Insecure

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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KathyAnne
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Insecure

Post by KathyAnne » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:47 am

I've been feeling insecure about my program & recovery since 2 days ago and I keep obsessing about what was said to me. I have a service sponser now & sometimes talk slips into other areas I found her very helpful she's over 30 years sober and is very wise. I have had the same sponser for 4 years she dosnt live near me but we speak on the phone and she has been a huge help in my recovery were more like good recovery friends now. I did get a sponser from my home group to get me through the steps. I was told by my service sponser to get a sponser (I said there isn't anyone who's recovery I want) she wouldnt have it. Said I've a lot of work to do (maybe she's right) that the first answer is always the right one and that I go to other people until I hear what I want to hear (she may be right) anyway she went on to say a few harsh things she said she's a tough sponser and if I'm frightened of her then she's not for me too, she's right there! I'll stick with her being my service sponser which she's very good at. I just feel my confidence has been knocked ( I've allowed that) and feel in the pity pot today. I feel scared now thinking I'm doing everything wrong. Well I must be doing something right or I wouldn't be sober today. I think I will have to speak up if the conversation drifts into other areas and stick to service talk only. Which is a shame, I do feel some old timers get dogmatic & intolerant, thats only my opinion!!
For me I need a soft approach as I had a very bossy mother and bossy attitudes get my heckles up. Sometimes emotional soberity is a struggle it's constantly about letting go & keeping vigilant it's gets tiring at times.
Must go and do a gratitude list.

Stepchild
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Re: Insecure

Post by Stepchild » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:58 am

KathyAnne wrote:I have a service sponser now & sometimes talk slips into other areas I found her very helpful she's over 30 years sober and is very wise. I have had the same sponser for 4 years she dosnt live near me but we speak on the phone and she has been a huge help in my recovery were more like good recovery friends now. I did get a sponser from my home group to get me through the steps. I was told by my service sponser to get a sponser (I said there isn't anyone who's recovery I want) she wouldnt have it. Said I've a lot of work to do.
Hey KathyAnne...I'm all about trying to keep this program simple. When me made our third step decision....There is a position we took. Refresher:

This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.
When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.

pgs 62 and 63.

Maybe it's me...But it sounds like a lot of reliance on sponsors(I don't even know what a service sponsor is?)....And not so much reliance on God. You had a sponsor take you through the steps...You're four years sober so I am assuming you've had a spiritual awakening....Besides helping other acloholics find what you did?...What exactly is the work that your sponsor says you have to do?

We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well.

Performed His work well...Pray for knowledge of His will and the power to carry it out. (Or Her...Or whatever your HP is.)

They tell us on pages 86 to 88 exactly what they did everyday from wake up to retiring...And not once do they mention getting their sponsor's opinion. That works if you do your best to follow it. It's what worked for them. That's my take on it..I'm sure others will disagree. Hang in there...And congrats on four years...That's what I got.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Insecure

Post by avaneesh912 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:41 am

Kathy,
In the earliar days, they worked the 12 steps and then they started service work. But lately, the message as been lost. I really never heard of the term "service sponsor" I have heard of it only here, even then I don't know truely what the role is. I would suggest, find "a sponsor" who will help you have a spiritual awakening by working the 12 steps and continue to work the daily disciplines of 11 and 10 and then slowly you can spread your wings into the service activities.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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ann2
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Re: Insecure

Post by ann2 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:29 am

Hi KathyAnne,

You're doing great. Not to say you're doing anything wrong, but I wonder if you, like me, have a desire to find an earthly embodiment of a higher power, i.e. someone to take direction from, to turn my life over to, to relieve me of the burden of choice, to blame if things don't go well . . . I'm obviously talking from experience here :)

I had a service sponsor who said some good things and some not-so-good things. He helped me a lot by being a provocateur, getting me mad and putting pressure on me. Our relationship ended on bad terms, but not from my side, if that makes sense. I mean, I didn't let him get in the way of my higher power. And I think it was the result of applying the principles of the program, which is exactly what he would have wanted.

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

Stepchild
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Re: Insecure

Post by Stepchild » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:34 am

KathyAnne wrote: I did get a sponser from my home group to get me through the steps.


I guess I'm just assuming that this did happen. Forgive me if I'm wrong.

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Brock
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Re: Insecure

Post by Brock » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:43 am

When I saw this term “service sponsor” I was scratching my head, never heard of such a thing, and thinking what would such a person do – show me how to wash a coffee cup ? Anyway, this is probably because I don’t too much care for much of what the ‘sponsorship system’ in AA has become. But I educated myself on it; this is one of the nice things about forums like this, we hear of something and right away we can Google for more information, from the pamphlet P-15 near the end they speak of service sponsors, a section is quoted below with highlights to areas I think we must keep in mind.
The service sponsor should keep in mind that all members will not have the desire or qualifications to move beyond certain levels and, thus, the service sponsor might help find tasks appropriate to individuals’ skills and interests. Whatever level of service one performs, all are toward the same end — sharing the overall responsibilities of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I also read some articles quoting Bill’s view on service, and it is quite apparent that not everyone in AA will do anything more than what is asked in step 12, when we get the opportunity to do so we tell others about how we recovered, and we try to live according to the principles (steps) of the program. What would happen if every AA member wanted a service position - utter chaos, there just aren’t that many positions available, and nowhere have I seen that service past the level of carrying the message at meetings is necessary for quality sobriety.
I was told by my service sponser to get a sponser (I said there isn't anyone who's recovery I want) she wouldnt have it. Said I've a lot of work to do (maybe she's right) that the first answer is always the right one and that I go to other people until I hear what I want to hear (she may be right) anyway she went on to say a few harsh things she said she's a tough sponser and if I'm frightened of her then she's not for me too, she's right there!

So many of us here agree with you when you state this about your last sponsor –“ I have had the same sponser for 4 years she dosnt live near me but we speak on the phone and she has been a huge help in my recovery were more like good recovery friends now.”
Join the club because this is what many believe should happen; long term holding on to someone is written and suggested nowhere in our program. It seems she has put doubts in your mind about having more to do and accepting the easiest answers, I am sorry but just who does she think she is. The other day one of the ladies here with less than the four years sobriety you have, but someone who seems very well grounded, was speaking of the joyful experience of going through each day, meeting each problem as it comes, and trying to apply an AA answer or principle in overcoming each one. And as Stepchild mentioned at the end of each day we may reflect on how well we have done, but the book clearly says we don’t beat ourselves up when we fell short, which brings up the other thing which caught my eye.
Well I must be doing something right or I wouldn't be sober today. I think I will have to speak up if the conversation drifts into other areas and stick to service talk only. Which is a shame, I do feel some old timers get dogmatic & intolerant, thats only my opinion!!
I am a strong believer in when we are doing well we take pride in it, say thank you God for showing me the way, but I did it and I will give myself a little pat on the back, bloody right you are doing something right, and please don’t let any human being make you feel different. And if you seek answers from various others that is your right, be big enough to judge for yourself that you are not accepting the easy way out. Some of the smartest people in the world study for many years to become medical doctors, and the practice of a second opinion is common in that field, but some alcoholic is going to say this is the way you can’t ask anyone else, rubbish. I wish you the very best, if the only service work you ever do is washing a coffee cup you will be doing more that many folks, do as much as you feel comfortable with.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Insecure

Post by PaigeB » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:06 am

Hi Kathy! I too had a service sponsor, she was going to help me work on spirituality in AA business and point to literature and other such things. We did not work together very long as she was a pretty powerful personality and I did not do well with that. I found that most folks do service work knowing nothing going into a position and by they time they learn it, it is time to rotate... keeps us humble lol.

But back to step sponsors. I still have the sponsor who took me through the Steps and some really painful stuff is happening to me right now and I have called on her to help me through it. After going through the Steps I did not need to see her every week like I used to, or call at all hours of the day... I may only see her 3 times a year, but at certain points during my sobriety she has been indispensable as being that one trusted voice I can go to when others have varying ideas about which thing might work. She knows me and she knows my defects and my rationalizations. Above all I trust her.
I have had the same sponser for 4 years she dosnt live near me but we speak on the phone and she has been a huge help in my recovery were more like good recovery friends now.
If there really is not anyone who has a sobriety that you want, you might want to get to some different functions or meetings. I can't imagine sitting in a meeting with a bunch of drunks who did not have anything I wanted. I need a lot of reminders about why & how to stay sober. Now if you feel you MUST change (& I am not sure you need to), maybe this person you chose does not need the title sponsor, but call it what you may, my trusted AA sponsor/friend has been priceless and I know that without her, alcohol would have continued to look like a viable solution.

Also "intense work with another alcoholic" can mean being a sponsor and taking other women through the Steps! I have benefitted more from my sponsees than I can say! I hope you get the opportunity to pass it on!
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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Re: Insecure

Post by Stepchild » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:35 am

I admire you PaigeB...And your sobriety...But when I hear things like this...I have to ask this question....
PaigeB wrote: I may only see her 3 times a year, but at certain points during my sobriety she has been indispensable as being that one trusted voice I can go to when others have varying ideas about which thing might work. She knows me and she knows my defects and my rationalizations. Above all I trust her.
my trusted AA sponsor/friend has been priceless and I know that without her, alcohol would have continued to look like a viable solution.


If...God forbid...She were to go out and drink...Would that put your sobriety in jeopardy?

Lali
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Re: Insecure

Post by Lali » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:37 pm

Stepchild wrote:
my trusted AA sponsor/friend has been priceless and I know that without her, alcohol would have continued to look like a viable solution.


If...God forbid...She were to go out and drink...Would that put your sobriety in jeopardy?
I'm sure your post was well meaning stepchild. But.........No need to ask this question. I have been following Paige's posts for about 5 years and I find that everything she says/writes is spot on for the subject matter. I have followed many, probably all, of her suggestions where the subject matter is something that is an issue for me.
my trusted AA sponsor/friend has been priceless and I know that without her, alcohol would have continued to look like a viable solution.


I read this as past tense.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

KathyAnne
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Re: Insecure

Post by KathyAnne » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:06 am

Many thanks for your replys which were very helpful. It's been a tough 24hrs but come out feeling a lot stronger and have some answers to. Personal growth can be so painful at times but today I don't have to drink on it.
I try and work a simple program but my head won't let me at times! I get to analytical and obsess and put doubts in my mind.
Must say I was so touched by the replys it's amazing how this works and people all over the world understand. I'm going to be very careful with this person in future, be guarded and find the courage to speak up if I feel she's over stepped the mark. I'd never heard of service sponser either,until I was nominated as secretary for intergroup and I felt shocked but chuffed. It was suggested to me then to get a s/sponser so she could show me the ropes as I could do it the hard way and make loads of mistakes or be guided thro it which I choose. The previous secretary never came back so no hand over period as ususal in my life I was thrown into the deep end I took it on as I new it would be good for me. I've certainly grown this last year. But still don't feel I know myself well yet.
I've learnt yesterday that I've to stop looking to others to help or guide me & to learn to trust HP & myself more often as it says in the BB people will always let us down. I've to stop measuring myself against others and learn to not be so hard on myself I'm very self critical it's a killer for me at times. So hard to feel good about myself and feel worthy but I'm praying on it. Thankyou to everyone who took the time to reply & read me.

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Re: Insecure

Post by chefchip » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:44 am

KathyAnne wrote:I've learnt yesterday that I've to stop looking to others to help or guide me & to learn to trust HP & myself more often as it says in the BB people will always let us down. I've to stop measuring myself against others and learn to not be so hard on myself I'm very self critical it's a killer for me at times. So hard to feel good about myself and feel worthy but I'm praying on it. Thankyou to everyone who took the time to reply & read me.
I like this, KathyAnne. I've also had to learn a similar lesson. In the beginning of my program, I needed people in a very intense way. I was trying to change bad/old habits and learn new ones. And I was trying to figure out a new way of thinking and dealing with life. That I could not do alone.

But, in my experience, it has become apparent that the true measure of whether or not AA is working for me -- whether or not I "get" the program -- is to be found in my ability to face the world as a sober, recovered individual. Sure, I will always need my relationship with my higher power. But if I am still depending today on other people to get me through, then that is a red flag regarding my program. I may need others that I trust to "bounce things off of," but if my program is successful, then I am not depending on those people -- for my program, my sobriety or my self-esteem. It seems counterintuitive, but when I think about it it makes sense.

These days I don't worry so much about occasional feelings of unworthiness and insecurity. As long as I am a human being, those will be with me. Those feelings are not the problem. They ways I react to and deal with them are the problem. That's why steps 10 and 11 are so vital to my continued recovery. If I can honestly say at the end of the day that I did my best, that I did not violate my principles and morals, and that I did not hurt another person then all is well. What most other people think about my program is irrelevant, especially if they are offering unwanted and unasked for advice.

It has been said, but I'll repeat it. There are things said and done in AA rooms that are not AA and never will be AA. I avoid those things and people as much as possible. I try to do what is best for my program and sobriety, and for the well being and happiness of those I love. That seems to me to be enough for any human being.
The only constant in life is change.

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Brock
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Re: Insecure

Post by Brock » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:01 am

I am pleased for KathyAnne taking on the secretary position at her intergroup, but I feel it is only fair to offer a word of warning. In my experience and that of others here service can lead to resentments, we had a topic on this started in 2012, and last contributed to in June of this year, the link to that is given below.

It is coincidental that my own intergroup is looking for a secretary at this time and can’t find any volunteers, the last one has been doing the job for the six years I have been in AA, and quite understandably it seems he has thrown in the towel. So we must be very careful, whatever the term of rotation, we are advised in the literature to stick to it, so that newcomers would get the opportunity to serve. But in fact with many positions this is a fallacy, nobody wants to do it and we get stuck and often develop resentments over it. So service can be excellent for growth and I hope you enjoy it, but if at any time during your term you suspect it is interfering with your sobriety say so, any decent member of AA would understand, and if at the end of your term you have had enough of course pass it on, either way you can be proud to have served and best of luck in doing it.

http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... resentment
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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