fire 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?

fire my sponsor????

Postby tomt » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:28 pm

I'm kinda wondering if my sponsor is a good sponsor or not. feedback is greatly appreciated. When I took my new job about a month ago, I basically disappeared from meetings or talking to any of my sober friends for 3 weeks. I have since realized that this was not a good idea, I did not drink, but I started gettin all those old urges. Anyhow, my sponsor called me once in this 3 week period. I thought he was just letting me do my own thing, but I went to a meeting with him last week and it turns out he has a new girlfriend and has been busy with her. This does not bother me, other than the fact that I know her, and she is struggling to stay sober. I feel like he is using AA as a dating service, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when you have 10 years of sobriety and you are hooking up with someone who keeps relapsing....
I feel like he's being kind of inappropriate by doing this. Gives me a creepy feeling. Or maybe I'm just reading to much into this.
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Postby whitmore_fan » Tue May 01, 2007 12:11 am

My first sponsor made it clear to me that he would not be phoning me out of the blue, it was up to me to call him to talk or arrange a meeting. I'm not saying that this is necessarily right or wrong but it does generally appear to be the way. The sponsee needs to take the initiative and call their sponsor not the other way round. If a sponsor doesnt hear from a sponsee then perhaps he/she believes everything is fine?

Sponsors have their own lives to lead, it not like they are professional sponsors! I would look at whether you feel your sponsor is productively helping you with the steps, that is what they are there for. If not then maybe it's time for a change. If he is productively helping with the steps then what he does in his personal life is very much up to him. Worry about yourself.

A sponsee/sponsor relationship is like any other relationship, it changes. They can become strained or they can flourish, often both occour over time. If you feel it is time for a change then perhaps consider looking elsewhere (by the way you cannot fire, sack, boot or make redundant your sponsor, but sometimes an amical seperation is required).

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Postby Blue Moon » Tue May 01, 2007 8:03 am

Hi Tom,

Check out the Big Book page 69, last sentence 8)

The alcoholic ego is about self - selfishness, self-centredness, that is the root of the alcoholic problem. Drinking alcohol is just a symptom, it just happens to be a very destructive one.

My sponsor didn't bother calling me either. That's a good thing, because it meant he wasn't trying to work my program for me. Did I like it at the time? Hell no, I was centre of the universe! But that's the very mentality which actively co-dependent sponsors can prevent us recovering from.

I will call a sponsee or a newcomer once or twice if I've not seen or heard from them when I normally would, but no more than that (unless it's specifically arranged, of course). I may be concerned about them, I may hope they finally find whatever they need to get their ass into recovery mode, but I don't hound and harass them. If someone's just not willing, they're just not willing, their actions are out of my control. I'm available for them, that's about as much as a sponsor should be.

Is your sponsor a good sponsor? My questions would be more about his recovery program than his love life. Has he worked the Steps from the Big Book? Does he do service in the fellowship? How does he work Step 12? Does his Higher Power make sense to him or does he rely solely on "the rooms"?
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Postby dactrius » Tue May 01, 2007 8:15 am

From "Accecptance Was The Answer" (AA Big Book, 4th Edition, Personal Stories (16)) or Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict (AA Big Book 3rd Edition, Personal Stories.

Quote: "Acceptance is the answer to "all" my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment." Unquote

Quote: "I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me, and in my attitudes." Unquote

Quote: "When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God's handiwork, I am saying I know better than God. For years I was sure that the worst thing that could happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would turn out to be an alcoholic. Today I find it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. This proves I don't know what's good for me. And if I don't know what's good for me, then I don't know what's good or bad for you or for anyone." Unquote

Hope this makes sense, and helps you.

Peace,
Scott S.
(aka Dac)
Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to always be there..... AND FOR THAT I AM RESPONSIBLE!!!!!
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Postby someoneinaa » Tue May 01, 2007 9:46 am

"If you want what we have."

Obviously, you don't want to have usuary. AA is not a dating service, it is a lifeline - often the last house on the block. Preying on vulnerability is usuary. Nothing wrong? It robs the Newcomer of her anonymity and plays to her false hope that some "human power" could relieve her alcoholism. And yes, this may've been her only chance at recovery.

None of us did very well, playing God.

Time to consider... Your sponsor was a good help, this far. But now it appears there may be different paths in the woods. No one person is "all that". A big reason our Teachers appear when we are ready.

After all, it's our lives and our personal program of change (not chains). Thankfully, you share with me - so I have more options to become myself and to let you be you.

Yes, an unsettling feeling is unsettled. And, if I'm going to thouroughly follow this path.... I need to be sure.

~ Keith M.
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Postby Jim 725 » Tue May 01, 2007 10:54 am

Obviously, you don't want to have usuary.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what, pray tell, is "usuary"? My on-line dictionary can't find it.
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Postby Blue Moon » Tue May 01, 2007 11:22 am

It amazes me how readily people jump to conclusions over something they know little to nothing about.

For all we know, this gal duped the sober member into believing she was sober.

For all we know, they've known each other for years and their relationship just entered a different phase.

For all we know, the guy tries to jump into bed with every newcomer of the opposite gender he can extract a 'phone number from.

We don't know, and it's not really relevant to whatever actions the OP needs to take to recover from alcoholism.

Absolutely agree, AA is neither a dating service nor a marriage guidance service. I wouldn't ask any AA sponsor for relationship advice. Many alcoholics, drunk or sober, are just pretty lousy at relationships. Even Bill W, drunk or sober, was pretty lousy at relationships.
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Postby Greg G » Tue May 01, 2007 1:42 pm

dactrius wrote:From "Accecptance Was The Answer" (AA Big Book, 4th Edition, Personal Stories (16)) or Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict (AA Big Book 3rd Edition, Personal Stories.

Quote: "Acceptance is the answer to "all" my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment." Unquote

Quote: "I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me, and in my attitudes." Unquote

(aka Dac)



I'm sure glad Rosa Parks didn't embrace this philosphy... :(
"Our book is meant to be suggestive only." So we suggest that you...FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!!
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Postby tomt » Wed May 02, 2007 12:46 am

ok, ummmm... the fire my sponsor thing, that was a joke. I know I can't "fire" my sponsor. I never made him sign a w-2. I understand what one of you said about his personal life not being my business, but sponsors are people who help us in our recovery, right? People that we look up to, right? Am I correct in this at all? Maybe you guys with your years of sobriety have the ability to not feel one way or another about what someone does, but I do not have that. :? Am I supposed to completely overlook how I feel about things? Now as far as him not calling me, I see what your saying, but shouldn't someone who has been sober for only a month have some sort of direction, or is that not the way it works? Am I on my own as far as recovery goes, and my sponsor's only reason for being in my life is to show me how to do the steps? I am not trying to be selfish here, but I'm thinking that someone so new to recovery(me) should have some kind of guidance/direction. If I'm left to do this thing by myself....is that the key, am I supposed to want recovery so bad that I do it with or without assistance? And if you could please explain to me how I'm being selfish I would really appreciate that. Am I not supposed to ever think about myself or consider my own feelings when making decisions anymore now that I'm in recovery?
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Postby Ann262 » Wed May 02, 2007 3:06 am

Hi Tom! As Ian pointed out, none of us knows much about the situation so it's hard for us to say if what the sponsor is doing is appropriate or not as it relates to his new girlfriend.

Based on what you said, it appears to me that you don't think his behavior is appropriate. It seems to me that a sponsee should be able to respect his sponsor. You should find one you respect. You don't always have to agree, but you should be able to respect them.

That's just my opinion, for what it's worth.
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Postby Layne » Wed May 02, 2007 6:25 am

When looking for a sponsor, I look for someone whose sobriety I respect. Do they have something in their program that I want. I always try to keep in mind that they are to be a fellow traveler and guide, not an end all and be all, because they are human and will have their foibles as do I, but I still must respect their program. If not, then they are probably not the sponsor for me. I don't look for lifetime sponsors, just someone who can help me on the leg of my journey that I am on at this particular time. I expect to have many sponsors by the time I get to the end, which is neither good nor bad, it just is. When I was new in the program, I didn't realize just how much direction and guidance I was surrounded by. I still have trouble recognizing all my teachers. I have a roomful of teachers every time I go to a meeting. I have plenty of guides every time I log on to this website. I have lots of directions in my books on shelves. I just need to remember that while it is good to pray, it is equally important to row to shore. My feelings when making a decision are very important, but more importantly to me is to check my motives. I have to live with my feelings, I can't live with bad motives.
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Postby Holly96 » Wed May 02, 2007 7:30 am

Hi all. I actually have had to part ways with a sponsor. I was reluctant, because I know as an alcoholic, I can see things in a "I am the center of the Universe" way. I bounced it off several other sober AA members (who have good solid programs, and have long term solid sobriety).

My lesson there......just because you have long term sobriety....does not mean you are "healthy" and working a good program. She has 20 years....but was miserable. I mean really miserable. Its easy to talk a good game.......

Once I saw that...it was NOT something I wanted......it just was not for me.

I also prayed about it...that seemed to help quite a bit set some clarity for me.

No one is perfect, and there are times, and situations that call for parting of ways.

It certainly is a subject people feel strongly about :D
don't leave before the miracle...you will be amazed.

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Postby someoneinaa » Wed May 02, 2007 8:25 am

I know people like to discount "time", but in my 40 years in AA it's always been one alcoholic helping another. Sponsorship is a 2 way street. With all the sponsees and sponsors I've had, it's hard to say.... who's helping whom.

Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. If that's being real, at any given time it's either one or both of us. The goal is reached by leaning upon each other, rather than walking away.

Yes, like chapters in a book, in sponsorship we can turn a page.

But again, as an AA member, I have a responsibility to offer my E, S & H for their benefit. Especially with someone I know so well as my second skin... be I sponsor or sponsee. We share a common solution.

~ Keith M.
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Postby Blue Moon » Wed May 02, 2007 11:15 am

tomt wrote:sponsors are people who help us in our recovery, right? People that we look up to, right? Am I correct in this at all? Maybe you guys with your years of sobriety have the ability to not feel one way or another about what someone does, but I do not have that. :? Am I supposed to completely overlook how I feel about things?


You feel uncomfortable about his conduct, which is enough to give you pause for thought. I'd not suggest you must disregard that feeling out of hand, but what I was trying to say is that we are in a very poor position to comment on it. You may end up acting on the wrong suggestion.

As an alcoholic, my propensity is to be a victim and "rationalise" everything I do (or don't do) as being someone else's responsibility. My car won't start? That's my employer's fault for not giving me enough salary to buy a new car every year! It's too easy to forget that I'm the one who's responsible for accepting a job, not looking for a better job if I want one, not keeping the car in working condition, etc. etc.

Your original post mentioned that you'd been out of the recovery loop for some weeks and getting off the AA beam. All that time, you were blissfully unaware of your sponsor's new relationship. Only now, it's easy to link his relationship as being incompatible with an expectation that he call you more frequently. The result? A belief that he's falling short of your expectations of a sponsor due to this relationship, which could easily morph into a belief that the relationship must be wrong.

You may be right. His relationship may be a clear indicator that he doesn't have the sort of recovery you want or need. But you may not be. Only you can really assess your motives for reaching a certain conclusion.

I'd suggest talking with one or two sober alcoholics who are more aware of the situation. They may know more of your sponsor's history. Does he have a sponsor?

tomt wrote:shouldn't someone who has been sober for only a month have some sort of direction, or is that not the way it works? Am I on my own as far as recovery goes, and my sponsor's only reason for being in my life is to show me how to do the steps?


In my experience, most newcomers aren't wanting nor willing to accept direction. If you want direction, you may need to ask for some. Is that right? Maybe not. But it's pretty much how it is in AA since "the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking" came into effect.
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Postby tomt » Wed May 02, 2007 4:44 pm

Thank you all for your words, this has truly helped more. I am not in a good position to be judging the actions of others, but actions make me have feelings and I am stuck with how I feel about things. I am a person who naturally wants to think about how I feel about things and dissect whether my feelings are justified and look at the situation from other peoples perspective. I try not to make decisions without reflecting and looking from all sides. Now perhaps I was trying to be the center of the world and take an attitude of "how dare his new relationship interfere with my recovery" when in fact it was my decision to take a new job interfering. And maybe I have not been in recovery long enough to realize the way recovery works, and realize that I am the person who is responsible for how my recovery progresses. But that is the reason why I posted this question to all of you, so I could get outside input on a situation I can only see through my own eyes and ears. Recovery is not an easy thing. Especially being so new to it. I try to do things the correct way, but seem to fall short in many different ways. Trying to relearn how to interact with people is a very difficult thing to do. :( I appreciate all of you helping me with this. I think I will stick with my sponsor and try to be more proactive in my recovery instead of trying to judge the things he does in his personal life. He does work a good program, I think, and has helped me thus far. And regardless of how I feel about his personal decision, it really has nothing to do with my recovery.
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