I really don't get"sponsorship"

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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larrylive
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I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by larrylive » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:19 pm

Where and when did helping another alcoholic become such a co-dependent relationship?

It seems to me that it has grown way above and beyond what is described in the Big Book.
The using of troubled individuals, in need of professional counseling to fulfill ones own egotistical needs seems contrary to the program.

i help explain the program, the 12 steps, I encourage their completion and the passing on of such help.
after that it's fellowship and/or friendship.

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Niagara
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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Niagara » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:56 pm

I think it varies from person to person

I have had two sponsors in my short time in AA. Something I don't really discuss, because I don't want to appear to be 'calling' my first sponsor, but for the purpose of this thread, I will. She gave me a great deal of help in those awful early days, which I will always appreciate from the bottom of my heart..however, I personally found it too much to be checking in every day, and calling her every time I felt at odds with the world, which ultimately still wasn't enough, or I was calling for 'the wrong reasons', so we parted ways.

I know this was how her relationship with her own sponsor was, but it was far too much for me.

My current sponsor is much more easygoing, and explained at the start that she had no intention of running my life for me. Her way of doing it was to take me through the book, the steps, and let me do my own growing, with her available should I need extra input, or support. I appreciate this way of doing it, because the idea of the steps to me, is to get me to a place where I can live life on lifes terms, sans alcohol, like a sane adult human.

I've been co - dependant most of my life, either on another person or the booze. The last thing I needed was to become co dependant on a sponsor, and I'm thankful for the way my sponsor is. I only hope when my time comes to sponsor, I can approach it in a sane and rational way as she does.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Lali » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:33 pm

Sure, I think that happens a lot, Larry. But IMO, that is the exception rather than the rule. That is what I have seen anyway.
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Tosh
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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Tosh » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:57 am

I don't know what people need. Maybe some need a co-dependant type of relationship? What I do know is that I know I don't always know best, that sponsees shouldn't depend on me for their sobriety or happiness (can you imagine :lol: ) and that comes from their own relationship with their Higher Power.
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 really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Db1105 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:54 am

I suggest you read the AAWS pamphlet 'Questions and Answers on Sponsorship'. You can find it at AA's website AA(dot)org.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad sponsors within the fellowship. To much of my sponsor did it this way so this is the way it should be done. In addition to guiding someone through the steps, a sponsor should guide the newcomer into service. Take them on 12 step call, Intergroup an GSR meetings, Institutional commitments, etc., etc. it's more than just having someone to talk to.

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Layne » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:27 pm

larrylive wrote: i help explain the program, the 12 steps, I encourage their completion and the passing on of such help.
after that it's fellowship and/or friendship.
Totally agree with you on this. That is the approach I strive to use in my program and daily life.

Naturally since it is about progress, not perfection, I experience varying degrees of success in my attempts.

The rest of your post seems to fall somewhat outside of those parameters that you worded so eloquently; so I will refrain from any further comments at this time as I seem to straying from those very parameters myself as well.
I experience varying degrees of success in my attempts

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:10 pm

In my area we read the Big Book together. My line of sponsorship incorporates the 12 & 12 through the Steps too. I will always take the calls of my sponsees, but I remind them that my job is not to listen to their victim status or to swap gossip. My job, the job they hired me for, was for me to tell them how I got sober using the 12 Steps. If they call and say, "so & so treated me badly at the picnic yesterday" I talk about Step 4 or Step 10 and how we are each responsible for our own actions. It does not always fly well. I also don't help with medicines - I say call the doctor.

We meet and we read. I answer questions and ask them questions. Mostly I just get excited about the book and try to get them excited about it too. Sometimes I encourage them into service and sometime I commit them to service... Patty & I will do it!

We become friends. They often teach me more than I teach them. Maybe we are dependant upon one another. If we stay sober there is Hope.
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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Duke
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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Duke » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:41 pm

I haven't seen the co-dependency. Where I come from, a sponsor is someone whose program you admire who you ask to help you find what they have.

I hope you have better luck with this going forward.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Barbara D. » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:36 am

Oh my! If my original sponsors had pressured me into service work, it would have set off my arrogance and rage which I didn't know were a problem until I'd gotten into the Steps. I responded better to folks who set a good example in service work. At that time, I was a full-time housekeeper, Mom, and wife and the first thing I did to "serve" my Home Group was clean up the little house we met in, wash curtains and windows, clean bathrooms....all things
that came naturally to me. As time went on, I fell into buying supplies, keeping up with the money and expenses, etcetera. My service "happened," it wasn't forced. Now I notice that service is often a matter of promotion, not attraction. :)

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Larryp713 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:30 pm

I am so glad I stumbled on this thread. I really needed to read some of this.

I have been sober for eight months and worked the steps with my sponsor. I don't know if we worked them perfectly or not, but we did reference the book and follow those examples and I feel free from alcohol today, moreso than I have ever felt in my adult life.

I think after we got through step 9, our relationship changed to more of friends supporting each other. I don't hear the same passion for recovery from him now and we talk more about life than recovery.

I think I still need to spiritually grow and that has led me to these forums, as well as reading literature and being more studious. I am getting a lot of advice these days from members I greatly respect. One lady, sober 25 years (who is an absolute beacon of recovery to me) tells me she still speaks with her sponsor once a week for an hour phone call (they live in different states) and that it is vital to her recovery. Another gentlemen told me that he needs to email his weekly personal inventory to his sponsor and they speak often during the week to discuss all his successes and challenges in sobriety. Still another mentor of mine (my sponsor's sponsor) advises that after working the steps, he really just fellowships with other AAs, and that has kept him sober and plugged in for 15 years. All three do service work, so I assume that is part of this deal and don't question that.

As LarryLive wrote - I don't think having a co-dependent relationship is required. I think if I work with others, carry the message, and do service work, I will be following the guidelines in the big book. I appreciate these forums as I feel they help me stay engaged. Thanks. LarryP
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by leejosepho » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:15 pm

Larryp713 wrote:I think after we got through step 9, our relationship changed to more of friends supporting each other...we talk more about life than recovery.

...another mentor of mine...fellowships with other AAs...

As LarryLive wrote - I don't think having a co-dependent relationship is required.
Definitely not, and what you have just described fits with our book perfectly whether or not the word "sponsor" ever appears here or there.
PaigeB wrote:... We become friends. They often teach me more than I teach them. Maybe we are dependent upon one another...
All human beings are dependent upon each other, and many if not most or even all of our natural human instincts could be satisfied in no other way. Co-destructive relationships are a completely different matter and effective sponsorship can help bring them to an end.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: I really don't get"sponsorship"

Post by Service » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:39 pm

leejosepho wrote:
PaigeB wrote:... We become friends. They often teach me more than I teach them. Maybe we are dependent upon one another...
All human beings are dependent upon each other, and many if not most or even all of our natural human instincts could be satisfied in no other way. Co-destructive relationships are a completely different matter and effective sponsorship can help bring them to an end.

By BY INDEPENDENCE
Moderator edit....

By BY God we got GOV

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