Huge age difference with Sponser

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?
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seed1234
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Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by seed1234 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:40 pm

I had a very limited selection and made my decision based on other's recommendations. My sponser has less than 2 years sobriety and is about 30 years younger than me. It has been ok for the first 3 steps but I did have some issues with some things. I'm suppose to call at a specific time everyday and more than half the time I get voicemail. Our meetings to work the steps are often delayed due to scheduling conflicts on my sponser's end and I feel a sense of frustration in my progression which I have voiced. My real concern is the ability to relate due to our age difference during the inventory of step 4. Is that a real concern or just my preconcieved judgement? Advice? Thanks in advance!

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Tosh
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by Tosh » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:13 pm

Hi Seed,

I don't think the age difference has much to do with your lack of progression through the steps and the voice mail thing. I sponsor a 74 year old and a 63 year old (I'm 43) and we've had no problems. As long as we identify with being allergic to alcohol, the mental obsession and an unmanageable life, I think the rest is just superficial. I had no problems - and neither did my sponsees - at Step 5. And the only problem I had was that both these guys - given their vast amount of life experience - could talk the hind legs off a donkey, which I found sometimes annoying when I was trying to keep their focus on the program during our meetings, but it taught me how to listen, pay attention, and some tolerance and patience.

I would guess by the age of your sponsor that he's working and that he has a family, so time could be an issue for him; and ultimately it's your recovery; if you think your sponsor isn't up to the job, change him, but have an honest chat with him first and see what the outcome is.

Anyway, I hope I've been some help, welcome to the forum,

Regards,

Tosh
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Blue Moon
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:35 pm

I'd not question his age gap so much as his sobriety time. Has he taken all 12 Steps and recovered from alcoholism? If he has, great. If not, he can't give away what he doesn't have.
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becksdad
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by becksdad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:10 pm

Hey seed, for what it's worth - while I have not had a sponsor younger than me, I sure do know a lot of folks who are younger than me who have really good, quality sobriety. For me, that's the main consideration.

My sponsors sponsor is younger than him, and I know folks 20 years my junior who I would not hesitate to go to for direction in recovery.

Thanks,

Ed

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johnd
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by johnd » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi Seed,
Sounds like a schedule problem. Has the sponsor returned any of your calls? If not I would reconsider seeking another person that may help . Personally, I prefer someone who has at least 5 years or more recovery in A.A. and also has other sponsees.
Also, if you could find someone who may of been through similar experiences close to your own. Better to help with your issues or dilemmas from their own experiences, I wish you well, there must be someone who can work with you with your schedule I'm sure. Best to you John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

seed1234
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by seed1234 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:14 am

Thanks all for the good comments. I'm going to continue to pray and trust that a new sponsor will be available if that's God's will. My main concern is my sponsor's ability to relate to my life experience. But the main point is our common disease which I have full confidence in that area. Maybe I'm seeking self justification because of my life experience and a good sponsor, regardless of age, will be able to detect that right off the bat. Appreciate the opportunity to share.

Seed

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Tommy-S
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by Tommy-S » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:56 pm

Hi Seed, and welcome to the site.

Like myself, you seem to make assumptions Prior to the fact. For me, most do not turn out as I imagine.

Do the 4th Step first... Then see how much your sponsor relates or can not relate (not that I see it as something that matters).

Right now, the situation looks a little like someone who is balking at continuing, no matter how much 'truth' the situation might contain. Get the 4th done. Don't put it off with the excuse "My sponsor is Not right"... That could be Fatal.

Thanks.. Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

seed1234
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by seed1234 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:56 am

Good advice, Tommy. Met with my sponsor last night and I'm moving forward with step 4.

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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by becksdad » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:06 am

Good deal, seed! I was thinking about this thread, and how it relates to my first temporary sponsor. We had (and still do have) huge differences in many things, including priorities and values. I was initially uncomfortable with these things, but stuck with it anyway because..... well, heck, he was sober and I wasn't!!!LOL. And although I changed sponsors after some time and working through the steps, I realize this guy saved my life. It didn't matter what our differences were, what mattered is that the suggestions he gave me came directly from the Big Book.

I have come to believe that in most instances, it matters little who you walk through the steps with, as long as you do it. Also find that doing the steps with someone doesn't tend to guide you into becoming more like the other person, but helps you to become who you are meant to be.

By the way, last week I gave my first sponsor his 21 year medalliion at the Home Group, and thanked him from my heart for giving it away! He will always be part of my recovery.

Thanks! Ed

seed1234
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by seed1234 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:23 am

This discussion has helped me work thru my own issues. Learning more about what step 4 is and what it isn't helped alot! My ability to relate to my sponsor is based on our shared disease and how to overcome it not on the life experiences I've had. Our issues will likely be quite similar regarding alcohol. I can see my pride and fear now in the initial post. I tend to believe my circumstances are "special"! LIE!!!!!!!! There is nothing special about me and my journey to my end. I am now grateful that this young person would spend time with me to show me the way out! I will go to any length...

Seed

God Bless us all and this forum!

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johnd
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by johnd » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:39 am

Nice going Seed,
We all have our own reservations while recovering, Trust is a huge issue with me. i didn't think it was,but I would always put off doing what needed to done on 4th&5th. trying to find a loop hole that whoever was going to work with me was going to do it my way or not at all. Selfish on my part. I was denying myself an oppurtunity to grow and change. remove that insanity that haunted me during my drinking days. as i proceeded I found that it was all fears created by my own rationalizations. Crazy but, that is how I operated. Thanks John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

seed1234
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by seed1234 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:37 am

Just wanted to touch base and report my meeting with my sponser re: my 4th step was awesome! Age meant nothing. My sponsor is spiritually fit and was able to point out my defects easily. I was amazed because I COULD NOT SEE THEM AT ALL! But what was said opened my eyes and my soul to my truth and I felt the burden lift for the first time in years. Of course it came back almost immediately and I was confused. So I went back thru step one - three and I finally get it....(for now). I see this will be a lyfestyle. I was arrogant to think my physical years some how made me "smarter" than my sponsor. I am the baby here and act accordingly most days. I am thankful for the Forum and all the folks willing to share!

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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by kenyal » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:01 am

Welcome seed, I'd also like to ask you if this member helping you out has done the steps he's going to be helping you with. Even if we'd like it not to be true, the statement that we can't pass on to others what we don't have is an important tuism in AA. Since he's going to share his experience to benefit you, the more experience with the sober life he has the better it is for you. If he's got little you can expect little coming your way.

If he doesn't have much and there's no one else around that's better, then you do the best you can with what you have of course. The daily calling in thing to talk things over with an answering machine is common in a few groups, for reasons or purposes unfathomable to me.

Nice that you're being accomodating to this point but I wonder if that won't be something that eventually causes you to question the parts of AA that are important and do serve a purpose. It would be a shame were you to leave AA because you became upset over doing something so meaningless.

Should you stick and stay sober, I hope when you work with others you'll know better regarding what things are actually part of AA's program of recovery, and which are just some guy's bad ideas which were foolishly adopted as practice by others who didn't think twice about them.

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PaigeB
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Re: Huge age difference with Sponser

Post by PaigeB » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:27 am

I was amazed because I COULD NOT SEE THEM AT ALL! But what was said opened my eyes and my soul to my truth and I felt the burden lift for the first time in years.
That is how is was with me too Seed! Amazing isn't it? Still amazes me that no matter how many years I got in life before this program, I still didn't get "it". When I was drinking, I went to college late and saw the "kids" doing well at life in general and I didn't understand... it was like I didn't get The Book on It. I had to come to AA and learn from someone like myself who's EGO also got in the way.

100 forms of fear... indeed.

Glad you are here. Glad you get to pass on what you learned.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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