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Friend asked me to sponsor...

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:19 pm
by Larryp713
I am grateful for the recent opportunity to sponsor a friend of mine in the program, but it is a balancing act. First, he has almost 3 years sober and I am approaching my first birthday next week. But I have worked the steps and he has not. He said he asked me because he sees amazing growth in my recovery and wants the same. He is ready to work.

This is a great opportunity but also an immense responsibility. I spoke with my sponsor, and he advised me along the lines I was thinking. I need to help my friend work the steps as I am taught by my sponsor. I don't need to try to pretend I am some guru beyond my years - just share what has been freely given to me. It is hard in a sense because we tend to talk about our families and personal life, but I noticed that I have become more natural at steering these conversations towards my recovery. It is natural because recovery is still very important to me.

I am working the steps again with my new sponsor and am just ahead of what I am sharing with my sponsee (I am about to do my fifth step, he and I will do the third step prayer this week and get him started on his fourth step). I was wondering... If the situation happens where he were to catch up with me, should I suggest to my sponsor that work through the steps together with him, or should I just teach him to the best of my understanding from my previous step work? I am learning a lot from my new sponsor, but I don't want to slow my sponsee down if he is ready to keep working. I look forward to reading your thoughts. Thanks! Larry

Re: Friend asked me to sponsor...

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:37 pm
by Tosh
Larryp713 wrote: or should I just teach him to the best of my understanding from my previous step work?
This, I think. When I work with a new guy, we just follow the suggestions straight from the book. For example after I listen to his fifth, I then leave him alone for an hour so that he can contemplate the books suggests he contemplates, then when I return, we read through the two paragraphs that cover Steps 6 and 7, we do the 7th Step prayer together. And so on.

I try not to 'give my take' on the Steps and just let my sponsee find his own meaning in the process.

You'll be fine, Larry. Early in A.A. guys would put down the drink, be ran through the Steps and they'd be out chasing drunks and sponsoring before the smell of booze had dissipated from their breath. Well maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I'm sure you get the idea.

I just use the Big Book, we follow it closely, and try to let the guys I sponsor find their own meaning.

Re: Friend asked me to sponsor...

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:03 pm
by Larryp713
Thanks, Tosh. I like the idea of keeping him (and myself) moving. I do believe the steps were written to be worked thoroughly but with momentum. It is best if he is driving... I told him that last night. I appreciate your thoughts.

I've been recently asked to spons friend

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:10 pm
by No.3
We met today. He has been through the Steps before, his BB is all marked up. I'm surprised at how little he seems to know, given all that writing! But it doesn't matter, really. We don't get graded on this. He says he's reading pp.86-88 daily; we'll read Step 1 in the 12&12 next time.
should I just teach him to the best of my understanding from my previous step work? I am learning a lot from my new sponsor
What Tosh said. In two different spons, I can obviously see a different Sobriety or Program emphasis, apart from the lit. But the BB itself was written for Americans with a 5th Grade education; it isn't rocket-science. It's a very simple program (even where certain bits were omitted or muddled, in haste) if you want it to be. I'm curious that someone would experience the 12-Steps an entirely different way with a new sponsor, if both sponsors were solid and communicated the same AA message. Guessing they don't? Either way, I believe the growth (mine, yours, his/hers) is always within.

Congratulations on your first sponsee, Larry!

Re: Friend asked me to sponsor...

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:12 pm
by Tosh
Larryp713 wrote:Thanks, Tosh. I like the idea of keeping him (and myself) moving. I do believe the steps were written to be worked thoroughly but with momentum. It is best if he is driving... I told him that last night. I appreciate your thoughts.
With regards to keeping them moving, what I do (and what was done to me) was at the point we do the 3rd Step prayer, I then show the guy (using my own Step 4 sheets) how to do a Step 4. It means I do a mini 5th Step with them using my own 'worst in stock'. It lets them see what kind of alkie I was, that I'm more than prepared to be honest with them, and I hope it makes it easier for them to be honest too.

Then we book a mutual date to do the 5th Step. This means my sponsee and I both know the date it's to be done by and we can keep it free from other commitments.

It also focusses my sponsees on when the 5th Step has to be completed by.

Re: Friend asked me to sponsor...

Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:08 pm
by Larryp713
Thanks No. 3 and Tosh, that is really good stuff. I really like the suggestion to set a date for the 5th step, rather than leaving that open. I like having that set out there, and I will do that with my guy.
As far as working the steps with two different guys and getting completely different results, I don't think that is so shocking. They are different people, and I have changed since I worked the steps for the first time. Whatever the differences, I have learned a lot since changing sponsors.