"Virtual" sponsor vs f2f

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?

Re: "Virtual" sponsor vs f2f

Postby No.3 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:13 pm

Tracy h wrote:...as newcomer I'm curious whether non-f2f sponsorship is viable option.

I believe it is, for some. I know (other people's) sponsees who do maintain solid, preexisting, f2f relationships with their sponsor via Facetime, etc. It works if they're honest and mature about their recovery.

I decline to sponsor this way - I have a number of former sponsees who have moved away, and I ALWAYS counsel "Get a new, local sponsor that you see at least once a week!" Why? I believe that after taking someone thru the Steps, ACCOUNTABILITY is a sponsor's secondary purpose. I don't sponsor guys I cannot "see" regularly; typically, that's about once a week. Sponsorship is a two-way street: if I sense someone is evasive, furtive and distant with me, it's not working out. For that uncertainty, I'd be disinclined to take on a Virtual Sponsee I'd never met, likewise.

I can imagine a few exceptions, such as sponsoring someone in prison or who moves to Moonbase Alpha, etc. but none of those hypotheticals have applied to me, yet. otoh, and contrary to what I hear many other sponsors say, I'm flexible with txt msgs and emails instead of mandatory verbal phone convos, IF I'm seeing the guy in meetings, weekly also. I'm not really "sponsoring" someone invisible IRL who isn't calling, texting, emailing (FaceTime,etc.) on some routine basis, in my mind. In theirs? Whatever.

The basis of the relationship, whatever it should be, really ought to be understood and agreed to by both parties in advance. It works if you work it - or doesn't, perhaps. In my experience, of 3 sponsees who moved away and didn't get new spons and didn't maintain phone contact, 2 relapsed within 3-4 months; the other is +3yrs sober says he has a new sponsor at last! I know that Sponsorship isn't "the reason" most sponsees stay sober (or relapse, from lack of) but it's a factor in most people's recovery.
"The Group demands total loyalty to the inner group. Some have had to leave the movement because of the Groups' demands which conflict with truth or duty." The Oxford Groups by Herbert H. Henson, 1933, pages 73-74.
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Re: "Virtual" sponsor vs f2f

Postby Service » Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:44 am

The third step can work if all else fails !!! :idea: :idea: :idea:
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Re: "Virtual" sponsor vs f2f

Postby Tracy h » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:17 am

leejosepho wrote:An online sponsor can be just as effective as any other, but your honesty as to the matter of avoidance is what can make a difference in the result.


Thought I'd weigh in with a post-mortem on this subject in case anyone is considering same, as some time has passed and I do now have a f2f sponsor. And yes, it has made a big difference in both my understanding/participation within the fellowship locally as well as beginning to develop my understanding and self-awareness through steps - as we're not that far along working together on steps, it mostly feels like I've been building trust/communication in anticipation of, but that feels okay. Who knows maybe that's her intention pace-wise; in meantime I'm entrusting, and working daily on developing a relationship with HP (God, for me), which also has been amazing in terms of realizing the void that existed prior ... I included leejosepho's quote above as I now understand better the wisdom behind it and wanted to acknowledge that yes, there was a certain reluctance on my part in engaging in a personal way f2f that had me hoping back then to find an "easier" way out ... Though I will add that I have an ongoing program-related email correspondence that has been very instructive/helpful and feels very real, honest and connected to me so I can definitely still see the potential ... That's it, hope all are well.
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