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Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:02 am
by PaigeB
A lot of these things sound like things my sponsor told me and therefore become part of my ES&H even if I haven't done them (hope) and will be passed on. The 20th Anniversary of my home group is in Sept. and we have at least 3 original members (2 with 20+ years) as well as some 15 other female members ranging from 2 months, 2 years - 15, 18, 8 years original to the group per their sobriety date. There is a network of sponsor/sponsee relationships within the group - because: if it works don't fix it!

Now I know that quip is not in the book, but from the early days of AA to today, things have changed. As each of us added our ES&H to the group we have bettered the sponsor/sponsee experience - and I am not referring only to my group but to AA as a whole. Change (ie: progress) is inevitable and mandatory. It would not work if we did it exactly the way they way they did it in 1944. But they did say in HOW IT WORKS - what it used to be like, what happened and what it is like now. (ES&H)

What is of the utmost importance is that we take for ourselves and offer the newcomer the best possible idea of possible options for how to walk this journey and then let them create their own experience, strength and hope through the suggested Steps and guides to spiritual progress. Then have them bring that ES&H back to the group/world-wide fellowship.

Each person has their own inner-most understanding of their progress same as they have of their HP. No matter what WE SAY or DO - their interior processing and progressing is up to them.

(I know somewhere it says that "AA will become..." something epic. I can't even quote it right!)

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:26 am
by leejosepho
PaigeB wrote:... from the early days of [A.A.] to today, things have changed ... inevitable and mandatory. It would not work if we did it exactly the way they way they did it in 1944.
That is absolute nonsense, yet I surely do respect and defend your right to have and to express such an opinion!
PaigeB wrote:What is of the utmost importance is that we take for ourselves and offer the newcomer the best possible idea of possible options for how to walk this journey and then let them create their own experience, strength and hope ...
... and such is the way of today's AA where people no longer "have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action." ("A.A.", the book, page 17).

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:31 am
by PaigeB
Lee? Let me ask you a question? Would you sponsor an Atheist? If they were not belligerent, but calmly believed there was no interactive entity? Or would you demand that they find the "One who has all power..."

If yes - I would see that the One is a suggestion
If no - I would see monotheism is a demand

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:35 am
by leejosepho
PaigeB wrote:Lee? Let me ask you a question? Would you sponsor an Atheist?
Certainly, and I have already done so.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:28 am
by PaigeB
Glad to hear it! Let the discussion roll forward!

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:05 am
by Tosh
Lee, I've had a guy refuse point-blank to do a Step 4, this was after a good few weeks of doing the groundwork leading up to it.

After some discussion with him I said I could no longer be his sponsor; and I couldn't; I mean what would I have suggested as an alternative?

What would you do in that type of situation?

Just interested!

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:56 pm
by Lali
I came into AA a drunk who had no idea about how AA worked. My first sponsor gave me no guidance and I drank. She did not ask me to call her (and as someone who doesn't like to make phone calls, I needed her to do that). She didn't suggest the amount of meetings I should attend. In short, she sucked. I NEEDED guidelines. Newbies NEED guidelines. This is a very serious disease and its not a game. If I sponsored someone who didn't want to follow a few guidelines I would fire them because I would know they were not serious about the program.

Lee, you really have some messed up ideas. Thank God for guidelines!

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:07 pm
by Lali
Here's an example. My friend, "Zack" came into the program not knowing how to do anything. He had to call his sponsor for every decision he had to make. He needed help with everything. He did everything his sponsor said he should do, even when he didn't like it. Now, he's 3 years sober. When he shares, everyone listens. He has been a speaker on 3 occasions and the first time, he got a standing ovation. He still runs things by his sponsor but now he can make decisions on his own. Was this sponsor/sponsee relationship a cult? His sponsor saved his life and turned it around to someone that everyone in the room respects and listens to and learns from when he shares. Aa true AA success story!

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:27 am
by Lali
Another reason for guidelines: We have in our group a bunch of young girls who live in a halfway house. They have moved from job to job, home to home, boyfriend to boyfriend. They have no discipline in their lives, including self-discipline. They need stability and structure IMO cos if they work their program the way they live their lives, they're in trouble.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:24 am
by leejosepho
Lali wrote:Lee, you really have some messed up ideas.
If you would, please make a list of what you believe those ideas to be so I can show you that I do *not* have them.
Tosh wrote:Lee, I've had a guy refuse point-blank to do a Step 4 ...

What would you do in that type of situation?
Just as have already done in that kind of situation: Ask/Invite/Welcome him to let me know if he ever changed his mind.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:33 am
by Lali
I do not make note of the things you write, but this situation here, you saying that newcomers should not have guidelines and that if they do, that is akin to a cult, is BEYOND ridiculous.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:13 am
by leejosepho
Lali wrote:... this situation here, you saying that newcomers should not have guidelines and that if they do, that is akin to a cult, is BEYOND ridiculous.
The discussion here is not about whether newcomers should have guidelines. The discussion here is about whether sponsors should require suffering alcoholics to abide by one thing or another in order to get help and/or while trying to recover.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:46 am
by Lali
leejosepho wrote:The discussion here is not about whether newcomers should have guidelines. The discussion here is about whether sponsors should require suffering alcoholics to abide by one thing or another in order to get help and/or while trying to recover.
Sorry, but you will have to go back and reread this thread. It's about helpful guidelines for newcomers. Anything besides that, you introduced.

Re: As a new sponsor...

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:40 am
by leejosepho
Lali wrote:
leejosepho wrote:The discussion here is not about whether newcomers should have guidelines. The discussion here is about whether sponsors should require suffering alcoholics to abide by one thing or another in order to get help and/or while trying to recover.
... you will have to go back and reread this thread. It's about helpful guidelines for newcomers.
Maybe some things shared/discussed in other threads are finding their ways in here, but this thread began with PaigeB asking some questions about how she could be helpful to someone ...

... and almost every response to those questions has been along the line of "guidelines", so to speak, for her and *not* for prospects or newcomers.

Alcoholism "demands" certain things of each and all of us in the sense that we die if we do not comply with certain things required in order to get help ...

... and I have yet to ever find any reason/need for any of us to ever try to add anything to that.