Not Enough Meetings?

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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Raven87
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Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Raven87 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:31 pm

Hi...thanks for reading this. I'm new to this board and would appreciate some input on a recent conversation I had with my sponsor. A little background first, then. I am currently enjoying almost five months of sobriety. It just so happened that when I first came to the rooms of AA it was almost summer break, and because I work for the same school district that my son attends, we have the same school/work hours and vacations. So I was able to exceed "90 meetings in 90 days" by either taking my son with me or leaving him in the care of family members when they were available, as all of them work or go to school. As a single mother my free time is quite limited, needless to say. I am also very proud to have a commitment as a secretary every Saturday. As of late August when school took up again, I have rarely been able to attend any meetings except my commitment. My weekdays go pretty much like this: wake up, get ready, get my son up, get him ready, drop him off, go to work, pick him up, homework time, dinner time, get him ready for bed, read with him, put him to bed, get myself ready for bed, prep for next day. You get the idea. So on to my topic...one day last week I received some very unwelcome news. And you can rest assured that "unwelcome" is putting it mildly. That night, I dreamt that I was drinking, and I woke up in such a panic that I couldn't go back to sleep and it really ruined my morning. (Now, I'm no dream interpreter but I know enough to know that I dreamt that because, had I heard this news six months ago, I would have been running to the liquor store and spending the evening woe-is-me-ing. I don't like it but I totally get that I AM going to have these wretched dreams at times of duress.) Anyway, after I dropped my little guy off I called my sponsor, relayed the bad news, and told her about the dream and how awful I felt about it. The first words out of her mouth were "you're not attending enough meetings." And then she pretty much changed the subject. Now I have to say that I love my sponsor. I'm
comfortable with her, and I trust her implicitly. But that really rubbed me the wrong way. She is completely aware of my time limitations and i just felt like that was an unfair thing to say. At the end of our conversation, I brought it back around to the purpose of my call and told her "I know I can't attend as many meetings as I was, but I can assure you that I keep my program with me every single day". And she said "ok, see you soon". Indeed, I meant every word. I absolutely work my program every day. And I feel better than I have in many years because of it, and I thank my God every day that I have not yet had the urge to drink again. I've seen my sponsor twice since, and everything is fine between us, just like ever, but I still feel a little stung by what she said. She hasn't brought it up, though, and I'm wondering if I should, or should I just leave it alone? Anyway thanks again for reading. God bless you and yours.

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Tosh
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Tosh » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:30 am

Raven87 wrote:I can assure you that I keep my program with me every single day".
Spot on. Sponsors are human too. Drinking dreams are just dreams; nothing much really. Just some neurons firing.
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)

Stepchild
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Stepchild » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:29 am

Welcome to the board Raven....Congrats to you on five months! I wouldn't be too alarmed with the drinking dreams....I had a few early on that scared the hell out of me.....I mean badly. They tend to get less and less with time. Thank God. So you have worked the 12 steps with your sponsor....More importantly....You've had a spiritual awakening as the result of those steps....I'm assuming that because you mention keeping your program with you....So I'm guessing you are living in steps 10, 11 and 12 everyday. You don't mention much about the steps in your post. Correct me if I'm wrong.
As far as not enough meetings go.......At five months sober....One meeting a week would be dicey for me.....At three+ years I like to go to more than that. I remember my first year...I had to take an honest look at how much time I devoted to drinking everyday...And devoting an hour a day to my recovery didn't seem like to much to ask. So I went to a meeting a day for a year. I'd completed the steps and had had a spiritual awakening by the time I got my 90 day chip....The obsession to drink was lifted as promised....As long as I follow a few simple rules. I guess I did that because I really wanted to make it to a year....I see so many that don't.
Meetings aren't what keep me sober today....But they are part of it. I look at this as a three part problem ( Physical, mental and spiritual.) with a three part solution....Recovery (Steps)...Unity(Meetings/Fellowship) and Service (Commitments/Sponsorship or whatever you do for AA). So I try and find a balance with those three that keeps me happy, joyous and free today without alcohol....It seems to be working.
I don't think your sponsor is trying to be mean....Probably concerned is a better word. Only I know if that balance with those three parts is enough for me....My sponsor can't tell me that. I know when I'm lacking in one department or another...I can feel it. Glad to have you with us...Hope that helped.

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Niagara
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Niagara » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:15 am

When I've had conversations with my sponsor, the times I get hurt by something are the times that generally she's hit the nail on the head, so to speak. It hits a nerve because I know she's right, even if I don't particularly like what she says....but that's me.

I have kids too, so can only get to meetings when my other half isn't working so he can be with them. If I only manage a meeting a week, I feel bad....but this is life with children. If I can say hand on heart, I'm getting there when I can, and not avoiding or 'cant' be bothered' kind of thing, then I'm ok with it. I'm not a miracle worker, and there's a limit to what I can achieve (short of locking the kids up in the cupboard under the stairs, which isn't terribly spiritual or in keeping with the steps j/k :wink: )
I think where I'm heading with this, is, if my side of the street is clean, I can't worry about everyone elses side. As long as I know I'm doing what I can, and not making excuses, then someone elses opinion is just that, and I have to let it go or else I ended up resentful, angry, and trying to people please.

Especially at times when I can't get to as many meetings as I would like, this forum has been invaluable to me. Welcome aboard! :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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avaneesh912
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:15 am

The first words out of her mouth were "you're not attending enough meetings."

I would suggest, you find a sponsor who will help you work the reminder of the 12 steps quickly so you can experience the power the book promises.
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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ann2
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by ann2 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:02 am

Online has helped me in just your situation. I know what it's like with the kids and the work. I also know that although I follow the steps in my life, I benefit greatly from the fellowship and the contact with newcomers.

Don't be so hard on your sponsor; she's just trying to say the right thing. If you're looking for someone to keep their mouths shut, don't look at an AA member. We tend to say pretty much what we think is important, especially when it comes to sobriety, because we believe that we might drink again if we start lying. I'm not saying I agree with her, because I got drinking dreams while going to meetings daily. I'm just saying that my sponsor usually got me upset too for saying what I didn't want to hear. That's pretty much in the job description -- a willingness to be misunderstood.

Anyway I hope you keep visiting and get the same kind of oomph I get from the people in this online group and the 12 step opportunities :D

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

harry71
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by harry71 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:28 pm

Hi Raven, two things 1-my sponsor said he was more concerned with my recovery than with my feelings. There is no magic number of meetings. For me a meeting is where I hear about recovery, more meetings the more I hear.

Two about dreams, I got sober in PA. ,right across the Delaware River from NJ. In early sobriety I had a recurring dream, that I drank in NJ, but is was Ok since I lived in PA and was sober there. After several of these dreams I finally went to my sponsor and told him. I expected some big fancy, deep meaningful explanation , he told me to go to a meeting in NJ,I did and I never had the dream again. Dreams are dreams nothing more.
God Keeps Me Sober AA Keeps Me Asking

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ezdzit247
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by ezdzit247 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:07 pm

harry71 wrote:Hi Raven, two things 1-my sponsor said he was more concerned with my recovery than with my feelings. There is no magic number of meetings. For me a meeting is where I hear about recovery, more meetings the more I hear.

Two about dreams, I got sober in PA. ,right across the Delaware River from NJ. In early sobriety I had a recurring dream, that I drank in NJ, but is was Ok since I lived in PA and was sober there. After several of these dreams I finally went to my sponsor and told him. I expected some big fancy, deep meaningful explanation , he told me to go to a meeting in NJ,I did and I never had the dream again. Dreams are dreams nothing more.
Brilliant advice! What a great sponsor!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Duke
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Duke » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:51 pm

Hi Raven. Thanks for sharing. It always helps in my experience.

The great thing about drinking dreams is when you wake up and realize it was only a dream. What a great feeling. I wouldn't worry about them too much as long as they're not happening too often. Everybody i know, has had some at one time or another.

I can't really offer an opinion on your conversation with your sponsor. I do know that when i'm actively working with someone and they insist their fears/anxieties/resentments etc., are not responding to their efforts to practice the principles, i start by asking them to detail for me, exactly what they mean by "practicing the principles". What I often find that means is they believe they are living their life with the right attitude but are doing very little concrete, disciplined work. I've suggested more meetings to people in the past and probably will again at some point, but I always try to make clear to them that my experience is that if they are not dedicating some time each day to focused service and program oriented work, they are probably going to experience some degradation of their spiritual condition.

That's all i have today. I hope you keep coming here. This is a great place to stretch your spiritual muscles.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

Raven87
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Raven87 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:39 am

Thank you everyone for taking the time and sharing your thoughts...I really appreciate it!!! Just popping in for a few minutes on my work break but I will be coming back frequently!

Stepchild
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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by Stepchild » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:47 am

It's great to have you aboard Raven!

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Re: Not Enough Meetings?

Post by catcar » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:59 pm

That is amazing that you were able to do that! I wish I could go to more meetings because they help me so much! I have had many people tell me that I have to make my sobriety my first priority. That seems almost impossible as a single mom...especially when I do not want my 6 year old to understand that I am in AA because I am not ready for other people around me to know.... I KNOW that I should be proud of it, but I am not there yet. I lean on the wonderful people on e-AA to get me through a lot of things. One day I pray that I will get over this hump and be able to give more back. Until then...I can't feel guilty for not being at in person meetings. Your sponsor is only wanting you to do everything you can to help yourself. You are blessed to have someone that cares about you and is wiling to tell you what you need instead of what you want. You may not always be able to get everything you need but that is where AA helps us find a way to give ourselves what we need. Do not look at it as a cut down. Look at it as someone wanting to look out for you. I would cherish the ability to be at a meeting every day. My sponsor taught me to pray and be calm... I have learned that can give me similar peace in my life. Prayers for you and take care!

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