Sponsoring the binge drinker...

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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Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by MyNameisVictor »

Hi, I'm Victor and I'm an alcoholic. I just wanted to get feedback, if I may, on this: I recently got my first sponsee and have been getting a lot of edvice from my own sponsor on what to do. Until recently, I've had him meet me to read the BB and I've spoken to him several times before and after meetings. However, when I told him to call me every night, he insists on texting me even though I told him that texting is not calling. But here's where I am running in to problems. He is not convinced that he's an alcoholic because right now, he's at the binge drinking stage. He came in to AA after he blacked out and he and his live-in girlfriend got in to a big fight which he doesn't remember. That scared him enough to come in to AA. But now that he's had a few weeks sober, he's stopped calling me, and this past weekend he didn't show up to do Step One work.

I've met a lot of people in AA who come in as binge drinkers and aren't convinced that htey're alcoholics. My sponsor told me that the only thing I can do is share my own ESH with them and pray they get the message. I myself spiraled downward in to daily drinking, which led me to getting fired, my marriage was on the rocks, nearly dying because booze burned a hole in my stomach, and losing close relationships with friends and family members. It was only then that I got the message. I know hwat my sponsor said, but I kind of feel like there's gotta be something more I can do for this guy. I know that when I was at the binge drinking stage, it was very easy to believe the lies of this disease, because I kept telling my self "I'm smart enough to know when to drink and when not to, I have a good job where I'm respected and lots of friends, so how can I be an alcoholic?"

My sponsee He watched his mother die of alcoholism when he was a teenager. I wish there was something I could say to him to convince him that he's heading in the same direction that headed in to during my final days of drinking.

I'm wondering if I should keep calling him (I left him a vm wondering where he was), or do as my sponsor says and just let him go to find his own way. I'm pretty sure I should do the latter, but it's proving to be more difficult to do then I thought.

Any thoughts or similar experiences on this? Thanks.

God Bless,
"They said a miracle would happen on my 90th day of sobriety, and it did happen...I was sober."
-Anonymous from the Trinity Group of AA in NYC

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Karl R
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Re: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by Karl R »

Hello Victor...

My experience? Don't chase. You may ruin a later opportunity for you or another 12 stepper with the gentleman.

Your time and ES and H as a sober recovered alcoholic is valuable. Move on to the next man. They are out there waiting for you. They may not only need your es&h; they may actually want to hear it. :-)


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Re: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by happycamper »

I believe your sponsor is right.

And, theres always Chapter 7 Working with Others , which has all the answers formost part.

I dont chase ppl. If they dont want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then I tell them in the most compassionate, honest way I can to not waste my time. Then, I go search out another drunk. Firstly praying about it all .. that God help me do this, put the ppl in my path that He thinks I need.

We plant a seed, and then allow God to water it :D .. I dont know when the sponsee is going to accept sobriety, or when God is going to give it to them either.
Faith without works is dead

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Re: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by Lali »

Like Lori said, a sponsee has to want sobriety. Shoving the message down someone's throat rarely works. Plus, he may not have reached the bottom he needs to reach to determine that he's an alcoholic.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Blue Moon
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Re: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by Blue Moon »

We carry the message, not the alcoholic.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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Marc L
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Re: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by Marc L »

You've caught him between binges where alcohol is still fun for him. Let him be and don't waste your time if he ain't ready. Alcohol will eventually bring him in and he'll ask for your help.

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: Sponsoring the binge drinker...

Post by Steven F »

Not chasing is sometimes not easy. Sometimes, there is the idea that we just haven't said the right thing, or that we should be able to help in some way. It would be great if every alcoholic would see straight away that there is a problem, and would engage in the programme without reserve. And that we could be sure that people who don't engage are those who will also be ok without the programme. But that is simply not the case - be careful not to judge.

The next best thing is to be comfortable in some sort of "triage" - seeing who we can and need to help, and who we can't or don't need to carry the programme to. That is called qualifying. The questions are in the first paragraph of page 44. For me, these are the deciding considerations. They are answered by the prospect, not by me.

If someone isn't convinced, there are basically two possibilities. Either that person is alcoholic and just hasn't reached his or her personal bottom. Or that person isn't alcoholic and doesn't need the programme of AA. In both cases, you should just say thanks, and let them know you are there to talk about the programme whenever they feel it could help them or others. We are here to help people with problems. If the problem is not there, in reality or in perception of the other, there is nothing to do for us.

Which doesn't mean you can't have a coffee or keep in touch with someone who decides, for whatever reason, not to go the twelve step way. If they don't have your problem, just don't get tempted to try on their solutions ;-).

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