How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

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MichelleElle
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How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by MichelleElle »

Hi Everyone!

I am sponsoring a young woman who has had three relapses since we started working together late last year. We've read up through the Doctor's Opinion twice now. I feel like reading it again would be repetitive and maybe not helpful (?) since she has still relapsed. At the same time I know that accepting Step One is absolutely required to continue in sobriety. Does anyone have a recommendation of what to read with her next? My sponsor is unavailable today so I'm looking for advice from others. Thank you
MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Hi MichelleEll, Welcome.

Sounds like your sponsee has been working on Step 1 for six months or more? I suggest you move forward. Step 1 is the problem, and she is stuck in the problem. You've got to give her something to hang onto instead of just hanging onto how powerless she is. Get her moving onto the next steps. Get her into the solution.

Betsy
an alcoholic
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."
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avaneesh912
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by avaneesh912 »

I usually focus on the peculiar mental twist that precedes each relapse, using the man of thirty, car salesman and the accountant story.
Show how the mind works prior to they picking up their drink after a gap. Therein lies the main problem of the alcoholic. The book calls it as mental inconsistencies.

The allergy is nice to know but that is not the main problem of the alcoholic. His/her mind is.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Mon Jun 06, 2022 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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PaigeB
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by PaigeB »

MichelleElle wrote: Sun Jun 05, 2022 12:30 pm Does anyone have a recommendation of what to read with her next? My sponsor is unavailable today so I'm looking for advice from others. Thank you
Reading the Doctor's Opinion has let her know what alcoholism IS...

Now ~ READ PAGE 30...
We learned ~
that we had to
fully ~
concede ~
to our innermost selves ~
that we were alcoholics.
This is the first step in recovery.

The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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Brock
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by Brock »

It has been suggested, and I agree, that you and her have spent way too long concentrating on step one. I don’t know but would bet my bottom dollar your sponsor would agree with your approach because she probably did this with you, and someone sponsored her that way also, it’s nobody’s fault I suppose, but I wish things didn’t happen this way.

When I finally accepted I had to give the program a fair trial or face the undertaker instead, I was encouraged by a few things in the book. In ‘Into Action’ I saw that I better get to step five as quickly as possible since, like your friend I was relapsing over and over, these words caught my eye -
Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
And it worked great, I felt just like they said, the problem had disappeared.

Then in ‘A Vision For You’ I saw how they did things in the early days of AA, the picture of the man on the bed I saw in the meeting rooms, I then saw his story in the book, this part made me realize it didn’t have to take long -
On the third day, the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary…. That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man…. That was in June 1935. He never drank again…
OK maybe three days is pushing it a bit, but I will go to my grave believing that anyone who takes more than three months to get someone through the steps and have them recover and helping someone else, has no business sponsoring anyone. I don’t mean to be rude, but there are many alcoholics who simply have the disease worse than others, and can not afford to mess around on step one for over six months.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
tomsteve
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by tomsteve »

heres a little bit from the BB:

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Being convinced, we were at Step Three


first 2 steps knocked out that simply then onto step 3.

as for what to read, everything up to this point in the BB.
sharing your own stories of powerlessnees and unmanagability should help your sponsee understand what the 2 look like.
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avaneesh912
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Re: How to work with a sponsee that relapsed again?

Post by avaneesh912 »

The alcoholic is a baby without a pacifier. He/she is cranky most of the time (the book refers to it as being restless irritable and discontent). And that leads to blind spots and peculiar mental twists. Even people loose sobriety after long duration in the fellowship because they failed to address this. Ask the person what it means by "We have no defense against the first drink"?
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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