Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

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: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby Chelle » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:31 am

Hi Larry,
I too spent a lot of time working with a girl with bipolar issues and chronic relapses.(I wasn't her sponsor, as I had not completed the steps). But, as I talked to her about what I had done, that is when I realized how the program works. I was just doing whatever was asked of me, one step at a time. It was like a light bulb went off after explaining my experience to her. My light bulb! She helped me so much and had absolutely no idea.

It broke my heart that she went back out. She had actually been drinking between meetings and once was pretty well lit when we spent the day helping another member. I had an idea she was, but said nothing , just kept talking the program during our long car ride together. Then she called very sloppy drunk, and I told her to call me the next day when sober and we would get to an early meeting. In her current state, I could not get through to her. She did not call.

It sounds good that he at least called before he wanted to drink, even though he drank. You went above, by helping him gain employment too. Maybe he has just not had enough. My girl had not. She ended up hospitalized, lost her apartment, broken relationship with son..again.Someone told me what was already mentioned "you can't want her sobriety more than she does". It made sense. She helped me and I stayed sober! She just wasn't ready to hear the message, or to get honest and leave old drinking buddies and old habits behind. I had to back off and wait for her to come to me and give her to God.

Fast forward..I sent her a text on new years after having a dream about her. She texted me thanks right back. A couple weeks later, I heard she showed up at some meetings across town. Good news indeed. She contacted me again last month, said she was working with a new sposnor,doing great, had a couple of months, and that I had really helped her. The things I said did not make sense to her when I said them, but they did now.We have gone to a couple meetings together and she is actually working the steps this time.

I could not help her with her bi polar, only the problem with the drink. Its all the experiencd I have there. Thankfully, the hospital trip got her medication straightened out. Thats what the good doctors are for :D I haven't heard from her in a little bit, but I pray for her everyday, and if she ever calls me again, I'll be there for her. Some of us have to learn the hard way. I know I did. Some never get it.
All we can do is carry the message.

You are doing good Larry, thanks for posting.
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby Lali » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:57 am

Speaking as someone who is bipolar, I think some here are getting more alarmed than necessary. (I bet nearly half of AA members have bipolar disorder to some degree.) I agree with Brock that too much is being put on Larry. Larry, if you are concerned that your sponsee may harm himself or another, you could take him to the emergency room and let them evaluate the situation and make recommendations. You can also suggest that he see a doctor, but if he refuses, that is where your responsibility ends. Keep this thought in mind: Carry the message, not the alcoholic. Should you feel you are in over your head with this guy, enlist the help of someone with long time sobriety to guide you with this.

You're doing great so far! There's nothing wrong with asking for help if needed.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:16 am

Thank you all for the excellent feedback. I think I have enough information to support my sponsee with the love and grace this program has taught me. I appreciate all of your support! This program works in so many ways! - Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby Noels » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:49 am

Thank you for being there to help this man Larry. All the best and you're always welcome.
Mwah xxx
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby positrac » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:35 am

positrac wrote:This is hard because it sounds like you want sobriety more than he does. All we can do is try and if it isn't going to work maybe they have to finish what they started and at best you've planted the seed. These are lessons to you as well because it is a reminder of how fragile we can become at any moment.

maybe not what you want to hear, although to thy own self be true.


I've been in some bad places in this wonderful world and I have a lot of mental scares and physical ones as well due to war in the last 30 years. This is nothing to do with me-except that I take sobriety serious and if whomever is not ready then I have to allow them to get to the point of sick and tired.

If I exposed my past and the events of things it is a wonder I didn't go and get drunk after being blown up, and having to kill because I was going to get killed in my bucket list country of Somalia. So for me my tolerance level has a low threshold on whatever it is because I've see the gates of hell and can speak to it.

I try to live and let live and we can't save everyone and I believe if I've tried to do my part then they either get it and or will be the example of what not to revert back to. I would not of wanted to be in wars on other lands and it was part of the deal I signed up for and it is in my past and I am alive due to the desire to live and also to stay sober.
I am just a garden variety drunk and nothing more.
Last edited by positrac on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby Larryp713 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:48 am

Thanks for your service and comments, positrac. I really was just hoping to hear some other opinions so I can offer some support to this guy, if/when he calls me again. I am not trying to save anybody - just want to be well-informed. Thanks - Larry
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Re: Sponsoring the habitual relapser...

Postby positrac » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:50 am

Larryp713 wrote:Thanks for your service and comments, positrac. I really was just hoping to hear some other opinions so I can offer some support to this guy, if/when he calls me again. I am not trying to save anybody - just want to be well-informed. Thanks - Larry

All of what you mentioned is part of the learning and we each digest and form our structure to best provide to the one who still suffers. We all suffer from things and it took me some time to want others to help me even when I came into the rooms because I had trust issues. People too friendly meant they wanted something in return and that kept me out of the rooms for a few more years until I was in a bad way and had to surrender.

I say our eyes tell a story and if that guy sees you around town and you have that clear twinkle it means you are sober and you look him dead on as he looks away in remorse it merely means you aren't any better besides you haven't needed to drink to cope.
Be friendly and this may be all you can do because he just isn't ready yet to change. If he is still working then he must need to make money in order to live and survive and if he quit then who knows the deal as society today seems to champion quitters and lazy people who refuse to step up and work.

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