Sponsorship and the 5th step

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?

Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby Alnwick9A » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:49 am

The lady I sponsor wants to do her 5th step with someone else in the Program. We have a good relationship, I believe, but I find I am quite taken aback by this. She made some vague comment that she believed the person she should do her 5th step with should have a lot of sobriety, although, of the 3 very fine women, who I admire and like, that she has identified, only one has significantly more sobriety than myself (me = 5 yrs 9 months).

I want the best for her and I certainly don't want my issues affecting her sobriety, but I'm suddenly feeling inadequate as a sponsor and I'm not sure how to deal with that. In fact, my inclination is to ask her, as kindly as possible, to ask whomever she selects for her 5th step to sponsor her from that point on, because I can't see how I have her trust and confidence any longer.

She is a good woman and works hard and honestly on her recovery. Please advise me on what is best for her and me.

Thank you
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby KathyAnne » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:14 am

I to would be taken aback. I would ask her why she feels the need to do it with someone else and not you. Perhaps she thinks a lot of you and doesn't want you to know her 'stuff' in case you go off her. I maybe totally wrong there. I would also say if you chose to do 5th step with another then I would ask her to carry on with them. Perhaps she's a little bit confused.
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:03 am

She is a good woman and works hard and honestly on her recovery.

Let go then. You have helped her so far, Great. People come and go in our life, we don't cling, we just enjoy the time we had with them. Eventually do you know we have to give up everything? Time is ticking for each one of us. Bear that in mind.
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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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby Chelle » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:07 am

Last edited by Chelle on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby Brock » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:34 am

There is one area in which the big book and 12 x 12 not only don't offer very much help, but they can actually make matters more confusing. The big book does not talk about sponsors anyway, so just says choose someone who can keep a confidence, and the 12 x 12 speaks about perhaps your sponsor, or religious person, or some things to the sponsor other things to doctor, priest etc. not very firm instructions.

I think if the person was very religious and church going, and said they wanted their priest to hear it that's fine, but to choose another member is a bit of an insult. Chelle had the best of reasons for telling her to stick with the other person, the sponsor should be listing or assisting with listing people she will approach in 8 & 9, so you can say picking someone else for 5 means it's best to stay with them.

I really would try not to feel inadequate as a sponsor or inadequate as anything else, I never had a sponsor and have never sponsored, there are valid reasons for this due to my locality. And I know the books say there is great joy in sponsoring and how much it helps us, but the 12 x 12 also goes to some lengths to show that this is not the only way we do 12th step work. I have often been asked for advise by newer people and have been happy to give it to the best of my ability.

It worries me that in my area and elsewhere on boards like these, we get comments from both sponsors and sponsees, which make it appear as if they are dependent on each other for sobriety, and while this may not be the case here, it would be a shame if anyone in AA ever gets the impression, that to do the program we need to sponsor others.
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby Layne » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:43 am

Her issue became an issue for you, the dilemma now is.. do you want to carry it, pass it back, or place it down and move forward? Which action would best fit AA's primary purpose?
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby D'oh » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:41 am

First off, the only people I have ever did a 5th step with have been my Sponsors. Why? Because I can't BS them. They already know where I am coming from.

What troubles me is "Why is it bothering you?" She is doing a 5th step! It is her's not yours. You have helped her this far in the steps, but her choice is to find someone else to help with this.

There might be a good reason for it, or not. She will be the better for doing it either way.
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Re: Sponsorship and the 5th step

Postby PaigeB » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:12 pm

I guess I am a bit of each one of these posts... to the point, I was afraid my sponsor would not like me anymore after I told her some things about me that she would never be able to unsee. For weeks after my 5th Step I said things like "I did my 5th Step and my sponsor still likes me" and I did not understand the laughter around the room. Finally however, I saw that it was a common fear and a common relief that brought the laugh.

Also, I am glad my sponsor heard my 5th because now she can call me on my BS. I do not have to get the opinions of several people or even 2 to see where I am being manipulative because I think that girl hates me before she even knows me kinda thing. My sponsor heard many of those types of resentments in my 5th Step and there is no doubt in my mind when she reminds me of them. Had she not heard my 5th, I might still be searching for the answer to why I seem to instantly hate women who I can hear laugh from across a crowded room. :? :wink: :|
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