Retread No One Wants to Touch

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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waller_alkie
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Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by waller_alkie » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:16 am

Hi Everyone,

I am at 3.7 years sober, in what feels like my 10th or so attempt at getting sober. This one is different in that I have addressed some other issues that hindered my efforts at mental clarity/honesty, and things seem to be going very well. That said, after a lifetime of growing up with AA, but not having strung a consistent 32 years together, I feel as though I have learned how to live according to the principles of the program without being as rigorous as I need to be at times. It is very dangerous, and I don't want to live that way, because my disease is still very much alive and well.

I have noticed that it has become more and more difficult for me to find a sponsor with each attempt at sobriety as well. It isn't for lack of my asking, or lack of willingness to do what is asked of me. For example, right now I have a new sponsor who suggested that I go to more meetings. Right off the bat. I did as she suggested and immediately realized a bunch of things that I had set into motion about 8 months ago. Things that were working in my head and in my life to start edging me out of the program. I journaled about it under my 3rd step work with her. Somehow she saw it as me being dishonest with her, though, because some of it was contrasting what I had told her 2 weeks ago. Two weeks ago, when I asked her to sponsor me, I had not been going to meetings much at all. Since then, I have been as she suggested, and it has been life-giving (as it always is). But now it is like she doesn't trust me...

This has been my experience, quite a bit, since all of my relapses. I am not going anywhere, and I am not going to allow personalities to keep me away from AA. But right now, I feel alone, like a pariah, like an untouchable, and as if everyone is afraid they will catch me somehow. I know this is ego. I work with young people and I am a good person. I have a close relationship with myself, my HP, my family, and my dogs today. I am very grateful for my recovery and my sobriety. I know I am more trustworthy than I have ever been. I just needed to say this somewhere, because it hurts and I don't know who to tell because I reached out to over 7 women yesterday and my Mom was the only person to answer. I will keep coming back.

Thanks Y'all,
Waller_Alkie
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Layne
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by Layne » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:54 am

I am not going to allow personalities to keep me away from AA
The personality that causes me the most difficulty is my own. My head can tell me lots of things that have a slightly off skew slant to them due to the way my personality processes input. What I perceive as reality is merely my head's version of reality. It doesn't mean it is indelibly set in indisputable stone.

In similar situations, I ask myself what is it in me that makes me think that this person doesn't trust me. I try to keep my answer to me and my reactions instead of on the actions of the other person. The other person may well trust me. They may not. Unless they tell me flat out, I can't really know one way or the other, so it is best that I don't base my actions on what I guess their inner thoughts to be; and instead focus on what it is in me that causes my reaction to them.

Even if another person were to come right out and say that they didn't trust me, that is not a reflection on me so much as it it is a reflection on them. What is it in them that makes them have trouble trusting. Their lack of trust is not about me and I would well imagine that I am not the only person they have trust issues with.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:26 am

One thing I have to remember is my sponsor is not going to keep me sober. They were the guides who shared their collective experience and the knowledge of the big book thru their own understanding and workshops that I could have this huge shift in understanding of what I am up against. With that understanding came that deep realization that I alcohol is not the solution and that I have to be on top this spiritual condition they talk about in the 10th step. At that point, I cant blame anybody but me for screwing up. I pray for one thing only that I continue to be enthused about my recovery. God Bless all.
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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PaigeB
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by PaigeB » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:30 pm

waller_alkie wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:16 am
I work with young people and I am a good person. I have a close relationship with myself, my HP, my family, and my dogs today. I am very grateful for my recovery and my sobriety. I know I am more trustworthy than I have ever been. I just needed to say this somewhere, because it hurts and I don't know who to tell because I reached out to over 7 women yesterday and my Mom was the only person to answer. I will keep coming back.
Thanks Y'all,
Waller_Alkie
Have an open and frank chat with a couple of the women who have sponsored you in the past. They may be willing when they see you are committed to the process now.

Keep dialing those women. Call at different times of the day and evening as some might be at work. Get a NEW list of women's numbers and try some new meetings where you can add new numbers. When it is your turn to share, throw it out there that you are looking for a sponsor to take you through the Steps. I do not think I could have done it without one-on-one help. I needed a different view to explain things to me. "You can't fix a broken tool with a broken tool"!

As an atheist I felt like a pariah too. My sponsor even said at a speaker meeting she spoke at that she sponsored women that others would not sponsor and I was SURE she was talking about me. When I finally came out and asked her she didn't remember saying that and that no she sure was NOT talking about me! My perception was screwed until I took the Steps (and still is at times).

Here's a pamphlet on sponsorship https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-lite ... ponsorship
I hope it helps. I hope you could find what I have found.
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

MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:01 pm

Hello Walker, Interesting situation. I'm looking at your situation from the position of being a sponsor, and what would make me back away from a sponsee.

Here is my suggestion: Ask your HP to give you ears to hear and a (calm) desire to learn. Print out your posting and sit down for a long chat with your sponsor. Let her read what you wrote. Lay it all out - the good, the bad. Ask her to give you honest feedback.

Ask your sponsor what she sees in you, and how you two can build mutual trust. Then sit back and accept her feedback without being defensive. She just might help save your life.

- Betsy
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

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waller_alkie
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by waller_alkie » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:36 pm

Thank you so much, especially to MyNameIsBetsy and PaigeB. I really appreciate your thoughtful responses.

I am realizing right now that, as a sponsor, I would more want my sponsee to stay in the center of the program and her HP than to care about me and how I might think or feel about her.

I also spoke with several women today. It was a good day. Thank you again.
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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positrac
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by positrac » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:00 am

If you live in Waller, Tx. then you know of the amount of meetings in the Houston Metro. Personalities are part of us ALL! I was a 3 time retread before it stuck and the amount of times coming back IMHO don't matter as much as sticking around and working on you, reading and participating in things in the halls. Setting up, making coffee, picking up butts, cleaning the toilet.... My point is you gotta wanna in order for you to have it and that desire is in you.

One day at a time and just focus on yourself and it will pass and you can go to the next step in recovery.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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PaigeB
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by PaigeB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:14 pm

waller_alkie wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:16 am
But right now, I feel alone, like a pariah...
I forgot to mention that I P.A.I.D. for my seat at the tables and I was not going to let anyone take it from me.

Pitiful
And
Incomprehensible
Demoralization
(Pg 30 BB)
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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waller_alkie
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by waller_alkie » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:34 am

Hi Again,

I am no longer working with this sponsor, but we split amicably. I have returned to my old sponsor, who I thought was not speaking with me but who actually just needed to process through some things with me. We did that and all is well again. Both women know each other and are on my side - and I am on theirs, too.

I will be the first to tell you that putting personalities before principals is the reason for my many detours away from the Program in the past. As challenging as it can be to be patient, willing, and trusting of the process, it is worthwhile. I know God has a plan for me and my life, and I am very grateful to be sober today. He has put amazing people in my life (including you all). I get to learn and grow and stay sober today as a result.

I am truly grateful for this. Thank you for letting me share this with you. I hope you are all well.
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:03 am

Hey there! Such good news, Waller. And you sound like you are in a really good place.

Today's a good day! We both remember what we did last night. Simple joys are the best!

God's in charge.

Betsy, alcoholic
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

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PaigeB
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Re: Retread No One Wants to Touch

Post by PaigeB » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:09 pm

waller_alkie wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:34 am
Hi Again,

I am no longer working with this sponsor, but we split amicably. I have returned to my old sponsor, who I thought was not speaking with me but who actually just needed to process through some things with me. We did that and all is well again. Both women know each other and are on my side - and I am on theirs, too.

I will be the first to tell you that putting personalities before principals is the reason for my many detours away from the Program in the past. As challenging as it can be to be patient, willing, and trusting of the process, it is worthwhile. I know God has a plan for me and my life, and I am very grateful to be sober today. He has put amazing people in my life (including you all). I get to learn and grow and stay sober today as a result.

I am truly grateful for this. Thank you for letting me share this with you. I hope you are all well.
Thanks for sharing this! Sorry I missed it in February! Such a great topic too!
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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