Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / email.

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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Tommy-S
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Tommy-S » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:05 pm

Sitting around in underwear... We do that in the Men's Group (and have Pizza, too) :)

Jeff...

Mistrust definitely... Open to the World Wide Whackos, it's not hard to imagine that we get all kinds... and even those IN AA are not there because they are all well. Asking some woman to trust a request from anyone on line is an unrealistic request... My Opinion.

Rude... Yep, we get that way. Spiritual Kindergarten throwing cookies at others in the play pen.

Not the best welcome to the site, but believe it or not, we got a pretty close nit group here... Trust is earned for most of us. It'll probably be that way for you, too.

It might speed it up to help us understand why your sponsor is being left out of the loop on this, but you don't have to.

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

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Blue Moon
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:47 pm

JeffD wrote:I really feel like some of these replies are mistrustful and rude. Love and tolerance is our code. Live and let live.
Really feel like your original post is a waste of time, and your approach with "you can't disagree with me" is disrespectful and arrogant. This isn't a dating site, and your request has nothing to do with sponsorship.
Ian S
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PaigeB
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by PaigeB » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:19 am

Ok - I am going to attempt a supportive reply.

Why not get together a co-ed 12 Step Group. You could go close knit, pick the players and have it in a living room with cookies. (Tommy will throw them so don't invite him - lol).

I think that men and women think so very differently. Any study of how the brain works will point this out. So I am not sure a man could use the ES&H of women as much as one would like, but hey? I wouldn't know... I do think I learn alot from the guys in co-ed meetings.

One more thing about sponsorship... it is more than reading and studying the Steps. It is about the everyday application of the principles. I am not so sure that men & women would do that same things as responses....

Learning how the other gender thinks is a very interesting idea. Certainly, with a group of mixed genders ~ maybe 3 guys and 3 gals.... maybe even a married couple both in the AA program ~ certainly there would be less controversy with a group than a one-on-one sponsorship relationship.

:) I meant to be supportive. Can I have the last piece of Christmas fudge? :mrgreen:
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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Tosh
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Tosh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:40 am

JeffD wrote:I know that it is common in some groups for males to sponsor men and women.
It's not common where I live for men to sponsor women. It's frowned upon, for some very good reasons. I'm a bloke and finding the opposite sex attractive is pretty much hard-wired into me, and for that reason I should never sponsor a female.

And even if I only sponsored females who I didn't find sexually attractive - my sponsor tells me that I have to lead by example - so if I'm to discourage sponsees from sponsoring females, then I need to be NOT sponsoring females also.

And besides, Mrs Tosh wouldn't like it, which is a fair one; she knows I'm human too. Can you imagine it?

Mrs Tosh, "Oh, who is your new sponsor?"
Me, "It's Shelly!"
Mrs Tosh, "Is she the one with the long legs?"
Me, "Yeh!"

I think Paige makes an excellent point; there is a certain amount of intellectual knowledge to be had in A.A., but really, it's the practise of this program in our everyday lives where we really learn, at a level deeper than merely intellectual.

-------------------

Oh man, I left the office and Mrs Tosh just took a nosy at my post! :mrgreen:
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: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by JeffD » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:01 am

Tommy_S wrote:Sitting around in underwear... We do that in the Men's Group (and have Pizza, too) :)

Jeff...

Mistrust definitely... Open to the World Wide Whackos, it's not hard to imagine that we get all kinds... and even those IN AA are not there because they are all well. Asking some woman to trust a request from anyone on line is an unrealistic request... My Opinion.

Rude... Yep, we get that way. Spiritual Kindergarten throwing cookies at others in the play pen.

Not the best welcome to the site, but believe it or not, we got a pretty close nit group here... Trust is earned for most of us. It'll probably be that way for you, too.

It might speed it up to help us understand why your sponsor is being left out of the loop on this, but you don't have to.

Thanks... Tommy
Actually, my sponsor is aware of this proposition. As was mentioned above men and women do experience life quite differently. There are many statistics to back that up. To be honest, I do not appreciate opinions. I never have. That is why AA has always meant so much to me. Because, typically people share their OWN experience, strength, and hope. I mean, that they share what their PERSONAL experience is and that is the reason AA works. Not a person who has replied to my post has mentioned that they once worked the steps with a person of the opposite sex. This to me means, well, I am sure you can guess. Experience, strength and hope. Not opinion, strongly held beliefs and advice. Good luck in your endeavors.

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Tosh
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Tosh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:58 am

JeffD wrote: Actually, my sponsor is aware of this proposition. As was mentioned above men and women do experience life quite differently. There are many statistics to back that up. To be honest, I do not appreciate opinions. I never have. That is why AA has always meant so much to me. Because, typically people share their OWN experience, strength, and hope. I mean, that they share what their PERSONAL experience is and that is the reason AA works. Not a person who has replied to my post has mentioned that they once worked the steps with a person of the opposite sex. This to me means, well, I am sure you can guess. Experience, strength and hope. Not opinion, strongly held beliefs and advice. Good luck in your endeavors.
I've got plenty of experience of finding the opposite sex attractive!! :lol:

That's why I wouldn't want to sponsor, or be sponsored by one of them.
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: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Mike O » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:24 pm

JeffD wrote:Greetings,

I have sober 11 years and I am interested in finding a female (with more sobriety than me, over 20 years) to help me work through the steps. I have never had a female sponsor. I know that it is common in some groups for males to sponsor men and women. However, I have never heard of the reverse situation. I have a significant other. I am simply interested in the experience. I have worked the 12 steps with many men and get something different each time from each person. I do have a male sponsor in my homegroup where I live. Please, if you do not agree with this, it is of no use to tell me so in subsequent posts! Thank you!
Why do you want a female sponsor?
Am I missing something in your post?
How many times do you feel it necessary to work the steps anyway? Other than 10, 11 and 12, the others need to be done only once, unless you relapse. Some, myself included, find an annual (or thereabouts) step 4 to be important.
But, working the steps over and over with different people for "the experience" makes no sense to me.
As I say, I may be missing something in your post.

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PaigeB
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by PaigeB » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:50 pm

Seems like those of us who are still around to talk about it HAVE NO ES&H because we haven't tried a sponsor of the opposite sex...

I do know a gal who is a lesbian who had a male sponsor once out of necessity.

I do know that, back in the day, there were few females to sponsor the incoming females.

I do know that GSO is always open to questions from the members. http://aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=26
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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Blue Moon
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:35 pm

JeffD wrote:To be honest, I do not appreciate opinions. I never have. That is why AA has always meant so much to me. Because, typically people share their OWN experience, strength, and hope. I mean, that they share what their PERSONAL experience is and that is the reason AA works.
Part of a sponsor's role is to make suggestions, based on their opinion of how their experience and observation relates to a difficulty you're having.
Not a person who has replied to my post has mentioned that they once worked the steps with a person of the opposite sex.
Where in your original post did you ask them to?

Some of us responding are also sharing based on experience. Yes, I do have occasional experiences with women in the fellowship, and that experience is that they can sometimes be more manipulative than I'd ever have given them credit. Even if your motives aren't dubious, you can't truly know if the other person's aren't - especially in a long-distance setting such as you propose.

I'd be Ok with working through the Steps in the manner you describe, eg a lesbian with 20+ years. But, based on my experience, I wouldn't unless I knew her very well beforehand, including the knowledge that she truly is lesbian - so many swing both ways based on whoever is giving the attention (also not opinion so much as an observation based on experience).

Why not take the Steps properly? Maybe you'd then realise the real point is to pass them on, not to keep working them expecting some new revelation each time.
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Lali » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:55 pm

Jeff's original post said nothing about a lesbian with 20+ years. That's part of what he changed his text to when he realized the flack he was getting.

And no one shared about having an opposite sex sponsor because it hardly ever happens.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by johnd » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:29 pm

But we all shared our Es&H, and we inquired his motives, Sounds like a trap for a female Just my Observation. :?
John D. :)
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

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Tosh
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Tosh » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:46 pm

A.A. experience does suggest that it is best for men to sponsor men and women to sponsor women. This custom usually helps our members stay focussed on the program. Some gay men and lesbian women feel an opposite sex sponsor is more appropriate for similar reasons.
Page 10 refers:

Leaflet on Sponsorship:
http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf
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: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Mike O » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:26 am

Blue Moon wrote: Maybe you'd then realise the real point is to pass them on, not to keep working them expecting some new revelation each time.
Right!

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Tommy-S
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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by Tommy-S » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:27 am

Maybe you'd then realize the real point is to pass them on, not to keep working them expecting some new revelation each time.
I found those 'new revelations' in sponsoring others through the Steps as I work the Steps with them.... The "WE"

Just something about tailoring my experience so that I can communicate it to another, putting myself in their shoes, takes me a little deeper in understanding, and find new ways to apply them in my life.

Good luck... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

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Re: Seeking guidance to work the steps via mail / phone / em

Post by ann2 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:25 am

You've already taken the steps, correct? Most women of 20 plus sobriety are busy enough saving their sisters who have yet to apply the healing.

I don't know what your experience is sponsoring, but mine is that it is a lot of work and takes effort and time that frankly I don't often have, being a recovered and therefore active woman.

If this is just a whim, then I at least wouldn't even think once about taking it on.

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

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