Doing everything your sponsor says

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Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby cdogg556 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:45 pm

I am just wondering cause my sponsor is a single guy with just a dog, I have a wife and 4 kids, I am a Superintendent for a custom home builder, I also contract concrete jobs on the side, I know everyone always says "Put A.A. first before everything else" but is there not a balance somewhere, can A.A. also be taken to addictive levels? I go to 4 meetings a week, have service commitments at 2 of them, I have 139 days today and am on my 9th step, I share at meetings, I have led meetings, I am leading one tonight, and my sponsor says I am ready to find sponsee's! So, how can I maintain all this and try and keep up with my sponsor who only has his one job and a dog? I appreciate any advise, thanks.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby Brock » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:23 pm

I am one of those, and we have a few here, who believe that after the steps (as in step 9) is done, and we live in the solution of 10 11 & 12, we may remain friends with the person who sponsored us. And he becomes someone we may still ask advise from, just as we might ask any other AA member, because his job was to sponsor us through the steps, and his work is done, thank him and move on.

We have from time to time discussed meeting attendance, I also know people who attend meetings almost daily, and they too appear to have little else to do in life. When people here speak about it two meetings per week seems to be the average. I myself go to two and hold a service position at my home group, and have never had anyone tell me what I should or shouldn't do.

Once you can honestly say your spiritual condition feels good, adjust your meetings and service to serve you, not what somebody else says. Best of luck in finding a suitable balance between work family and AA.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby Stepchild » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:35 pm

Just to add on to Brock's reply...From the Big Book page 19...

None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our spare time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe. A few are fortunate enough to be so situated that they can give nearly all their time to the work.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby whipping post » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:06 pm

I can relate. I have a wife, two kids, and own my own company. I tried to do 90 in 90 and it almost killed me. My wife didn't say anything but I am pretty sure she was ready for me to find some balance.

My sponsor stressed that part of this whole deal is responsibility. Not just to AA but to our families, jobs, and life in general. He also stressed that focusing on the family was focusing on living amends. It is important to be present for them when we had been so mentally and physically unavailable before.

My sponsor was one of those "work the steps to get the relief and don't dick around" kind that kicked me out of the nest after taking me through the steps. He doesn't believe you really need a sponsor once you know what to do and are applying it. My point is we don't take up any extra time now other than we are great friends. Also my sponsee doesn't take a lot of time.
Like Brock I attend two meetings per week where I chair, help set up, and clean up. With a busy family and work schedule they are a welcome respite.

Find you a good balance. It is possible.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:13 pm

My wife always wanted me to have a married man as a sponsor because he would understand the situations that a married man will face. Having said that, my first sponsor was a single divorced person who was raising a teenage daughter. At times I couldn't relate what he had to say and jokingly ask where in the big book it says that? or like others pointed out, show him the part where it talks about this being a avocation and also would point him to the family afterward where it talks about finding a balance. My current sponsor, I would say my email-sponsor, I don't see him at the meetings anymore because my schedule has greatly been impacted due to my work schedule, has been helpful dealing with my teenage daughters behavior. As others pointed out, as we progress along its better to rely on our HP because at the end, I will have to leave the body and that HP is the only one that is going to be with me.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby D'oh » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:22 pm

I do see it somewhat different.

We choose a Sponsor because They have something We want. A Serenity, a Vehicle, A House, a Job, or a Trophy Wife. We ask them to Sponsor us, not only through the steps, but how they have achieved the life they display.

So helping through the Steps is a Part of this Journey. Who we are After the Steps is a much larger picture of life. Remember Liquor was only a Symptom. Now comes Life without a crutch, doing our HP's will.

The Relationship does change, it becomes more of Someone to bounce life's little twists off of. But remember, this person should have heard your 4th step, they have seen you and you have opened up to them when you were at your lowest. You can't BS them. As we can many other normal members.

And of course, Is this question being asked, because you didn't receive the answer wanted, from the one you have already received from your Sponsor?
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:31 pm

Hi John

What I've always heard in the rooms is that alcoholics need to put sobriety first before everything else, that sobriety has to be our #1 priority. I have never heard anyone in AA say that I have to put AA first before everything else.

My ESH on sponsorship is that sponsees are the ones who find and choose a member they want to sponsor them. Not the other way around.

AA publishes a question and answer pamphlet on sponsorship which you might find helpful:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf.

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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby Layne » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:34 pm

Brock wrote:I am one of those, and we have a few here, who believe that after the steps (as in step 9) is done, and we live in the solution of 10 11 & 12, we may remain friends with the person who sponsored us. And he becomes someone we may still ask advise from, just as we might ask any other AA member, because his job was to sponsor us through the steps, and his work is done, thank him and move on...

Once you can honestly say your spiritual condition feels good, adjust your meetings and service to serve you, not what somebody else says. Best of luck in finding a suitable balance between work family and AA.

This. Can't really think of anything to add as it pretty much hits the nail on the head.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:36 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:My ESH on sponsorship is that sponsees are the ones who find and choose a member they want to sponsor them. Not the other way around.

Thank God for the "other way around". I might not be alive if I had to find the guts to approach someone so early on.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby cdogg556 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:43 pm

Well I am surprised at all the responses to my question and really appreciate all the advise, especially from the "Long timers!" Anyway to answer D'oh's question if I asked this because I did not hear what I wanted to from my sponsor, the answer is no I have not asked him this yet, the reason I ask it here is because I figure that before I say anything to him this is a great place to get some insight on it before I ask him, So lots of great stuff here and obviously a lot of wisdom and experience from all of you, thank you for the advise, it is much appreciated! :D
"If you want something different, do something you've never done"
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby PaigeB » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:25 am

I just reached the 7 year mark. I was glad to have my sponsor give me my chip and glad many of my sobriety sisters and other gals from my sponsorship line were there to hear my sponsor talk about how I have worked this last year to stay sober. My sobriety sisters are women who have the same sponsor - but many of their sponsees came also. And I got the chip in front of my home group.

I think I have had the year from hell. Make that 2 years. I went through a lot of situations that my sponsor and sobriety sisters have already lived through while sober. They can tell me what they did, but more importantly I know they have survived because this is a program that works in rough going.

What is the harm in getting my one trusted AA person's intuitive thought on my problem? Sometimes, most times, their mind is more open to Intuition than mine is! What she has told me to do before has not killed me and it DID work. I feel ok trying something different.

And if I was to ask a lot of people, especially those not in my sponsorship line, I am going to get a LOT of options. But having all those options basically puts me where I was before I asked - I still have to decide which thing is right to do!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby Brock » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:18 am

Hazelden has a book of daily meditations something like the Daily Reflections, it's called “Just for Today.” For today 8th of August this is part of what they say -
"We accept responsibility for our problems and see that we're equally responsible for our solutions."
Some of us, well accustomed to leaving our personal responsibilities to others, may attempt the same behavior in recovery. We quickly find out it doesn't work.
For instance, we are considering making a change in our lives, so we call our sponsor and ask what we should do. Under the guise of seeking direction, we are actually asking our sponsor to assume responsibility for making decisions about our life. Could it be that we've asked a friend to analyze our behavior and identify our shortcomings, rather than taking our own personal inventory?
Recovery is something that has to be worked for. It isn't going to be handed to us on a silver platter, nor can we expect our friends or our sponsor to be responsible for the work we must do ourselves. We recover by making our own decisions, doing our own service, and working our own steps. By doing it for ourselves, we receive the rewards.

That kind of sums up my feelings about asking sponsors advise on anything other than the steps.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:06 pm

we are actually asking our sponsor to assume responsibility for making decisions about our life
Interesting. I've not thought of that before.

I haven't had a sponsor in 20 years. Now, as a loner, I rarely talk to anyone and make all my decisions myself.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby PaigeB » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:13 pm

My sponsor would NEVER tell me to take any action except on the Steps even if I asked.

She helps me with my perceptions of things - yes, helping me take my inventory when I am blinded by fear or anger. I suppose I will eventually not NEED such assistance, but it is good to have it - to "halve" it & share it if you will... I usually get her prayers for me as well. She usually refers me to some reading in the Big Book or says, "You might want to say the 3rd Step Prayer everyday for a couple weeks" or if it seems to be a rush decision she says "go with your gut" (aka my Knower).

She is fond of saying, "let me know how that works for ya". :lol:
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Doing everything your sponsor says

Postby positrac » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:15 am

cdogg556 wrote:I am just wondering cause my sponsor is a single guy with just a dog, I have a wife and 4 kids, I am a Superintendent for a custom home builder, I also contract concrete jobs on the side, I know everyone always says "Put A.A. first before everything else" but is there not a balance somewhere, can A.A. also be taken to addictive levels? I go to 4 meetings a week, have service commitments at 2 of them, I have 139 days today and am on my 9th step, I share at meetings, I have led meetings, I am leading one tonight, and my sponsor says I am ready to find sponsee's! So, how can I maintain all this and try and keep up with my sponsor who only has his one job and a dog? I appreciate any advise, thanks.


Balance, is there really such a thing? You do have your hands full with a family, kids and earning and staying sober. So I would have to ask what lead to your admitting you became powerless over alcohol? Not a trick question; really it is about "balance" Stress of life on life's terms, working 7 days a week and trying to juggle the family life ect for example......


Maybe write out on paper everything to gain and to lose-staying sober and going out drinking. 139 days sober is pretty green and it is a milestone for your recovery and I applaud your efforts. You are aware of grounding and the purpose and what can happen if no ground and or faulty grounds are in place. So step outside yourself and review and then if you need to look at stuff I would recommend you honestly do so. If you go out and lose your livelihood then what good are you?

I've been at this for over 26 years and I am no expert but I see red in this post and it is not healthy. H-Hungry A. Angry L. Lonely T. Tired (HALT) Personally I could careless on which step you are on right now because buzzing through the steps doesn't mean you are done as these are life long steps and what you missed today will enlighten you later. I've seen a lot of people in my travels go out because they tried to hide behind work and it drove them to drinking.


You have a lot of self motivation and this is a good thing because drunks normally have high expectations of themselves and in life. But burn out and or failure is not healthy and you need to grow more before you take on the whole world. (drama------just got to hate it!) Point is this change is inevitable once you sober up and what worked back then might not work now and if you can juggle this and mow through it then more power to you.

You are doing above and beyond and not making excuses for not having time for life and this is good, but throttle back trigger and find some time for your life and family.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
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