New to sponsorship

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?

New to sponsorship

Postby medic63 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:01 am

Hello all and happy Monday.
I am interested in getting the opinion of older members who have sponsored for years. I have been sober for three years, I believe the big book, attend meetings regularly I have a sponsor and I am willing to work with others.

The first handful of men that have asked me to sponsor them have not stayed sober and we have never gotten to the fifth step.
My question is what is your approach in the first two weeks of working with a new person?

My sponsor and I sat down together and read chapter 7 working with others and use that as a guide to our relationship. That approach worked well for me and it was explained to me that his responsibility was to guide me through the steps so I can find a higher power.

Thanks
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:15 am

I have an extracted content (all from the big book) that illustrates the 3 aspects of the disease, Spiritual, Mental and physical. Its a poignant piece. At the end, he/she should be able to determine if he/she is an alcoholic.

tinyurl (Dot) com/aafirststep

if he/she is not convinced, I just let them go. I start looking for others.
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: New to sponsorship

Postby Blue Moon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:52 pm

medic63 wrote:Hello all and happy Monday.
I am interested in getting the opinion of older members who have sponsored for years. I have been sober for three years, I believe the big book, attend meetings regularly I have a sponsor and I am willing to work with others.

The first handful of men that have asked me to sponsor them have not stayed sober and we have never gotten to the fifth step.
My question is what is your approach in the first two weeks of working with a new person?

My sponsor and I sat down together and read chapter 7 working with others and use that as a guide to our relationship. That approach worked well for me and it was explained to me that his responsibility was to guide me through the steps so I can find a higher power.

Thanks


I tailor whatever we review based on whatever the individual needs at that time. For most, it's to start at the beginning - the Doctor's opinion, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3. For some, it may be Chapter 5 and the 3rd Step, such as the fact it makes no mention of "God's will" (on the basis that when you're new, no matter what you're looking at it's almost certainly not God's Will). If someone doesn't know what recovery means, I sometimes point out the Step 9 Promises and Step 10 Promises. If they're having trouble with God 'n' spirituality, we could review Appendix II (about spiritual awakenings) and the part in Chapter 7 about AA's only recovery requirement regarding God.

Rarely would I jump in at the bit about helping others, unless that's what the individual says they want to get to do. Most who walk into AA don't give a jot for others until they've experienced recovery. I know I didn't.

But the plain fact is: most who approach AA are not ready for whatever it takes. You can't help someone who won't help themselves.

The point being, I'm a resource for what someone needs. I've taken a few through the Steps (including the 4th, 5th, etc.). But doing so isn't a prerequisite to sponsoring someone. I do advise against embarking on the recovery process unless the individual decides to see it through. But if someone chooses to take back Step 3, that's their choice. I just can't be a guide on a path I'm unfamiliar with.
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby clouds » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:40 am

The sponsees who stayed sober have been those who asked me how I did it and went to meetings. A few became close friends.The others, I guess didn't like my explanations or direction toward the steps so I didn't need to fire them, they may have found other avenues but I wouldn't see them around after a while. One of my sponsees, after doing most of the steps did the Course in Miracles, I thnk she liked it for her steps 8 and 9, she was very devoted to it and then decided to return to drinking within a few years!

One girl that I 12 stepped decided, after prolonged talks with me, to get a male sponsor, which I advised against, and she is still sober for many years.

So, I think we are just there to say what worked for us, the steps work for me, so thats all I share. Some people will disagree with everything and have trouble, only to come back later and attain sobriety and some frankly, didn't like me perhaps. This is of no matter because its really not up to me to choose when, how people come to be sober through these principles, thats out of my realm.

The ones who became friends after a time no longer needed a sponsor and our relationship changed to one of being spiritual friends on the same path.
" 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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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:45 am

I drive home the hopelessness. Disease. Insane actions and thoughts. They need a good basis in this before we can move onto Step 3. Usually we can't get to and through Agnostics in one sitting though.

Normal drinkers won't sit through a couple hours of hopelessness & insanity and come back for round 2. Alcoholics understand & maybe find some Fire for the work it will take to complete the process. We set a permanent time and place for meeting up. If they cancel all the time or forget... I don't have time for that. If they relapse we can work with it. If they relapse twice and still want to try I recommend someone else to try and help them.

Above all I remember I am just a messenger. My first sponsee went to another sponsor after she relapsed a couple of times being unable to take Step 3 completely. She drank again and rolled her van and died. She had everything to live for and yet...
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby tomsteve » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:34 am

good on ya for sponsoring! i don't stick to one specific way of sponsoring and definitely don't sponsor how my sponsor sponsored me, which theres nothing wrong with how he did it, but he's not my God.

when i was doing my 4th step, i had noticed i was hearing people from detox that were brought to the meetings saying they got to the 4th and got drunk. i didn't get it. i was crankin on my 4th. after a meeting, i talked to a man about it:
"i don't get it. im crankin on my 4th and theres people sayin they got drunk at the 4th. what gives?"
his simple reply:
"you did the fisrt 3 steps."


when i first started sponsoring i was sponsoring ANYONE who asked me. i stayed sober, but not many did. and was doing it like my sponsor did it for me.
then i changed it up a bit. the very first questions i ask anyone who asks me to sponsor them is
"do you want what we have? do you know what it is we have? are you willing to go to ANY lengths for victory over alcohol?"

if they know what it is we have, which is all of the promises in the bb, they want what we have, and are willing to go to any lengths, then ill work at focusing on step 1- working with the bb and my own experience to get an understanding of powerless and unmanageability. that may take 2 weeks, may not. when i sense a sponsee has not only admitted but also accepted step 1, ill start with step 2. and same with proceeding steps. each step prepares for the next.
but theres no time limit on how long any of it takes. i find it very important that a sponsee has an understanding of each step before proceeding to the next.
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby tomsteve » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:37 am

one more thing i find very important:
i got frustrated because i ( thought) i wasn't doing very good at sponsoring as most were getting drunk again.
my sponsor reminded me of 2 things- i am only responsible for carrying the message. i cant make anyone get sober.
as long as i remain sober, i did allright.
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby Tosh » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:22 am

medic63 wrote:My question is what is your approach in the first two weeks of working with a new person?


I'll ask them to find a homegroup and volunteer for a service commitment and to do their best to turn up every week for it.
I'll ask them to attend three-meetings-a-week at least (it's what I did).
I'll ask them to read The Doctor's Opinion and arrange a date/time/place to meet up to discuss it. I start there so that if they start drinking again, at least I've given them some information on the physical allergy and the mental obsession. I want to spoil their future drinking, if I can; give them something to think about,while drinking.

We meet weekly and work through the Big Book one-chapter at a time and when we get to Chapter 5, we just follow the suggestions as laid out. When I show someone how to do a Step 4, we book a mutually convenient date for a Step 5, but I explain that if they complete their Step 4 earlier, we can bring the Step 5 date sooner. I don't think it's good to just sit on a completed Step 4. The weekly meetings hopefully lead to a building of trust so that it's easier for them at Step 5.

I try to see guys I work with about 60 to 90 minutes before a meeting I regularly attend. It keeps A.A. all in one evening, rather than go to a meeting on a Tuesday and see a sponsee on a Wednesday; just double book them in one evening. And we can talk on the way to and from the meeting also.

I only sponsor one-guy-at-a-time, otherwise I end up providing everyone a rubbish service. If someone else asks me, I'll give them some names of guys I know who sponsor.

Mrs Tosh prefers this; there's less disruption to family life.

Sponsoring is scary to start with, but I'm comfortable with it now. I just stick with Big Book stuff and it's rare I'd make any suggestions about their love life, or work, or finances, or divorce.

And if they drink, or die (I had a sponsee die just before Christmas), I just find another one.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby Noels » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:31 am

I am interested in getting the opinion of older members who have sponsored for years.

Hi Medic and welcome to e-aa :D I cant help out here sorry man. See, I'm still pretty young :lol:

Just joking. You got some good posts here.

Mwah xxx Noels
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby Noels » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:33 am

And if they drink, or die (I had a sponsee die just before Christmas), I just find another one.

Sorry to hear that Tosh. Keep up the good work.

Mwah xxx Noels
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby tomsteve » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:17 am

Noels wrote:I am interested in getting the opinion of older members who have sponsored for years.

Hi Medic and welcome to e-aa :D I cant help out here sorry man. See, I'm still pretty young :lol:

Just joking. You got some good posts here.

Mwah xxx Noels


im only 12 mentally. :)

some days 4. :)
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Re: New to sponsorship

Postby Noels » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:09 am

im only 12 mentally.
some days 4.


:D :D :D 4 is a cute age :D :D :D
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