Time to move past Temporary 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?
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Renegade27
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Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Renegade27 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:32 am

I was wise enough to ask someone to be my temporary sponsor very early in the program.

Turns out, from my perspective, that this was a really good fit as we come from many of the same social circles and I think can relate well. He's always been a religious man, clearly spiritual in his approach to life whereas I had no particular "need" for religion and spirtuality before AA. I'm now talking to God and working to listen back, going to many meetings, I think doing (almost) all the right things.

I've been in the program nearly 90 days with nearly 60 sober (one setback). We discussed starting the steps, ahead of the timing that he's been taught (he wants to wait), but I'm stuck with a strong mental obsession and am looking forward to working the step to gain liberation from these thoughts. I am developing an obsession with the Psychic Change and feel I want to work to experience this!

I say that I'm doing (almost) all the right things as while alcohol made my life unmanagable, my other bad habit - several x weekly MJ use, never really did. Trying to quit one to be sober, but really not so clean. I have been finding that the MJ use has been interfering with my newly developed habit of speaking with God throughout the day as I KNOW this is not his will. I strongly suspect this too will end for me but I'm holding on to this character defect as long as I can :? . Sorry for the mention of drug use, but this is very intertwined with the topic and I strongly suspect will be something I will need to address to achieve long term sobriety and in pursuit of the psychic change.

At the same time, I know my sponsor is having a tough time in many respects, other than sobriety. He's got personal money issues, business issues, marriage issues and we often speak of balance. Money and business issues are not something we share, and I hope this is not at root - - although with the spirituality of this man I doubt this is a problem.

He's missed two of our recent agreed-upon one-on-ones, has changed his meeting schedule and I don't see him much. When we are at the same meetings, he keeps a distance. I plan to speak with him to find out what's going on ("total honesty") and will but a little afraid of what he will say.

Either - 1, he doesn't think I can move forward at the pace I want to or with my residual bad habit.... 2, he's simply very busy and occupied healing the parts of his life he can now that he's sober (only 2 years).... 3, he doesn't see a personal connection, doesn't think he's the right one to work with me and am encouraging me subconsciously to move on.

I know to speak with him honestly about the situation, but wondering how the whole "temporary" sponsor thing works - - is it really supposed to be just that? An introduction to the program? Is it time for me to find someone else with the time and willingness to work the steps with?
"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor... he presents his stage character... but knows in his heart he doesn't deserve it." pg 73

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Karl R
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Karl R » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:21 am

but I'm stuck with a strong mental obsession and am looking forward to working the step to gain liberation from these thoughts. I am developing an obsession with the Psychic Change and feel I want to work to experience this!
Nowhere in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" does it way that one must wait a certain number of days to start to get well through the application of the 12 steps in one's life.

It does say this in How it Works(chapter 5)
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.
So

If you want what we have (getting well and finding relief from the alcoholic obsession)

and are willing to go to any lengths to get it (finding someone to lead you through the steps now AND potentially abstaining from all mind altering substances(just an opinion there...))

than you are ready for the steps to recovery. You may find that the steps work wonders for mental obsessions of all types.

You may wish to explore this statement with your current sponsor.
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.
best wishes,
Karl

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Marc L
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Marc L » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:29 am

The Sponsor/Sponsee relationship is a delicate balance of give and take.
Both like to be liked, love to be loved and need to be needed.
Normal human stuff and somehow through that there is work which must be done so the sponsee can make progress through the steps. If this is not happening and petty differences cannot be resolved then it's not a good fit and it's time to move on.

Marc
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: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by jak » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:15 pm

I know to speak with him honestly about the situation, but wondering how the whole "temporary" sponsor thing works - - is it really supposed to be just that? An introduction to the program? Is it time for me to find someone else with the time and willingness to work the steps with?
I encourage you to take these questions to your temp sponsor.

jimk

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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:38 pm

Renegade27 wrote: I have been finding that the MJ use has been interfering with my newly developed habit of speaking with God throughout the day as I KNOW this is not his will. I strongly suspect this too will end for me but I'm holding on to this character defect as long as I can :? . Sorry for the mention of drug use, but this is very intertwined with the topic and I strongly suspect will be something I will need to address to achieve long term sobriety and in pursuit of the psychic change.
I don't know anyone who attained long-term sobriety whilst indulging recreational pot.

Why not drop the pot? What do you really want?
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Renegade27
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Renegade27 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:28 am

Thanks all. I will speak to my sponsor this morning - also I do strongly suspect I'll end up stopping smoking, as I indicated I already see it interfering with both my ability to seek and know other AA'ers (paranoid) and God (knowing it is not his will for me).

I need to and want to stop drinking - long term and absolutely - and am willing to do everything it takes. This Includes entering a healthy discussion with my sponsor about his perspective of the situation and to stop smoking - -
"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor... he presents his stage character... but knows in his heart he doesn't deserve it." pg 73

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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Lali » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:15 am

Renegade - When I started reading your post about the way your sponsor is behaving, I was going to suggest a new sponsor - immediately. (You should not have to wait to work the steps, especially when you feel ready. Has he even suggested that you do some reading on your own) But then you mentioned that you are using another substance, so this may be the reason he isn't working with you. And I should add that you will need to recalculate your sober time starting when you are free of all mind altering substances. Anyway, I would talk to your sponsor and ask him if he is just too busy for you and if you should get another sponsor?
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Mike O » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:02 pm

lisar wrote: And I should add that you will need to recalculate your sober time....
...which is not any big deal, IMO! It's only a figure.
:D

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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Lali » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:27 pm

I wrote:
"And I should add that you will need to recalculate your sober time...."

Mike wrote:
"...which is not any big deal, IMO! It's only a figure."

Yes, I agree with that Mike, absolutely.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Larry_H
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Larry_H » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:56 pm

My home group members are fond of saying.

"If you want temporary sobriety, then get a temporary sponsor"

Larry,
------------
Just remember, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

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Marc L
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Marc L » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:12 pm

Larry_H wrote:My home group members are fond of saying.

"If you want temporary sobriety, then get a temporary sponsor"

Larry,
------------
Just remember, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter
'Temporary Sponsor'. That phrase has such an unpleasant connotation. It gives off the impression that the relationship is doomed to fail before it even begins. I wonder whose idea that was...
I've interacted with a number of people over the years and haven't considered them to be sponsors. They didn't have the 'Right Stuff' I guess. Maybe I'm an exception to the rule because I have One white chip and zero relapse in fourteen years. Well, I guess I must be doing something right. :D

One White Chip Wonder;
Marc
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: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by ann2 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:28 pm

Maybe I'm an exception to the rule because I have One white chip and zero relapse in fourteen years.
If so, I am also an "exception" and let me tell you I know many others. And it's odd how prideful some are about a gift of grace.

It was at 17 years away from the drink that I first experienced the serenity that AA talks about, and I know others like me (just met one at our meeting last week in fact). It's not unusual for us to stay sober on the way to the state of mind that keeps others sober.

I don't really consider that something to get an award for. There may be more ahead of you Marc, you never know.

"Temporary" sponsor is a term that implies a sponsor should be chosen with care, but here is one who will hold your hand while you deliberate :-) Naturally if you like the particular pressure and warmth of that hand, you are allowed to ask this person to continue to serve as your sponsor beyond whatever "temporary" conditions you two may have set up at the beginning. That's what happened to me. I was just grateful someone was there.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by happycamper » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:34 pm

The way I see it, it is better to have a temporary sponsor than to have no sponsor at all.
Faith without works is dead

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Marc L
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Re: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Marc L » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:54 am

ann2 wrote:
Maybe I'm an exception to the rule because I have One white chip and zero relapse in fourteen years.
If so, I am also an "exception" and let me tell you I know many others. And it's odd how prideful some are about a gift of grace.

It was at 17 years away from the drink that I first experienced the serenity that AA talks about, and I know others like me (just met one at our meeting last week in fact). It's not unusual for us to stay sober on the way to the state of mind that keeps others sober.

I don't really consider that something to get an award for. There may be more ahead of you Marc, you never know.

"Temporary" sponsor is a term that implies a sponsor should be chosen with care, but here is one who will hold your hand while you deliberate :-) Naturally if you like the particular pressure and warmth of that hand, you are allowed to ask this person to continue to serve as your sponsor beyond whatever "temporary" conditions you two may have set up at the beginning. That's what happened to me. I was just grateful someone was there.

Ann
Yes God does take good care of his kids and does for them what they cannot do for themselves.
And that help may come in many forms. Even someone as annoying as me posting contraversial threads. :lol:

Marc
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: Time to move past Temporary Sponsor?

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:58 am

happycamper wrote:The way I see it, it is better to have a temporary sponsor than to have no sponsor at all.
Almost by definition, every sponsor is temporary. If someone has a sponsor who honestly believes the arrangement is permanent, I'd suggest another sponsor - one whose purpose is to guide them through the recovery program.

It's estimated that Dr Bob sponsored approx. 5,000 alcoholics in 15 years. How could the arrangement not have been temporary?
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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