"What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

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?
csc8
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by csc8 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:03 am

Thank you so much. I think it's time.

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ebear
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by ebear » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:04 am

If I were ever to sponsor someone, I would try to do what others I admire have done: carry the pie (the message) without putting my thumbs in it.

Here are some things I like about my sponsor:
  • He never tells me what to do; he only tells me what he has done in similar situations, and what happened as a result.
  • He often tells me that things I call "problems" might better be called "situations."
  • He does not chase after me when I disappear for a while, all pouty. That reminds me that I must seek my sobriety myself; no one can force it on me.
  • When I present my difficulties, he helps me separate the external (what is happening) from the internal (how I am reacting) and then points to the AA principles that can help me manage the internal.
  • He has never judged me (that I know of) when I screw up. He always looks forward. What is the best step now?
  • He always knows where the next meeting is!
In short, everything he does (except for the last) seems to accord with what I have read or inferred from the Big Book. That's his go-to manual for a sober life, and I have benefited tremendously from his sponsorship.
If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you're headed.

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Brock
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by Brock » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:51 pm

I agree with the advise of finding a new sponsor, even if she was not this busybody type telling you what to do on every subject, just for the fact that you are eight months sober and still on steps 4 & 5, she doesn't have a clue, you should have completed the steps long ago.

You are innocent in all of this, and I don’t blame you for saying she is “very 'old school' as far as AA,” the truth is she is not, if she were she would take examples from the early AA’s, like the case in the chapter ‘A Vision For You.’ After three days in the hospital with Dr. Bob, this is what the lawyer did - “That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man.” OK maybe we don’t need to do it in three days like they did then, but eight months is ridiculous, I might say eight weeks is certainly enough time to complete the steps. And her ill speaking other groups is in direct contradiction to tradition one, I am very pleased you came here with this question, and especially pleased that you indicated you will be dropping her as your sponsor.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by PaigeB » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:58 am

I might say eight weeks is certainly enough time to complete the steps.
Lots of folks do, I guess I don't see THAT fast a lot. And not with me though. I changed sponsors at around 6 months ~ because we were not working the Big Book like most people seemed to be doing ~ and did my 5th Step about 6 months later - somewhere between a year and 18 months of sobriety. Then I changed sponsors at 7 years ~ because the sponsorship line I was in was a "one and done" and suggested a 10th step when I felt I needed to do serious 4th step writing... stuff I KNOW I missed when I did my first 4th Step. AND I felt like I had grown so much on a spiritual plane that I really WANTED to work them again with my "new" HP. It has been an long deal since then - yes I keep going back to paperwork on the Steps as need be, but I also went through all of them in a weekend which was a life changing event as well.

I guess I am one of those sober drunks that needs to be actively sponsored, actively sponsoring and working and experiencing humility through service to others. I need it or I will revert to my crazy ideas that "next time will be different". I don't care about all the work I have to do... I want to do it! I love my sober life and all the AA people in it!
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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Spirit Flower
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by Spirit Flower » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:44 pm

my experience the first time through the steps:
steps 1-3 , 2 to 3 weeks each
step 4 , 3 weeks
step 5 , two meetings which were an hour each and a week apart
steps 6-8 , 2 to 3 weeks each
step 9 , as long as it takes
steps 10-12 , ongoing

repeat as often as you want to grow.
...a score card reading zero...

csc8
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by csc8 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:25 am

Is it required that I do step 5 with my sponsor. I've begun doing this step with my therapist. The step does not say that it has to be your sponsor.

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Brock
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by Brock » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:36 am

I believe you are quite right, it does not have to be our sponsor. It actually says - “Perhaps our doctor or psychologist will be the person.” and “It is important that he be able to keep a confidence; that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at...” Based on that a therapist should be a good choice.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by PaigeB » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:54 am

csc8 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:25 am
Is it required that I do step 5 with my sponsor. I've begun doing this step with my therapist. The step does not say that it has to be your sponsor.
My therapist said I was "being too hard on myself" and I felt forced to stop telling him. He also wanted to place blame on others like my domestic abuser and my parents. This is NOT how a 5th Step is done - nor is it the way to the RESULTS we want. We need HELP finding our OWN FAULT - so we can make changes. Even if I experienced pain at the hands of others, I need to set that aside at least long enough to find out if I was blameless. I have heard that priests are more likely to "just listen" and may have actually heard a 5th Step before.

Hint: I was not blameless. In a lot of ways my perception was so off skew that I was blind to my own faults. My sponsor and I have a lot of the same faults and she has already worked hard doing this Step and knows the pitfalls and benefits. She can hold me accountable - free of charge - while I am in the act of blaming others or whatever.

My own stuff is all I can fix. Forgiveness and self awareness are freeing.
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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avaneesh912
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Re: "What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:13 am

Is it required that I do step 5 with my sponsor. I've begun doing this step with my therapist. The step does not say that it has to be your sponsor.

If the therapist knows what they are doing, yes.
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)

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