Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

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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RustyS
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Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by RustyS » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:02 am

Hi, my name is Rusty, and I'm an alcoholic.

Last night a guy I had been talking to at my meetings asked me if I had been thinking about getting a sponsor. It was my fourth meeting in a row so I guess he reckoned I was serious about AA. We talked a little while and he asked me if I prayed, and I do (now I do), and asked me to pray for God to help me find the right sponsor. So I have been praying about it.

I'll tell you what I'm thinking and, please, if I'm wrongheaded on anything tell me.

Should it be important to me how long my sponsor has been sober?

Should it be important to me if my sponsor believes that working the program will take away any desire for me to take a drink?

If my sponsor had had slips/relapses?

Anything else I need to know?

Thanks.

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Karl R
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by Karl R » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:14 am

Hello Rusty,

The last two paragraphs of page 18 and the first two paragraphs of page 19 in the text "alcoholics anonymous" contain a pretty good description of a "good" sponsor. Even though the word "sponsor" as such is not mentioned.

There is also a very nice little pamphlet called "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship" that you can find on AA.org. Here is the link. http://www.aa.org/catalog.cfm?origpage=161&product=17

regards,
Karl

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Tosh
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by Tosh » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:18 am

I like what Chris R says about finding a sponsor; just ask someone if they've had a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. If they smile and agree, they're good to go. If they look at you strange, ask someone else.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

RustyS
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by RustyS » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:09 am

Tosh wrote:I like what Chris R says about finding a sponsor; just ask someone if they've had a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. If they smile and agree, they're good to go. If they look at you strange, ask someone else.
Good one, thanks. I'm glad you suggested that. That is exactly what I'm looking for.

Thank you too Karl. I will read that pamphlet. At 32 pages is it still a pamphlet or a small book?

--Rusty

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Karl R
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by Karl R » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:12 am

is it still a pamphlet or a small book?
Consider yourself lucky. Only the first half is for people seeking sponsorship. The second half is for sponsors attempting to be helpful to others. So.....only 16 pages in the thing for you at the moment. :-)

regards,
Karl

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leejosepho
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by leejosepho » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:30 am

RustyS wrote:Should it be important to me how long my sponsor has been sober?
That is a tough question to answer since time, in and of itself, does not really prove anything. So, I have always just found it best to have a sponsor who can show me how to do what is in the book ... and my own first sponsor had made it perfectly clear he would not be doing anything less or anything else.
rolfco61 wrote:Should it be important to me if my sponsor believes that working the program will take away any desire for me to take a drink?
No, and I would actually be inclined to shy away from a sponsor who presents things in that way. My own "desire to take a drink" had been *replaced* with a "desire to stop" even before I ever "found A.A.", so to speak, but you are actually asking something else. And so ...

A sponsor certainly needs to be able to share his or her own experience with the Steps having resulted in this:

"We are not fighting [(interest in) liquor/alcohol in order to feel okay], neither are we avoiding temptation [related to drinking. Rather,] We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality - safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem [of the insanity preceding the first drink] has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition." (page 85)
RustyS wrote:If my sponsor had had slips/relapses?
Many of us have "slips" in our pasts, but not since we have actually recovered.
RustyS wrote:Anything else I need to know?
"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone (including a sponsor). The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house [by taking the Steps]" (page 98), and we do that by accepting a fellow-A.A.'s help in taking the Steps even if s/he also is not yet perfect!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

RustyS
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by RustyS » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:53 am

Thanks Lee. I really like that quote from page 85.

--Rusty

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ann2
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by ann2 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:20 pm

Tosh wrote:I like what Chris R says about finding a sponsor; just ask someone if they've had a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. If they smile and agree, they're good to go. If they look at you strange, ask someone else.
Very cool. Thanks for sharing that.
Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

sobersid
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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by sobersid » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:50 pm

A sponser is a like a guide to show you how to get a spiritul experiences as the result of the step. , which is what the twelfth step promises. so first of all the sponser you pick should have taken those steps and had a spiritual awakening, remember the big book says you cant transmit something you haven't got. a sponser is NOT a higher power, like some people try to make them, remember no human power can relieve you of your alcoholism and a sponser is a human, no matter how much time your sponser has , it wont do you any good if you dont follow thier directions.

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Re: Thinking about getting a sponsor - I have questions

Post by nori » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:17 am

Hi Rusty! I was told to choose someone who has what I want. Other qualities I've found helpful in a sponsor: someone I feel comfortable being honest with, someone who returns my calls when I ask, someone I can trust. I've been very blessed with sponsors who have taught me in ways I could never have expected or imagined.

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