How to let go of 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?

How to let go of sponsor?

Postby 1999 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:42 pm

In my 6 years of soberiety, I have had 2 sponsors. The first took me through the steps, then moved across the country. We had a very good relationship for 5 years. I floated around for 11 months "sponsorless" and didn't feel connected.My meeting attendance dropped. Finally, after desperation, I asked another lady who had what I thought I wanted. She helped me out a lot. But, she expects me to tell her everything. Everything. From sex life to business transactions. (daily calls are inquisitive and usually ends with a direction of some sort that is controlling and setting me up for codependency) I am getting rather uncomfortable. My last sponsor was not so nosey- nor judgemental.(I did a thorough 4th and 5th with her). This sponsor tells me where to sit, what meetings to attend, to cover her service positions and she wears her defect of characters (self proclaimed b--tch)like a medal of honor. I am trying to hang in there, but I am getting more stressed out from her than I have been in my entire sober life. I am not as happy, joyous and free. She says she is- although she states that she gets mad about 12 times a day. She scolded me in front of the group about taking a sponsee (without her permission) and looking at real estate (without her permission). The last straw was yesterday- she said, "If you don't believe what I am saying is coming from God- then I am not the right sponsor for you." I don't believe she is saying things from a spiritual place- therefore I don't think she's the right sponsor for me.

I know that change takes growth (and sometimes it's painful) and that I have many defects that I am praying to have removed.

I need insight on how to let her go. She takes things personal when sponsees drop her. She has helped me tremendously in the last 4 months, but now I think it's time to move on. Any words of experience on how to kindly let her go would be appreciated.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby 1999 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:23 pm

Tommy-
Thank you very much for your reply.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby Jim 725 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:47 pm

[The last straw was yesterday- she said, "If you don't believe what I am saying is coming from God- then I am not the right sponsor for you."]
You might want to point her toward page 38 in "As Bill Sees It" which says, "The minute I figure I have got a perfectly clear pipeline to God, I have become egotistical enough to get into real trouble. Nobody can cause more needless grief than a power-driver who thinks he has got it straight from God."
I truly believe that lately alcoholics have transfered their dependence from God to dependence on human beings, justifying it by giving them the title of "sponsor." And in typical alcoholic fashion, those "sponsors" have gladly assumed the role of higher power.
The Big Book was written with the express purpose of showing us how to get and stay sober without human help--the Steps, which will bring about the necessary spiritual awakening. Chapter Seven tells us exactly what we should do, as sponsors. A common belief now is that no one can possibly take the Steps without a sponsor's guidance, and that a sponsor is responsible for all major decisions. I heard a speaker recently (from Maryland) with 27 years sobriety(?) who stated proudly that he doesn't make a decision without first calling his sponsor in California.
Chuck C. states in "A New Pair of Glasses that he has never had a sponsor--he went to individuals with the expertise in whatever he needed. Bill W.'s sponsor had a very hard time staying sober. My only official sponsor died sober 14 years ago. I finally got a replacement two years ago, but he turned out like yours, so I dropped him like a bad habit. When guys ask me to sponsor them, I tell them three things:
A. I have all the time in the world to help them get well, but won't waste five minutes watching them stay sick.
B. The program of sobriety is in the Twelve Steps, laid out in the Big Book.
C. The best gift they can give me is to outgrow me.
Jim S.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby Holly96 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:49 pm

hi 1999

I had a sponsor a couple years ago, who taught me a lot, as it appears you are learning valuable lessons as well!
Over time, my sponsor became very controlling, and down right nasty. After getting off the phone with her, I felt like crying......every time. mean hurtful comments... Lots of public "correcting" at meetings...etc.

Now ,I also realize that I can make excuses for things not going my way, so I contacted several members in the program (who did not know her at all), and my old sponsor, and ran by them a few things that had taken place.

It became apparent to me that I needed to seek another sponsor.(this took months....slow learner I am sometimes!) :-) My old sponsor(the one I called for advice) said to me "Holly, would you allow anyone else to treat you that way". I certainly would not. This taught me much. When I told her that I was going to seek another sponsor, but thanked for all she taught me (if she only knew!)....she said something nasty, and to this day, will not talk to me.

I KNOW I made the right decision for me, and I pray for her to this day. I did what I needed to do for me... Each each sponsor has there own way of doing things. My sponsor helps me with AA related stuff, working the steps and she does give occasional advice (when asked).....but she never does it in a hurtful or demeaning way. I follow that same rule with my sposnsees...and really strive to do that each day.
Glad you are all here
Holly :cdancer:
don't leave before the miracle...you will be amazed.

Holly
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:38 pm

If she has a problem with you, it's her problem. I'd also drop her like a bad habit. If she doesn't like it, that's not your fault.

I had a sponsor whilst sobering up, and would recommend it to any newcomer so long as it's someone who's worked the Steps from the Big Book. My own thinking was too shot away with preconceived notions to manage the task alone.

When I moved to my current area, for a time people tried to push me into getting a sponsor. I tried, but nothing worked out... when AAs don't turn up for coffee or return your calls, IMO that's not a good reflection on their sobriety. Their behaviour (or lack of it) began to disrupt my serenity. I soon decided that if my Higher Power wants me to have a sponsor, one will appear as and when it's supposed to. It's not as though I'm not sober, and not doing far more service work around the fellowship than many sponsors - so who'd really be sponsoring who?

Once I made the decision to allow my Higher Power to be the guide, I felt much easier. No longer did I have to find a sponsor just to appease "you". A sponsor doesn't have the power to keep me sober, and "you" don't have the power to get me drunk.

I accept spiritual guidance from others. I just don't need a sponsor to show me through Steps I've already learned how to do. In time, who knows? If there's some plan for me, I no longer feel a need to know everything about it.

So you can move on, maintain an open mind, but if you're going to slacken off on the recovery actions you'd probably do so with or without a sponsor.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby 1999 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:52 pm

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. This has really helped me. I truely feel that I am not alone. I love AA and its fellowship. I will thank her and move on.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby SteveC » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:07 pm

TO paraprase what Ian said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

I had a great relationship with my first sponsor in Alaska. We became best friends and are still close, over 26 years later. When I got drunk after 7 years, he didn't reject me. Just told me to hang in and try to get back. That took me 5 more years & a move to another state. But when I called him to say I was sober again, he couldn't have been happier.

I've had several other sponsors over the years. Some because I moved around the country for awhile, some because what was happening was changing. Luckily, I've only had one that was controlling and that only lasted a couple of weeks. I just told him thanks for the help and got a new sponsor.

I still have a sponsor today, 13 years later. Not because I need help with the steps or my program, but simply because I like having that one special person to talkl things over with. I kinda use him as a sounding board whenever I have an important decision to make.

This is what I do in sobriety. You'll find others that only have a sponsor to help them through the steps. There is no right or wrong way to go. But I agree to let the controlling sponsor go & find someone new. Just take your time & you'll know who to ask.

Hugs!
Steven M. Clapper
Great Falls, Montana, USA

Serenity is not absence of the storm,
But peace within the storm.
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Re: How to let go of sponsor?

Postby Holly96 » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:18 am

1999

one of the things I love about AA...is I no longer feel alone. Glad you are here, and thanks for posting!

Holly
don't leave before the miracle...you will be amazed.

Holly
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Postby OK » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:23 am

Insanity is the inability of ones self to think and function in the world around them, which also describes a person who is drunk or who’s sponsor tells another what to do and the pegion that follows. ( remember it takes two)
One could be restored if God was sought is what the A.A. path is about,
not a sponsor sought what people want to make A.A. be.
Why should one let go of another sick alcoholic who belives in sponsorship rather than the A.A. program.
It is better to be an example instead of looking for one any day at a time. It is beter to understand than to be understood. Thanks God for the program
Last edited by OK on Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby stephbridget » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:39 pm

My first sponsor told me if I did not do more meetings she was gone..so..she left. At first I was hurt but I also knew I had been depressed and felt really controlled by her those last few months before she said that.

I realize now the best thing was her leaving as I have found an online sponsor that has been a blessing, but most of all FAITH and to me that is something no human can give you.

I would just tell her honestly and move on as you are responsible for you..not her.
Focus on the Now...
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Postby pacificaa » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:57 am

stephbridget wrote:as I have found an online sponsor that has been a blessing,


OK. This is more like it. Where did the online sponsor come from? That sounds perfect. Have a problem on the Steps. Yet keep getting warned, if I don't do them, it will all be for naught. Probably something in that too, as they are just like not making a lot of sense, as to how do I do these. As per usual a visitor comes in, lovel place, blah, blah, what a paradise, (yeah) I will send you this, now it is not to have new blood for a change, but surely we cannot be expected to be a holiday resort service when we seriously have our own problems, and have yet to someone live up to their promise and send something. Am I annoyed, YES. Have I considered not hosting a meeting as we don't have a room, so it is my place, is my phone listed. NO, as this was really starting to get to be a holiday season thing, surely the cruise boatd can have there own and am I now not happy with the 12 step. If it is genuine, no problem. But tonight, we meet for a visitor. The visitor suddenly "was busy" and 2 off us had our meeting anyhow.
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Postby stephbridget » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:49 pm

My first sponsor was just someone I picked as I was really needing help on the steps but over time things change.

Sponsors do not keep you sober and they should not demand of your life.

My online sponsor came as it came. I did not go hunt around but simply asked someone and it was the best change in my life to this day.

I have to do what Stephanie needs to do to stay spiritually fit and the most important thing is FAITH.

My sponsor is simply someone I contact daily and ask for suggestions if needed and she does not ever demand or tell me to do something just to do it.
Focus on the Now...
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Postby ann2 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:13 pm

Hi again pacific aa, to participate online you just have to jump in and join the email meetings and attend chat meetings and maybe hang out there (like hanging out here in the forums). http://www.e-aa.org/html/forums.html will give you a start, but there's loads of other sites, you can check www.aa-intergroup.org, they have listings in the links Email Meetings and Real Time Meetings.

Geting involved online has truly saved me.

Ann
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Postby pacificaa » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:29 pm

Email meetings and real time can at times not be practical when you are talking about truly remote areas. Slow and expensive satellite dial up connections have to be taken into consideration. Time zones for some on real time will also not work. The reason I like this forum is because it is Web based and clean and simple, therefore it has speed, so the user has choice. Users must also consider who is paying the bill and whose equipment they are on. If it is yours, or a sympathetic employer, fine. If it is not, same as stealing long distance phone calls or stationary. So the web based forum for me works. My time, my money, my equipment, and my choice of locations. That works for me. That is why I was so happy to find THIS site.
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