Relapse waiting to happen

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?
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Chelle
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Relapse waiting to happen

Post by Chelle » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:29 am

Im curious what you all do when you are watching a sponsee on their way to a relapse? I am sponsoring a girl that gets a little time under her belt, starts missing meeting, and hits a snag and drinks. Shes on her 9th step. She text yesterday that she wouldn't be at the meeting, but would be there today. She has done this a lot the last couple of weeks and blows off the meeting she said she would be at.. I wanted to call her out on missing last night for no good reason, but responded ok instead, only to get a text this morning that she got drunk last night. Im not one bit surprised.

She is at the stage where drinking is going to kill her sooner than later. I am not her mother, and I suggest things, rather than demand. She doesnt say whats really going on and fluffs up her life, until its too late. She is very eager to work the steps after a relapse, and then she is off running her own life again.

Do we start all over again? Should I be tougher with her? Im trying to help her save her life, but I cant want it more than she does.

Thanks

JeffS.
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by JeffS. » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:56 am

Has she been to an in-patient treatment program? It seems like it would help her. She seems like she is really trying to recover but by not attending she is not hearing the things she needs to hear to recover.

ODAAT
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by ODAAT » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:34 pm

With regard to all AA's I encounter or observe, I try mightily to not get into the prediction business about whether they will relapse. Or whether they will stay sober. I've heard too many stories and seen too many examples of incorrect predictions. I pray for all AA's to stay sober but I really don't know which ones will and which won't.

I just sponsor the best that I can and leave the result up to the sponsee and God.

Should you "be tougher with her?" Maybe. Maybe not. That's up to you and your sponsee. And your analysis.

Based on your description, you're doing fine in your sponsorship role. And the results are normal, well within the bounds of reasonable expectations. If you change to a "tougher" approach, what results would you expect?

Best wishes to you and your sponsee....

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PaigeB
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by PaigeB » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:36 pm

Do we start all over again? Should I be tougher with her? Im trying to help her save her life, but I cant want it more than she does.
Around here we might try a shift in sponsorship. Maybe your sponsor or one of your sister sponsees needs someone to sponsor? It is not a reflection on you, but in her mind maybe you have taught her all you can.

Don't let Ego stand in the way. Ask "What is your will for me HP? And for this Girl? Light my Path." Then be willing and open-minded about the opportunities that are put in front of you. HP's got you! :D <3
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Brock
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by Brock » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:07 pm

Because it’s happening while she’s on the 9th step, I am wondering if there isn't some amends she just can’t face. If you haven’t asked her about this possibility, it might be an idea to do that.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by tomsteve » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:20 pm

Chelle wrote:Im curious what you all do when you are watching a sponsee on their way to a relapse? I am sponsoring a girl that gets a little time under her belt, starts missing meeting, and hits a snag and drinks. Shes on her 9th step. She text yesterday that she wouldn't be at the meeting, but would be there today. She has done this a lot the last couple of weeks and blows off the meeting she said she would be at.. I wanted to call her out on missing last night for no good reason, but responded ok instead, only to get a text this morning that she got drunk last night. Im not one bit surprised.

She is at the stage where drinking is going to kill her sooner than later. I am not her mother, and I suggest things, rather than demand. She doesnt say whats really going on and fluffs up her life, until its too late. She is very eager to work the steps after a relapse, and then she is off running her own life again.

Do we start all over again? Should I be tougher with her? Im trying to help her save her life, but I cant want it more than she does.

Thanks
going to meetings and not drinking doesnt treat alcoholism. its the steps we take, not the meetings we make, that helps us recover.
missing meetings doesnt mean someone is heading for relapse.
relapse ends with a drink.
i will call a sponsee out on their BS or screwed up thinking. i care enough about them to do so.im not being tough,just caring about them just like my sponsor and others cared enough to call me on the BS i didnt see. keeping silent isnt caring.
they can do with what i say what they want but i'll carry the message.
i also make it a point to sponsees and anyone else that if they want to talk to me to call- i wont text.

doc silkworth worked with and/or talked to more alcoholics than any one person in history. he has some good words in the doctors opinion:
The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight
and something very important to remind me my duty is to help them find their HP:
In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives.


i have a feeling ya already had the answer to your 2 questions.

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Chelle
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by Chelle » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:33 pm

Thanks so much for the replies.
Jeff, I have asked her about inpatient, and she is considering it. Along with health problems, she is a suicide risk. That scares the H E double hockey sticks out of me. Our homegroup recently lost a member that I had grown very close to in December by suicide while drunk. Im afraid for her.

I guess I was predicting ODDAT, but I wasn't trying to! :( Her past performance really indicated where this was headed. Im not sure if I should have warned her of what I was seeing. I don't want to interfere with whatever it is she needs to do to get desperate enough. BUT, I do not want her to die. My heart is so shattered from the last one =sad

Thanks Paige. I had the same thoughts about switching sponsors, but she pleaded with me to not give up on her and doesnt want to switch yet. I asked her to pray on it as well.

Brock, totally agree. She had left out quite a bit on her 5th step that was later revealed.

Tomsteve, everything you said, I needed to hear. Thank you for quoting Dr. Silkworth too. =wink
We will go back to the first step, and see if she totally grasps it this time. You are right, I know I need to call her on her crap, because she has asked me to, and we have to start over. It was my first thought, and i try not to trust that one. :lol:

You guys are an awesome bunch. Thank you so much for being here. Im just going to keep telling her how I got and stay sober using the steps, and how important it is that I show up to meetings. She has been texting me lately, instead of calling. I do not like it at all. We need to go back to what was working.

Not one person I have sponsored has stayed sober or stuck around. I was beginning to feel like Im not doing it right. But I have, so I am grateful

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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by D'oh » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:09 pm

I set the 4 Guidelines to my Sponsees, that my Sponsor set for me.

1, Read the Big Book to do the Steps
2, Go to at least 2 Meetings per week
3, Call him at least once a week, to let him know I am still alive
4, Call before I drink. Give him a chance before the Bottle.

Protects Sponsor as much as Sponsee.

The most successful 12th Step I have every had, was walking into a Bar and buying the Member a Beer, not saying a word. Their 5 day Bender ended and they were back home the next morning. Was it Me? I doubt it, I said the 3rd Step prayer before entering the Bar.

Our behaviour will convince them more than our words.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:53 am

Perhaps she is not quite done yet or she doesn't understand how unmanageability and powerlessness are connected. One more thing is, there are people in the program who suggest getting into daily routine of working the 10 and 11 after doing the 5th. They have the list of character defects they have to work on and the amends to make. Using the daily discipline of working those principles they advice us to make amends. That way we are not rattled when making amends and not going our way.
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: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by tomsteve » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:52 am

Chelle wrote: Not one person I have sponsored has stayed sober or stuck around. I was beginning to feel like Im not doing it right. But I have, so I am grateful
nothin unique there, chelle.
theres one major way to know youre doing it right- YOU stay sober. it doesnt matter how i carry the message or how much time i do that with a sponsee- they are responsible for what they do with it.we are responsible and accountable for our own recovery just as the sponsees are responsible and accountable for theirs.

took me some pretty hard knocks before i accepted carrying the alcoholic only hurt me.

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Re: Relapse waiting to happen

Post by VKwon » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:11 pm

Chelle wrote:Im curious what you all do when you are watching a sponsee on their way to a relapse? I am sponsoring a girl that gets a little time under her belt, starts missing meeting, and hits a snag and drinks. Shes on her 9th step. She text yesterday that she wouldn't be at the meeting, but would be there today. She has done this a lot the last couple of weeks and blows off the meeting she said she would be at.. I wanted to call her out on missing last night for no good reason, but responded ok instead, only to get a text this morning that she got drunk last night. Im not one bit surprised.

She is at the stage where drinking is going to kill her sooner than later. I am not her mother, and I suggest things, rather than demand. She doesnt say whats really going on and fluffs up her life, until its too late. She is very eager to work the steps after a relapse, and then she is off running her own life again.

Do we start all over again? Should I be tougher with her? Im trying to help her save her life, but I cant want it more than she does.

Thanks
I hate to say it but she might not be ready yet. In that case, there's little you can do except offer suggestions and hopes she follows them. Pray that she comes around soon, but if she doesn't, just try to think back to how long it took you to seriously get into the program. It took me a good three years of doing what she's doing now before something clicked and I finally got with the program. The last thing I would do, however, is try to reprimand or shame her into doing the program. That's simply going to backfire. She'll be ready when she's ready.

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