I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

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emeraldg
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I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by emeraldg » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:25 am

Hello everybody,

I am brand new here and would like some advice please and thank you. I am hopeful I am posing this question in the appropriate category.

I am 6 years sober with A.A and have a number of sponsees. A few weeks ago I spotted a brand new (first meeting) young lady who was visibly upset and seemingly unsure of herself. I immediately introduced myself, gave her a hug and my phone number.

I then began checking on her every day, calling, texting, emailing etc. At a meeting a few days later I introduced her around and told people I was her sponsor, as I just assumed this responsibility for her. I told her I loved her. I got books and literature for her. She divulged to me some very personal information about herself initially, as in the first couple of days that she joined A.A. I shared some personal information with her about some other members of A.A and my sponsees without going into names or extensive detail.

She began attending meetings daily for about 2 weeks, and then told me her difficulties with attending her new home group due to her job, her husband's job and their new baby and asked me for suggestions. I informed her that it was crucial to continue attending her new home group, and to get a babysitter. She did not do so and began attending meetings only when it was "good for her", a couple of times a week, none of which I attended.

She then began backing right off from me. She would take a very long time to return my texts, calls and emails, if at all. She claimed she was very busy with her baby and work and college classes. That being said, I know she has been attending other meetings a couple of times weekly. She has been sober and with A.A a little over a month now.

I then got flowers sent to me with a note thanking me for all I did for her, but that she is in a place that she is unable to commit to the homegroup I wanted her to, and that she has found a new temporary sponsor.

I am extremely hurt and baffled. In all honesty, did I do something wrong here? If so, please tell me what and where to go from here.

Thank you all so very much in advance.

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PaigeB
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by PaigeB » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:36 am

Sometimes we must act on the faith that she is right where she is supposed to be. It is hard, but I have had a few sponsees move on, even after getting to Step 9. I had to trust that their "Knower" knew what was best and remain available if they needed me.

I changed sponsors at 6 months and even though she said it was akay and she wished me well, I think it hurt her. And I too have had new gals move on after a short period of time. I can only hope that no matter what happens they got a glimpse of AA that is loving and based in AA literature.

Be at peace and know that All is well. (((hugs)))
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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avaneesh912
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:37 am

I am extremely hurt and baffled.
Why?
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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Brock
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Brock » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:05 am

Welcome to e-AA emeraldg. I expect that when you came to your first meeting, you may have had someone assist you the same way you tried to do for this young lady, and as you say there are others you are assisting as well.

Everyone is different, and up to the point of a hug and here is my phone number, if you feel to drink or need information please call, that would be fine with me, so would a list of other members who are willing to give out their numbers. But to be quite honest, if someone had called me the day after my first meeting and asked how I was doing, I would have appreciated the call and polity said thanks for calling I am fine or whatever. If they contacted me again I might still be polite and say thanks if I need help I will give you a call, but if they called or sent a text or anything after that, I would probably let them have it verbally.

We get many new people coming here scared to attend their first meeting, part of my way to put them at ease is by saying there is nothing to sign or commit to, come and go as you please, no rules in AA, nobody will pressure you. I know your heart is very much in the right place, but doing what you did in my books, and I expect others, is very much putting pressure on the newcomer.

Also saying you are her sponsor takes away the chance to choose her own, or to choose none at all, (which some forget is still an option). I think it was very nice of her to send you flowers, it means you helped and she appreciates it, please consider how you might learn from this, and I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Chelle
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Chelle » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:44 pm

Hi and welcome to e aa.
I think that if someone assumed the role of being my sponsor, I would have been put off. It's great that you greeted her and offered her your number, but I don't think I would have called her everyday to check on her. I certainly wouldn't have cared for that approach. To me, choosing a sponsor is a very personal decision.

We have a girl that has been coming to meetings for a while and I heard she wasn't working with anyone, so I offered to take her through the steps and gave her my number. I I let her know that if she chose not to, my feelings would not be hurt and to just think about it. She still hasn't answered me, but we have been texting back and forth and are going to a meeting that is new to me this week. I have no expectations on this, and am happy either way with whatever kind of help I can give.

It made me a little uncomfortable to read that you shared personal stories of other members with her as well. Perhaps I misunderstood. I agree with another poster that perhaps there is a greater plan for you and her. More will be revealed.

She sounds like a very gracious girl to send you flowers. It sounds like you could still be great friends! :D

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Lali » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:39 pm

Chelle wrote:It made me a little uncomfortable to read that you shared personal stories of other members with her as well. Perhaps I misunderstood.
Hmm, Chelie may have hit the nail on the head here. Perhaps this gal is afraid you will tell the other sponsees things she may tell you in confidence. I changed sponsors when something a friend told her sponsor was repeated to mine (her sponsor and mine were good friends). I felt that if her sponsor was passing things on to mine, then my sponsor was probably passing things on to her as well. It was just too close for my comfort.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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avaneesh912
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:47 am

We offer help un-conditional. Thats the true spirit of AA. If we have wrong motives of building a huge battalion of sponsees to show the world how good a sponsor I am, then, the old egoic thinking has crept back in. Perhaps thats is the reason for you being angry.
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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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by emeraldg » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:56 am

I want to thank you all kindly for your responses thus far.
I admittedly and regrettably DID share personal information with her regarding some of my other sponsees. Perhaps this scared her that I would do the same to her.
I am also concerned that she is putting her sobriety and A.A on the low end of her priorities, what with her "extremely busy lifestyle" and what have you. Before receiving the flowers from her, I also asked her several times how far along she was in her "Big Book" reading and when could we get together to do her inventory, and she was rather standoffish to this.

Should I at all attempt to contact her again?

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avaneesh912
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:39 am

I wouldn't do that. I think its too far into the game. Early on, I would ping or call couple of times. Thats it. Look for those who are looking for help. Read "Working with others" chapter, you will get better ideas. It talks about spending time on people who are reluctant is doing diservice to others who are out there who want help.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Chelle
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Chelle » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:01 am

I understand your concern, but it is her sobriety. You can't want her sobriety for her more than she does. I agree with the above post, turn to someone else that you can help. You have carried the message.

Maybe you came in at a speed faster than she liked. We all travel at a different pace. When I walked in and started learning about the processI was like "ok, I'm not doing step 4,5 or 9"! :shock: It took some time for me to get comfortable telling someone else my defects, and my sponsor was somewhat patient with me. But when I was taking too much time, she got firm.

I'm afraid if you push too hard,you may spoil a chance for her later, if she decides to comes back around to you.

It's a program of action, but SHE has to be ready to take the action.
Peace

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whipping post
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by whipping post » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:55 am

I would be standoffish as well if someone who told me information shared in confidence was pushing me to do my inventory.

If she is actually putting sobriety at the low end of priorities that is her problem.

We can guess all day long what may have happened but you could probably get a better opinion from your own sponsor or another AA friend.

emeraldg
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by emeraldg » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:46 am

I suppose I should clarify that perhaps it is not her "sobriety" that she puts as low priority, but her commitment to A.A.

I understand she has been "dry" since joining A.A and is also active with a secular addictions counselor, a physician and alternative treatments.

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Tosh
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Tosh » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:25 am

emeraldg wrote:I suppose I should clarify that perhaps it is not her "sobriety" that she puts as low priority, but her commitment to A.A.
If she's got a new baby and her husband works shifts, then - I think - she may have her priorities right.

These are my priorities in order:

1. Sobriety first.
2. Family.
3. A.A..

I know a lady who has three children, two of them very young, and she had problems with her sponsor questioning her 'attitude to A.A.' because she wasn't attending as many meetings per week that her sponsor would've liked her too.

They fell out over it.

I think it's a matter of where we put our emphasis; do we emphasise meetings as 'our program', or do we emphasise 'the 12 Steps' as our program?

Many A.A. members during WW2 went to fight in foreign countries and never went to a meeting in years; yet returned sober and no doubt went back to A.A. meetings on their return.

And I think you ladies can be tough sponsors, which I respect, btw. I'm far too fluffy myself at times. :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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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Reborn » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:47 am

You need to let this go. It says in our book that those of us that try to shoulder the problems of the entire world are soon over come by them. I agree with avaneesh...read the chapter working with others and apply it. I too would run the other way if I heard you talk about other sponsees stuff. Anonymity is very important when working with other alcoholics...its half of our name! This kind of thing boils me up....you do realize that doing these things has the power to kill! Stop trying to control and just help people through the steps....all the calling, texting and emailing probably pushed her away too. Sorry if this is harsh but I have seen people go back out and die over S*** like this!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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Tosh
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Tosh » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:34 am

Reborn wrote:way if I heard you talk about other sponsees stuff.
To be fair, the OP says she never mentioned names. My sponsor has said stuff like "One guy I sponsored did 'this' or 'that' and the result was...", and I don't have a clue which sponsee of his did whatever he was talking about. He basically shares a sponsees experience with me.

I think this kind of stuff comes down to intention; was it to gossip, or was it to be helpful?

If no names are mentioned, no identities given away or hinted at, and it was to be helpful, then what's the problem?
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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