What do you guys think of this?

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?
Jaywalker Steve
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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Jaywalker Steve » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:02 am

Frankie wrote:Big Book pg. 74 Rightly and naturally, we think well before we choose the person or persons with whom to take this intimate and confidential step. Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it. Though we have no religious connection, we may still do well to talk with someone ordained by an established religion. We often find such a person quick to see and understand our problem. Of course, we sometimes encounter people who do not understand alcoholics.
If a person I'm sponsoring chooses me, I express the fact that it's an honor and privilege to be trusted to this degree. If they choose a religious leader, then I encourage them to find someone familiar with alcoholism. It's the new person's decision as stated above, and as long as they are not shooting an angle, then I should respect their wishes.
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by leejosepho » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:34 am

Tosh wrote:My sponsor holds me accountable for my amends in the sense that he has 'chivvied me along' into making them; it's helped me overcome my procrastination, and I thank him for it.
Yes, a good sponsor helps here whenever necessary ...

"Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be." (page 79)
=======================
"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)
=======================

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by MyNameisVictor » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:13 pm

I know this sounds pretty closed-minded of me, but I don't think Step 5 should be done with someone who isn't in the program. Someone who isn't in the program wouldn't understand, especially the minister you spoke of, won't understand.
Tosh wrote:it seems the Minister who is my sponsee's Bible class teacher seems to have some sort of resentment against A.A....Minister is blaming the alcoholic minister/A.A. for their marriage break up
I think the minister is more upset about the fact AA is doing what he can't as minister. He needs to be a community leader and the people's savior, otherwise, he feels that he won't be important. I say to cut this minister out of the loop altogether.
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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Karl R » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:05 pm

I know this sounds pretty closed-minded of me, but I don't think Step 5 should be done with someone who isn't in the program. Someone who isn't in the program wouldn't understand
Why Victor? My experience and the experience indicated in the text "alcoholics anonymous". I've a priest who has heard a 4th step and a couple of 10th steps of mine. Before I went to him I engaged him in a conversation in which I ascertained whether he met the criteria on pages 73 and 74 of our textbook. I ascertained that, he indeed understood alcoholism, alcoholics, and the solution our textbook offers. In fact, on the bookshelf near his desk is a copy of Alcoholics Anonymous which, by it's condition, indicates that he's read it a number of times. He's acquainted with the text "alcoholics anonymous". He's capable of holding a confidence. He's quick to see and understand my problem when I engage him. He's not in a position where I can harm him with any of my confidences; he can remain unaffected. He's hard but understanding concerning my "stuff". He's more then capable of helping me identify defects of character and instances of selfish-self-centeredness. What more can I ask?

Again.....my experience.

regards,
Karl

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Tosh
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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Tosh » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:42 am

MyNameisVictor wrote:I know this sounds pretty closed-minded of me, but I don't think Step 5 should be done with someone who isn't in the program. Someone who isn't in the program wouldn't understand, especially the minister you spoke of, won't understand.
Tosh wrote:it seems the Minister who is my sponsee's Bible class teacher seems to have some sort of resentment against A.A....Minister is blaming the alcoholic minister/A.A. for their marriage break up
I think the minister is more upset about the fact AA is doing what he can't as minister. He needs to be a community leader and the people's savior, otherwise, he feels that he won't be important. I say to cut this minister out of the loop altogether.
I listened to the fifth step yesterday afternoon (just my sponsee and myself) in a small rural church, which was a very nice spiritual background - but FREEZING! The Church was about 500 years old, and had a band of ladybirds, thousands of them, all hibernating around the top of the big oak door.

I also think you're right about the minister. Personally, I think my family would've preferred to have me at home on a Sunday afternoon/evening, and I would've certainly been a lot warmer; but on balance I also think it's better for him to do his fifth with a sponsor; purely because when he comes to sponsor (which will be soon hopefully), he'll be to share the exact same experience that I can about sharing my fifth with my sponsor. After he finished sharing his inventories, I asked him to stand up, and we hugged. He almost broke my ribs he squeezed me so hard. Kinda funny, since we're both ex soldiers, and British soldiers don't hug!

Anyway, I can also be more effective with assisting him with his amends now I've heard his fifth.

I personally don't like hearing fifth steps, it's tough work listening closely, and if I thought the minister could be just as effective as someone in A.A., I would've been more than happy to delegate responsibility; but I'm not sure that would've been the case.

@Karl, this Minister would not fulfil the criteria that you've posted. And I really shouldn't post this, but he does not appear to sound like he fills the criteria of a Minister also.
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)

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by MyNameisVictor » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:26 pm

Only because when I state all the stupid crap that I did when I was drinking, another alcoholic could nodbtheir heads and say "yep, I understand exactly how this disease could make you act/think that way" and mean it. I can also do that with another alcoholic. The non alcoholic, in most cases, wouldn't understand or relate to the horrific ways in which this disease can warp even the most intelligent minds. I'm certainly not criticizing the non-alcoholic, but the aforementioned reasons I just gave are also the reason why we have closed meetings. I don't mean to be combative here, but I truly believe that only an alcoholic could understand another alcoholic. That's all.
Karl R wrote:
I know this sounds pretty closed-minded of me, but I don't think Step 5 should be done with someone who isn't in the program. Someone who isn't in the program wouldn't understand
Why Victor? My experience and the experience indicated in the text "alcoholics anonymous". I've a priest who has heard a 4th step and a couple of 10th steps of mine. Before I went to him I engaged him in a conversation in which I ascertained whether he met the criteria on pages 73 and 74 of our textbook. I ascertained that, he indeed understood alcoholism, alcoholics, and the solution our textbook offers. In fact, on the bookshelf near his desk is a copy of Alcoholics Anonymous which, by it's condition, indicates that he's read it a number of times. He's acquainted with the text "alcoholics anonymous". He's capable of holding a confidence. He's quick to see and understand my problem when I engage him. He's not in a position where I can harm him with any of my confidences; he can remain unaffected. He's hard but understanding concerning my "stuff". He's more then capable of helping me identify defects of character and instances of selfish-self-centeredness. What more can I ask?

Again.....my experience.

regards,
Karl
"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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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:37 pm

Karl R wrote: Before I went to him I engaged him in a conversation in which I ascertained whether he met the criteria on pages 73 and 74 of our textbook.
Don't forget, the book was written primarily for those who have no sponsor nor even AA meetings. For them, a close-mouthed, understanding friend is far better than no 5th Step.

When an AA has a sponsor, I can think of at least 3 reasons why he should take the 5th with his sponsor:

1. The sponsor has the opportunity to help check the boxes that Step 4 was understood.
2. The sponsor's own sharing back is part of building that bridge to normal living - the newcomer need not feel so "different" after all.
3. It affords the sponsor the rare gem of an opportunity to enhance his own spiritual growth by hearing a 5th Step.

The only valid reason I can think of for not sharing Step 5 with one's sponsor is a need to find a new sponsor.
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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Karl R » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:53 am

When an AA has a sponsor, I can think of at least 3 reasons why he should take the 5th with his sponsor:

1. The sponsor has the opportunity to help check the boxes that Step 4 was understood.
2. The sponsor's own sharing back is part of building that bridge to normal living - the newcomer need not feel so "different" after all.
3. It affords the sponsor the rare gem of an opportunity to enhance his own spiritual growth by hearing a 5th Step.

The only valid reason I can think of for not sharing Step 5 with one's sponsor is a need to find a new sponsor.
Probably spot on Ian and food for thought.
The only valid reason I can think of for not sharing Step 5 with one's sponsor is a need to find a new sponsor
You've perhaps hit the nail on the head Ian. I don't wish to hijack the op's thread as it's not pertinent to the original topic but would love to and would undoubtedly benefit from taking up the topic with you by PM. :-)
only an alcoholic could understand another alcoholic
True usually. All I'm suggesting is that I've found a few exceptions in my experience when I was in need. And continue to do so at times.
I don't think Step 5 should be done with someone who isn't in the program.
A sweeping generalization to which I have found a number of exceptions when I was in need. As did the writers of the original textbook. Don't underestimate our HP's ability to provide "what we need" when we approach with honesty, willingness, and openness to new ideas and are willing to do the work.

peace out everyone-with apologies for hijacking Ken's thread I'll bow out conceding that your points are usually true....:-)

regards,
Karl

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Tosh » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:23 pm

Karl R wrote: peace out everyone-with apologies for hijacking Ken's thread I'll bow out conceding that your points are usually true....:-)
No, it's fine, I learn a lot reading these posts!

Thanks.
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)

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Blue Moon » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:30 pm

On the topic of "only an alcoholic understands an alcoholic", in general I think it's true ... up to a point. Although sober non-alcoholics probably understand more than we think.

But I would say that Dr Silkworth understood alcoholics far better than most alcoholics of my acquaintance.

Also an unrecovered alcoholic doesn't have the same understanding. For example, I had no real concept of "serenity" until I felt it, for years I equated it with "spine-chilling" because I just assumed that's how everyone felt whilst in church. Nobody ever told me that what I felt wasn't right ... nobody ever asked (and I don't think they'd have known what to do if they had!)

The Fellowship talked of in the Big Book is the Fellowship that comes from shared experience of doing the work - taking the recovery actions. That is a rather different fellowship to that of hanging out in the same AA meeting room for an hour each week.

Bottom line: why would anyone "want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it" if they've already got it?
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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by leejosepho » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:24 am

Blue Moon wrote:The Fellowship talked of in the Big Book is the Fellowship that comes from shared experience of doing the work - taking the recovery actions. That is a rather different fellowship to that of hanging out in the same AA meeting room for an hour each week ...
Whew, we could spend many days talking about that! So many unsuspecting sheeple seem to have been led to believe something wonderful somehow happens during the allegedly-magical daily hour of mutual admiration and rote recitation ...

Whew.
=======================
"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)
=======================

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Re: What do you guys think of this?

Post by Lali » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:09 pm

I think your wife should be proud that she has a husband with a big heart. Maybe you could tell him that your wife wants family only time before and/or after dinner, but that he's welcome to come for dinner. Maybe your wife will change your mind if you ask her if she wants you to uninvite him.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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