Sponsor issues

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?
Post Reply
kelmac
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:59 pm

Sponsor issues

Post by kelmac » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:15 pm

I have some issues with my sponsor that are dangerous in becoming resentments and have me questioning whether I should look for a new one. I've been troubled by how much she talks about herself and life, including making the conversation about herself when I'm the topic. It's a big turnoff to me and I'm reluctant to share with her now. She has mentioned that we've been talking about her too much and she's doing too much talking but I haven't had the courage to tell her I feel stifled when I try to talk to her. I was hoping it was a passing phase as our relationship was more focused on me initially. The other thing I dislike is when I tell her something about a co worker, friend or family member she encourages me too gossip. I told her today I wasn't interested in gossiping. It makes me quite uncomfortable. Finally, she has on occasion said negative things about my mom based on information from my 5th step. It makes me feel like she's throwing it in my face. I have explained my mom has alot of great qualities and that myn5th step only went into the negatives so she doesn't have the whole picture. Our relationship feels unhealthy and I noticed I'm starting to dislike the whole program based on my sponsor. I don't want to get so disillusioned that I leave . Any advice on handling? Tell my sponsor how I feel and/or look for a new one?

Thanks /

User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 3946
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Brock » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:46 pm

It goes without saying that this is the sort of sponsor AA could do well without, I expect others will comment on that. Below I will put the last paragraph from the section “availing yourself of a sponsor” from the book “living sober,” page 30. It might be used as a good excuse to say goodbye to her if that is what you decide, it might even get you wondering why some of us continue having sponsors after we complete the steps.
P.30 – “And the best sponsors are really delighted when the newcomer is able to step out past the stage of being sponsored. Not that we ever have to go it altogether alone. But the time comes when even a young bird must use its own wings and start its own family. Happy flying !”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3743
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Tosh » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:42 pm

kelmac wrote: Any advice on handling? Tell my sponsor how I feel and/or look for a new one?
I take it you've been through the Steps? You mentioned you had done a 5th Step. I'd see no harm in doing some personal written resentment inventory on the issue, in the columns:

I am resentful at:
The cause: I ask myself why I am angry; what did they do to me to cause the anger?
Affects my: Self esteem, secrity, ambitions, personal or sex relations.
What did I do? Putting out of mind the wrongs others have done, I resolutely look for my own mistakes (etc).
Where had I been: Selfish, Dishonest, Self-seeking and frighted, Inconsiderate, which of the above character defects (etc).

You could also discuss your findings with an A.A. friend (not your sponsor), though I have actually heard my name on a Step 4 that a guy shared with me during a 5th Step; but that made me smile, not angry. I gave him some praise for his honesty ( and I'll get him back at some later stage).

I'd probably change sponsor too. I had to change sponsors fairly early into my A.A. membership, though I found a new one first and he suggested how best it would be inform my old sponsor that I had found a new one. My new sponsor said I just had to be honest with him.

My old sponsor seemed relieved when I told him, if I'm to be honest. :lol:

But I think if you've been through the steps, had that spiritual awakening, there's not a lot more - other than friendship and an ear - that sponsors can offer. Our relationship is between ourselves and our Higher Powers; sponsors aren't usually spiritual guides other than going through the steps (at least this is my concept of sponsorship).

And another thought is, if you stick with your current sponsor, you could use this in itself as a spiritual exercise to learn some patience and tolerance? My sponsor phones me at 7.00 am if he's not heard from me in a while. No sponsor could be as terrible as him. :lol:
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)

User avatar
leppimessiah
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:23 am
Location: USA

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by leppimessiah » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:14 am

Hey Kelmac!

It seems like at this point your sponsor-sponsee relationship is causing a lot of distress for you. Before I met my current sponsor, I had another sponsor who was a wonderful person but for one reason or another would not take me through the steps and I knew deeply that I needed to look elsewhere. Even though the conversation was difficult to have with my old sponsor of needing someone to take me through the steps, I'm glad we had it because it taught me how to have an honest discussion when you come up against an impasse. I was able to move on and find a sponsor who I was satisfied with and who would help promote my spiritual growth.

Ultimately, I don't believe that someone should "white-knuckle" it with a sponsor who is causing you grief. Find someone who inspires you, who makes you feel comfortable. Just my opinion! :D Good luck!

Jessica
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:43 am

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Jessica » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:31 am

thank you. Of late I've been wondering if i should continue with my current sponsor as well. through out my sobriety i've been having marital issues and sometimes i feel like our discussions have been more gossipy. like a friend commiserating on the soap opera drama of my life. she always is available for me. we've been meeting once a week for the past year. im currently working on my 4th step which is taking me FOREVER. she encouraged me to get outside help which is beneficial. Im not sure if my questioning our relationship is fear based at having to share stuff on my 5th step (we've pretty much already talked about everything already) she asks me if i've seen my therapist. What's been going on with me that week. seems normal for what a sponsor would do but there is a sense of uneasiness about it creeping in that its not really based on the steps just the new thing. like im venting and not finding a solution. I do feel uncomfortable talking to her about it. i feel like i dont need to meet face 2 face until i actually get my fourth step done. Like all im doing is complaining about my spouse and not growing. that would be my fault not hers. im the problem not her. Just wanted to share that i can relate and looking forward to others responses also
jessica

User avatar
whipping post
Forums Contributor
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:20 am

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by whipping post » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:37 am

Jessica wrote:thank you. Of late I've been wondering if i should continue with my current sponsor as well. through out my sobriety i've been having marital issues and sometimes i feel like our discussions have been more gossipy. like a friend commiserating on the soap opera drama of my life. she always is available for me. we've been meeting once a week for the past year. im currently working on my 4th step which is taking me FOREVER. she encouraged me to get outside help which is beneficial. Im not sure if my questioning our relationship is fear based at having to share stuff on my 5th step (we've pretty much already talked about everything already) she asks me if i've seen my therapist. What's been going on with me that week. seems normal for what a sponsor would do but there is a sense of uneasiness about it creeping in that its not really based on the steps just the new thing. like im venting and not finding a solution. I do feel uncomfortable talking to her about it. i feel like i dont need to meet face 2 face until i actually get my fourth step done. Like all im doing is complaining about my spouse and not growing. that would be my fault not hers. im the problem not her. Just wanted to share that i can relate and looking forward to others responses also
jessica
Hi Jessica,

You can do your fifth step with your therapist or clergy if it makes you more comfortable. You don't have to do it with your sponsor.

Db1105
Forums Contributor
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Db1105 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:55 pm

I suggest your read AAWS pamphlet 'Questions and Answeres on Sponsorship'. You can read it online at:
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1322
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by positrac » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:52 pm

I would recommend that the new sponsor has an active sponsor and you'll have a better experience with the whole process of being sponsored.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Service
Forums Contributor
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:33 pm

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Service » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:44 pm

Just getting unwilling to be CO-DEPENDENT that's all !
Jump out of the pan into another fire, be an example good or bad but don't let go and let God for heaven sake's ! :idea:

Robert R
Forums Contributor
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Robert R » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:16 am

Stamping my opinion on others to beat them into submission. Revelling in the kickback. Carrying my righteous flag on high. Oh how the memories are awakened when I see my own arrogance and conceit of the past laid bare. Fills me with gratitude that these defects no longer control my actions or thoughts.
Thank you my friend for the memories.
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.

Larryp713
Forums Contributor
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Olathe, KS

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Larryp713 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:58 am

Hi Kelmac

I recently changed sponsors because I was no longer growing and my relationship with my first sponsor was more friends than sponsor/sponsee. It was a great move. My first sponsor sounds like your sponsor - speaking more of his life than reviewing my recovery. This created a dilemma for me - I felt like I still needed support for my recovery but felt selfish if I was annoyed at him for sharing what was going on in his life.

My solution was to get a sponsor who was very serious about recovery. He his a lot stricter with me, but it is all done in love. Love for AA and love for me. It makes it a lot easier to call him every night and show up to meetings in a collared shirt. I still try to be friendly with my first sponsor - in fact, I have a strong urge to call him tonight because I haven't seen him in a week. I am going to do that, because today I know I don't get those urges on my own. There is a reason why I need to call him.

I wish you the best. Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!

Service
Forums Contributor
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:33 pm

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by Service » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:28 pm

Why so co dependent? What's step or Tradition told you to get this thing? Stick with A.A as a whole and you will not rep any baleful results

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8316
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Sponsor issues

Post by PaigeB » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:04 am

Service - be careful not to cross the line into name calling. Thank you.
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

Post Reply