sponsor relationship advice

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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Re: sponsor relationship advice

Post by Larry_H » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:08 pm

Get to the meeting early and leave late. Talk to everyone before the meeting and again after the meeting. I found some of my best AA before and after meetings.

Choosing a sponsor.

#1 And very very important get a sponsor who is the same sex as you. Men sponsor men and women sponsor women.

#2 Look for some one who has what you want. Sobriety, joyous and happy what ever it is you are looking for in your life.

#3 Interview a prospective sponsor. Ask have they worked all of the steps with a sponsor? Ask how long have they been sober. Ask how many sponsees they have. Some times we take on too many newcomers and our effectiveness is not as good.

#4 Ask how many and which meetings they attend. A visitor who leaves won't do you much good.

#5 Ask are they willing to be your sponsor. Do not take a no answer personally. Their are many reasons a prospective sponsor may say no. Start at step #1 above again. You will find one.

#6 Sometimes we pick the wrong person. It is OK to fire your sponsor. Your sobriety must come first. Just be sure and get another sponsor right away. We do a lousy job on our own.

Good luck,

Let us know how things turn out.

Larry H,
"A recovering alcoholic without a sponsor is much like leaving Dracula in charge of the blood bank."

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Re: sponsor relationship advice

Post by Ken_the_Geordie » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:04 am

And make sure you pick a big, physically tough looking sponsor. If you get into any disagreements with fellow homegroup members, a tough looking sponsor always comes in handy at business meetings. And of course there's always the 'My sponsor is bigger than your sponsor' threat you can use too!

(That's a joke; honest! :mrgreen: )
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

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Re: sponsor relationship advice

Post by mikeyinrecovery » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:05 pm

Hey guys,

I wanted to say thanks to everyone again and to post a follow-up about my sponsorship relationship. I am incredibly happy to tell you that through a wild sequence of events over about 2 weeks, my sponsor and I had a huge breakthrough. I prayed so much to God that he guide me. My wife made a really inspired comment that, "don't you guys realize that God will decide the future of your relationship and it will be the right decision." So, I truly let go and let God on this one.

The hardest part for me is to trust God when I look back at this issue. I had to trust God so that I could trust my sponsor. As with many of us (I'm assuming) we have a hard time loving and trusting ourselves, so it becomes difficult to do that with others. I've only allowed my wife to know the inner core of myself, and even she doesn't know some of the things I will reveal to my sponsor during my 5th step.

I tried multiple times to break down my barriers by just taking a leap of faith with my sponsor. I had to be honest, even if it meant the demise of our relationship. He and i had a huge blowout argument over a joke I made. He felt awful over what he did, but not after he and I had it out. I think that's what it took to get past our hurdle. He blasted me in public in front of our home group. I was crushed and figured that would be the nail in the coffin. But I would not give up. By the end of our talk, this tough guy sponsor was sobbing, admitting his faults and so was I. I apologized profusely for not being sincere and honest with him. He offered me to have a clean break and find another sponsor, but at that point, I knew that it was truly meant to be. I admitted to him that I was scared as hell to trust anyone, but that I was going to bite the bullet and let him know my sh*tty, embarrassing past. I put all of my eggs in that basket, I accepted him for who he is, was able to clearly see the strong character strengths in him that I also wanted to have, and felt so good that I could be helping him just by being his sponcee.

I opened myself up to him, believing that God would protect and guide us both. I was able to clearly see that he needed to work with me, just as much as I needed to work with my sponsor. A few days later, I realized for the first time since I've been sober, the miracle of AA. I did something I never thought I was capable. With God, I could do it. I've had a taste of what I've been hearing in the rooms of AA, and it's like a feeling I've never had before. hope ya'll have had that feeling or will soon.
thanks for helping me stay sober!

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Re: sponsor relationship advice

Post by Marc L » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:26 pm

Hi ;
I'm happy for you that things are Hunky Dory.
My aspirations for the perfect Sponsor/Sponsee relationship goes something like this.
Both individuals are team players on the same side in the battle against alcohol. Neither player is subordinate to the other in any way , shape or form. We fight as equals to achieve a common goal while working the program.
Both horses pulling in the same direction makes the cart go better. :lol:

Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

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Re: sponsor relationship advice

Post by Sober25 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:00 am

What is a sponsor? Is it someone to run your life for you? A spiritual advisor, financial advisor and marriage and relationship counselor all rolled into one? Actually none of the above is what an AA sponsor is supposed to be, even though many people seem to think that is the case.

In the early days of AA a sponsor was someone who helped sick alcoholics get into hospitals. Keep in mind this was long before the days of treatment centers like we have now. Hospitals would take in drunks who were sick and keep them for a while to let them sober up and get their health back, providing them with some good nutrition and medical treatment. In some cases they were a little hesitant to take in certain patients and an AA sponsor was someone in AA who would enter into an informal agreement with the hospital to make sure that the patient would have plenty of AA visitors while they were there to give them a jumpstart on their recovery. The sponsees really got a lot of attention. The AAs would come in and share their stories with them and the patient would get a good education in how things worked, so when they got out they could meet with the AAs and carry on with their recovery.

Over the years, as treatment centers popped up all over the place, this kind of sponsorship was not needed and sponsorship slowly evolved into something totally different. Slowly but surely a sponsor became the all purpose guru who a newcomer would first meet at a meeting, ask them to be their sponsor and then go to them for any and all kinds of help, and the sponsors with big egos would eat it up. There are still many of these big ego sponsors around today. Many of them will make all sorts of demands on the newcomer, often talking down to them and making them jump through hoops just to keep them as a sponsor.

The best sponsors, however, are not into playing the bigshot and will not try to run their sponsee's life. Instead they will guide them through the 12 steps and provide them with guidance and friendship, all the while encouraging them to take responsibility for their own life and recovery. In this way they help them to grow confidant while growing along spiritual lines. Yes, sponsorship has changed over the years, but is still a vital part of AA recovery.
AA has one program of recovery - the 12 steps. It's tried, tested, proven and gauranteed.

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