Working steps after relapse with different 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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Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by Cmcrozier »

I have a really wonderful sponsor. I can talk freely with her and know that she will not judge me and will always tell me the truth. However, I’m afraid that I may not be hearing her right now. I got sober in 2011 after going in and out of rooms for the previous 12 years with no significant time and made it a little past the five year mark. I was being treated by a dr (who was both familiar with addiction and familiar with my history) who prescribed me something that that changed the way I felt. My sponsor and a few close friends knew. The problem occurred when the medicine really hijacked me in no tome. Before I had time to blink, I fell back into my habit. It has been a little over a year. I’m really struggling and I want so badly to get sober. I’m ashamed. I never quit going to mtgs(although I cut down quite a bit) but I really want to work the steps and find some peace so I can start enjoying/ participating in life again. Is it possible to work the eyes with an online sponsor.
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Re: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by Jojo2 »

Welcome to e-AA, Cmcrozier.

There is nothing for which you need to be ashamed. You haven't failed, you have just found some ways not to succeed.

We are always free to select another sponsor with whom we feel more comfortable, particularly if we believe this member will be more helpful to our growth in A.A.
Only you can make that decision.

Meanwhile, we provide a Temporary Sponsorship facility here at e-AA.

A temporary sponsor is a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous who is willing to share their experience, strength, and hope with another alcoholic as a way of service to help insure their own sobriety.

Their main function is to help guide the new person towards the 12 Steps, and also, where appropriate to help guide the new person to face to face meetings and a f2f sponsor in their local AA community.

An excellent introduction on sponsorship, permanent or temporary, with questions and answers, is this pamphlet
from GSO :

Questions and Answers on Sponsorship:

Glad you are here!
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Re: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by avaneesh912 »

Yes, also, workshops on the big book that are freely available on the Internet (Youtube) are great way to understand the powerlessness and un-manageability of step one. Once we understand the fatality of the disease and the connection between the two, we will automatically seek the power the book talks about.
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: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by PaigeB »

I’m ashamed.
I was too.

One thing that I learned through walking into various meetings after I got back AND by being in meetings where others walked back in? The People are just grateful you & I made it back!!! Truly. No judging. How can we judge another alcoholic ~ we have FAR too much in common. You are like me - If I can do it, you can do it. PLEASE... DON'T DIE OUT THERE.

Now about the shame. I set it aside by reading page 30. I Know that my shame resides in my innermost self. So when I took Step 1, I had to admit I was alcoholic and that I had this disease (dis-ease). But I had to go find the Shame to know I had hit my innermost self and I TOLD THAT SHAME that I had a disease. I told it that it was no longer in charge in my life. It could not fool me anymore - I now knew why I did such insane things... I had a disease I could not deny.

It does not go away that easily. Remember, I just set it aside. I threw a little water on that fire. I have over 8 years and I am now going through the Steps a 2nd time with a different sponsor. I am working on some humility practicing the 7th stuff and my ego thinks it needs a "good time to start" doing my Step 8. I feel I AM learning, via experience, some pretty good stuff where I am now. But hey, there is that shame right? I learned from you TODAY! Thank you for posting here. Can I ask my HP to take that shame in the 7th Step too? Page 76... I do not think you have to wait to talk to your HP until you get to that Step. But you have to wait until HP decides it it Time to remove it. My shame has come in helpful quite often - to tell another woman. In fact, last night I felt no shame in telling another woman something that had previously been part of a life long resentment & shame factor. She had cried during the meeting and said WHY? And she said, I haven't said that out loud before. She is pretty new. I raced across the room to tell her I HAD THAT SAME EXACT THING TOO. Maybe her HP will remove it instantly. Maybe she will have to work with it a while. But for me, at some point, that shame became part of my story... some thing I was willing to share to save the newcomer from some suffering, if her HP sees fit.

I hope you throw some water on that fire and get your butt to a meeting and get a face to face sponsor ASAP.
It worked for me.
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: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by Roberth »

Hello Cmcrozier, and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. It took me a while to understand what my sponsor was telling me. partly because it was all knew and didn't make much sense to me. As things would happen in sobriety the light would go on. I didn't even know I was did my second and third steps. I heard my story coming out of someone else's mouth I knew AA would work for me and I made a commitment to keep coming back to AA drunk, sober or crazy my obsession was lifted. I told my sponsor what had happened he say good now the I did the second and third step let get into my fourth step. I didn't understand what he said but I did move on to the fourth step. It wasn't until a few years later the I saw this line in the Book.

"We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality - safe and protected. We have not even sworn off."

the man know what he was talking about.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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Re: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by Blue Moon »

When I first walked into AA, I once talked about shame. A woman said "that's the disease talking". I thought she was nuts, as diseases don't talk! But today, I know what she meant.

Alcoholics tend to be perfectionists. When we don't succeed at something, often the reaction is to.think of the individual as "a failure".

Yet real failure is not failing to succeed. It's failing to try. So the question would be: what to do different this time?

Another common trait is "my case is different ". We sense that alcohol is not really the problem, and therefore AA is not the solution. "AA works for you, but I have 101 reasons why it won't work for me."

Yet in this sense, we are closer to the truth than we might realise: alcohol is not the problem. I never had a drinking problem. I had a drinking solution, and a problem with the side-effects. The need to drink was caused by a thinking problem which needed a drink to stand it. AA helped with my thinking problem.
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Re: Working steps after relapse with different sponsor

Post by Conorryan623 »

Hi CMcrozier,
Thanks for your post! No shame required, believe me I have changed sponsor many times especially at the beginning when I wasn’t as discernible or knowledgeable as to what a good sponsor looked like. I believe that good sponsorship can fix anything.
The role of a good sponsor is not to be a therapist, or a best friend, etc, but to guide you through a set of actions which will cause you to have a spiritual experience that will change everything…
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who have done the steps at the hands of someone who didn’t know what they were doing and hasn’t had a spiritual experience. There are also those who have had a spiritual experience 10 years ago, but have gradually become uncomfortable since.
When looking for a good sponsor, it is important that the person is actively working the steps on a daily basis, is sponsoring others, and is spiritually fit.
In terms of online sponsorship, many people seem to have a judgement on this without direct experience! My experience is that I sponsor people in person and long distance. While long distance is called online, I do it via skype, so we can look at each other when talking, plus it is an easy way to share step-work along the way, and step 10’s, 11’s, etc. I actively sponsor guys from different parts of the world, and they (like me) have had deep and effective spiritual experiences.
I am available to discuss sponsorship with anyone. Feel free to reach me at (link deleted per forum guidelines, the PM or e-mail links in each members profile may be used instead).
Best wishes,
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