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?

Postby quiet bear » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:17 pm

I was very fortunate in the fact that my sponsor was also my cousin, who'd been sober for ten years when I quit.

I called him and said I was going to rehab, and all he wanted to know was what time he should pick me up and drive me to the airport. When I got in his truck the next morning, I just broke down. I said "I'm just tired."

You know what he said? "I know."

And that was it. He's been my sponsor ever since. I had the real advantage of having a sponsor who already knew me intimately. There would be no bullsh*tting him. LOL. I had to shoot straight from day one.

He's let me grow, pushed me when I needed it, but never crowded me or bullied me. I think that comes from knowing me from long before I'd ever had my first drink, since we were very small children. He knew me as a person first.

as far as 1999's sponsor, no one has said it, so I guess I will. She's exhibiting all the classic signs of a dry drunk. Domineering you, demenaing you, dictating how you should live your life, making you fell small so she can feel big. You wouldn't let anyone else treat you like that, why would you let another alocohlic treat you that way? I say ditch her. Sounds to me as though you've outgrown her. She's as far as she's going to get, and that is her problem, not yours. Getting sober means letting go of your baggage. This woman has become baggage.
quiet bear
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:13 am

Postby willingness » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:57 pm

The A.A. book say’s the way one lets go of people, place or things is to
Let Go and Let God

How much faith one has seems to be the determining factor to ones own fate.
Faith without works is dead, a belief without action is just a thought.
willingness
 

Postby Yvon P. » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:51 pm

The concept of "Sponsorship" beyond taking another alcoholic through the Steps (the Big Book) continues to elude me.

I believe; "(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism." (including sponsors who ARE human) and "(c) That God could and would if He were sought." (The main object of this book is to enable you to find a power greater than yourself which will solve your problem).

Beyond carrying the message to me "exactly" the way it was passed on to him using the Big Book, my then "Sponsor" would be the first to state that he was no longer my Sponsor. He would state that my real reliance must be upon God - not upon a Sponsor. I have many friends in the AA Fellowship and many outside the AA Fellowship. I talk with both about varying issues and I do not put my eggs in one basket.

Once I have carried the Message to an alcoholic, he becomes my equal in recovery regardless of number of years sober. We become friends. I am not a "Sponsor". He is not a "Sponsee". We are fellow "Recovered alcoholics" commissioned to "Pass it On".

I am Canadian, but in American history, there was a gentleman by the name of Paul Revere. His job was to ride his horse through the country side yelling; "The British are coming! The British are comming!" History has recorded this as a fact. It was not ever said that Paul Revere rode through the country side yelling; "The British are coming and this is what I think you should do about your finances!" or "The British are coming and this is what I think you should do about your marriage problems!" This gentleman knew that lives depended upon him carrying this message and only this message!

Thank God for the "Paul Reveres" in the AA Fellowship who realize that people's lives depend on "The Message" and never once stop, get down off their horses, and offer their opinions or advice on any issue in other people' lives!

Kind Regards,

Yvon
Recovered Alcoholic
"Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program".
User avatar
Yvon P.
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:06 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Sponsors

Postby Jim 725 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:02 pm

Bravo, Yvon P!!!!!

Jim S.
Jim 725
 

Postby daz13 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:39 pm

excellent post thank you yvonn, put my head staright on what a sponsor actually should be. :D

Thanks

Daz
daz13
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:18 am
Location: LEEDS

Postby CaliforniaSteve » Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:47 am

Sponsorship is a weird business because it requires a rather sick person to select a kind of overseer and submit to a stranger whose program is only known through sharing at the meetings.

I selected my first sponsor without seeing him first. He was a stranger sitting behind me one night in a meeting and he began to talk about the program and the Big Book in a knowledgable way. I had to turn around to find the guy so I could identify him later. I went up to him after the meeting and actually overcame his reluctance to take me on as a sponsee.

It's all too easy for newer people to comfort one another while devising rationalizations to minimize the various tenets of the program including a sponsor, when the healthier thing to do by far would be to spend that time finding a good AA sponsor whose advice you can take with a minimal amount of belly-aching. I don't have to say why this is harder than it needs to be. We all know what it takes to brew up an alcoholic, and listening and following directions are not among our strong suits. There is no shortage of us alcoholics who have lifelong, chronic and irrational resentments toward authority figures -- even when we promote them to the job.

Having said all that, it doesn't matter much -- if you're ready to stay sober.

Get a sponsor. If it doesn't work out, get a better one. If that doesn't work out, consider the possibility that maybe it's not them. After a given number of sponsors, you can't really claim it's them any more. Because the only constant in the repeating problem is you.

Then act accordingly. Be sponsored, decide to take direction, and make sure at all costs that you are not your own higher power. Because your very best thinking -- your very, very best capabilities to this moment -- is what put you in the crapper right before you found the willingness to go to an AA meeting and consider that you actually have to have a little bit of help, a little muscle power, from somebody besides yourself.

If, for example, you're caught in a steel bear trap, and your arms aren't strong enough to open the thing, either you die in the woods or you get used to the idea that you can't do it alone after all. Bummer, but you've been bummed before. This will turn out better, to your eventual, grudging amazement.

In short, if you're stuck in that steel trap in the Wisconsin woods and you're lucky enough to have some dude with his own bear-trap scars come stumbling along the edge of Butternut Lake toward you, you can either ask, "Hey, could you possibly come over here and give me a hand out of this killer bear-trap I find myself caught in?" or you can stay silent out of fear or false pride, and bleed out. I don't have to tell you what too many alcoholics choose.

AA permits you to select either outcome with complete freedom and no strings, though we're perfectly willing to pass along our solution, without charge, to complete strangers who only have to decide they want out of the deathtrap before the photo finish. Some people I've known chose sobriety just in time, at the last possible second. A few people who sobered up at the same time as me thought they stopped just under the wire, and then died anyhow. They waited just a skosh too long, thinking they had just a smidge more leeway than they actually did...

Sobriety only sounds like an easy, voluntary choice to people who aren't alcoholics or addicts. The rest of you know exactly what I mean, whether you're ready to admit all of it or not. We surrender to win. Or we don't do either one. No half measures.
Last edited by CaliforniaSteve on Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.
CaliforniaSteve
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: formerly L.A., CA, presently Indiana

Postby From the heart » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:10 am

YVON P.
Thank you for sharing.

Yvone, you are a great Canadian A.A. Paul Revere, who speaks and carries the language of the heart loud but most of all, clear.
From the heart
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:13 pm

Postby CaliforniaSteve » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:57 am

2006 marked my 24th year without having to take a drink to get through the day. That's a fact, not a boast.

An acquaintance of mine in the program, Bob E., has said something like, it's lucky we can work the program imperfectly and still get sober, because no alcoholic is perfect. I agree with that. But I would simply point out that newcomers are rarely if ever objective enough to know what they can do imperfectly and still get sober. So it's a crap shoot. Hopefully, those who miss the mark will make it back and start fresh.

For those who think the steps and the amends don't involve any questions to one's sponsor about worldly matters, I suggest taking a look at the book, available at your central office, "A New Pair of Glasses."

And I'd just remind those who are tempted to take a sentence or two from the BB out of context and make it their whole program the following: At the start of many if not most AA meetings, we hear the clearest warning of all: "Half measures avail us nothing." Zip, nada, zilch, zero.

It's very true that some people with a lot of sobriety haven't reached a place where they recognize and deal with some of their personality problems. Hopefully the person younger in sobriety will have found enough clear-headedness to weed out those potential advisors. But people say we find the sponsors we need when we need them. There has never been a perfect sponsor either. But a sponsor can't make a sponsee, or anyone in the first years of sobriety, do a thing. Sponsors can only speak their minds. Alcoholics are touchy (not sensitive), and may chafe at this. But the problem is usually not with the sponsor. Sure, there are bad sponsors who enjoy a taste of power, but there are far more good sponsors who get "fired" by young'uns who aren't ready to take good suggestions and are angered instead.

We all know that everybody says alcoholics should jump into our program with both feet rather than sit on the fence. If "both feet" is the same as "all the eggs in one basket," then I'd suggest to all open-minded alkie readers that all your eggs are a lot safer in the AA basket than most other places an alkie's self-will would put them.

The bottom line on finding a higher power is that the alcoholic HAS TO take his or her own hands off the steering wheel for a while. If the belief in God is weak or non-existent, any higher power must make do, as long as it's NOT you. Repeat: It must not be you, not because AA says so (though our book is indeed the User Manual for the alchoholic) but because that's the only way it works in practice. An alcoholic "in charge" will always take the drink because he/she has in truth "lost the power of choice in drink."

That's the math.
CaliforniaSteve
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: formerly L.A., CA, presently Indiana

Postby From the heart » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:08 pm

It better to stick to A.A.’s personal adventures before and after
A.
B.
C.
Than the quixotic ups and downs of personal relationships with a the sponsor system
A.A. is clear and precise it takes is Personal willingness rather than another dependency upon a person, Place or thing.
A.A’s ideas and principles is better to follow, but if one does not have principles, surly find a sponsor to give rules to contain ones self from others.
From the heart
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:13 pm

Postby CaliforniaSteve » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:10 am

AA is indeed clear and precise. If someone offers an opinion that seems to vary from the wisdom of the Big Book, the sure antidote is to simply ask the person, "What page is that on?"

There is no such thing as effective thought -- whether it's called logic, wisdom, or solutions -- by any newcomer who has not jumped in with both feet. No...Such...Thing.

No...half...measures. Half measures avail us ----- nothing. I wonder how that could be any more clear.

Don't try to fix yourself with the defective tool between your ears and under your hair style.

As the old timers have joked for decades: RARELY have we seen a person thoroughly follow our path.

To the extent that you buck the program, you buck continued sobriety. 60 days and a drunk proves nothing and changes nothing.

Our PROBLEM was self-will. Our PROBLEM in early sobriety STILL is the same, and only each of us as individual drunks seeking sobriety can submit to AA's solution -- or else stand with false pride in vain support of one more guaranteedfailure.

You're entitled to your screw-up, but don't blame AA if you've mentally marginalized its many requirements. Oh, yeah, there are requirements. The book says that too, specifically, despite rumors to the contrary. Find the pages for yourself. It's good homework.
CaliforniaSteve
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: formerly L.A., CA, presently Indiana

Postby Yvon P. » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:23 am

Amen Steve!!!!

"Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple Program".

I wish more people like Steve would would contribute. We need more "Program" in the "Fellowship" !!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Steve!
Recovered Alcoholic
"Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program".
User avatar
Yvon P.
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:06 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby From the heart » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:19 pm

Try letting go and letting God,it works, if one comes too and then believe – others need another to sponsor them. I myself have been happy and privileged only but for the grace to watch the passing parade and the circus for the past 27 years, but all anyone really has is just today weather one believes it or not.
From the heart
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:13 pm

Postby CaliforniaSteve » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:47 pm

It better to stick to A.A.’s personal adventures before and after...Than the quixotic ups and downs of personal relationships with a the sponsor system


Not really. Going on a twelfth step call and telling your story is to help the drunk save the drunk, by helping him/her to understand that we're not different, and then to enable the drunk to attend his/her first meeting if and when ready.

The stories in the back of the BB are the same. To perform a written 12th step call and let an alkie find a story like his/her own. That is also one of the purposes of speaker meetings and Q&A meetings.

But no story or lead or 12th-step call can sponsor a drunk in the program.

The only reason sponsorship might seem to have Quixotic ups and downs is that newcomers are always, always Quixotic, in one way or another. That's hardly a disqualifier for sponsorship, except in the mind of self-absorbed alcoholics. Besides, sober folks will tell you that we don't promise you'll like this stuff right away -- we just advise you to do it anyway.
CaliforniaSteve
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: formerly L.A., CA, presently Indiana

Postby From the heart » Thu May 24, 2007 4:35 pm

It is better to stick with A.A’S ideas and principals than the quixotic ups and downs of a sponsorship system !!!

And what are A.A’s ideas? A.
B.
C. God could and would if sought

What are the principles not principal in A.A.? The Traditions of A.A.

2% recover rate today look around
Try A.A. for yourself it works good
From the heart
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:13 pm

Postby CaliforniaSteve » Sat May 26, 2007 5:09 pm

The way to, as this topic phrases it, "let go of a sponsor," is to find another one, then tell your current sponsor you made the change. If the old sponsor asks why you did it, don't lie (we don't lie about ourselves), but also don't be discourteous and mean about anything you say further. Contrary to our former belief, confrontation does not need to be a bad experience. It just means learning to deal with things we used to avoid. Learn to confront in positive and healing ways. (You'll need that when you're making amends.) Tolerance does not mean "put up with." It means benign acceptance of others.

People in AA do not let go of a sponsor in hopes of not being sponsored at all. They let go of a sponsor only after a period of trying, in order to find a sponsor with a program more beneficial to you personally.

The ego tries to re-grow and take back what you had to turn over to stay sober. Dropping sponsorship altogether is rarely seen as good program in AA. Precipitously educing or stopping meetings is even worse.

Watch yourself; be alert to staying humble and teachable in recovery, and include a Big Book meeting and 12 Steps/Traditions book meeting in your schedule at least 1x per month each to find more understanding of the texts.

Humility is an essential in AA recovery (the word appears often as a virtue and a necessity), since alcoholism is in large part a disease in which grandiosity (also in the BB) of the ego (in the book) becomes inflated in order to balance and defend the misery of low self worth (in the book by many names).

Bill W. was sponsored into sobriety by Ebbie, who 12th-stepped him in Bill's own kitchen, explained how the program worked, and brought Bill to meetings of what we all know to be the early forebearer of AA -- an elitist social fraternity called The Oxford Group. But that's another topic.

Point is, sponsorship was established before Bill W. even wrote the Big Book or the 12 steps, and long before the 12 traditions and 12 concepts for world service. Sponsorship as part of the program pre-dates the steps. It's not some slipping, controlling egotist's bad idea. Although we all know why we are automatically suspicious that it is just that. We came here loaded with the typical alkie paranoia and cynicism and a chip on our shoulders for most everybody else. We mistrust everything about AA at first, even the best of the good in it.

Go to central office and get, or borrow, Bill's and Dr. Bob's books and learn about what has been proved to work, and not work. We don't have to re-invent the wheel, let alone cheerlead for square ones.

As the story in the back of the Second Edition put it, we have to act against our alcoholic nature to recover. We Surrender to Win, we Die to Live, we Give It Away to Keep It. There's one more, which I'll let those who are intrigued find for yourselves; it's not difficult.
CaliforniaSteve
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: formerly L.A., CA, presently Indiana

PreviousNext

Return to Sponsorship

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests