On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

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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Tosh
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Re: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Tosh » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:14 pm

Tommy_S wrote: Even on-line meetings are considered slightly outside ‘convention’ (Tradition), per AA Guideline on Internet... http://www.aa.org/lang/en/en_pdfs/mg-18_internet.pdf, (though I know there are those working towards a change in this):
Thanks for the link. From it I read this:

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But what does it actually mean? Is it saying that from a spiritual point of view that 'One drunk talking to another' should not be replaced by 'one drunk e-mailing another'? Or is it my biased view point that reads it that way?
Tommy_S wrote: (Sorry, Tosh, I didn’t mean to hijack the topic)
Carry on. I learn a lot from these posts.
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: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Tommy-S » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:21 pm

We're sure you're sober, Mike.

And as a 'species', alcoholics like me resist change. I can only pass on what was passed on to me, and as that was F2F, it holds comfort.

But I am also open-minded enough to recognize the change over the years (hell, 8-tracks were popular when I sobered up....LOL), so I am interested and grateful to hear how others are staying sober & sponsoring long distance.

(Forget whether other's motives are 'pure' or not. It's not my call...Besides, Alcohol is the Great Persuader. It's why we have no AA police)

Thanks :)
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

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Tosh
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Re: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Tosh » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:14 pm

Mike O'R wrote: Yep, P.58 is correct. However, the lines as you quoted them, Tosh, are entirely out of context, unless I'm very much mistaken.
The principle will remain the same. I'm sure Bill and Co did not mean that we only had to be fearless and thorough in certain areas, but could slack a little in others. (I did slack a lot in some areas mind you. I'm not trying to be holier than thou here; I couldn't possibly. Imagine that. :mrgreen: )
Mike O'R wrote: There is no reference to the need of face to face meetings or a face to face sponsor mentioned anywhere in the advice given for carrying out the steps.
My sponsor taught me about A.A. history when we went through the first Four prefaces of the 4th Edition of the Big Book. Understanding a little bit about A.A. history enables me to understand that the book came first, and how the fellowship grew and evolved; the history provides context to meetings and sponsorship. And Bill W did write extensively about meetings and sponsorship in later years.
Mike O'R wrote: It is quite possible to be "fearless and thorough" without ever attending a meeting or having a f2f sponsor.
Fair one, seriously, I agree. But if the choice is made to have an on-line sponsor out of fear of face-to-face human contact that is not being fearless from the very start. It just isn't! Is it?

For me, it took my sponsor to humble himself, before I was able to get honest with him; he showed me his inventory and shared his worst in stock with me (and it was baaaaaad!!). I was so touched - humbled by his humility (and learned a serious lesson from it) - that I immediately coughed up some stuff that I wouldn't have told anyone. This was the beginning of my liberation from far more than mere alcohol. Maybe it's because I feel such warmth towards my sponsor that I feel so strongly that wherever possible, newcomers should be encouraged to have a face-to-face sponsor?

And didn't we isolate enough when we were drinking? Isn't getting sober about coming out of our comfort zones and rejoining the human race? Aren't A.A. meetings a great way to learn how to behave, how to be tolerant, how to show patience, how to listen to others (sponsees can't half talk a lot :lol: ); how to interact at a face-to-face level?

I can't learn this sort of thing on the interweb.
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: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by ann2 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:36 pm

Tosh wrote:. . .Anyway, I've been reading the A.A. leaflet on sponsorship and under the heading 'What does a sponsor do and not do...' is this:

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http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

And the sponsee, with on-line sponsorship, will miss out on all of the above.
Wow, my experience of the online group is very different from yours. First, I need to add that after my step 5 experience online, I then asked a lady sober over 30 years to sponsor me. She was in the states, I was in Finland. She definitely shared by her example and by sharing her drinking history what AA meant in her life. In addition, she advised me during my exposure to many different viewpoints and interpretations of the AA program I found online. She introduced me to new members online, often asking me to communicate with them.

I don't know if Tosh is aware of the various group activities we have available online, but honestly they are numerous and I'm lucky to have been involved with many different areas of service and fellowship over the years. I still have much ahead of me in fact. In addition, we have a 12th step email response that is very active (always looking for new committee members there) and a temporary sponsorship committee, along with our mailing lists that all provide wonderful opportunities to work with other alcoholics. We get to watch each other answering and sharing with newcomers, so it's like being "taken along."

I'm not advocating online VERSUS face-to-face, I'm just reporting my experience and saying, there is so much that can be accomplished here online -- why the negative attitude? I would suggest patience with someone who believes he or she can find sobriety only online. Encourage him or her, because online is the best place to find people talking about how great face-to-face meetings are! Eventually he or she loses the resistance because of peer pressure, if nothing else :-)

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

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Tosh
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Re: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Tosh » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:01 am

ann2 wrote: I'm not advocating online VERSUS face-to-face, I'm just reporting my experience and saying, there is so much that can be accomplished here online -- why the negative attitude? I would suggest patience with someone who believes he or she can find sobriety only online. Encourage him or her, because online is the best place to find people talking about how great face-to-face meetings are! Eventually he or she loses the resistance because of peer pressure, if nothing else :-)

Ann
Okay, thanks, Ann, I agree with everything you posted. I'm sorry. I forget too that I was also 12 Stepped - on-line - on this forum; you probably remember, but were too kind to point this out. Maybe I'm at that stage where I think I know everything? But hopefully 'this too shall pass'. In another spiritual tradition they talk about having a 'beginner's mind' (even if we know a lot of stuff); if I think I know everything it leaves very little room to learn anything new.

I still have a little voice in my head that says 'But...', but I'll shut it up; hopefully. :D

Thank you.
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: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Mike O » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:03 am

Tosh wrote: I'm sure Bill and Co did not mean that we only had to be fearless and thorough in certain areas, but could slack a little in others.
OK, but I'm not sure where you think the "slacking" comes in with choosing to online A.A. instead of face-to-face. My own experience involved and still involves hard work.
You seem to be almost going out of your way to denigrate the online experience, Tosh. I don't see why you would want to do that.

Your experience of A.A. has achieved and maintained your sobriety - wonderful.
My experience of A.A. has achieved and maintained my sobriety - I'm blessed and very happy that it has.

Unless we have some hard statistics on relative success and failure rates of the two types of experience, we have no business doing anything other than sharing our own experience. Perhaps such stats exist? I don't honestly know. Um...I'm not sure that I care.

I think that in answer to your original query, both types of experience exist for whoever wants them. I'm grateful for that.

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Re: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Tosh » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:43 am

Mike O'R wrote: You seem to be almost going out of your way to denigrate the online experience, Tosh. I don't see why you would want to do that.
Please don't take it personally, this topic was directed at no individual; it was something I needed to discuss; it had been bothering me for a while. And if your motivations and intentions are honest, does it really matter what you think I think? And to be honest, I'm not sure what I think I think sometimes anyway.

But please believe me, I do care about newcomers; I understand my primary purpose; and I really just want the best for them. If my post was motivated by that primary purpose, I really don't care what others think; my priority is always the new guy/gal. Alcoholism can be a great gift (I look upon mine as such; I've learnt so much from it, and continue to do so), but it can also be a ruddy terrible thing too.

Friendly regards,

Tosh
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: On-line Sponsorship - Does it work?

Post by Mike O » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:46 pm

Tosh wrote: And if your motivations and intentions are honest, does it really matter what you think I think?
To me personally, not really. However, newcomers read what we say on here.

Best to you, Tosh,
Mike :D

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