Member: Shirley T
Location: New Zealand
Time: 12:21:54 AM
I'm Shirley and I am an alcoholic. I wonder what everyone thinks about sponsorship. For me it has been so helpful to have one person who really knows me. I remember when I first heard the word was in a treatment centre, and others were talking about their sponsors. In my ignorance as I had at that time never attended AA I thought it was someone who had paid for them to go there. Later when I was home and had started unwillingly to go to meetings I found it very difficult to ask someone to be my sponsor. What if they said "No" Well she didn't and that was the start of a very special relationship with another human being - something quite different from anything I had ever experienced before. I think the fact that my sponsor showed me by example was good - dont just talk about it, do it. Our wonderful programme is all about action action action. It seemed in the early days that every time I had a big crises my sponsor was either out of town or out of the country so I made sure I had good backup from several others. I used to call this 'my ring of confidence' Now many years down the track I still have a sponsor but am regularly in touch the first one though she lives far away. I have sponsored many others. I wonder if they know how they have helped my sobriety. They have kept my memory green and my practice of the steps constant. I can't talk about something unless I am doing it myself. I thank God for AA and all of you for sharing your experience strength and hope.
Member: Andrew M
Location: USA NC
Time: 2:18:14 AM
My name is Andrew And I'm an alcoholic. I'm 29 and having been drinking extremely heavily since I was 14-15. I have seen my life encounter 2 jails and many institutions. I develoved acute pancreatitus at age 22. Still I continued to drink. Then at approximatly age 26 the Liver specialist told me that I had fibrosis of the liver and had less than 10 years left to live if I continued to drink. What did I do? Get drunk of course. (Poor me, I'm going to die...) I then proceded to watch every aspect of my life distentegrate and attempted to control this problem by myself. (I'm very stubborn like that). Anyway this obviously failed until I, feeling so filthty that I tried to wash myself with bleach, called a friend who had been in AA for four successful years. He met with me for coffee. I explained the situation and 2 days later he took me to a meeting where I met my future "sponser". I am still fresh into the program but I have the desire to stop more than to do anything else in my life. I call him every day (or much more)and he puts things into perspective for me. (He must have the patience of Job.) I've seen psychologists and psychiatrists for years, but this is far and away the most difficult soul searching gut-wrenching thing I've ever done. If it wasn't for the stability and clear headed thinking of my sponser and many others in the groups, I would not have even come close to achiving the small amount of sobriety I have achieved. God bless him and AA.
Member: Barry L
Location: Lafayette TN
Time: 3:08:55 AM
This is my first time visiting this site. I got the address from a very dedicated A.A. member. Anyway, I couldn't sleep so I run up on the topic of sponsorship. I am so grateful for my sponsor. He's not the first one I've had, but he is probably the first one I've used. After 13 years around the circle of A.A. I finally got inside it. Oh what a undeserved feeling that was let me tell you. God gave me something I wasn't expecting. I never really understood what you all meant by the phrase 'for the grace of God'! But now I do. I floated around with God for a few months after my obsession was removed and I was reading on page 153 of the B.B. one night. I'm sure I'd read it many times but never cared one way or the other before but that night it hit me. The little boy whistling in the dark! That scared me to death. I just knew I was going to drink again even though I didn't want to. I talked to my sponsor and prayed on it and my answer came from the B.B., page 72 & 73. I had never cleaned house. I had always turned to easier methods. I had a list of a few certain things locked in my mind that noone was ever going to know. I wrote these things down as fast as I could before I changed my mind and the next day me and my sponsor done my first honest fifth step. I have no more secrets. I don't think I would be sober today if I hadn't taken this vital step. Instead of being drunk today I attended a sponsorship rally in Kentucky. I have had the opportunity to start an A.A. meeting once a week in our county jail. And even though I don't deserve it, I was ask to speak at a speakers meeting. No kidding, me, king of the relapsers. God has a wonderful plan for those who seek him. I just pray I'm able to accept his will for me, one day at a time! LAFAYETTE NEW HOPE GROUP.
Member: Rich R
Time: 8:04:41 AM
Hi, Rich R, alcoholic, checking in. Thanks for the topic Shirley. Sponsorship is very important to me, but it wasn't always that way. When I first got into the program (1990), I didn't want anything to do with a sponsor. I liked the meetings where I could say what I want and leave. Didn't really have to get close to any one individual (story of my life). It probably took me 3 years or so to get used to the idea of my having a sponsor and my sponsoring others. Maybe it took 3 years for me to get 'used to' the meetings and to be ready to take my recovery to the 'next level'. I dunno. All I know is I have a great sponsor today (Jim M) and I love talking with him on the phone, at meetings, or in the car going to functions. I also love 'trying' to cary the message to others who I sponsor. Usually it makes me realize that my program is not as strong as I think it is! Either way sponsorship is a very big part of my recovery today. Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Scott R
Location: NS Canada
Time: 8:31:06 AM
Hi I'm Scott and I'm an alcoholic. Sponsorship. That topic has been coming up the last little while. Probably because I don't have a sponsor. I moved to a new town and have joined a new group I feel comfortable at and I'm looking for someone who I feel comfortable with to be my sponsor. I know it is important and even after 7 years. Thank you.
Member: chrissi s
Time: 9:42:14 AM
I am a newcomer and I think its wonderful that everytime I think of something there's an answer either in the rooms and now on this site. I have only been going to AA for a few weeks and haven't had a drink for nearly 4 weeks.
I'm taking in plenty of meetings and have read and am still reading the big book. I now find myself at Step 4. I know I need a sponsor, but as yet have not found anyone I really feel that bond with.
I haven't got the faintest idea how to go about doing step 4. Has anyone any advice on how to go about it.
Please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Member: Tom S
Time: 10:45:54 AM
Hi everyone. Tom, alcoholic. Sponsorship has been very important to me during the last 4 and a half yrs, although I have had 3 different sponsors. My current one has been with me for over 2 yrs and I feel very safe with him. It's important to have someone to talk to whom I can trust as well as someone who is honest with me and challenges me where I need it. I don't think I would have survived without a sponsor, especially during the first yr. Everything was a big drama in those days so it was good to have a sane voice to hear during my moments of high drama; I was always assured that I didn't have to worry as long as I didn't drink and went to a meeting. Funny thing, all those sponsors were always right: one day at a time, if I keep showing up, things will get better. One day I looked around and I was somehow reacting to life differently such that I was acting more rationally to situations that once baffled and scared me. Anyway, sponsors helped me with those things. When looking for a sponsor, folks in the rooms told me in the beginning to seek out the winners, those whom I saw working the program according to the AA principles, etc. In the meantime, I also learned that nothing is written in stone, and that sponsors are human and have lives, so when they aren't available, I have backup such as phone numbers of other winners in the rooms and friends I've made. Sponsorship is one of the many tools that I've used to stay sober.
Member: Barbie M
Time: 11:09:09 AM
Hi I am Barbara, an alcoholic.
I have never found a sponsor in my years with AA. It has been 16 years since my first meeting and the pressure to find a sponsor has troubled me endlessly.
My first stint with sobriety lasted nearly 8 years. A year later I was back at the tables and managed another couple of years of sobriety. Today I no longer keep track of the "sober time-table."
I quit when I was 20 years old and today at 36 I am still struggling with sobriety...I bounce back and forth between the desire to quit and the desire to party...
Fortunately my addictions have not hurt me all that bad...my family is okay, my job is okay, my life (by all outward appearances) ought to look good...but inside I suffer the consequences of my actions...my esteem is battered...my happiness is a mirage...and I drink to escape the disease of my endless depressions...
So one might say to me, "Why not find yourself a sponsor?"
And I reply, "I should like to quit drinking, but the pressure to secure a "sponsor" has my head spinning--and I fear going back to the tables to hear it over and over again, 'get a sponsor, get a sponsor.' Should I forever avoid a meeting just to avoid the constant nagging about finding someone to sponsor me?"
Sponsors may be great, but I haven't found a person I feel comfortable with...except for a couple of guys, who by virtue of their gender, are automatically eliminated (due in part to the risk of sexual tension and my possible vulnerability.)
I have met wonderful women in the program. My ideal sponsor would be a woman my mother's age (had she lived), but this may be too much to ask for...yes?
I do not know why I should write all of this, except to say that the pressure to find a sponsor has always left me feeling like I am doing something wrong if I prefer to do otherwise...that is, to wait until the right woman catches my eye...or my ears!
Wish me luck. I am on the verge of sobriety (with or without the aide of a sponsorship.)
Member: John H
Location: Indiana, USA
Time: 11:57:11 AM
John here. Why? Because I'm a recovering alcoholic. To Chrissi of the UK, with only 4 weeks of sobriety and concerned about the 4th step. It may be too early to be focused on the 4th step; instead adhere 100% on the 1st step, a day at a time. By 3 months and reading and writing down the examples in the Big Book as they pertain to you, you will be better prepared to do your first one for 5th stepping. Meanwhile talk to people at the meetings about the 4th step, bring it up as a meeting topic. And most of all, don't pick up that first drink!
As to Shirley of New Zealand regarding sponsorship.I foolishly went three sober years in the program without a sponsor. Finally got a sponsor who talked and walked the program and went by the Big Book. He has been my only sponsor now for almost 13 years. I can now say that I've reached the 12th step, having attained a spiritual awakening, hopefully able to carry the message
Being a sponsor, and I've done that and still do, is a responsibility, but it is a healing for both the, the sponsee and the sponsor if they work it. My sponsor has been a gift, a friend and member of the family as well as the program.
Best wishes to all!!
Time: 2:20:36 PM
Chrissi S, Go to the Coffee Pot page and ask your questions on the 4th step, you'll get lots of good suggestions there-as well as other tips on being new to sobriety. This page will tell you all about the importance of getting a sponsor though.
Time: 4:29:34 PM
But Chrissi S, as told above, your way too early at 4 weeks to be thinking of doing a 4th step-you need to get a sponsor.
Member: Lessa E
Time: 5:04:08 PM
Lessa E here, grateful recovering alcoholic. Thanks for the great topic, Shirley.
To this drunk, a sponsor is essential at this point in my program. (I have two years now.) I tried working the program on my own when I first came to the tables 4 years ago. And it worked - for almost 2 years. But, with no objective 3rd party who knows my entire story to listen to me and let me know when my thinking/behavior is getting squirrelly, it was easy for this drunk to get back into stinking thinking. Which led to stinking behavior. Which led to drinking.
This time through I knew I had to get a sponsor. It was a very, scary thing. The first person didn't work out at all and I got discouraged. However, I did hear, "stick with the winners". I identified a couple of people who had a good program going. People who worked the steps and read the BB. People who listened when others talked and spoke from their hearts when they shared. And asked them. The first one turned me down flat. She told me honestly that she thought my personality was too strong to help (and she was probably right - we're friendly today.) The second person said she'd like to help but was too busy. Finally, I asked someone I admired, but whom I KNEW wouldn't want to be my sponsor permanently to be my temporary sponsor. And, a year later, she's my full-time sponsor (or, I should more correctly say, I'm a full-time project of hers! *g)
What a relief to be myself - to not hide behind fear and lies - with someone. Here is someone who has seen me, good and bad. She has heard my history and doesn't think less of me. She got sober at 17 and never looked back. I drank until I was in my mid-30's and then relapsed several times. She has listened to me when I didn't know I needed listening to - she's helped me get 'up and out' alot of sick things I was keeping bottled up. Someone who has taught me by the way she lives what honesty, truth, caring and not judging others is all about.
Now, we've had a few rough spots - particularly when I didn't know when I wanted to be just listened to and when I wanted suggestions as to how to proceed. I very much needed to learn to communicate with people and set boundaries. I'm a morning person - she doesn't get up until almost noon. I have a pretty irreverant sense of humor which surfaces quite often. She's serious. However, we've made adjustments. We've both grown in this sponsorship process. And we've come to be good friends.
I would encourage all who do not have a sponsor to find one - even if only a temporary. To find someone who has a STRONG program going. Someone who works the steps and who's BB gets attention only when it's dusted. And then work with this person. Good luck to those who haven't found one yet.
Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Robert K.
Time: 5:31:18 PM
Hi I'm Robert and I'm an alcoholic.I have only been in the program for one week.Before I came to my first meeting I had managed to stay "dry" for two months.Then I got drunk three times.I was so miserable those two months that I seriously considered suicide.I had always scoffed at the idea of AA because if I couldn't quit on my own how could anyone help me?Well after two months of hell on earth and a really painfull binge,I surrendered.I decided I was ready to go to ANY lengths to get help,including you silly people and your meetings.Thank God for you.It,s only been a week and I have a small measure of peace I haven't known since I began drinking sixteen years ago.I've met some great,friendly people who really want to help and I,m slowly coming to know that Power.I,ve got an idea of someone I'm thinking of asking to be my sponsor.He seems to have it together and loves to talk about the spiritual side of the program.I hope he can help giude me through these steps.It feels good to be coming back to life.
Location: sac ca
Time: 11:33:18 PM
a sponser is like a guide in the jungle u go in without him u will get chewed up some one thats been there done that
Member: Michael B.
Time: 12:22:48 AM
Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Thanks for the sincere shares. Welcome newcomers!
For one thing, my sponsor, besides becoming a good friend, acted like an anchor for me, when I was lost in my own thinking about how to approach a problem or how to escape from negative and "stinkin' thinkin'."
Of course, there was many other helpful functions that my sponsor has performed vis-a-vis our relationship, but most importantly to me he provided suggestions and guidelines to follow when I had no idea what to do in my recovery process.
Member: Bruce G.
Time: 1:43:53 AM
Hello all, Bruce G., alcoholic, I have been very fortunate to have had a wise and perceptive sponsor. He has helped me to see and understand the difference between how the steps are meant to be worked, according to the Big Book, and how I sometimes managed to "interpret" them with my alcoholic thinking, twisting them to suit my own ends, as the self-will ruled alcoholic mind is so adept at doing. Even in pursuit of sobriety, my thinking was still seeking the "easier, softer way", even within the steps, and a good sponsor will help his/her alcoholic to adhere closely to the steps, as they are written, so that they may accomplish their purpose in the life of the one working them, as well as provide friendship, support, and encouragement. The benefits that I have derived from my sponsor are, in no small way, a result of his having been well sponsored himself. Good sponsorship "trickles down". Congratulations to Staying Cyber on 5 years of service....may you have many, many more.
Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Time: 11:04:57 AM
Hey Gang! Itís a great day to be sober. I spent several years on the fringe of the program. I realized I had a problem with drinking, but ego was still in charge. I briefly read the steps and knew they didnít apply to me and as far as a sponsor, no way. Being honest was OK for weaklings, but not for this he-man. Each relapse got more horrific until alcohol, pounded me into submission and I finally sidled up to another man and timidly asked if heíd help me with the steps. He was full of words I didnít want to hear, ďall you have to change is everythingĒ was particularly annoying. I went back out one final time and almost died in that drunken insane hell. Today, thanks to my sponsor and others in the program, the steps make a lot of sense and have given me a Joy in life, I could not of imagined while I was still using and insane. God has relieved me of many of my fears. Iím as pig headed as the best of you, but I had to step out of my comfort zone. If you are new or struggling, pray for help and an open mind. You will find someone with whom you can practice rigorous honesty.
Member: Melissa R.
Time: 11:19:23 AM
hi to all, melissa. recovering alcoholic, I got a sponsor early on in sobriety. I didn't do any research in the matter and ended up with someone I wasn't really confortable. I just figured since she has 10 years, she must be the one. I had trouble with relapse, no fault of hers, but I wasn't "connected" to her. I never picked up the phone when I felt I was in the jackpot. She helped me through the first 3 steps and I lagged on the 4th. I found a new sponsor, wonderful one, now I'm actually working really hard on the steps. I started all over and they seem to have a different meaning now. I'm writing my 4th right now, soon I'll be done and I can't wait to go through this with her.
Chrissi, I to had no idea what I was doing, don't even think of going any further without a sponsor. My sponsor told me to write about my life's events and I would see character defects along the way and then I could expand on them that way.....hope it helps you
Member: Anne S
Time: 2:35:44 PM
Hi there, I'm Anne & an alcoholic. I don't yet have a sponsor; I am sober 10 whole days and I feel WONDERFUL, but I know the ease with which I have done this will pass and I will need to buckle down, get to more meetings and hook up with a sponsor. I guess I am fortunate in that I know a lot of people in the program and have heard about the workings of AA for many years; so I went in knowing that a sponsor will be a wonderful help once I meet the right person. Can't wait to find that person! Congrats on 5 years, Staying Cyber! Your site is a daily reminder to me of what I am striving for, when I can't get to a meeting. Thanks....
Member: Terry K
Time: 2:43:51 PM
Hi all, Terry, alcholic Glad for this topic. I have been in and out of AA for about 10 years, have never had a sponsor and know that I need to get one this time. Feel like I need one asap but don't really know many people yet. I went to a treatment program, about 3 yrs ago, and felt like I had an understanding of the steps. Now I feel very lost and would like to find someone immediately to guide me through. Any ideas on how to do this. My hours of work, don't allow me to go to the same meetings, so I often don't see the same people.
Thanks for being here
Member: Kent H.
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Time: 2:44:30 PM
To everyone...I love you. I've taken a flying leap off the wagon, but I still think AA is wonderful and miraculous. I feel kinda guilty for posting right now since the only requirement is a DESIRE to stop dinking...and I guess that desire isn't there right now. WARNING to anyone who's on the fence: alcoholism can be a devastating disease. I nearly died from it several times. Yet here I am, drinking again. The insanity of the disease, as they say. Believe it. Keep coming back and KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Love to All, TNhippie
Member: Jim F
Location: Guilin, China
Time: 4:47:40 PM
Keep coming back. You have been my sponsor for today. Thanks for sharing. We will keep the chair warm.
Jim from Sequim
Member: Bob O.
Location: USA NY
Time: 5:48:29 PM
Hi, I'M Bob, alcoholic.my sponsor saved my life in more ways than one. He stood by me through numerous relapses, with continued faith.he saved me from suicide twice and got me back on my feet. he has helped me attain the spiritual part of this program. There is no way that I could have this year of sobriety without him.Of course the meetings are just as important. A.A and my sponsor have literally saved my life. what a great way to live now! Work the steps!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL
Member: Faith B
Time: 9:58:28 PM
Hi everyone. I'm Faith, a grateful alcoholic. What a wonderful topic on sponsorship. There is not much written in conference-approved literature on the topic. In any event, the value of a sponsor is limitless. My first sponsor, (actually suggested to me by a fellow AA), was not someone I would have chosen on my own. She was likened to a surrogate mom as I had lost my mother at an early age and had never grieved that loss. In retrospect, she was the best thing that ever walked into my life. She got me into prayer, as I would call with a problem and she always asked me 'did you pray about it?'. I eventually got a 'God Box' and placed my concerns and requests in there.
Anyone new in sobriety would benefit from a sponsor, someone you can talk to at length and who knows you really well. This builds a good trusting foundation. A sponsor helps make sense of the steps with you and guides you on your journey. I sponsor 2 to 3 women currently, one who is in-patient treatment, and I can't tell you how rewarding that is for me.
Thanks for the topic and I read some really good stuff. Thanks for sharing.
God Bless, Faith
Member: CHRISTINE U
Location: Slave Lake Alta.
Time: 12:31:44 AM
hi i'm christine and i am an alcoholic...Sponsorship....i've used the excuse that i can't find very many females over 3 years i've used the excuse no one has time for me i've thought of every reason not to have one ..FINALLY..i pick one and ta da she relapses so did i make a good choice unsure..but she has not let go of the program so now if i could trust maybe i would actually use her..i even picked up some spares but don't use them either.....i'm hoping asking for help gets easier with time....i get pathetically low every few weeks for 2-3 days and never ask for help...i'm 9 months sober and learning quickly ignorance is not bliss this round lol!!!!!!!!!!! glad i was told of this sight thank-you drayton friend.......
Member: Ray C
Location: Haines Alaska
Time: 12:52:11 AM
Hi,I'm Ray an alcoholic...I was told when new to the program to make alot of meetings, pay attention to what people say and what they do and when you find someone that has what you want ask them if they would be your sponsor.Theres no secret rituals,you don't have to wait for someone to pick you when you feel the need just ask around.Sponsors arn't Gods ,you can have several.I used the my entire home group as mine for a while.A sponser won't keep you sober thats up to you.There human they make mistakes,can give wrong advice so don't put anybody on a pedestal.Simply put I just found people I wanted to be like,could talk to and went to them for advice when I had questions or problems.That's what worked for me anyway...Keep it simple,keep coming back and thanks for helping me through another 24 hours
Time: 1:32:01 AM
My name is Alex and I am an alcoholic My sponsor has played a key role in my sobriety. For a while I wasn't sure that I needed the program, but I got him because I needed one for the halfway house I was in. Then after a while I saw that the promises were coming true for other people, but I was still the same old Alex, I just wasn't drinking. I told him I needed to get my act in gear and he started working the steps with me and has talked me through many early sobriety. There would probably have been times I would have drank if I didn't have him to sit me down and say "Well you are sober today so you have accomplished something." I just want to tell anyone who doesn't have a sponsor to get one. You don't know what you are missing. Don't let fear of regection keep you from a better life than you could have ever dreamed.
Keep it simple, lotsa love Alex
Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Time: 2:24:26 AM
Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. Sponsorship to me is best described in a foreword in the Big Book.It states the basic purpose of this text is to show another alcoholic precisely how we have recovered. A sponsor should be directing his/her sponsees to the Big Book and the steps. My first sponsor always said that he would always be honest with me, about me. He always said that a good sponsor should be a good listener, and always remember that he/she is just a messenger of the Big Book, not its author. I always suggest that when one is looking for a sponsor, look for someone who is openly enjoying their sobriety, not someone walking around just not drinking looking like a poster boy/girl for rigamortous. Today I have the best of what A A has to offer, I am sober thru God's Grace, I sponsor people, and best of all I am sponsored. Thanks for allowing me to share and God Bless.
Member: Joe P.
Time: 10:17:27 AM
I'm Joe, and I'm an alcoholic. I do not believe that I could have made any real progress working the steps or staying sober without a sponsor. What to look for in a sponsor? I know what worked for me - a same sex member of AA who worked the steps with his sponsor, attends regular meetings, and continues contact with his sponsor. Forget finding the "right" person or the person who will "understand". We couldn't know whether that is going to be true until we begin the sponsor/sponsee relationship, anyhow.
Chrissi - it has been said but bears repeating - in order to work the steps, get a sponsor. Barbie in Michigan - getting a sponsor is certainly optional. BUT...you seem to be struggling and hurting. At least give some consideration that maybe doing something different, like getting a sponsor, might make the difference.
Thanks for all the shares. Have a Happy, Joyous, and Free 24 hours. Don't drink and go to meetings.
Time: 1:20:03 PM
Your sponsers should go over gratitude with you again. Only 2 people have even mentioned Staying Cyber's 5th birthday. Are the techs taken so for granted that most did not even read their post? This is why I rarely "speak up" here. Too many too full of themselves. Remember, this is not a ME program. It is a WE deal. And WE would not be here if not for the techs. Thank you all.
Time: 2:06:50 PM
to have a sponsor is not a rule of AA so why would any one feel bad about not having one i dont understand and ive never been to a meeting were anyone nags you to get a sponser you always have to keep an open mind remeber these people are here for advice and true life experiences that may help and comfort you know one in AA is her to make your decisions for you im sure lots of people will agree.there are lots off pepole in AA without sponsers and working the program.just keep working the program maybe even somewhere else if you have people nagging you. GOODLUCK
Member: Paul T
Time: 3:11:25 PM
Hi Paul, I'm an alcoholic. I believe that sponsorship is an amazing gift that shouldn't be underestimated. However, I know people in AA who are sober (as opposed to simply dry), living life to the full and enjoying it without a sponsor, or indeed without completing the steps. I wouldn't recommend this way of doing it but if it works, then how can anyone moan about it? I find that some people believe that AA is the only way (it isn't), that the BB is the only answer (it isn't) and if you say otherwise you are wrong (you're not). I use a sponsor, work the steps, read the BB and pray to God for guidance and would not be here if I didn't, but like everything else, it is an option that may or may not work for everyone. PS. ((((Staying Cyber's 5th birthday))))
Member: Carrie K.
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Time: 3:34:52 PM
Carrie, alcoholic. Grateful to all of you here at Staying Cyber, everyone! Grateful for what you've shared whether behind the scenes, or topic sharing. AA without sponsors/sponsees is like a ship without its' sail. I can only say that, for myself, I need sponsorship, I need to find out how others do it. I need to get focused on finding more than one sponsor, because I am willing to learn from others, and they usually give me insight to daily life in sobriety, that I don't always have a clue about. Stay sober, do the simple program, pray, go to meetings, and all that other wonderful things AA has to provide. It works, simple as that. Amen.
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Time: 5:08:07 PM
Hi everyone. Bill here, alcoholic from Arizona. Hope all had a great and sober holiday weekend. I just got back from an AA skydive boogie. Weather was crappy so no jumps. Fellowship was good so I stayed sober another day. There is a life after alcohol. And fun as well.
Although sponsorship is not mentioned in the basic program, it is a good idea to have one. Now there are many different ideas on the responsibility of sponsorship. The pamphlet "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship" does a good job on defining the relationship between sponsee and sponsor. The big one is that they meet as equals just as Bill W and Doc Bob did. That pamphlet is available at most AA meeting places, Intergroup Offices, or Central Offices. If you cannot get on in you area, email me and I will send you one.
I would highly recommend getting a sponsor as early as possible and start through the Steps. Just pick one. If you don't like the one you pick then pick another. The aforementioned pamphlet tells us There is no specific rules of selection; however, a good sponsor should be a year or more away from the last drink. And should be enjoying sobriety.
My first sponsor was sober only one day and I was sober seven days. Not a heck of a lot of sobriety there. But we were compatible and he really believed the program would work. I did not in the very beginning. That was over 20 years ago and we are both sober today. As we outgrew each other we both when on to more experienced sponsors. Thank you for being a part of my sobriety today
Member: Lois N
Time: 9:04:44 PM
Hi Lois here and I am an alcholic of the liquid variety as well as the solid kind. I have not been in the program long, but I have discovered that a sponsor does wonderful things just listening. As I was doing my 4th step, my sponsor was reading it. For myself, I started with the stuff that was the hardest to deal with, the stuff that I used as my "favorite excuses". As I was writing and she was reading, I began to feel the weight of the world being lifted from me. There was a point in time that, my sponsor told me that I needed to slow down because I was going way to fast on the steps. She was right. I have since gone back over my steps and discovered that there were some things missing. For today I am okay. My current problem is finding a new sponsor. I have just relocated from a different state. I have prayed that God puts the right person in my path and I believe He will. It is a good day to be sober! Love to all. By the way, this is my first trip to Staying Cyber. Happy Birthday.
Member: KEVIN A
Location: HOUSTON .TX
Time: 12:30:09 AM
20 DAYS AGO BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE IS MY HP ,AND A GREATMAN NAMED KEVIN HE IS NOW MY SPONSER,TO DAY I AM CLEAN AND SOBER.WITH THE HELP OF MY HP ANDSPONSER AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU ALL I CAN LIVE SOBER ONE DAY AT A TIME . GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!
Member: Donna F
Time: 12:35:43 AM
Hi. My name is Donna and I suffer from the disease of addiction.
Chrissi, I do not think it's too early to be thinking about doing the fourth step. Find someone you want to be like at your meetings and ask them to help you with the fourth and fifth step. The instructions for step four are written explicitly in the book starting on page 63. Make a list of every person, place, thing or institution that you resent, then write what happened to cause the resentment. Then, here's the hard part, write what your part is in it. We ALWAYS have a part in it. Then, write down what this affects, eg. sex relations, self-esteem, security, personal relationships, pride (this is on page 65) Make a list of everything that has ever bothered you and everything that causes you to feel fearful. Make a list of all sexual things that bother you, cause you shame, guilt, etc. Ask the person who is your temporary sponsor, (that's the one you found at your meeting who you want to be like) if you have any questions. Then, set a time and a place to talk to this person. (It took me eight hours for this part). Then tell them EVERYTHING. You don't have to do it perfectly the first time...you can, and will, do it again. Have the WILLINGNESS to do your best.
I am of the firm belief that once you get to where you are, you've already done steps 1,2,3. So I say...go for it! Good Luck and God bless you.
PS You don't have to keep this person as your sponsor...that's why it's called temporary....just do the 4th and 5th steps...it'll lighten your load considerably and set you up for the next steps.
It's all in the book. The person who is your temporary sponsor will know where it is...it starts on page 63.
Member: Patsy P
Time: 12:56:13 AM
Shirley has just introduced me to Staying Cyber so Happy 5th to another meeting in print. After being in the programme for a while I decided to do what you do so I could have what you have. This included getting a sponsor. I believe a sponsor is only one of the tools given to me in this wonderful programme but for me an important one. I also believe we do not have to stay with the same one for ever. My first was a rock to me when I was new and guided me with patience through the bumpy first years but there came a time when I needed to move on. It was amicable because she had had the wisdom to assure me in the beginning that that time might come and we both let go with love and gratitude. My sponsor now is my greatest friend and I asked her because she scared me a little but she had the sobriety I wanted and walked the walk. I knew she would always be honest with me and most importantly for me she would sometimes impart to me things I didn't want to hear. I too know people who stay sober without a sponsor but boy they don't know what they are missing. But remember sponsors are only human.
Member: Kent H
Location: Tualatin Oregon
Time: 4:04:09 AM
Grats on 5 years. This is my first visit to this site. I'm impresed so far.I have my own opinion on sponsorship.When I was new to the fellowship my first[temporary]sponsor was an old friend from the drinking days.Well he got drunk so I figured his guidance wouldn't be helpfull. I thought I could do it without a sponsor. I read the big book the 12/12 and every thing I could find about AA. I still couldn't figure out how to work those steps. So at my regular topic meeting I suggested 'working the steps' as the topic. Some avoided the topic, some told me I wasn't ready. Others said 'just do it'. After the meeting a guy named Larry came up to me and asked if I was serious about working the steps. The subject of sponsorship wasn't discussed at the time. AT some point I realised that I would have a better chance of working the steps form someone who knew how to work them. the big book says. ''If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it. You are READY to take certain steps. Then it goes into the steps. I guess I was lucky I had a hunger for the program. I got tired in a hurry with being sober and miserable. The steps are a great vehicle for change. Sponsorship is guidance. At least for me. My favorite line in the steps? Having had a spiritual awakening as a RESULT of these steps. The first line in the 12th step. I think the rest speaks to sponsoring The first line is a pretty bold statement. My experiance is that its true. Larry moved away after a couple of years. My test for a new Sponsor has always been. How do you work the steps? Someone who has can speak with experance Thanks and God Bless
Member: peacock h
Time: 5:54:32 AM
Location: Mt Vernon,IL
Time: 8:51:57 AM
Hi I'm anil and I'm an alcoholic. Sponsorship. That topic has been coming up the last little while. Probably because I have a soponsor and can trust him he is there whenever I need him. I have joined a new group I feel comfortable at and I have a sponsor' s who I feel is comfortable with me and I with him all the time idefinetly cause I need at the time of crisis . I know it is important and even after 5 years. Thank you.
Location: The Beach
Time: 10:28:47 PM
When I was newly sober I came to write here on the discussion topic every week. I had a chance to read all the sharing on the various topics and it was a godsend to my early sobriety. I could only get to one meeting a day and the Staying Cyber site really helped. Many thanks to all those that share here and to those that keep the site up and running.
Member: Stacey K.
Location: Pac NW
Time: 1:14:39 AM
I have just gotten a sponsor and am so looking forward to working the steps with her. We had a huge discussion about what I expected and what she could provide. She made it abundantly clear that she is very comfortable with her sobriety and her life at this time but that working with a sponsee (me!!!, the last two didn't really want to work the program), would only benefit and enrich her own recovery. She says she cannot tell me what to do or think, but can only let me know what the steps mean to her so I can figure out my own use for them. This will be an education and a process for us both. That's exactly what I hoped she would say. I am extremely excited and hopeful for whatever growth comes next for both of us. To me the give and take is the beauty of this program.
Time: 4:21:38 AM
Barbie M. - the hour is late!!! I have written a post to you on Coffee Pot by mistake.
Thanks again to the Techs who so beautifully manage these sites. You are really good at what you do!!
Member: Ruth H
Time: 7:52:19 AM
I'm Ruth and I'm an alcoholic. Sponsorship has been one of the gifts for me in the journey of spobriety, first (and still)in being sponsored, and then in sponsoring others. My first sponsor was a man, though I strongly endorse the suggestion of 'men for men; women for women'. In the town where I got sober there were no women at the time. I chose 'Up-the-mountain George' because he always smiled when he shared, he enthused about recovery in AA. When I approached him and before he said yes, he introduced me to his wife -- such a wise move on his part. She is a strong Al-Anon and generously supported me too in those early years. I moved country and immediately found a home group and a sponsor. Again, I looked for someone who sounded glad to be living sober, someone who constantly expressed gratitude. Over the years, I've learned much from sponsors: Be brave and ask and if someone says they can't take me on for whatever reason, don't take it personally, ask someone else; don't view a sponsor as a life-sentence --we walk together just so long as it enhances our spiritual growth, our mutual spiritual growth, as I found out; when it's time to move on, have the courage to talk this through with the current sponsor, not only out of courtesy, but to bring a helpful sense of closure for both parties. My undestanding, my courage,and my concept of integrity have been served not only through the wonderful communication with trusted sponsors along the way, but by taking responsibility for my part in the relationship. Now when I'm asked to sponsor, I say: Let's give it three months and see how it goes for both of us -- we'll know if it's working. Be as honest with me as you can be. Call any hour of the day or night, but always call before picking up a drink. I will respect your confidences always. I can't keep you sober, but I know how I got and stay sober a day at a time and I'd love to share it with you...
Thanks for this opportunity to share. It's a great site.
Location: In Orbit
Time: 10:23:17 AM
Hi everyone. I'm Nina and I just celebrated 11 years sobriety last night. This is sort of off the topic in a way, but as far as the sponsor thing goes, I've always had one, one has always just seemed to be put in my life. I'm 34 years old-I came in when I was 23 and have never gone out. I am very fortunate-in a lot of ways. When my sponsor gave me my coin she said this, "I don't know if I could have stayed sober with what Nina has had in her sobriety. She has tremendous courage and I respect and honor it in her." My sponsor's been sober 27 years. Of course, I see what she's talking about but I don't, if you know what I mean. I've had a difficult sobriety, and at 23, on the brink of permant insanity I came to the rooms of AA- I didn't know where else to go. I didn't do drugs. When someone says, "these young people are so lucky, they wont have to go through so much" my answer to them, and I know they usually mean it in good heart, is that a lot of them could not have lived through what I have lived through. Yet I look pretty much like everyone else-actually I'm quite pretty. haha. You all have given me my sobriety, though I have had to work, my sobriety is the accumulation of what you all have said and shown me. Thats the investment we make in eachother. So my victory is your victory. I dearly love you all.
Member: nick e
Time: 11:00:36 AM
sponsership when i first started getting clean i thought that this was the dumbest idea i had ever heard of. "call some one for help ya right i can do it my self". but as time goes on im realizeing that some times you need some one to talk to. even just a reminder that your not alone is enough and im glad to have some there to tell me that
Member: pat b
Time: 1:17:32 PM
Hi, group, I'm Pat, alcoholic. Sponsorship--try not to complicate the process! This is a simple program; if you can't relate, etc. to a sponsor, add another one until it seems right. Sponsors don't need to be hired and fired, just listened to. Love and service to all. Happy BD, SC
Member: CHRIS H.
Time: 2:55:09 PM
I'm CHRis --I'm an alcoholic/ addict/bulimic--Many thanks to the techs of this sightfor providing so much hope and sobriety through this sight. I have share often on thsi sight about how much my sponsor has meant to me. she is like a mother ot me in a way. I LOST m y mother about 16 yrs. ago. She has provided a sane view point to this nearly "insane" addict for nearly 7 yrs.. Since I have been fairly housebound for a few yrs., I don't know what I would have done without her. I hanve only seen her once in those years. Our only contact has been via the phone. I too had a temporary sponsor until I found my present one. It was a big step for me to get that "temp" because until that time, I really didn't think I needed the program . she told me that I needed to do 90 in 90, and I couldn't believe it. It turned out to be the best thing. I ever could have done for myself. ANd I found my present sponsor during that time. I wll also say that it is great to have someone who knows your past and your present...a nd is willing to gently tell you the things you need to hear. My fourth step was one of the hardest things I have every had to do. To admit my failings to another person...But was also the healthiest , most healing thing I have ever done. I contiue to struggle wiht my 10th step---after taking a daily inventory .. to share my failings with my sponsor..is really hard. I guess I have way too much pride. I will keep coming to this fellowship until I get the progper A.A.( attude adjustment!!)...
Member: steve a
Location: ma usa
Time: 5:00:02 PM
i think there is too much focus on appearances. you keep hearing about "sponser" this and "sponser" that. first sponsers are human and can make mistakes. that being said i had a sponser in early sobriety. i came in and asked people questions about the program and how to work it. there was one guy in particular who gave me definitions of words and showed me concepts that i could comprehend and that when i did them provided relief from the mental roller coaster. in the mean time i was calling a family member out of state my sponser because of all the pressure to have one. one day instead of saying my uncle i said my sponser and i could hear the hurt in the guys voice. the next time i spoke to him i appologized and asked if he wanted be my sponser. he laughed and said that he'd thought about it and what we were doing was working but if i wanted the ring he'd go along.
anyway a sponser is someone who shares their experience strengh and hope so as to point out beautiful views and the dog droppings along the way to being able to learn a spiritual path.
Member: NEIL S
Location: SCOTLAND UK
Time: 5:17:37 PM
My sponser was (just about)the only person NOT to give up on me - I had totally given up on myself and god - the only prayer I had in me, was to die. 7 months ago he dragged me drunk to a rehab- and although things haven't been a bed of roses for all that time, I have stayed sober worked the program and all with the help of my sponser. My mother died of this horrid disease in January, the first person that I called ? ...you guessed right my sponsor! CHRISS - FOR PET SAKE TAKE IT EASY!!! IT PROBABLY TOOK YOU A LOT OF YEARS TO "PAY THE FELLOWSHIP ENTERANCE FEE" the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. AND TO FINISH WITH... A WORD FROM MY SPONSOR " THE DEMONS AT THE FRONT DOOR ARN'T AS UGLY AS YOU MAY IMAGINE".
Member: coleen d.
Time: 11:38:41 PM
I chose my sponsor because she was the first woman to walk into the meeting in about 3 wks of straight daily meetings with old timers - all men - I think God sent her in - she has been with me over the past 1 1/2 years - she doesn't let me go on and on - she cuts to the chase - Famous last words "What are you going to do to change?" or "Get to a meeting" I don't know alot about her personal life but I don't need to - I know how she got sober and how she maintains sobriety and I like her attitude and serenity. We talk every day and she helps me find good things about myself instead of focusing on negatives all the time. I was asked to be a sponsor today by a newcomer - I gave my number and I hope I can help her. It's perfect timing because I was starting to get in my self centered mode this week. Thanks for letting me share.