When to Find 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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Cascade Jack
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When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Cascade Jack » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:23 pm

Hello folks. I'm sorry if this has been asked before but I have a general question and I hope some of you wouldn't mind giving some advice on it.

I'm newly back to the program after a protracted (years-long) relapse. I had one year under my belt a few years back and thought, that's it, I'm cured, I can drink normally now.... I know, brilliant.

Anyway, I finally hit bottom pretty hard and am now back. My question is this: even though I had a year, I never did get a sponsor. I went to meetings galore, but never did the steps. So I'm wondering, how long should I wait this time before getting a sponsor and doing the step-work? I guess I'm kind of assuming that my lack of having done the steps was the cause of my falling off the wagon, and maybe that's wrong in and of itself... I admit I'm pretty confused right now, I'm only on day 2.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

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Karl R
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Karl R » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:44 pm

Hello Dan,

When I asked the "how soon" question not so long ago the response to the question of "when should I work the steps" was "when you want to get well".

You see; the AA program of recovery IS embodied in the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous as presented in the textbook entitled "Alcoholics Anonymous". Being in Alcoholics Anonymous without getting stuck into the steps is like being in a hospital for cancer treatment but not taking the treatment. Yes, the BB is set up like a textbook. Each step in order has it's own section in the Big Book. So, in response to your rather direct question, I'll respond by saying that I found getting stuck into the Big Book and the steps right away was important to my personal recovery-with or without a sponsor. It's never too soon to start reading that textbook, identifying with the similarities to your own situation, and following the directions you find in the Big Book.

As to the sponsor question I'll refer you to a nifty little pamphlet AA has entitled "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship". It contains a wealth of information on the institution of sponsorship. You can find it at http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf A very nice read.

Welcome here Dan,
cheers,
Karl

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Blue Moon
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Blue Moon » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:34 pm

Cascade Jack wrote: Anyway, I finally hit bottom pretty hard and am now back. My question is this: even though I had a year, I never did get a sponsor. I went to meetings galore, but never did the steps. So I'm wondering, how long should I wait this time before getting a sponsor and doing the step-work?
I would be on a mission to resolve it ASAP... within reason.

Of course, the trick is not in finding a sponsor, but in finding someone who "has what you want". For that, I suggest keeping your ears open for someone who talks and walks recovery... someone who can talk not only about the problem, and not only about the solution, but also about how they personally moved from one to the other.

Meanwhile, there's nothing to stop you opening the Big Book without a sponsor at hand.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Marc L
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Marc L » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:33 pm

Cascade Jack wrote:Hello folks. I'm sorry if this has been asked before but I have a general question and I hope some of you wouldn't mind giving some advice on it.

I'm newly back to the program after a protracted (years-long) relapse. I had one year under my belt a few years back and thought, that's it, I'm cured, I can drink normally now.... I know, brilliant.

Anyway, I finally hit bottom pretty hard and am now back. My question is this: even though I had a year, I never did get a sponsor. I went to meetings galore, but never did the steps. So I'm wondering, how long should I wait this time before getting a sponsor and doing the step-work? I guess I'm kind of assuming that my lack of having done the steps was the cause of my falling off the wagon, and maybe that's wrong in and of itself... I admit I'm pretty confused right now, I'm only on day 2.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
Hi Dan;
I'm Marc and I'm still Alcoholic.
Are you ready to do some real written StepWork?
If you are I will show you what I have done and then I'll expect you to write yours.
Fair enough?

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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Larry_H
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Larry_H » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:52 pm

You ask how long should you wait to get a sponsor and work the steps?

My question to you is how long do you want to wait to get better?

Larry,
----------------
1. I liked it
2. Then I needed it.
3. Then I couldn't stop it.

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Cascade Jack
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Cascade Jack » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:13 am

Thank you all. The reason I asked this question is because I met a successful old-timer once and he said he would never even consider sponsoring somebody unless they had at least 30 days sobriety, so I wondered if that was common, or just his personal preference. Sounds like the latter.

Marc, I may take you up on that offer. Let me think about it. Thanks.

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Ken_the_Geordie
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:57 am

Cascade Jack wrote:Thank you all. The reason I asked this question is because I met a successful old-timer once and he said he would never even consider sponsoring somebody unless they had at least 30 days sobriety,
I've heard stuff like that, but it's not in the Big Book - and I'm taught to filter anything I hear through the lens of the Big Book.

So I'm suspect about the wisdom of it. Maybe it's fair enough for a minority who've been around AA long enough to know what to do, but don't do much, and keep relapsing, but why for a brand new newcomer?

Can anyone share their experience of this "30 day sober before getting a sponsor" business? The reason I was given when I asked about this was that it shows that the newcomer is willing, but I personally think that just turning up at your first AA meeting shows a certain amount of 'willing'. Why put further hurdles up?

I'm easily swayed these days, so I could be wrong.
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: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Lali » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:04 am

Ken stated:
"Can anyone share their experience of this "30 day sober before getting a sponsor" business? The reason I was given when I asked about this was that it shows that the newcomer is willing, but I personally think that just turning up at your first AA meeting shows a certain amount of 'willing'. Why put further hurdles up?" (Emphasis added).

I have to agree with Ken, but a sponsor has a right to set their own boundaries, I guess. Anyway, while Marc's offer is nice, I would suggest, Cascade Jack, that you get a face-to-face sponsor, not an on-line sponsor. Listen to men in your group 'til you find one that has what you want. And I would suggest that you get a network of men to call at least until you get a sponsor.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

Layne
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Layne » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:04 am

It is strictly the old timers preference, nothing more. Nothing also says that if you pick a sponsor now, that they have to remain your sponsor for life, or that you can't have additional sponsors as well.

I would think the sooner you get at least a "temporary" sponsor (something we have in my area) the better off you would be. That is not what I did of course, but then I have never been my best adviser. My advice qualified me for a seat in the rooms of AA in the first place and continues to plague me occasionally into committing some stupid faux pas. :D

I also agree with Lisar about getting a F2F sponsor. Hiding the real me was my specialty when I was drinking and it is much easier for me to do from behind the safety of a computer screen. Also real life doesn't happen with a time delay for well thought out responses like computer life does. "sigh" :wink: oh well...one day at a time

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Marc L
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Marc L » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:19 am

Cascade Jack wrote:Thank you all. The reason I asked this question is because I met a successful old-timer once and he said he would never even consider sponsoring somebody unless they had at least 30 days sobriety, so I wondered if that was common, or just his personal preference. Sounds like the latter.

Marc, I may take you up on that offer. Let me think about it. Thanks.
Hi Dan;
I work in a straightforward manner. I would not require anyone do stuff that I have not myself already done and I know works. I do not BullShit people. I've worked with many Newcomers over the years. I don't tell them what to do. I show them what I have done and they can have it for free if they want it. I have Fourteen years sober, One white chip and Zero relapse.
You can have this too... Or maybe you need to go out and get your ass kicked some more by alcohol before you make up your mind. :D
If you want to sit around and wait for thirty days that is your choice. Or we can get started today.

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.

Lali
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Lali » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:28 am

Dan, I sent you a private message with some info that should be helpful to you.
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: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Larry_H » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:43 am

I never heard of anyone suggesting waiting 30 days or any other length of time.

Many people get some weird ideas about the program but good advice is if it is not in the big book then question it.
Occasionally there is a valid suggestion that is not in the big book. Sponsorship comes to mind.

Larry,
-----------------
Nobody is too dumb to get sober but plenty of people are too smart.

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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Steven F » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:21 pm

Hi Jack,

I'll echo all that. No need to wait, look for someone who has what you want (a twinkle in the eyes gives away a lot) and find someone face-to-face if you possibly can. I would also make damn sure that my sponsor has experience with ALL of the steps. Many can talk the lingo and tell you their theories, but the only ones who can talk about their experience are the the ones who have actually had them.

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Blue Moon
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by Blue Moon » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:00 pm

Cascade Jack wrote: I met a successful old-timer once and he said he would never even consider sponsoring somebody unless they had at least 30 days sobriety, so I wondered if that was common, or just his personal preference.
Personal preference - but not uncommon.

I also suggest not to get someone who has not taken the 12 Steps and recovered from alcoholism.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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ann2
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Re: When to Find Sponsor?

Post by ann2 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:45 am

Yes, absolutely go with somebody who lives where you do if possible. And the really important thing about finding a sponsor is the *asking* part. Walk up to the guy, state your request, be ready for whatever happens. When I did it that way the growth was of an entirely different magnitude than taking someone up on her obligation.

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

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