Need a 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?

Re: Need a sponsor

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:32 am

RadGirl wrote:I got sober on my own without AA so I did not work the steps and I am not sure past reading and studying the books what I need to do to maintain that sobriety. Is there certain steps that are absolutely necessary that I have not done and need to do. How important is each step? Just don't even know where to start. My main goal is making sure I don't fall apart if everything around me falls apart at any point in time.


Sometimes people get sober because they either mature and or the desire just wears out. I would ask do you do any inner work outside of your life? You know counseling for example? If so has it helped and if you are mentally in check and you do not feel like you are on shaky ground then you might be one who abused the drink and has seen the light without the heat of the fire so to speak. I am the one who needed to be burned on more than one occasion in order to realize that fire burns and I needed to get wise.

You can only answer this because you know your habits and everyday life. If you went to AA and found a sponsor and over time you felt like you could take it and or leave it these are points for you to determine.

5 years is a good place and it is also a place for change and I remember my five years and it was difficult period for me and I needed to work hard to endure pressures of life at that time.

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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby RadGirl » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:37 am

My trouble with alcohol began during the last years of my marriage. My husband began to want to attend social events where alcohol was present. I began to notice that at these events I would drink to excess. Though this led to arguments and became a problem, my husband refused to stop accepting invitations to these events that we were both expected to attend. Though my drinking caused problems at the time it was not prevalent that my drinking was nothing more than overdrinking due to the encouragement of having a good time by friends. After the divorce while the on and off again relationship with my ex-husband continued I started consuming alcohol to cope with the relationship problems that I was going through. I was never to the point that I needed it on a daily basis to function. Today I do not crave it at all and the thought never even comes up to drink. I have formed my life to revolve around a sober life. My fiancé does not drink, we do not go to events or associate with people who drink and I pretty much never think about it. When stressful situations come up I have developed a coping mechanism that I simply go to bed early and in the morning everything seems clearer and less of a problem. I have trained myself to the point that any time I get angry or upset I automatically internally adjust my own thinking by analyzing the situation and pinpointing what is within my power to do to make it right and do the best that I can do and pray about the rest. It helps that I have a supporting fiancé. My ex husband was the atypical guy that was not someone that wanted to listen to my problems. I could not talk to him about things and having a family and being so busy taking care of that family I had no friends. Now not only is my fiancé my partner but they are my best friend. I have been able to talk out many of the things I have struggled with my whole life and resolve them and come to peace with them. My fiancé has also built up my self esteem and I now finally accept and like myself. In years past I felt like I had to drink to fit in with the crowd and not be boring. Now I accept that I am not like everyone else and I cherish that difference. I don't have to drink to make myself more likable I am a fantastic person just the way I am. I also have friends who think I am cool to hang out with without being drunk. However, even though I don't think about drinking and it is not in my life I know that if I take one drink that I will not stop at one drink. I overdrank every time I drink. As soon as that one drink gets into my system that's it there is no end until it's all gone. So I have accepted that I will never ever be able to drink 'just one' or 'socially' and have honed my life to match this downfall. I would not be spiraled into wanting to drink on a regular basis I would just drink until I blacked out which is alcohol abuse and is a form of alcoholism. During my divorce I got a DUI in 2008 leaving a party that was thrown out because it was my first offense and then six months later I had been to a get together the night before work and went to work with alcohol on my breath. It was below the driving limit but above my works set limit. My work's psychologist diagnosed me as a habitual alcohol abuser in early remission and said that I would need to stay in AA the rest of my life to be considered reformed as alcohol abuse is a form of alcoholism. So here I am reaching out. Is what I have done enough or am I still at risk? I don't ever want to go back to the way I was so I can't see how AA would not be a good tool to keep me from ever taking a step in the wrong direction. Any opinions on my particular conundrum is appreciated.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:18 am

The fact that you can't just have 1 drink is good one to realize. But what is more important is if one has crossed that invisible line, He/she cannot stay away from that first drink. Thats the key part of the disease. After the alcoholic puts down the drink, the mental well being is the critical part to focus. Is he/she able to handle life in a normal way like any other people. Is he/she is in a emotional turmoil. It all could be because of un-treated alcoholism. Thats what lead them back to the 1st drink. Without knowing much about your back ground, I can't say much. You will have to decide if the 12 steps can help you.

Somewhere in the book it talks to the reader and see if they can conclude "Yes this is how i felt and more importantly this could help me too". So there are sponsors, workshops, transcripts, these forums. You seem to be conscious, well articulating person I am totally convinced you could arrive at a good decision.
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: Need a sponsor

Postby positrac » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:34 am

One thing I will say is that we/you/them can't expect people, places and or things to fix our past and we also have to change people, places and things in order to move forward and advance in our lives.

Root causes of your past seems to be specific relationships and maybe this is or has been in place a long time and all it takes is that special moment to wake up that old trigger that go you to drinking again. Honesty is one of the most important virtues we can hold and use in our lives.

Step back and look at yourself and if something comes up you might not like then you can work to understand it and it is no shame.

I wish you well with you endeavors.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:33 am

Our main text (the big book), which you have been given a link to, goes to some extent to identify the alcoholic condition, and a condition which they refer to as the “hard drinker.” The latter being a person who can stop drinking given sufficient reason, ill health, new job, a doctor's warning and so forth. The 'real' alcoholic can not stop for such reasons, and requires a spiritual experience bought about by doing the twelve steps. For example you might read this in chapter three - “We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks.”

I certainly am not saying you are not a real alcoholic, because this is something which you alone must decide. From your last post, it seems to me you are living the sort of life one of us who have done the steps, and consider ourselves recovered would also lead. Our renewed self esteem would have come from a different source, but like you we do not think about drinking and enjoy a sober life.

I believe one of the reasons the literature attempts to have a person identify as an alcoholic 'of the hopeless variety,' is because unless someone can, they would hardly be willing to do some of the steps required, writing out faults, confessing them, making amends, and so forth. We have people in AA meetings, who by their words and actions appear not to be the real alcoholic the book describes, and they say the steps are not necessary, and that they got sober without them, they say the same thing about God. I am very pleased that you have not done this, because people like that can cause new members who may be on a life or death errand, to turn away from the steps, which appear quite a hard task to do at first, although in practice they are not that difficult.

The person I am disappointed with is the psychologist at your work, who “diagnosed me as a habitual alcohol abuser in early remission and said that I would need to stay in AA the rest of my life to be considered reformed as alcohol abuse is a form of alcoholism.” If that person had read our basic literature I don't think they would have said that, when it comes to alcoholism, I believe many so called psychologist's are the type who wipe their elbow after going to the toilet. Best of luck in investigating what we have to offer, and finding how it may be of help to you.


.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby RadGirl » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:51 am

I have not yet read the books but got them in the mail last night. I plan on taking the journey and reading and furthering my established sobriety. I appreciate your advice. My conundrum lies in do I need a sponsor for that journey? Do I need to have a sponsor established so that if ever down the line I have someone to turn to in my time of need? Is a sponsor even necessary in my situation or is simply being involved in this community enough if in two years I go through something traumatic and feel the urge to drink? Also, I feel so passionate about sobriety that I want to be an inspiration to others somehow. It is a dark place to be and it hurts my heart to think others are in that place and can't get out. They say you get a high when you first become sober and then reality sets in. Well for me the reality has come and gone and I am still euphoric over sobriety. I appreciate all the wisdom coming from you guys. If I would have had this five years ago all of my self revelations wouldn't have had to have been self found.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby RadGirl » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:17 am

I understand what you guys are saying about not depending on situations or people to make me feel happy. I did a lot of soul searching and found my true self in all of this and accept the true self. I am deep down a good person with great morals. At the time of my drinking I was stuck in the mind set of needing people's approval. I had to impress everyone and make sure they liked me because I didn't really like myself. I have come to understand that I am odd to most people and that's okay. I am shy, rather serious, quiet and rather conservative. When my ex husband and I were going to his much insisted parties even though he knew I would drink to the point of excess and make a fool of myself he encouraged it otherwise I would be quiet and not so much fun. Of course he got angry when I did what was proven I would do which is overdrink. However after the divorce and much soul searching, come to find out I was simply hanging out with people that were not like myself and I don't like social gatherings and I don't feel comfortable around strangers and those settings and I was trying to drink myself out of my comfort zone so that nobody thought his wife was weird. I always tried to change who I really was because who I really was is not very cool. The core of my drinking was trying to suppress who I was and now I know that who I am is not bad at all.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby Reborn » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:57 am

You say you have the book so just take the action and read that book to page 164. That is the program of AA...when you get done with that reading then decide about getting a sponsor. Just keep it right sized right now...do one thing at a time and more will be revealed as you move forward. My opinion in what I have read from you so far is it will absolutely not hurt you to work the program...notice I said "work" the program...being a part of the fellowship is great but the miracles come from actually working and applying the principles from that book to our daily lives. I'm glad you're here and asking questions...but there has to come a time that we stop asking and start doing...read that book :D
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby RadGirl » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:03 am

Reborn, I am doing just that at this very moment :D
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby Reborn » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:29 am

RadGirl, That's Rad :D Girl
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:33 am

Its a tricky situation. There are people who have had spiritual awakening on there own due to deep deep suffering. Even the book talks about it in "There is a solution" chapter. Where Carl Jung talks to Roland H such rare phenomenon. If you want to work the AA way, you might want to understand the process before you can apply the same to others so that everybody carries the common message. Bill W sums it on in couple of paragraphs:

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self- searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at out feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences* which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by 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: Need a sponsor

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:38 am

My conundrum lies in do I need a sponsor for that journey? Do I need to have a sponsor established so that if ever down the line I have someone to turn to in my time of need? Is a sponsor even necessary in my situation or is simply being involved in this community enough if in two years I go through something traumatic and feel the urge to drink?

The short answer is no, however in this I am in the minority both here and in live meetings. I am the first to admit that a sponsor would make understanding the process and doing the steps both easier and faster, but since you intend to do this here, rather than live meetings, for very understandable reasons, just typing in the search box 'step one' then two and so on, would show what has been advised here in the past, or give us the pleasure of discussing it again and ask in a new thread about each step.

Now those here who unlike me lean heavily on a sponsor for advise and support, might say doing that will give a bunch of opinions and is dangerous, principally because us alcoholics tend to take the easiest advise we find, they will say if you ask a question of enough people you will eventually get the answer you want, but not necessarily the one you really need. My view is that each case is different, and when faced with someone who expresses themselves as well as you do, has seemingly above average intelligence, and most particularly is not someone looking for short cuts; you wouldn't have come here as a five year sober person if you were; then there is little danger from varied opinions.

With respect to further down the line, once again most will say they have had a sponsor for X amount of years, and share things which are bothering them often, I don't think they like it when I point out a section in the literature, which says the sponsor takes you through the steps, then “even a young bird must use its wings and start it's own family.” When this question has come up in the past, those whose recovery I admire the most, have said that sponsors remain friends, as do other AA members, and we may turn to anyone for support in a crisis. My own belief is that relying on human beings too much, takes away from the higher power the literature says is where our reliance should be.
Also, I feel so passionate about sobriety that I want to be an inspiration to others somehow.

Absolutely wonderful, and a part of our 12th step, “having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics." Just keep in mind that it says “this message,” which is the formula for recovery as contained in the first 164 pages of the big book, any message claiming to be representative of alcoholics anonymous must be this, otherwise our society suffers.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:18 pm

My work's psychologist diagnosed me as a habitual alcohol abuser in early remission and said that I would need to stay in AA the rest of my life to be considered reformed as alcohol abuse is a form of alcoholism....


These days, medical professionals generally use the scientific term "Alcohol Use Disorder" or "AUD" rather than the colloquial word "alcoholism". My understanding is that both terms mean essentially the same thing and describe the same symptoms. Mayo Clinic has an online website describing identifying symptoms and recommended treatment protocols. AA meeting attendance is usually recommended by most rehab specialists.

AA's 3rd Tradition says the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. The wording of this Tradition means that it doesn't matter if someone is an "alcohol abuser", a "potential alcoholic", a "problem drinker", a "temperate drinker", a "moderate drinker", a "serious drinker", a "heavy drinker", a "hard drinker", an "habitual drinker, a "whoopee drinker", a "real alcoholic", etc. or just a plain ol' garden variety drunk like me. Regardless, membership in AA only requires that we have a desire to stop drinking. You have expressed a desire to stay sober; therefore you are an AA member.

So here I am reaching out. Is what I have done enough or am I still at risk? I don't ever want to go back to the way I was so I can't see how AA would not be a good tool to keep me from ever taking a step in the wrong direction. Any opinions on my particular conundrum is appreciated.


Your finance sounds like a wonderful, emotionally mature person who supports your continued sobriety and that is a good thing for both of you. Adding to that support system by seeking out, finding and befriending other recovering sober female alcoholics in AA will also be a good thing for both of you. My ESH is that I think it's great to have male friends, but being a woman, I've found that I think differently than men, identify problems and solutions differently than men, and have experienced many issues in sobriety that only another female AA friend can really relate to or understand. Having other sober female AA members as friends has really been an essential part of my recovery and spiritual growth and has allowed me to become a fairly "low maintenance" partner in relationships instead of the black hole of neediness I became during my drinking days. As another female alcoholic, I think you will discover the same kind of benefits to making friends with other sober female alcoholics in recovery.

AA has many spiritual tools in its toolkit and its 12 Steps are geared specifically for alcoholics who want to remain sober, learn how to cope with life on life's terms and live a "happy, joyous and free" lifestyle. I worked the Steps without a sponsor except for my 5th Step, but many of AA's members choose to work the Steps with a sponsor. There are also many Step Study AA groups, both online and live, where each AA member works each of the Steps as a group, and these have become very popular options for AA members in the last couple of decades as well. However you choose to proceed at this time, know that you can always change your mind and opt for other choices down the road.

Thank you for sharing your story, RadGirl.

Keep coming back....
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby Brock » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:49 pm

AA's 3rd Tradition says the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. The wording of this Tradition means that it doesn't matter if someone is an "alcohol abuser", a "potential alcoholic", a "problem drinker", a "temperate drinker", a "moderate drinker", a "serious drinker", a "heavy drinker", a "hard drinker", an "habitual drinker, a "whoopee drinker", a "real alcoholic", etc.

AND
AA has many spiritual tools in its toolkit and its 12 Steps are geared specifically for alcoholics who want to remain sober,…

Yes geared specifically for alcoholics, because as it says in the long form of tradition three – Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism.
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Re: Need a sponsor

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:14 pm

Brock wrote:
AA's 3rd Tradition says the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. The wording of this Tradition means that it doesn't matter if someone is an "alcohol abuser", a "potential alcoholic", a "problem drinker", a "temperate drinker", a "moderate drinker", a "serious drinker", a "heavy drinker", a "hard drinker", an "habitual drinker, a "whoopee drinker", a "real alcoholic", etc.



OR....just a plain ol' garden variety drunk like me.... :lol:
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