Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisting

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Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisting

Postby emeraldg » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:48 pm

Hi friends,
I have prayed on this a lot. Now I am reaching out to my friends on here for some help, I need your guidance please.

I am temporarily helping a middle aged woman with about a year of sobriety in the program who, up until this time, has refused to do the steps. She asked me to help her do them and I agreed. Here is where I need some assistance please:

I wish that this woman would have asked my (or anyone else's) guidance before having done this, but that did not happen and so here is the situation:
This woman apparently heard through the grapevine and has "evidence" that another, much younger lady in the program was gossiping about her. These 2 women are not close friends and do not socialize outside of meetings. Regardless of whether or not this gossip is truly occurred, I would have told my temporary sponsee to let it go, especially since she does not even have much of a relationship with this other young lady nor do they know each other's last names. Well, That did not happen. Quite the contrary. She got this other young lady's contact information from a third party in the program who had it, and began sending her abusive, incoherent, nonsensical and accusatory messages on email and the phone. She then refused to give this young lady any specifics, evidence, or what was even allegedly "said" about my temporary sponsee- just simply vague accusations and abusive messages.

When this young lady responds telling her she can not help her because she doesn't know what she is talking about, and therefore to please stop contacting her, my temporary sponsee began sending her messages calling her names and swearing at her. The other young lady did not respond and their communications ceased. Now, this young lady will avoid engaging with my sponsee when she sees her and avoids her.
I was told all of this AFTER my temporary sponsee engaged in these actions, and tried right away to get her through the steps so that she could do a 4th and 5th. At this point, she is refusing, blaming the entire situation on the alleged young gossiper, and that she was completely justified in swearing at her and calling her names. Regardless of whether or not there is truth to my sponsee's accusations, in my opinion...not only was it not even worth the confrontation, I feel that it was completely blown out of proportion, and childish, unbalanced, ineffective behavior that will only damage her reputation and self respect. This young lady never swore at her or called her names. Based on the information that I was given, I sense outside issues including extreme and irrational jealousy directed at this other young lady. All the more reason I wanted to take her through the steps.

I was wondering if I may have your guidance friends.
Thank you so much as always
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby PaigeB » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:08 pm

I only sponsor with the Steps. If this woman is working on the disease aspect in Dr.'s Opinion, then she it's all the rest AND US are sick people that need help, but we can't help ourselves. Step 1? Honesty & lack of power. Step 2 AA can restore me to sanity (act right now aka live with it and make amends at the appropriate time) Step 3 apply the 3rd Step Prayer... you get it.

All she can do is apply the Steps as she is at them.
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: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby Layne » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:22 pm

My advice would be that the woman who asked for your help in doing the steps, assist her with starting and working the first step of the AA program and proceed from there through the remaining ones.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby D'oh » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:35 pm

Help the Lady (Temp Sponsee) through the Step. Humbly asking "They will be done". Become her Sponsor if she goes through them, walk away if she doesn't with a message that there is a Program called Alcoholics Anonymous, she might want to check it out!
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby emeraldg » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:19 am

Thank you all so much. Perhaps I was playing god here. I had wanted to take this woman through the steps perhaps to avoid further destruction to herself and others, even possibly going back out. However, I cannot control that. And middle aged individuals like this woman probably do not just start such behavior at this time in their lives, there is quite possibly a long history there that in some way has worked for her, because she seems very indifferent to the consequences of her actions and feels quite justified.

Perhaps I should walk away from this sponsorship as I don't see how I can be helpful if this woman is not interested in doing the steps. She goes to lots of meetings, and that is a good thing, however even the meetings she chooses to attend are dwindling, because there is always someone else in attendance to blame for making her feel bad or uncomfortable, so she won't go. To be completely frank, I am not interested in socializing with this lady outside of the context of meetings and if she is interested in a buddy rather than a sponsor to take her through the steps, I don't feel that I am the right person. As you all may or may not know, I myself have been caught up in negativity and theatrics and sick thoughts and behavior, and have had to do an awful lot of work on this, and still do each and every day, and so at this time I choose to spend my time with people inside and outside of the program who have what I want.

I do feel bad for her, and do not know if she is under the care of an outside professional. However, when her and I do talk, I do not find her extreme toxicity to be beneficial to anyone, especially her. I absolutely pray she will not go back out, I just don't know how I can be of assistance aside from my prayers.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby Reborn » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:54 am

Perhaps I should walk away from this sponsorship as I don't see how I can be helpful if this woman is not interested in doing the steps. She goes to lots of meetings, and that is a good thing, however even the meetings she chooses to attend are dwindling, because there is always someone else in attendance to blame for making her feel bad or uncomfortable, so she won't go. To be completely frank, I am not interested in socializing with this lady outside of the context of meetings and if she is interested in a buddy rather than a sponsor to take her through the steps, I don't feel that I am the right person. As you all may or may not know, I myself have been caught up in negativity and theatrics and sick thoughts and behavior, and have had to do an awful lot of work on this, and still do each and every day, and so at this time I choose to spend my time with people inside and outside of the program who have what I want.


Take your own advice here...it is not worth your serenity to chase an alcoholic who is unwilling to take the actions suggested. Page 96...

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy.

There are too many desperate alcoholics out there to waste time on the unwilling...as it says above if you leave her alone maybe she will become convinced she cannot recover by herself.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby emeraldg » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:55 am

Reborn wrote:
Perhaps I should walk away from this sponsorship as I don't see how I can be helpful if this woman is not interested in doing the steps. She goes to lots of meetings, and that is a good thing, however even the meetings she chooses to attend are dwindling, because there is always someone else in attendance to blame for making her feel bad or uncomfortable, so she won't go. To be completely frank, I am not interested in socializing with this lady outside of the context of meetings and if she is interested in a buddy rather than a sponsor to take her through the steps, I don't feel that I am the right person. As you all may or may not know, I myself have been caught up in negativity and theatrics and sick thoughts and behavior, and have had to do an awful lot of work on this, and still do each and every day, and so at this time I choose to spend my time with people inside and outside of the program who have what I want.


Take your own advice here...it is not worth your serenity to chase an alcoholic who is unwilling to take the actions suggested. Page 96...

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy.

There are too many desperate alcoholics out there to waste time on the unwilling...as it says above if you leave her alone maybe she will become convinced she cannot recover by herself.


Thank you so much, Reborn. Here I am trying to control what I can't and having thoughts like "WHY would someone behave this way, like a middle school child on a playground, when it is so clearly embarrassing, maladaptive and mean, ESPECIALLY when they are in recovery and should be focusing on that, not consumed about everyone else running around talking about them". However, I can't answer those questions, and can't control other people nor do I need to give such thoughts energy.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby clouds » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:41 am

Thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope in this situation emerald.
I'm sure there will be some of us who can learn something from your having shared this experience here. :)
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby emeraldg » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:59 pm

Thank you all so much. A bit of an update: the temporary sponsee contacted me telling me unfortunately that she will no longer be going to meetings. I do not know if she has relapsed or not, she says she hasn't.
She blamed the other young woman entirely, because she had asked her to stop contacting her. So, she ruined all of AA for her. She will not see her responsibility in this, even the fact that she was the one who initially contacted this other lady and initiated the whole conversation with her.

Please help. I don't know what else to do but pray. Thank you friends.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby D'oh » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:03 pm

I recall, Moulding, building, coddling, nurturing some trivial little issue, until it justifies just drinking. What's the use anyways.

Is it possible that you are getting drawn into some of these little agendas? Maybe just as a sympathetic ear.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby Reborn » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:25 pm

emeraldg wrote:
Please help. I don't know what else to do but pray. Thank you friends.


The only thing left to do is let it go...find another alcoholic to work with...simple. She may come back...she may not...we cannot fix anyone...pray for her and be there if or when she comes back.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby Duke » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:48 pm

My father died an active alcoholic. My mother let me read her diary about the "difficult" years. It was filled with one excuse after another by my father of why this or that person had made it impossible for him to participate in the program. Sad and tragic and absolutely nothing anyone could do.

Move on.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby Layne » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:37 pm

Prayer is certainly never a bad idea. At other times, I try to keep my focus primarily on improving my spiritual condition. I do so for two reasons. The first is because I figure that doing so gives me my best odds at effecting a change. The second reason is because I believe it is the best way for me to be of service to other people, i.e. attraction rather than promotion.
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Re: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby PaigeB » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:53 pm

So, she ruined all of AA for her.

I was once gone from AA for 17 years.

Then came the day when AA was the last house on the block for me. I had no options if I wanted to live. And when I came back I saw the house full of shining happy people and I wanted what they had.

I hope she makes it back sooner than later, but nothing can totally ruin something for someone else. If she is like me, circumstances will force her to change her perception of AA.

My short prayer: Godspeed anonymous AA woman.
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: Please advise, friends on a lady I'm temporarily assisti

Postby tomsteve » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:05 pm

what does the bb say?

Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone DESPERATE ENOUGH to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.

this is pretty simple:

its not your circus
not your monkeys.
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