than ourselves that guided us into situations like this. If we have asked for guidance that day or 12th step.

If for nothing else but an ear of a friend, and a caller for help.

I had a 12th step call early in my Sobriety. Which a Sponsee of mine and myself attended and wound up in the middle of a Domestic. When I got home and realized we had just broke up a Family, I was rattled! I walked aimlessly around town the next morning, when I found myself in front of a Members Business. We talked and came to the fact that "I had no other selfish motives, that it was God's work. The only thing he wouldn't have done was go to the callers house. For safety reasons.

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Re: Always disappointing my sponsor

Post by Tosh »

Ravensgrl wrote:I guess my question is should I try to find another sponsor, or do you think I will have the same problems with someone else?
I haven't read any of the other replies, but if I were in your shoes, yes, I'd find another sponsor.

Yours sounds more like a controller than a sponsor.

I make suggestions to guys; it's up to them whether they do those suggestions or not. As my sponsor once told me "I can't do your growing for you!" He's very cheeky sometimes!

I'm never disappointed because I don't have any expectations of them. Or maybe I do, but if I have, that's my problem, not theirs.

And if my sponsor said he'd 'point out my character defects', I'd be like 'Oi, that's NOT your job. That's Mrs Tosh's job!' :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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