Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter 3.

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: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter 3.

Postby IDontNeedASponsor » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:46 pm

The last paragraph of Chapter 3 of the Big Book says:

"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

That paragraph implies that a Higher Power is what actually keeps you sober, not a sponsor.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby D'oh » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:20 pm

Ok I just called my Sponsor and fired him. You sold me.

Ok so now, How do I get in touch with God? Do you have his/her phone number or E mail address? And not just the Business Hours one, I will need the 24/7 one please. For those "Certain Times" that you speak of.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:09 am

That paragraph implies that a Higher Power is what actually keeps you sober, not a sponsor.


True.

But also in the working of the 10th step, BTW its how we carry our life during "wakeful" state, the books says:

We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.


That someone could be your sponsor, a friend, a guide, a counselor whatever. As long as you are responsible and take ownership.
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: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Brock » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:06 am

Welcome back fellow who doesn’t need a sponsor, I don't either, but I have found that people will understandably get their back up when we criticize the way they choose to stay sober, nobody here to my knowledge ever said that their sponsor kept them sober.

I and others will agree that the defense must come from a higher power, and I believe that overusing a sponsor for every little 'life problem,' takes away from developing that contact with God which D'oh spoke about. A few days ago I spoke about this in another thread, may get a few 'rolling eyes' but will copy and paste it here -

"Now we are speaking about the ego being at fault, a good point, providing it means my ego might keep me from feeling I need help, but equally the ego of some people can not accept that I don't need their help. A spiritual speaker I like sometimes says 'go to the throne before the phone,' and I am pretty sure many people would benefit from resisting calling their sponsor on matters that God has answers for, from page 87 -
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We come to rely on it, but not if we don't practice it, and I believe based on the sort of things I hear and read members saying they ask sponsors about, we are falling down on this part of the original guidelines for our program. Do you really have to say to someone I did this or that was I being selfish, or someone did this or that to me, and what qualifies the sponsor to answer silly questions, just builds up his ego if he thinks he has the answers to everything. The good ones will probably say I can't answer some of these things you must look inside yourself as the book suggests, but those 'good ones' seem to be getting harder to find, replaced by those who feel having a whole lot of sponsees means they are doing the program 'right.' If someone can't honestly say that they would be just as content and secure in their sobriety if they had no sponsees, just carrying the message in meetings as best they can, then I believe that person has a problem, the idea of sponsors and sponsees becoming codependent is I think very real, and not at all what should happen.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby D'oh » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:14 am

Yep, and when ever you are confused or not sure that you are on God's path, you can just bounce it off yourself. Soon you won't even need to do that, because you will already know you are right before asking yourself.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Brock » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:53 am

Yep, and when ever you are confused or not sure that you are on God's path, you can just bounce it off yourself.

Then the words in the book like these mean nothing, “Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.” Or what it says we should do in the chapter 'Into Action.'
Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.

It keeps saying things like after we have tried it for a while, and we come to rely on it, but whatever works to keep you sober I always say good for you. But then this becomes the new normal, I keep hearing sponsors saying this is the way my sponsor showed me, so that's how I will show others, then this dependence on other humans is perpetuating itself over and over, and the message in the book is taking a back seat. The day I need some human member of AA to point out whether or not I am on God's path, is the day I hope never to see.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby D'oh » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:42 pm

Ah, a master of the Big Book. So who do you discuss with when Resentment Fear, Dishonesty, or Selfishness crop up? Or they don't?
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Reborn » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:16 pm

I don't hold my sponsor up as some know it all...infact sometimes when we talk I point stuff out to him. Today the man who guided me through the steps is my friend. I have lots of friends in AA that I can bounce things off of...I don't find this goes against the book at all because it tells me to discuss things with someone at once. I find that when I'm working with a newcomer most of the time if I let him talk long enough he will usually come to his own conclusion...I don't have to say a word. I believe a sponsor's responsible for guiding newcomers through the steps out of the Big Book...once this is done I emphasize that they must get out and carry the message and help others to recover. Its amazing how much I can work out on my own by helping others...in talking to newcomers more is revealed to me about myself...thus helping them helps me just as much. However I don't think someone should continue to ask their sponsor about every life issue...we work the steps to tap that inner resource...

page 98...
Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Noels » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:41 am

:D Life is simple - When i pray I ask my God questions. When i meditate my God answers. Before just reacting and criticizing why don't you try and experience it first? Real easy.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Noels » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:43 am

My apologies -by saying " you " i didn't mean anyone in particular. An oops moment. Just meaning - try it, experience it and then decide.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby IDontNeedASponsor » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:16 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
That paragraph implies that a Higher Power is what actually keeps you sober, not a sponsor.


True.

But also in the working of the 10th step, BTW its how we carry our life during "wakeful" state, the books says:

We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.


That someone could be your sponsor, a friend, a guide, a counselor whatever. As long as you are responsible and take ownership.


Exactly. I am free to choose the person with whom I do my Step 5's and Step 10's with. It doesn't have to be a sponsor. It can be a friend, a family member, a counselor, a therapist, a doctor, a lawyer, a priest, a minister, a rabbi. There are many options.

Also, the Big Book doesn't say anything about having to get feedback on a Step 5. The feedback thing wasn't introduced until the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, written about 13 years after the Big Book.
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby Brock » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:11 pm

Also, the Big Book doesn't say anything about having to get feedback on a Step 5. The feedback thing wasn't introduced until the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, written about 13 years after the Big Book.

As you know I have already said that there are certain aspects of sponsorship I don't agree with, and am bit of a big book thumper as well. But we must have respect for what is written in the 12 & 12, and even in that book it says we may choose to speak to someone other than our sponsor, someone not involved in AA at all if we wish. You will not win many people in AA over to seeing things your way, if you stick to what's in the big book only, and keep in mind that the ideas in both books basically come from the same person.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Sponsorship: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:20 pm

Also, the Big Book doesn't say anything about having to get feedback on a Step 5.


This is from the big book:

We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world. Rightly and naturally, we think well before we choose the person or persons with whom to take this intimate and confidential step. Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it. Though we have no religious conception, we may still do well to talk with someone ordained by an established religion. We often find such a person quick to see and understand our problem. Of course, we sometimes encounter people who do not understand alcoholics.

Its all about ego-deflation. I consider above as "getting a feedback". I would say, when we let someone look at our stuff, they may see the glaring selfishness/self-centeredness that we may fail to see ourselves.
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: exact opposite of last paragraph of chapter

Postby clouds » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:26 am

I find that when I have been wrong and need to discuss it with another person, even if I don't get feedback, it helps me to see it with mor clarity. Saying outloud, for example, a fear, a resentment, selfpity to someone-- that gives me new sight onto myself and what I have done. Sometimes people will give feedback. Other times they go to talking about how they have had the same fear, selfishness or problem. It just seems that sharing the defect and wrong done generates a healthier objective attitude. I've had long standing defects vanish completely once I talked honestly about them to another person.
Sometimes people will admit to me something they have done wrong and I see myself in a new light, it gives me an instant opportunity to admit the same myself. The steps are a way of life, guides to progress seems to mean doing them all the time, there rally is no time off from spiritual growth.

As in step 10, promptly admitting wrongs is dependent upon when I see the wrong I did.

These steps of inventory really work. I emphasize that if step 4 is followed by steps 5,6, and then asking God to remove the defects this actually does provide freedom from defects of character.

Step 10 needs to be done every evening at least.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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