My character defects vs my sponsor

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?

My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:12 am

I am amazed at how interactions with my sponsor brings out a level of immaturity from me that I have not seen since my youngest was in diapers. Last night, he chastised me for not calling him every day, and in particular Sunday, where we had talked about getting together but had not made a firm commitment. I ended up taking my older son to a church activity and spent most of my Sunday in church. I explained that to him and apologized, but he did not seem to accept this, suggesting a five minute call would have sufficed.

Of course, he is right. But I hate feeling compelled to call him everyday. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I am jumping up and down and stomping my feet as I type this. I have already decided I will set a daily alarm to read the Daily reflection in the afternoon and call him with one example of how I am applying that principle in my life today, and then let him drive the conversation until I can hang up. I don't know what I am supposed to talk about every day with him. Am I supposed to whine about things so he can give me some advice that I already know he is going to give me? When I have a real issue, I have no problem calling him and really appreciate his help. But thankfully, by the Grace of God and support of AA, I don't run into those issues daily. The times are becoming more rare when I feel truly restless, irritable, and discontent. I think that is one of the promises of this program.

I have been back and forth on what I should do. I don't think I should get a new sponsor because it feels like I am trying to run the show. I am praying that I can turn my focus to recovery, and set aside my expectations. Just typing this out is helping my attitude (amazing how that works). I would love to hear others' experiences in the frustrations or lessons you have learned as you work with others and try to adopt this design for living. Thank you, and be blessed! Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
Larryp713
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Olathe, KS

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:28 am

How long have you been sober? Maybe it is time to stop calling every day.
That call every day business is just for new people; so they get used to calling a do it if a crisis emerges instead of drinking.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Brock » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:32 pm

As I recall Larry got a new sponsor a few months ago, practicing a sort of directive sponsoring, his sponsor still calls his own sponsor each day and so on, also a lot of 'rules' about how we dress how many meetings to attend, pretty regimented stuff.

The good news to me in the post was the part about the times when we feel irritable becoming less, I look for progress as well, for me it's necessary to know I am not only on the right path, but also finding it easier to walk. And the times when I do feel irritable, the recovery from that is a good gauge as well, usually a couple of minutes of quiet contemplation sets me feeling good again.

I kind of agree that maybe it's best to stick it out a while longer due to the progress made, but man I have to hand it to you, I just couldn't have done what you are doing, it sounds crazy to phone someone when you don't need their advise or help. If the time comes when you really can't do this anymore, and it sounds like you are close to that now, I would tell him like it is, you are a good sponsor and I appreciate the help, but if you can't accept me calling when I need that help, bye bye. Part of the reason I say that as well, is that you are quite rightly getting resentful at having to do it, and we know that is poison to us.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3169
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:44 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot Larry was "that guy".
So, Larry, you made an agreement with this sponsor, no?
Was there a period of time involved?
How does the agreement end?


Aside, the sponsor is not the higher power. At some point, your conscious contact is what keeps you sober. But that is not what the Nebraska sect does.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby whipping post » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:39 pm

How is the step work going? Are ya'll progressing in the steps?
User avatar
whipping post
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:20 am

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Stepchild » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:01 am

What I looked for in a sponsor was someone that would give me the best chance of experiencing this entire psychic change through the process of taking these steps.....Without which would leave me very little hope for my recovery. So I looked for someone that knew and understood the book....Not so I could call him names or put labels on him...But rather to use his experience and knowledge of the program to bolster what I was learning in the book...The problem and the solution presented by the founders of AA. The directions.
The first thing he asked me to do was to read pages 86 to 88 everyday when I woke up. This was my daily required reading. Why? Because this was my design for living when his work was done and he wanted me to clearly understand this...

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.
page 88

I thank him for that.

One of the other things he wanted me to do...Was call him every day...Not text him...Call him. I believe there were two reasons for this. One...He wanted to see what lengths I was willing to go to...And two...More importantly...He wanted to hear my voice. If I was lying to him...Or I'd been drinking...He'd know it. And he wasn't going to waste his time on me if I was. I respect him for that.
After I'd worked my fifth step with him...And was in the process of the amends phase...A couple months sober...I called one night and his response was simple..."You don't have to call me everyday anymore." I think we both knew his job was done.

I was under the impression you had worked these steps Larry...Maybe I'm wrong. But I guess what I'm curious about is...What is this sponsor's motivation for you calling him everyday? It almost seems like it is his way of disciplining you....And not letting God as you understand Him...Take that job over.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby positrac » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:59 am

A lot of things do come to the surface when getting sober and having a sponsor. Depending on your sobriety, personality and character might depend on how someone might expect the sponsee to act. But also we drunks have some character defects that might never be fixed. I could say being overbearing, controlling and arrogant to mention some of the top issues that grates other personalities. So I would say you have two choices and they are:
1) learn to grow with the changes and or
2) find a new sponsor

Just because we get sober doesn't mean we are cured and we can walk on water. I know your post wasn't like what I am saying except that we need to learn how to deal with unique personalities as part of our recovery efforts.

be well
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby clouds » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:37 am

Wow! I didn't have a sponsor who expected me to call daily. The choice to get sober and do the steps was left to me alone.
I needed a lot of explanation on steps three and four, and I got exactly however much time from her that I needed but never was there any pressure from my sponsor at all. Which showed me that she practiced the steps and so she was "no longer running the show"!

Keep lookingfor a better fit for sponsors Larry. I don't think this is the one for you. Ask God to direct your toward another sponsor. Ask for protection and care with complete abandon, as it says in the opening part of the chapter How it Works.
" 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.
User avatar
clouds
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1061
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 am
Location: España

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Larryp713 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:50 am

Thanks all for the feedback. For background, I worked through the 12 steps with my first sponsor, but I didn't really get a lot out of the last three steps and was in a spiritual rut at about 9 months sober. A couple people I respect suggested I find a new sponsor, and I changed sponsors.
My new sponsor told me he wanted me to start over with the steps and laid down the rules his sponsor has him follow. We are at step 9 right now, and are making plans for step 10. I have 16 months sober tomorrow, and really have no desire to drink (which is still a miracle to me).

I think part of my problem is how I have been treating these daily calls. He told me they don't need to be long conversations, but when I get on the phone I start dumping about everything in my life. I just don't have an idea what he wants to talk about, so I dump whatever is in my mind, and that is usually a bunch of jumbled emotions. When I talk about recovery, I feel much better. So, that is how I decided to approach this. I am going to read the daily reflection or something out of As Bill Sees It before I call him and have a topic in mind, as if I was starting a meeting. I will share with him that and some example of my life, and then let him have his say and we can end the call. If I am struggling with something, I will try to bring that up and discuss it, though I admit I want to talk to him less and less about my personal life. I don't know why - I don't think it is a resentment, I just don't feel like discussing that stuff with him.

I am also going to start talking with other AAs in my homegroup. If nothing else, I always feel better when I hear other opinions. And reading all of your thoughts is awesome for me as well. Thank you all for sharing! Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
Larryp713
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Olathe, KS

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby clouds » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:17 am

This sounds great Larry, a positive solution.

I love how bringing the problem to the table, and listening to others, gave you your own answers!
" 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.
User avatar
clouds
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1061
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 am
Location: España

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Larryp713 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:44 am

clouds wrote:I love how bringing the problem to the table, and listening to others, gave you your own answers!


I find God speaks to me most often through others. It is really one of the miracles of the program for me. Thanks!
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
Larryp713
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:52 am
Location: Olathe, KS

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby tyg » Sun May 01, 2016 1:45 pm

I grew a lot by taking time to get to know another human being that I would normally not do. After taking the 12 Steps and applying them, things begin to change. I had established good relationships, including my sponsor, that I could talk with in times of need. That sponsor that requested a call every day became less about me and, more about them. It helped me get out of self, practice how to become present in the moment, talk story and build relationships with all types of personalities. I learned more about Contributing (Giving) to the conversations/relationships not just taking from it whether I liked a person or not.

Instead of talking about my recovery, and me all the time, I made efforts to know about them, their life story. I told jokes, invited them to meet me at meetings, coffee, asked how they (their family) are doing and what's happening in their lives, what interesting ventures they have done or are planning, etc.
I discovered there is a lot more to AA members than their alcoholism and recovery but I usually have to seek that out. People have become interesting to me now. Bonus... It's not required to like everybody.
I am amazed at how interactions with my sponsor brings out a level of immaturity from me that I have not seen since my youngest was in diapers.
This is a great when happens to me. I get to discover how amazing these spiritual principles are by cleaning house and digging out what blocks me from people and God and discover the many ways my self-will runs riot. Most important I see where I am not being true to myself, This helps to set boundaries.

Of course, he is right. But I hate feeling compelled to call him everyday. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I am jumping up and down and stomping my feet as I type this.
It is not about being right or wrong. We don’t get results without Action. Action causes change. I can hate it as long as I do it. I get strength to do it from HP. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I knew HOW doing all these things are going to improve life and well-being? Doesn’t work that way.

Thinking of how my alcoholism was affecting my life, what is so bad about making a quick phone call every day? Is there really, if I am completely honest with myself, any good reason aside from death or other emergency NOT to call? Even then, couldn’t I have found a moment to make a very “quick” call? I don’t have to talk longer than I allow. Ah ha, I also get to practice setting boundaries & be true to myself without being an ass or impatient with others.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
User avatar
tyg
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:34 pm

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Noels » Mon May 02, 2016 1:01 am

Good morning Larry :D Why don't you discuss your feelings about the daily phone call with your sponsor and get an idea why he wants you to phone him every day rather than all of us making assumptions without knowing the guy, you or the situation? I do believe that by working the program we reach a stage where we become reliant on our Higher Power more so than our sponsor. Having said that it is important to still have a good relationship and base with the sponsor as with some happenings or difficulties in our lives it helps to " bounce off " or discuss with another human for different views on that particular subject.
Perhaps you have reached the time in your recovery that your HP is guiding you and you are accepting the guidance of your HP and if you explain that to your sponsor he will realize that the daily phone calls is no longer a necessity ? THEN the relationship changes into him becoming a mentor and a friend who is there when you need him and no longer the sponsor who needs to " keep you sober and on the right path ".
So that will be my input - sit down with your sponsor and discuss this honestly and openly. This is something you need to get off your chest and the best person to get the answer from is the guy himself.
Love and Light
Noels
There is only Love
Noels
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1247
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:14 am

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Brock » Mon May 02, 2016 3:32 am

I am not criticizing any of the advise being given, but can we keep in mind that the subject of the 'style' this sponsor uses, including the daily calls, is called directive sponsorship, this has been discussed at length starting here -
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=19392&p=133529#p133529
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3169
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: My character defects vs my sponsor

Postby Noels » Mon May 02, 2016 11:51 am

Thanks Brock :D it still doesn't explain the why. Id really like Larry to ask his sponsor and tell us - for interest and information. Is it to teach the alcoholic discipline or routine or to finish something we started or to keep to commitment /promises made , respect, something else or all of the above
It would be interesting to know.
Noels
There is only Love
Noels
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1247
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:14 am

Next

Return to Sponsorship

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest