Fly Away.

For recovery discussion

Fly Away.

Postby Brock » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:34 pm

This is on page 30 of the book 'Living Sober,' not a book many of us particularly care for, but approved literature all the same. We have folks here sometimes speaking about getting new sponsors, even after many years of sobriety. And all in all the general view on sponsorship, expressed here and elsewhere in AA, seems quite different from this 'official' view.
And the best sponsors are really delighted when the newcomer is able to step out past the stage of being sponsored. Not that we ever have to go it altogether alone. But the time does come when even a young bird must use its own wings and start its own family. Happy flying!

Don't shoot the messenger, just trying to bring a topic for discussion into the forums, which have been suffering lately for want of something to discuss.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3171
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Fly Away.

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:22 pm

Thanks Brock good topic!

I am one of those that got a new sponsor this year after several years of sobriety. We are going through the Steps again and I am already having new experiences with them! My sponsor is a delight. The other day I called her because a resentment was really bugging me and I was certain to meet that "resentee" for a small non-aa related meeting. I prayed and I went to a meeting and I talked to a gal who is new. Still I came home and it was just rolling through my head. My sponsor told that I could not wish it away and maybe G.O.D. wanted me to have some experience that required the resentment to be in place. (Seriously? Ugh!) So she told me: Ask GOD to fill the space between us with Love.

Ok, well I never thought of that I guess. So I wrote it on a small piece of paper and took a picture of it with my cell phone so I could glance at it and have a reminder if the meeting started to get heated. My feet walked me to where I needed to be and Love was there. Seriously - barely a glitch in the system for me. I felt the Love of a Power Greater and nothing she said - no roll of the eyes - kept me from seeing anything but love and passion for the task at hand. For her & for me.

I am so glad I have one person, who knows me very well & consented to help guide me through the Steps and Principles, and tell me when I am looking at the wrong thing... that I am off track. I could have asked several people, but they might all give me different directions and then I would again be trying to figure things out. My sponsor made it so simple for me. Just Love. I have to take care of my side of the street and the other be themselves too. No one can really hurt me - I am safe and protected in this moment. I just forgot. The worldly clamours took over for some hours and I was blind to the solution. I had been looking at, and praying, for the wrong thing. I don't know the Will of GOD. She helped me remember that I don't need to know how things are going to work out. I just have to show up and share Love.

My sponsor shared her love with me and I share my love with my sponsees. It's pretty cool.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10392
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Fly Away.

Postby Brock » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:55 am

There's a whole lot of love talk, no doubt encouraged from meetings with the new sponsor. Only a fool would speak out against love, the new sponsor sounds like a very spiritual person, and the book says we should be quick to see where spiritual people are right.

I got that love information, and continue to get it by practice of step 11. However the people I look to for guidance I wouldn't consider a sponsor, I don't even know them personally. They just have what I want and write it in books and say it on you tube, and the vast majority of them if asked to describe God in one sentence, would simply say 'God is love,' there is no secret in that.

Where some of us differ, is we look for the answer as written on pages 86, 87, and in other AA literature, where we see words like - “Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision...We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind...We come to rely upon it.” If we were to rely on other people giving us this inspiration they would say so, instead they say “the best sponsors are really delighted when the newcomer is able to step out past the stage of being sponsored.”

In between the part quoted from 86 & 87 there are some warnings like these - “Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.” So during that period when we are 'still inexperienced,' yes we look for advise, some people just seem to like staying 'inexperienced' for a very long time.

It was not my intention to knock sponsorship or those who need it long term, by starting this topic, but while it may appear to most as no big deal, live and let live and spread some love, I may never stop pointing out what I believe to be the underling danger in all of this.

Those who do AA this way will teach others this way, and I wish they would stop and consider, if they were perhaps stranded somewhere alone for weeks or even years, with available food and booze, but nobody to ask for direction and no “support group,” would they suffer from resentments and the other so called 'triggers', sure sounds like they would, and they would also pick up the booze. In fact they might so miss having a bunch of 'sponsees' calling on them for guidance, that in-itself would be the greatest 'trigger' of all, if people can't see the danger of this sobriety based on codependency, to which much of AA has fallen prey, we are headed for trouble.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3171
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Fly Away.

Postby clouds » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:47 am

I had sponsorship for the first 9 years of sobriety. Moving to a new area I wasn't able to find anyone who had done the steps to ask, so since then I haven't had sponsorship, although I did sponsor newcomer women for many years. For the last 7 years I have lived where there is no AA, just meetings run by rehab, which is a lot different and more psychiatrist oriented than in North America. For me its a completely impossible sort of situation and really nothing to do with AA. The other thing they have here in Spain is a rehab that is based, not on AA but is a spiritual approach with a firm dependence on Jesus and a rehab live in setting and it appears to be having some success with mostly drug addiction. So far I haven't gotten involved, as most participants are young male and drug addicts. My age and having no drug addiction experience limits involvement for me.

What keeps me sober then? Continuous action on the Steps. Clean house and trust in God one day at a time. I help others unselfishly as much as possible. The 12th step can be seen as carrying the message to others in as much as I continue to practice AA spiritual principles in all of my affairs. It also never hurts to volunteer assitance to elderly people or anybody who could use it unselfishly without asking for anything in return. I'm glad my first sponsor helped me become dependent on the principles of living the AA way, and not on her help and advice. I went through a difficult time when my first husband and I separated. I really was at a loss and after asking for advice from a lot of people ( proffessionals, religious and lots of others) on various matters I came to realize, and see even more clearly years later that none of that advice helped, I may as well have drawn straws. My dependence on a Higher Power as the Big Book suggests has been, for me, the best direction and guidance. It just takes a little time and patience practicing the steps as they are written and being completely willing to take the action suggested in step 3 before approaching the rest of the steps. Once the spiritual surrender is undergone by doing step three, life begins to change. Following that with housecleaning and amends, the steps are pretty much learned by having done them and should be maintained woth 10, 11, and 12 as continuous followup.

How people identify God is so varied and is of course a personal matter. It's very important to gain a dependence upon 'That' by the practice of step three for a period of time to find out for one's self if they have a Higher Power that actually works for them in all circumstances and conditions; because we do hope for sobriety in all circumstances and conditions.
" 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.
User avatar
clouds
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1061
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 am
Location: España

Re: Fly Away.

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:45 am

I agree there are both types - those who prefer to have no long term sponsor and those who do prefer one. I also agree that we should be careful about co-dependence. But good relations with others are a big part of what my problem in life was... I do not expect to get fully "experienced" anytime soon. I walked 8 miles into the forest, I might just have to walk 8 miles out of the forest! And I may never be fully experienced. That's cool with me. I don't consider it co-dependence though. I believe it is smart to bounce our ideas off of others and seek their counsel... I would say it is part of what religious people got right!

I do think I would be just fine if I got stranded without a meeting or without a sponsor, because I DO have an HP. But I also have a sponsor if I choose to call her and see what she thinks about the weather today and what she thinks about this resentment I have been praying about. It is not like she is an insidious disease. In fact, she suffers from one just like me and I think we should want to help each other. In my area, we encourage such relationships.

I recognize that Brock and I differ in our views a bit, but my guess is that we are more alike than we are different.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10392
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Fly Away.

Postby Mary » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:13 am

Thanks Brock, I like the post and I agree. It's funny because just yesterday I was talking to a friend in fellowship about how we both don't have sponsors but do regularly seek counsel from other alcoholics in recovery. Because of the culture you talked about, we can feel that we are somehow not doing it right so it is refreshing to hear some old school aa on the topic.

I noticed some time ago, that by constantly running to someone else or picking up the phone as soon as an issue came up, it stopped me from digging deep within myself. And by always going to other people with my problems could also have the effect of energising that chattering mind....and that really didn't help. I believe I had to learn to go it alone to realise I wasn't alone, to really create that space for God to come in.
Mary
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:40 am

Re: Fly Away.

Postby D'oh » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:34 pm

Actually, early AAer's took each others Inventories a little more often than we do now. Pg 245 2nd Edition Vicious Cycle
We checked into the home of Hank, the man who had fired me eleven years before in Mississippi, and there I met Bill, our founder. Bill had then been dry three years and Hank, two. At the time, I thought them just a swell pair of screwballs, for they were not only going to save all the drunks in the world but also all the so-called normal people! All they talked of that first weekend was God, and how they were going to straighten out Jackie's and my life. In those days we really took each other's inventories firmly and often. Despite all this, I did like these new friends because, again, they were like me.


But he summed up his story quite well and to a point Pg 249 and 250
In conclusion, I can only say that whatever growth or understanding has come to me, I have no wish to graduate. Very rarely do I miss the meetings of my neighborhood A.A. group, and my average has never been less than two meetings a week. I have served on only one committee in the past nine years, for I feel that I had my chance the first few years and that newer members should fill the jobs. They are far more alert and progressive than we floundering fathers were, and the future of our fellowship is in their hands. We now live in the West and are very fortunate in our area A.A.; it is good, simple and friendly, and our one desire is to stay in A.A. and not on it. Our pet slogan is "Easy Does It."
And I still say that as long as I remember that January 8th in Washington, that is how long, by the grace of God as I understand Him, I will retain a happy sobriety.


In Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, it is actually told how one "Busy Body" (I believe is how it was described) was pulled aside at a meeting and told the way another member felt about their methods. That it was believed he might drink again because of it. They both left on good terms.

Sometimes I believe there is too much "Political Correctness" today, that spills into AA also. I once witnessed, a member being totally Honest with a Newbie, causing tears and half the meeting coddling the Newbie, the other half talking to the elder. It was said out of Love, and Concern for the Newbie, but crushing to the Easier Softer way trying to be tried.

That was nearly 25 years ago and they are still sober. I think that Fragile Card, is played too often. We have all been through He ll to get here, why sugar coat it to get what is so freely offered.
D'oh
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am


Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests