Sponser request; surprised at response

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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rider03
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Sponser request; surprised at response

Post by rider03 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:25 am

I've been going to meetings since mid-May. I make at least 6 a week but I never stopped drinking completely and had not yet gotten a sponser. For what it's worth, I only drink after I get home at night and usually it's several glasses of wine, then off to bed. Last night I asked a guy that I admired. He's got (I think) 20 years sobriety and he's very energetic and positive. I'm the opposite so I thought he'd be good for me.

We traded numbers then he asked me how long since my last drink. I told him the night before and then his attitude seemed to change a little. He was very nice but asked me if I was really willing and I told him (honestly) I thought so. He said if I'm not committed then there is no sense using his time if he could be helping someone who really wants to quit.

I was taken aback by that. I was humbled at first and on the way home thought he was probably right. I'm not fully committed yet. Then as I laid in bed I started getting sort of angry about it. Here I am reaching out for help and he says that. Anyway....he said don't drink and call him this afternoon and it would "be interesting" to talk to me and he thought he'd be able to tell if I was ready or not. So I didn't drink last night but I'm actually thinking about telling him he was right, I'm not ready and maybe I jumped the gun and need to wait a bit longer before getting a sponser.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Jim 725

Post by Jim 725 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:49 am

I don't think you're ready, and I agree with your sponsor. As the chapter, "Working with others" tells us, "We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you."
Jim S.

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Post by Ken_the_Geordie » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:22 am

Rider,

You're sponsor sounds a bit like mine; very honest to the point of being blunt. Personally, I think that's a good thing and he obviously wants you to commit to the programme of AA by stopping drinking completely before you start.

I'm guessing that it's pretty pointless doing the steps if you're still going to drink during and between each one; but it sounds like you've managed to 'taper off' your drinking. I never could; I'd buy a 'short ration' of alcohol, drink it, then head out and buy some more.

Why? I was drunk wasn't I.

Your sponsor sounds spot on. Why don't you just stop drinking for today? Maybe you'll drink tomorrow, who knows, but for today don't.

This sort of thinking helps me keep sober at present and I'm hoping once I complete the steps, the desire to drink will be gone. I'll have to wait and see with reference that last one though.

Good look, Rider. A day at a time and all that. :wink:

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Post by rider03 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:28 am

Well I am ready to stop. Or at least try. That's why I asked for a sponser yesterday. I didn't drink yesterday.

If he's right, and I'm not ready, where do I go from here? What do I do now? That's what kind of caught me off guard. Should I quit going to meetings until I'm ready?

Sounds sort of like calling the suicide hotline and being told "Are you really serious about this? Cuz if you're not, you're just waisting our time."

I'm meeting him after the meeting tonight.

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Post by martin08 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:50 am

The percentage of AA members that are willing to take on the role of Sponsor might be a smaller number than you think! But it sounds like the man whom you asked was ready to commit as soon as you were ready to commit.

His time is of the essence. And it's freely given. An honest desire from the Sponsee to quit drinking is not too much to ask.

I ask the same question every time.

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Post by Layne » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:36 pm

Here I am reaching out for help and he says that.
If you are willing to go to any length, then you will be able to get past his comment.

In my past, I used comments like that as justification for continued drinking, until I finally surrendered and became willing to go to any length.

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Post by rider03 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:22 am

Jim S. wrote:I don't think you're ready, and I agree with your sponsor.
Yeah? So now what?
Ken_the_Gordie wrote:I'm guessing that it's pretty pointless doing the steps if you're still going to drink during and between each one;
I guess that's where I made a mistake...I was planning on quitting the day I asked him. I didn't tell him that. So his reaction makes more sense.
Martin08 wrote:His time is of the essence. And it's freely given. An honest desire from the Sponsee to quit drinking is not too much to ask.
I DO have an honsest desire. I'm just not at a "Lord I'll do anything" point. I have a very high low.
Layne wrote:If you are willing to go to any length, then you will be able to get past his comment.
And if you don't feel 100% that you'll "go to any length"? How do you work towards that?

He met me after the meeting last night and we talked for half an hour or so. Good talk. I feel much better. He is a great guy. We kind of left it with it's up to me to make that committment and he is there, willing to help.

I didn't drink yesterday either. 48 hours.

Thanks.

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Post by John Boy » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:14 am

Jim 725 wrote:I don't think you're ready, and I agree with your sponsor. As the chapter, "Working with others" tells us, "We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you."
Jim S.

I love people who use the BB to answer every single question, how does this quote fit into the OP's story. The OP contacted him and asked for help as its obvious he's having very little success doing it alone. Heck the potential sponsor didn't even give the guy a chance.

Buddy do yourself a favor and ask someone else to be your sponsor. I see the willingness in you.

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Post by martin08 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:47 am

It's because the answer to the Spiritual Malady of alcoholism is in the Big Book.

"We are assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop." p.34

.... and little to nothing can result until this desire is honest.

I look around in a discussion/topic meeting and know that a significant percentage of the members that are present will not be there and/or sober in a few months time. It is the reality. For those that are willing to follow the directions in the Big Book, recovery is promised.

Not everyone needs the directions in the Big Book. But for someone who can't get sober using meetings, phone calls and slogans, I have to ask, "Isn't it worth an honest try? What do you have to lose?"

Jim 725

Post by Jim 725 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:53 am

I love people who use the BB to answer every single question, how does this quote fit into the OP's story.
He was very nice but asked me if I was really willing and I told him (honestly) I thought so.
We're either ready or we're not ready. Sitting in a meeting for an hour then going home to drink might make anyone wonder if I'm ready to quit.
Jim S.

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Post by avaneesh912 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:09 am

We can quote the book, share our Experience Strength and hope.... but unless the willingness comes from the member himself, there is nothing one can do.

Six months getting into the Fellowship, my counselor categorized me as a border line alcoholic (i lied obviously to the questionnaire). But then i was pretty confidant i was still in control and can continue like that for ever. But then one afternoon, sitting on a conference call, struggling to walk-through my own document, i realized i have to do something about this. So, i went to a doctor this time, who led me to AA....for a spiritual solution.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Post by LetgoJoe » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:24 pm

Maybe this potential sponsor simply wants you to understand the importance of the relationship that you are proposing and that it is something not entered into lightly. I can think of no better way than to try to get you to look at your focus. I think good sponsors don't give up on sponsee's as long as they are showing in the slightest that they are trying to grow. But the biggest thing is to not drink because drinking puts a big stopper on the growth department.

But maybe think of it more as a commitment to this AA program and the willingness to go to any lengths that people have mentioned. Because a true commitment to that will take you through the overwhelming thought of the drink because if you say, I am going to follow these principles, no matter what, it will work. Like, don't drink, go to meetings, don't drink between meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps. ~Joe
Honesty gets us sober, tolerance keeps us sober. ~Bill W.

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Post by rider03 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:33 am

LetgoJoe wrote:Maybe this potential sponsor simply wants you to understand the importance of the relationship that you are proposing and that it is something not entered into lightly. I can think of no better way than to try to get you to look at your focus. I think good sponsors don't give up on sponsee's as long as they are showing in the slightest that they are trying to grow. But the biggest thing is to not drink because drinking puts a big stopper on the growth department.

But maybe think of it more as a commitment to this AA program and the willingness to go to any lengths that people have mentioned. Because a true commitment to that will take you through the overwhelming thought of the drink because if you say, I am going to follow these principles, no matter what, it will work. Like, don't drink, go to meetings, don't drink between meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps. ~Joe
Now that's the best answer I've heard yet. And most of the replies weren't even answers; just criticisms.

Thanks Joe!

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Post by Ken_the_Geordie » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:40 am

Rider,

I agree, Joe's smart! How's the sobriety working? Did you get the sponsor? Have you started on the BB?

I'm a nosey n00b; how's it going?

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Re: Sponser request; surprised at response

Post by Blue Moon » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:48 am

rider03 wrote: We traded numbers then he asked me how long since my last drink. I told him the night before and then his attitude seemed to change a little. He was very nice but asked me if I was really willing and I told him (honestly) I thought so. He said if I'm not committed then there is no sense using his time if he could be helping someone who really wants to quit.
That's both fair and honest, wouldn't you say?
I was taken aback by that. I was humbled at first and on the way home thought he was probably right. I'm not fully committed yet. Then as I laid in bed I started getting sort of angry about it.
Perhaps you need to ask yourself why you reacted this way. Even if he wanted to, a sponsor isn't able to hand sobriety over on a plate. Willingness of the sponsee is a fundamental ingredient. A sponsor cannot supply that ingredient.

What do you want?
Here I am reaching out for help and he says that. Anyway....he said don't drink and call him this afternoon and it would "be interesting" to talk to me and he thought he'd be able to tell if I was ready or not.
Did you do what he suggested? If so, you were willing to do what he suggested. That sounds like a sponsor to me. How you felt about it isn't really relevant - it's what we do that makes the grade, not how we feel.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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