Page 1 of 2

Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:02 am
by Larryp713
My first (and only so far) sponsee is struggling. He had over one month sober when he went on a trip last week, and it has been crickets since then. No response to my texts, until an hour ago. He said he is back and struggling.
I am not sure if he slipped or not, but he has had a tough time staying engaged with his program since before his trip. I showed him how I worked the first three steps, but he has started to balk a bit (before his trip).

I strongly believe that a person must be in the driver seat for his recovery. I, as his sponsor, am there to share my ESH and show him how I recovered. But my personality is for me to run into a phone booth, come out with my AA cape, and save the day with some inspiring words or a get tough message, or a whole bunch of other ideas that my sick alcoholic mind is inventing.

I am grateful today that I see this in myself, and understand my limitations while trusting God. All I can do is pray to know how to help this brother. If nothing else, I hope I can show him that I love him and plant a seed that when he is ready, this program offers a solution that works.

So, unless any of you have some words of wisdom that will allow me to put on my AA cape, I am just going to listen to him and pray for inspiration to help him through. Seriously, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

BTW - he is a SW manager, so I am definitely going to tell him about E-AA. Welcome him warmly, my friends. I have enjoyed my first week here. Larry

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:22 am
by Larryp713
I just realized there is a sponsorship forum. Sorry if this should have been there. :oops: Thanks.

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:31 am
by Niagara
no worries, I moved it for you (you're not going crazy :lol: )


Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:42 am
by Larryp713
Niagara wrote:(you're not going crazy )
haha - well, that is debatable but at least this mystery is solved! Thanks Niagara!

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:54 pm
by Stepchild
Maybe he hasn't been beaten to that state of reasonableness yet. I've had a few like that.

When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.
pg 25

It's up to them whether they pick it up or not. Prayer never hurts.

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:37 pm
by D'oh
^^^^^^^ That Reply!

If he slipped or not will come out in time. And it means little if he gets back into the program. "it maybe worth a bad case of the jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition" page 32

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:59 am
by chefchip
This is without a doubt the hardest part of being a sponsor, for me anyway. As much as I might want my magic red cape and super-AA powers, I know from my own experience that they would be useless. Those things are reserved for our sponsee's higher powers, for a very good reason.

Currently, I have two people who I at one time sponsored who are "back out there." Since I have only sponsored three people, that isn't exactly a stellar batting average. BUT.... every so often both of my wayward children send up flares. That turns out to be enough for me. At least there is hope for as long as they don't cut AA off completely. My job is not to be their life coach, or to save them from themselves. My job is solely show them what worked for me and offer to help them find what works for them. As the saying goes, when someone wants help I should be willing to be the hand of AA. THAT attitude is my responsibility. When the opportunity arises, I share my slips and full-blown relapses, and hope they can identify and learn. What else is there to do, after all?

It sounds to me like you have the right attitude. I'll never give up on those two men in my life, but neither will I fall to the temptation to do more than I can or should. Unfortunately, it does not change the fact that I hurt when they stumble. Maybe because I recognize myself.

Good luck.


Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:01 am
by Tosh
If he's done his step 3 prayer, he should have pen to paper and be working on his Step 4.

My suggestion would be to arrange a mutually suitable (very near future) date for a Step 5 and 'get the guy to God'. A fixed date focussed my mind. Leave it open and I'll procrastinate.

Steps 6 to 8 can be done in rapid succession (the same day as a Step 5) and he can get stuck into his easy amends first, with some discussion about how he could approach each.

Keep your sponsee moving.

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:27 am
by Tommy-S
Thanks folks,

Tough situation, Larry, but as you remained sober, its a successful sponsorship.

Bill W stopped drinking Dec '34, but didn't find Dr. Bob until Jun 35... For 6 months, no one Bill worked with got 'it'... except as Lois pointed out, Bill did. That's success.

I'm powerless over Alcohol... mine and theirs. It often takes more pain for some to find that Gift of Desperation (G O D) I had to find to be willing to 'quit for good, and do whatever it takes'. Its tough to watch sometimes, but I believe an alkie can get there sooner given the Dignity to Suffer rather than being chased into AA.

Drive home the hopelessness of our malady and plant the seed... It will grow in His time (if it is meant to). Remain friendly and let them know we'll be there IF and when they want to try what's working for us in AA

Good luck... Tommy

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:07 pm
by Service
Let Go Let God - Don't be a menacing force ! Remember carry the message not the sinner- LOL
Question: can it be you and not them?

- Only but for the grace of God there go I. :idea:

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:13 am
by Larryp713
Service wrote:Let Go Let God - Don't be a menacing force ! Remember carry the message not the sinner- LOL
Question: can it be you and not them?

- Only but for the grace of God there go I. :idea:
Thanks for those pearls, service. God certainly can help us handle situations (and people) which used to baffle us. Stay blessed!

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:12 am
by Service
Interesting, an alcoholic has every thing they need two minutes prior to coming to A.A
1- Alcoholic 2. PERSONAL willingness. Or visa verse.
The struggle is the savage fight between flesh and spirit - why promote outside flesh (edit) and watch them struggle ? A.A is geared for tough living (edit) :idea:

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:23 am
by Brock
Service I am not sure you deserve any explanation, but this one post is left up so I can explain that what you have done this morning, and several times in the past, of flooding the forum with multiple posts many of them in threads which are very old can not be allowed.

New people come here and also us old timers, what we see is half of the page with your posts only. This is not only off putting to new folks it is very selfish, the thing you like to complain about others trying to control people in AA, you are trying to control the whole forum by clogging it up. Most other sites would have sent you packing a long time ago, it is by the grace of some very patient people here that you are still around.

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:29 am
by Service
Brock wrote:Service I am not sure you deserve any explanation, can not be allowed.

? I love A.A and share about A.A to help new comers in the fellowship (edit)- I'm sharing about A.A - I'm sharing with new members not conditioned old new ones - I'm sharing about something that is everything and that's not you or me - do you understand what I'M sharing? A.A not you or me? (edit) thank you for talking . (edit)

Re: Struggling sponsee

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:50 am
by Niagara
Enough Already service.

Brock, paige, myself and several others are part of a moderator team. As such, we do not act alone, but on group conscience. That means that we've discussed it, AS A TEAM, and decided how to act. Just as in real meetings, majority wins, so it is here. This is not personal opinion, but group conscience.

If there are several people saying to me ' this isn't really acceptable here' I'd be wondering by now if I should perhaps look at what I'm doing, before continuing regardless.

Continuing with the same behaviour, will only net you the same result, and patience and tolerance only gets us so far, when certain things are disruptive to the health of the group.