Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

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: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:52 am

Stepchild,
Its all of the rigid conditioning of the mind. This i took out of the book "A New Earth". So, apt.

In Zen they say: “Don't seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.” What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.

I am sure this happens everywhere. You will see rooms over-flowing with people in OD meetings, you go to a big book study meetings, you will see about 1/5 of that and even in those you will hear my sponsor said so crap. Thats the tragedy of the ego.
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: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby Stepchild » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:21 am

avaneesh912 wrote:I am sure this happens everywhere. You will see rooms over-flowing with people in OD meetings, you go to a big book study meetings, you will see about 1/5 of that and even in those you will hear my sponsor said so crap. Thats the tragedy of the ego.


And why does this happen? It's the power of misinformation. That you'll find all the answers you need in meetings...So that's where we send them. When it's hard to find a meeting where the book or the steps are even mentioned. The solution...Often never even brought up.
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby tyg » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:22 am

I find it interesting how "sponsorship" (aka working with others) brings about so much debate and resistance.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby Stepchild » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:59 am

I find it interesting how "sponsorship" (aka working with others) brings about so much debate and resistance.


I do too. What does the book say about working with others?

Outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your past and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him. Make it plain he is under no obligation to you, that you hope only that he will try to help other alcoholics when he escapes his own difficulties. Suggest how important it is that he place the welfare of other people ahead of his own. Make it clear that he is not under pressure, that he needn't see you again if he doesn't want to. You should not be offended if he wants to call it off, for he has helped you more than you have helped him. If your talk has been sane, quiet and full of human understanding, you have perhaps made a friend. Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
Your candidate may give reasons why he need not follow all of the program. He may rebel at the thought of a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people. Do not contradict such views. Tell him you once felt as he does, but you doubt whether you would have made much progress had you not taken action. On your first visit tell him about the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book.
Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay, let him steer the conversation in any direction he likes. Sometimes a new man is anxious to proceed at once. And you may be tempted to let him do so. This is sometimes a mistake. If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him. You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform. Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help.
If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, you may have to drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt some more.
If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He should not be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.
If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. But point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that.
Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.
Suppose now you are making your second visit to a man. He has read this volume and says he is prepared to go through with the Twelve Steps of the program of recovery. Having had the experience yourself, you can give him much practical advice. Let him know you are available if he wishes to make a decision and tell his story, but do not insist upon it if he prefers to consult someone else.


I see talk about reading the book and sharing how the program worked for you...Not one mention of just keep going to meetings and maybe you'll hear what you need to hear....Maybe not. And yet that is the common suggestion given to someone new. Don't get me wrong...I like some meetings....I just wish they were a little more in tune with what the book suggests.
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:49 am

Egoic Minds. The books Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle nicely illustrates this. People take a stance and fight to the end. Egos sole goal is to fight. It doesn't know it can win. Because there its fighting against another of its same kind. We need to step out of out.
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: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby tyg » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:16 pm

I like Eckhart....The ego is pretty stubborn alright...what a mischievous trouble maker it is :twisted:
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby Brock » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:17 am

I find it interesting how "sponsorship" (aka working with others) brings about so much debate and resistance.

Yes it does, and it may be helpful to debate and point out what a sponsors responsibilities are, in another thread this was offered as a 'definition' of what a sponsor might do -
It is not a sponsors job to be a mediator, point out a sponsee's faults and how they're not doing the program good enough. Alcoholics are given the tools and taught how to use them. Then it's up to them to take advantage & utilize them.

Stepchild also quoted a large section from 'working with others,' pretty straight forward stuff, show the new person how the program is done, help him as best you can to get his feet on the ground. Where I believe the 'resistance' mentioned in the original quote comes from, is members here and in meetings saying things about themselves and needing others to point out their faults, often we see it expressed as someone to call me on my BS.

The person who revived this old thread, (which will be closed soon anyway), in his last post said he came here “hoping for answers on how to get the sponsorship bullies to back off and respect my decision not to get a sponsor.” He got an immediate reply from one of us which said, “yet another reason that you need a Sponsor for some guidance.” Just an example that some here feel sponsors should guide us in all sorts of things, then someone else was saying they had to check with their 'service sponsor' before accepting a particular position, to some of us the whole thing seems out of control, and I believe that is what is causing the 'resistance' mentioned. Then someone will always give a link to the AA pamphlet on sponsorship, which is just a general outline, and like many such pamphlets really provides no hard and fast answers.

Now we are speaking about the ego being at fault, a good point, providing it means my ego might keep me from feeling I need help, but equally the ego of some people can not accept that I don't need their help. A spiritual speaker I like sometimes says 'go to the throne before the phone,' and I am pretty sure many people would benefit from resisting calling their sponsor on matters that God has answers for, from page 87 -
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We come to rely on it, but not if we don't practice it, and I believe based on the sort of things I hear and read members saying they ask sponsors about, we are falling down on this part of the original guidelines for our program. Do you really have to say to someone I did this or that was I being selfish, or someone did this or that to me, and what qualifies the sponsor to answer silly questions, just builds up his ego if he thinks he has the answers to everything. The good ones will probably say I can't answer some of these things you must look inside yourself as the book suggests, but those 'good ones' seem to be getting harder to find, replaced by those who feel having a whole lot of sponsees means they are doing the program 'right.' If someone can't honestly say that they would be just as content and secure in their sobriety if they had no sponsees, just carrying the message in meetings as best they can, then I believe that person has a problem, the idea of sponsors and sponsees becoming codependent is I think very real, and not at all what should happen.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby PaigeB » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:55 am

As you may all be aware, it is a common practice here at e-aa that we lock a thread after 5 pages. This one looks ready to hit that mark. Feel free to start a new thread if you wish.
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: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby IDontNeedASponsor » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:37 pm

D'oh wrote:
IDontNeedASponsor wrote:
That chapter shows me how to work with sponsees after I've gone through the steps with the help of the instruction manual (the first 6 chapters).
It does not say anything about me having to have a live human sponsor in order for me to be a sponsor.

Also, I am concerned about the sponsorship bullying problem in my city, and am hoping for answers on how to get the sponsorship bullies to back off and respect my decision not to get a sponsor.

And yet another reason that you need a Sponsor for some guidance. But I am glad to see that you have a way.


That sounds like dogma.
It doesn't sound like the program outlined in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.
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Re: Myths of sponsorship for the superstitious

Postby Brock » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:38 pm

As Paige said this thread has completed the 'traditional' five pages, and will be locked.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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