Member: Donnie M (D.O.S. 3-1-99)
Location: Short Gap, W.Va.
Time: 9:08:36 AM
Hi all and welcome newcomers,
I am Donnie and I am an alcoholic I have had a new experience this past week. I was asked to be a sponsor I said yes and have started a new friendship. I have talked it over with my sponsor and he thinks I am ready to help others, but I can only do what I feel is right and hopefully that my higher power will guide me in to this as he has in everything else. I would like to here from old and new sponsor`s of how you handle carrying the message to your sponsee?
thanks to all and may God bless all.
Member: RICHARD M
Location: SARASOTA , FLORIDA
Time: 10:40:12 AM
Hello , my name is richard ...i am an alcoholic...my sobriety date is dec. 28, 1985..... i started a third tradition group several years ago . i host it on saturday night at a church faciity. it always has stayed small..usueally less than 10 and often times only two or three. Last night it was worth it as i was haveing a meeting with a new comer (2 mo)..and another brand new aa came thru the doors.....It is such a joy to share that victory with some one, when they finally surrender and attend that first meeting . Useually after defeating the mental ping pong and aprehension that ocurs with it...... What will happen ...who knows? It was a woman and two males where there for her...but in truth , it was an alcoholic and two other alcoholics were there for her. only time will tell..may god bless you and all those you love..in love and service .....richard M
Member: Bill F.
Location: Lost Angeles
Time: 12:50:08 PM
How frightening it was the first time someone asked me to be a sponsor. My alcoholic mind could not imagine what possible use I could be. I knew every nook and cranny in which my house was not in order. So I talked with my sponsor who pointed me to the preamble. "You have experience," he said,"and you have worked the steps to the best of your ability." "You have strength," he said, "a knowledge of yoru weaknesses is strength. Besides you rely on a higher power for strength so it is not yours anyway." "You have hope," he said, "to not drink today." "And," he concluded, "you are sober today." "That's all you need to be a sponsor." So that's where I went - If I have no experience in a sponsee's problem I say so. I try only to share MY experience as it applies and never give advice based on knowledge not backed up by personal experience. And, when all else fails, I rely on prayer and the Big Book - pray for guidance and just open it to a page and begin to read together - usually an answer will be found very quickly.
Time: 1:13:56 PM
My name is Pat and I'm an alcoholic. I was sober a few months when someone asked me to sponsor them. I told my sponsor about it and asked what to do. She said that if I approached them with the knowledge that I had learned in just the few months of sobriety that there was no way that I could screw it up. It takes having a sponsor in order to sponsor.
The reason why I choose a female sponsor was because I'm a gay man, although I don't appear to be. I knew that with a straight female sponsor, and one who knew all about me, that our relationship would be unencombured. Today, when straight folks ask me to sponsor them I tell them right up front. Most don't care and then I get on with the task of guiding my sponsee through the steps, and that's what sponsorship is all about.
Sponsor are responsible guides. My sponsor was like the one person in a totally dark room with a flashlight that worked. With that flashlight she was able to throw light where there had been darkness. She kept her batteries charged by making a lot meetings and working with others.
Member: Kathy N
Location: Sunshine state
Time: 3:14:50 PM
Hi everybody I'm Kathy an alcohoic and sponsorship has been the saving grace in my sobriety. 13+ years. The most important thing about being a sponsor is to realize that I'm not always the sponsor. It's a two way street after about the first year. It talks about prodeges in the big book. I really like that better then sponsor. But I have found the greatest thing about being a sponsor is the ability to help anyone not just alcoholics. My son has really been going thru a hard time and so have I its great to share experience and strength and hope to our children. We have really been sharing our situations while very different the same feeling are there. It continues to amaze me how this program has become a part of my entire life. I am truly greatful. Thanks for the Topic. Love to all
Member: Dennis McG 2-8-99
Location: Washington state
Time: 4:04:59 PM
Hello, everyone. I'm glad you're here! I've been a sponsor, briefly, three times; twice in my first year before going out again, and once this year, my third since coming back.
The first guy was the scariest for me -- I felt responsible for helping him stay sober, and so I was afraid of making a mistake. My sponsor pointed out that I didn't need to try to be original; all I needed to do is show him exactly what my sponsor had shown me. After two weeks, this first sponsee asked someone else with many years more sobriety to be his sponsor. Most recently, history repeated itself when my sponsee and new friend finally did work the steps with someone else the old-fashioned way, in five hours. I had mixed feelings about that -- the important thing is that this man, a binge drinker who had relapsed three times since I'd known him because he avoided taking the steps, has been sober now for six months, a record for him.
Have I helped any of these three people? I have no idea. All I know is that I was willing to, and that they have helped me stay sober during some unpleasant emotional periods by getting my thoughts off of ME.
Member: Steve K
Location: Bethel, N.Y.
Time: 4:36:53 PM
Steve alcoholic. I am very proud of myself to say that I was sober 19 months yesterday. I could not have done this without the support of my family, friends, and my HIGHER POWER.
Member: Jenn P.
Location: Poconos, PA
Time: 5:54:49 PM
Jenn here - an alcoholic who is happy,joyous and free today as the result of the steps, and GREAT sponsorship. It took me a while to get one, and then to use one, but when I did, my life really started to change! I sponsor several wpmen today and it is a big part of the joy in my sobriety. Helping them work the steps, I grow. Every time. They help me see things I can't see in myself, but I know they are there, cuz my Higher Power has sent me girls just like me. Today I count most of them as friends. All I have to offer is this program and my experiences with it. I have a ton of strength and hope today, due to a great relationship with my Higher Power and also to watching others change and grow in this beautiful fellowship we have. I found the pamphlet on Sponsorship to be helpful, and of course the chapter on "Working with Others" in the Big Book, and Step 12 in the 12&12. Also of course my own sponsor's guidance. You know what they say, "Sponsors - have one- use one- be one!" The times where my sponsees have moved or moved on from my sponsorship have been just part of our journeys and I still care about them and support them. The first time my ego was hurt, but I know that I myself changed sponsors in the beginning when I felt it was right. I try to remember - a Higher Power is in charge now, not me, thank goodness. Love to all.
Member: Brad M.
Location: Dresden,Ontario Canada
Time: 6:03:00 PM
My name is Brad and I am an alcoholic. I have been able to sponsor many people since coming to the program almost 8 years ago.I know today that the success of my sponsees is Gods not mine and that their failure is theirs.I also know that I always learn more from them then they ever do from me.Two people giving of one another for the good of them both.My sponsor is a very good example of the program working in his life by living it.
Member: Erma G.
Location: Utica, N.Y.
Time: 6:42:46 PM
Most of what I've read here so far is typical of the bragging,complaining and glorifying that goes on once the topic of sponsorship is brought up.Believe me,I'm not trying to be nasty,just realistic.If we're all so GD smart how did we get here in the first place? When you choose to become a sponsee or sponsor at least sit down and discuss with your subject exactly what it is you are expecting to give and get.From my experience sponsors are not counsellors or first grade teachers and do not hand out homework!!!We are not bankers,public transportation,housing authority or nursemaid.Sponsees and sponsors are sick people trying to be well through a daily spiritual reprieve that we strive to attain by working 12 simple steps into our everyday affairs.There are no Guru's in AA. If you think you see one you better RUN.Good luck,check your motives and keep coming back.
Member: Tim M.
Time: 7:07:49 PM
Hi,My name is tim and i'm an alcoholic.I need help but i don't like aa (i think it's a cult).Can anyone show me a different way to get sober? Thanks for you're help. Tim
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Time: 10:06:21 PM
HI, Bill here. Alcoholic from Arizona. Serious business and one heck of a good topic. What is Sponsorship? It happens when on alcoholic seeks another alcoholic who has shown some success in staying away from that first drink.
They meet just as Bill and Bob did, as equals, (amen Erma) you are so right. The sponsor/sponsee relationship is helpful to both parties. Bill Wilson realized this while standing in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel some years ago. He then met Doc Bob and thus the birth of AA. I mean like how powerful can it get? And how much did Bill Wilson really know about staying sober?? :)
The very first thing I do when someone asks me to sponsor them is make sure they read and understand the pamphlet, "Q and A on Sponsorship". This takes the ME out of the picture and puts the WE in.
I sponsor directly from the basic text and not from my head. (Or any other source) It has yet to fail that a sponsee will ask a question I could not answer. So once again it is. "Geez, I don't know, let's see if we can find the answer together." I have always learned something new each time I sponsor.
I also limit the number of people I can sponsor at one time. I am not one of those who has lots of little sponsees following behind like little ducklings following the mom duck. I don't take sponsees as trophies.
I cannot talk on sponorship without sharing my first experience with my first sponsor. I was sober only 6 days, barely detoxed and not back in AA yet. This gentleman had asked if it was true that I had not drank in nearly a week. It was. We both wound up at an AA meeting that evening.
At the end of that meeting. He had bought a Big Book, come up to me and said I believe this might work. The next day he moved in with me and we started into the program together. Him sober one day and I sober seven. After we completed Step 12 to the best of out ability, we then proceeded to Step one. And improved on .."to the best of our ability"
That was over 20 years ago and we are both still sober today. Yeah Erma... In today's AA, it is far more likely that he would be told that he was not "ready" to work the steps yet. Eh?
One last thing, I do not owe any of my sponor's a damn thing. They did it to save their own ass, just as I do it today to save mine.
Member: Adam H.
Location: Nagano, JAPAN
Time: 11:01:59 PM
For me, what sponsorship adds to my sobriety is the ultimate lesson in humility. If I want to stay sober through sponsoring another alcoholic, the key rule for me is remembering that part about "no human power could have restored us to sanity." That phrase applies to me and to the person I am sponsoring. So while it is my repsonsibility as a sober member of AA to share my experience strength and hope with the person who asks me to sponsor them, I still have to remember that, like me, that person has a Higher Power to turn his will and life over to and it is not me nor any other human power. In that relationship, I am just a trusted helper/messenger/guide and that's all.
Grateful to be sober.
Time: 3:26:13 AM
Hi, my name is Virginia and I'm an alcoholic...
I sobered up in So. California in the early 80's. There was an old-timer with over 40 yrs. at the meetings that I went to that would talk about his sponsor having one more day than he had and they both stayed sober! What a lesson that was for me!
The man that reluctantly said he would be my sponsor when I ask him was slipping around drinking at the time but I didn't know it. BUT, I stayed sober.
When he said that he had "been around AA for 20 yrs." (not IN AA) I thought to myself "this is the sponsor for me" because I didn't know the diffence between "around and in AA".
He wasn't perfect nor was I and we had a lot in common. We both were sleeping in cars in the parking lot of the Alano Club and neither one had any cigarettes or money. When he "charged" a hamburger at the stand next door I thought he was really some kind of guru! I laugh about this today but it was serious business at the time. I even ask him if I could get involved with this guy I "fell in love with". He said yes and then he said no another time. I said make up your mind please and went ahead and mnoved in with this man. What craziness! BUT, I stayed sober.
When I discovered that he was drinking I let him go and got 2 women sponsors.
One sponsor had 27 yrs. IN AA and the other 8 yrs. both helped me. One worked the other didn't so we could hang out all night in the coffee shops where I listened to the AA'ers talk about this and that. Boy, how I miss those coffee shop meetings! The sponsor that had 8 yrs. and I are still in touch daily. She lives in Virginia, I'm in Oklahoma now. Whenever I have a problem come up she is the first one I go to.
All that I have done in regards to sponsoring others is pass along what my sponsors gave to me. Thats all I know how to do. We share stories, talk about the Traditions and structure of AA, work steps together, go to Conferences, meetings, Central Office and talk often. It just happens somehow.
I go for the skid-row type sponsees, I really do well with them because I can relate to them. I don't do well with the ones who still have their watches.
I have been a "friend" to one guy who stuggled with this program for years trying to get sober and today he has 6 yrs. What a miracle! I have never said that I am sponsoring him nor has he ask me to but we have a honest friendship that has lasted 17 yrs. I go to him when I have people problems cause he has the gift of diplomacy and always comes up with such wonderful solutions.
It is my firm belief that IF a person wants to stay sober they can in spite of whoever is sponsoring them. As it says in the BB "no human power could relieve us of our alcoholism but God could and would if he were sought"
Member: mike m
Time: 9:37:54 AM
Hi, my name is mike and I am an alcoholic. I just reread the topic and skimmed some of the shares. I really liked Tim's share. No Tim, AA is not a cult, it is a crutch that holds many of us up. And if all you want to do is get sober Tim go kick a cop in the ass and you will get sober. You have a higher power no matter what though Tim whether it be found in the bottle, in the courts, or in AA. I have found my higher power in all three places and prefer AA. I am at my best when reading the Big Book with them on a regular basis and sharing my experience and understanding of what we have just read. I loose some in chapter 5 and 6 as they can't see the relationship between turning their life over and picking up a pencil. I then have time to find another who is willing to pick up a pencil and begin the action part of this program. AA and you guys give me the Power. An old dog can learn new tricks with this 12 step program of recovery.
Member: Brian T
Location: Kamloops B.C
Time: 10:58:26 AM
My name is Brian , and I am an alcoholic . I always try to remember that `` I cannot transmit something that I haven`t got ''. If one of my sponsee`s ask`s me about a problem that I don`t have any experience with , I`ll send them to somebody who does .Sponsorship has been a very rewarding and gratifying experience for me , both as a sponsor and as a sponsee.By giving of myself , I ultimately get exactly what I need. GOD BLESS
Member: Beth A
Location: Southern Georgia
Time: 11:03:45 AM
Hi! My name is Beth and I'm an alcoholic. Had 4 years sobriety last year this week when I 'slipped'. Took a year , but I once again have the desire to stop drinking. Last time, I did surrender to my higher power... let go and let God... but I didn't use AA or a sponsor. Like Tim, I had some problems with the program. Anyway, here I am... looking for some advice on how to choose a sponsor good for me?! Thanks!
Time: 11:35:33 AM
Hi all, I'm Wendy, and I'm an alcoholic with 5 and 1/2 years sober. I'm just coming back to meeting though, I let myself stay away and guess what? By the grace of God I didn't pick up a drink but my insanity started to increase. Now I'm back, just got my old sponser back last night and am starting over from step 3, per her suggestion. And she is right, if I had made a good decision the first time, I may not have fallen away from the program. I've not had the opportunity to sponser another person, but I have had a good sponser, being dyed in the wool drunk thoug I got some kind of resentment with her and am glad now to have her back on my winning team Just want to say congrats to Stevek from Bethel, ny, we are neighbors, at least in the same county. And to TimM from Philly, they told me if you don't get the program it will get you just keep coming back. It really isn't a cult but I know when we first start it feels that way. I remember thinking, "who are these people, they all talk alike, they all seem so happy, something must be wrong here, they can't really be drunks like me" Just keep listening Tim, AA is full of people just like you and me, all striving to stay sober, one day at a time. Thats all there is too it, nothing sinister, just a bunch of drunks. Thank you all for being here. Keep coming back.
Member: Paul K
Time: 11:37:51 AM
Hi, I'm Paul and I'm an Alcoholic. Every day that I don't pass out because I've been drinking is a bonus, as this was a regular occurence. I've had to learn not to "beat myself up" if I slip "Sobriety lost its priority" as it says in the book "We shall not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it" All we can do is strive to be better each day that comes, and try to think of others. God be with you. Paul
Time: 4:50:11 PM
Hi, My name is Maggie and I'm an alcoholic. Yes, Tim, hardcore AA is a cult. They worship the Big Book like a Bible, and remind me tremendously of fundamental Christians. They even have a "salvation" type experience in their first steps. But remember, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking, and AA is not supposed to be allied with any sect or denomination-neither endorsing nor opposing any causes, with a primary purpose of staying sober. They are also the biggest, most available group around. I try to take advantage of the friendships, ignore the dogma, and stand my ground. Good Luck!
Time: 7:06:31 PM
Hi My problem is Connie and I am an alcoholic.
Welcome Beth... I know it takes one day at a time to stay sober.. I know this alcoholic has been thru obstacles and issues, without taking a drink.. I have found out over the years a drink is not the answer to my issues in life. I have a sponsor today that I call every day. Sometimes just to talk other time to see how she is doing. Other time to help me get thru the day. Sobriety is a one day at a time task.. I am very grateful for all the friendship I have developed over the years. I have learned from each person that has entered my life.
Location: very close to savannah
Time: 7:17:25 PM
Thanks for the welcome (((((((connie))))).... amazing coincidence abt your posting me... i will tell you abt it someday.
Member: Jim S
Time: 7:47:10 PM
Hi all, I'm Jim, an alcoholic with 26 days sober. I gotta little problem....I'm stuck in a small town in India, 6 hours away from the closest meeting and I need to find a sponsor. I've been in and out of AA for 10 years now, and never had a sponsor....gee, is that telling me something? Anybody got any suggestions?
Time: 11:14:44 PM
I am your sponsor. My will, not yours be done! Love you all...
Member: Joe P
Time: 11:53:36 PM
Hi, I'm Joe, and I am an alcoholic. Sponsorship? Keep it simple. My sponsor shared with me how his sponsor took him through the 12 steps of AA, and guided me through the steps in the same way. Still does. I can only give as I received. Share ES&H, same as was shared with me. I really heavily on my sponsor in order to be a sponsor. No magic, creative redesign, or guruship for me (God, help me, I suddenly got an urge to be a Guru!)
Harcore AA is a cult? Have I been brainwashed? My brain needed a good washing after all the alcohol it soaked up. Still need a good washing, I'm really not wired quite right. Worship the Big Book like the Bible? I have never met a "hardcore" AA member who worshipped the Big Book. But I have met many in AA, and now count myself among them, who found God by following the 12 step program of AA as outlined in the Big Book.
Don't drink, go to meetings, and follow the directions of a sponsor who works the steps with a sponsor who works the steps with a sponsor who works the steps...
Thanks for the comments.
Member: Phil S.
Location: Pennsville, NJ
Time: 1:03:28 AM
Hi evryone, I'm Phil an alcoholic. Alot of times when people look for sponsors they assume a long lentght of time in the program means quaility sobriety. Thats not always true, I have found some people with better qualities in 5 years sober then say someone with 20 years. Quality and honesty are the importance of a sponsor, someone to tell you about your self when needed, some one to guide you through the steps, a friend. I find myself talking openly with my sponsor and I hold nothing back, for half measures availed us nothihng. You have to trust your sponsor as to know they won't guide you wrong and they have to trust you as well. I see alot of new commers in the rooms trying to blow smoke up their new sponsors butt. Never forget, everything you did, your sponsor did as well. I hope everyone has a great week and I want to thank all my friends who "trudge the trail of happy destiny with me". Peace to all
Member: Ray C
Location: Haines Alaska
Time: 1:10:04 AM
Hi...I'm Ray an alcoholic.It's funny my sponsers have no idia how much influence they had on me and actually niether did I till just a few years ago but by that time I hadn't had any contact with them in 15 years.One guy who's dead now had a few favorite sayings which have become a basis for my life.Others I've just lost contact with because of time and geography but the things they instilled in me in my early years around the program still keep me keeping on.I kinda used the whole group as a sponser at times and the ones that became close friends or had what I wanted I sort of singled out later and ask to be official sponsers if there is such a thing.Lots of people have been one to me at one point or another.One thing I've heard and learned is not to put anybody on a pedistole because sponser or not were all just human and sometimes faulter.Big expectations can lead to big dissapointments but lessons learned I suppose.I believe I've acted as a sponser for a few people along the way too but all it's been to me was just being a friend and sharing a little of my ES&H.I sure can't take credit for anybodys sobriety or there faultering either.I think it's good to keep it simple and try to remember it all seems to come back to just one drunk helping another.Thanks all for your posts.You've helped me through another 24 hours.
Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Time: 2:28:52 AM
Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. To me the most important thing in being a sponsor is being a good listener. Also when sponsoring someone, I must always remember, that I am only a messenger of the Big Book, not it's author. I believe the best definition of sponsorship is contained in the foreword of our Big Book. It says that the basic purpose of this text is to show precisely how we have recovered. A good sponsor steers his/her sponsee to the Big Book and the steps. Thanks for allowing me to share and God Bless all.
Time: 10:30:12 AM
Hi, I'm Denise and I'm an alcoholic. I use alot of different sponsors. I'm too stubborn for just one. One person could be wrong but when I hear 2 or more people saying the same thing I think I better listen. However, some times I like to sit in my sh_t for a while before I do,typical aren't I! Well anyway a sponsee asked me where does it say in the BB not to make any major changes in my life for the first year? I said I don't know because I don't. I said I would find out. I've read the BB and I've never noticed it. If it doesn't come from the BB where does it come from? Is it like 90 in 90, now I know that comes from the rehabs. My sponsors don't know either, could someone please, HELP ME?
Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Time: 11:28:24 AM
I was extremely fortunate in finding my first and current sponsor. He had just moved to the area and I was 24 hours sober. He is 18 years younger than I, but I often behave like a 12 year old. I used to take pride in proving the world was a ball of sh*t and there was no truth anywhere. What I discovered is that he seems to have the wisdom of Solomon when it comes to my life. He has so far been consistent at every turn. We finished reading the first 164 pages in three months and he told me “now it is your turn to help”. Once again I was lucky, the first two people I agreed, to sponsor are still sober today. There have been many more since then who are not sober now. Today I try to stay in the present, I practice rigorous honesty and I try to be patient and forgiving with others and myself. It is only because of the steps, I have found an all-powerful, God personal to myself. I am astonished today when I wake up not only sober, but with a profound sense of Joy. If you are new or struggling, please “Keep Coming Back”, you need not continue the suffering as you are.
Member: Kevin S.
Location: The Bunnvale Group, New Jersey, US
Time: 11:34:20 AM
There have been lots of good shares.
Well well! What a variety of flavors we have!
I try not to second guess God. There are too many combinations of people in AA to figure out what the best type or combination of sponsor/sponsee might be. I've never been able to figure it out.
I got my sponsor because I liked his style, the way he related to other people, and the way he lived his life in general. I had nothing in common with him, except the desire to learn how to live a better life. That was it! The one thing that he did have was his story. And I liked it enough to want to share it with him, and to share mine.
The other thing I heard that made sense to me was to get a sponsor who had a little more time sober than me. No, time doesen't equal quality. But the one thing I needed was their EXPERIENCE living sober. I sure didn't have any of my own.
My sponsor was just right for me. We didn't work on the steps together. He didn't need to manage my life. he hardly ever took me to meetings. He didn't have me call every day. He didn't keep track of how many meetings I went to or whether i was going to the "right" kind.
And whenever I had a question, or needed an answer, he would never give it to me! He would give me safe boundaries, information that I didn't have, and then let me make up my own mind. That way, I could learn by my own mistakes and successes, trusting that his quidelines would keep me protected. That way it became MY SOBRIETY! NOT HIS!
What I needed was to take responsibility for my life and recovery, not to be dependant on somebody to do that for me. I was dependent of alcohol and Mom too long as it was.
I've sponsored a lot of people over the years. Everyone is different. My relationship with each is different. Some got sober, some didn't. Some stayed sober, some didn't. Some got sober and then found other ways to stay sober and live their lives. It's not my life, it's there's. I learned that the hard way when someone I had worked closely with didn't make it. But it wasn't because of anything that I did wrong. All I have to give is my story. The rest is up to them and their God. Surprisingly, some are still sober after all these years.
I had to work with their families in some cases. Or some that were on medications too, both for physical or phychiatric reasons. Some who had job problems, some with legal trouble, some with money difficulties. I need to keep the humility to say "I don't know" when that happens, and steer them to someone who does.
One man asked me early on to be his sponsor for only 1 reason. The topic of marriage difficulties came up at a meeting and when it got to me all I could say was that I was never married, so I couldn't comment. We became friend after that day, and he's been sober now for 25 years.
Ya never know.
Location: NW USA
Time: 1:30:49 PM
Hi, my name is Sarah and I am an alcoholic. A.A. has given me a "Healing Power" to stay sober today.
Tim, welcome. I looked 'cult' up in the dictionary, the definition ... a system of religious worship or ritual. Well, as an alcoholic I definitely had a system of religious ritual for my worship of alcohol as the healing power. Try to keep coming back to Staying Cyber for a couple of months, try going to some face to face meetings.
Tim, because I do not want to insist that A.A. is the only way here are two sites that might help you http://www.onlinerecovery.org/links http://alcoholism.about.com click on alterative recovery support
I have a "Healing Power" to stay sober today. One and alll, your Experience, Strength and Hope is a gift, Thanks.
Member: Ned E.
Time: 1:39:07 PM
Tim M. I, too, was turned off by what I "percieved" as a cultish atmosphere to AA. However, I was very desperate for relief after having tried to craft my own program from a Big Book that I had borrowed from a friend. I thought that I could do it by myself; I am a pretty sharp guy, blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. WhenI finally reached my bottom (and they vary for all of us) I came into AA, if not gladly, at least willing to listen. And believe me, I heard some goofy stuff, some of which gave me second thoughts, but an oldtimer told me to listen for the similarities, not the differences. And I did, and as I did I became more willing to hear the similarities. I also became a bit "evangilical" at first. What the Hell, it felt good to not live in the misery that I had been in. I have matured a (very) little and although I haven't lost any enthusiasm, I have learned to temper how I come across to newcomers. For a good treatise about AA see "The Doctors Opinion" at http://www.sober24.com/Readings/Drs_Opinion.asp Tim, we know how you feel. This is the only thing that has worked with any repeatability in the history of civilization! Good luck in your search, but I believe you have found the solution. Ned E.
Time: 5:13:54 PM
Hello, This weekend, I was visiting friends in Marietta Ohio, and wanted to go to a meeting. I had a terrible time finding one. There was no AA number in the newspaper. No AA number in the phone book. I had to call a treatment center in Marietta to even find a meeting. I think it is pretty sad when "Trusted Servants" do not take care of these responsibilities. I had always heard that there was a lot of good AA in this area. Now, I begin to wonder? Has this sort of thing ever happened to anyone else?
Member: Joe L.
Location: Phila,PA - USA
Time: 6:55:24 PM
Good evening all; Another beautiful day in the Delaware Valley. I've lived here all my life and still don't know what that expression means??? We do have a Delaware River, so maybe thay mean "the valley of the delaware river" - please be patient with me as God isn't finished with me yet...
TIM - I'm from Philly, also. You can call me at 215-634-6193 or e-mail me at LeachFtown@aol.com There is another philly guy on this site from time to time, Rob C. He's in Center City, I'm in Fishtown. That number and e-mail address is for anyone ok. Tim, I know there is another program, I just can't think of the name of it right now. If you do a search under "recovery programs", you can probably find it yourself. The one I'm thinking of, was for people who had a hard time with the "higher Power".
Tim - my honest opinion is that you haven't made enough meetings, there are all kinds. If you keep making them, you'll find the one that's right for you, or you'll get used to them or at least find some that are tolerable. The truth is, all new guys are shakey, and you really shouldn't take a hiatus until you have some time together ok? Love & Luck, God Bless Us All...Joe L.
Member: Eddie A.
Location: Morgan Hill, California
Time: 8:10:01 PM
My name is Eddie, and I am an alcoholic. I have been sober for over 15 years now. I have had 4 sponsors. My current sponsor (I refer to her as my wicked step-sponsor), has truly become my bestest friend and mentor. We (she and I) have stayed sober, she has 19 years. Her sponsor is my "grand" sponsor. He has been sober for over 25 years now. Sponsorship is not required by the 12 steps, but highly recommended by this alcoholic. I have sponsored over 50 people since getting sober. I too, had someone ask me to sponsor them when I only had 45 days. My wicked step-sponsor encouraged me to do it, as it would take some of the heat off her... jeez what a grand time I have had staying sober.... and to think it could all be given up with just one drink... not today anyway. Thanks for letting me share
Member: Zan H.
Location: Lubbock, TX
Time: 9:36:19 PM
Sponsorship works. I got sober, finally after three years of not being able to hook up more than 90 days, in 1990 by getting a sponsor that worked out of the Big Book and working the steps as directed. I was told to start sponsoring even tho I only had 2 months, I was told that I wasn't giving away my sobriety or spirituality, that I was merely going to show someone else exactly what was shown to me (besides the pioneers of AA certainly had no 'time' in sobriety). I was blessed to able to work with a lot of women and about15-16 are still sober so I know that the Big Book works. I drank after six years sober and, again, the BB told me that would happen if I quit working with others (which I did because I needed some "me" time - whatever!). Ever since 1997 when I twisted off it's been hell to get and stay sober again. I've been in twelve rehabs and detoxes since then and have gotten strung out on heroin and methadone in an attempt to control my drinking; have attempted suicide; have lost permanent custody of my children, my home, my horse, my dogs, seven goats, three jobs w/major corporations, any modicum of dignity I might ever have had, family, friends, the list goes on ad nauseum. I've been told that it's much harder to hook up sobriety the 2nd time and I believe it. I'm now at a half-way house in Lubbock, Texas which must be a God thing because I'd never have chosen to come here or driven 550 miles from Houston unless it was the only detox bed available - which it was. Thank God. The place I stay is actually positive and recovery oriented (trust me - I'm an expert by now on this shit - I could write a Zagat's guide on treatment centers/medical detoxes/half-way houses, etc in the great state of TX), the AA in Lubbock is very strong & traditional, and I've been blessed to find another female big book thumper that works the steps right out of the book with none of those extra worksheets and stuff - you know, the BB program as Joe & Charlie say - what's the BB program? - don't know but it sure ain't the AA program. Have just celebrated 90 days for the first time since '97 - by God's grace. Wanted to use today but decided that I didn't have to - at least not today anyway. Best wishes and God bless........zan
Member: Bob M
Location: East Coast
Time: 12:44:13 AM
Hi. I'm an alcoholic but I don't really want to admit it. Nothing new there. But without AA I would have a hard time coming out and saying, "I'm an alcoholic" to anyone. Family don't want to hear it. Friends don't. Etc.
Everyone thinks you should just maintain control, cut back, etc.
I don't have a spnosor but reading this reminds me that I need to get one - because without "someone who knows" help I will be drinking again.
So thanks for all who attend AA and thanks to all the sponsors.
Time: 12:29:28 PM
Hi everyone Stephanie alcholic/addict. Tim I remember years ago after being in a short term rehab and getting caught smoking pot, it was suggested to my mother that I should go to a more intense program.( I was 15yrs.old) When I got to the longterm rehab I thought that "these people" are nuts and they are trying to brain wash me. I also thought that AA and the whole program was like a cult. But the truth of the matter is all the where trying to do is help me learn how to think and live a healthy, happy life. So hang in there for me it took a while to realize that this brain washing was just a new healthy way of looking at life.
Member: tom b
Time: 5:09:08 PM
Hi name is Tom, and I am an alcoholic and I am 3 months sober. I too felt like this ws a cult and they were religious wackos. I have learned that while it may be an enthusiatic group, it is not a cult. It is more likely that I came from a cult that worshiped drank poison all my waking hours trying to make myself feel better. I hung around only with people who had no hope and had no future and didn't care. AA teaches a healthy altrantive to life and I can look forward to belonging to a cult with at least a healthy mission. Keep coming... you will see that it works if you want it to
Time: 7:58:33 PM
I USED TO VISIT THIS SITE, AND STOPPED FOR ABOUT A MONTH OR SO. I AM BACK TO SEE IF ANYONE HAS ANYTHING TO SHARE THAT MIGHT BE ENCOURAGING TO HELP ME STAY IN TOUCH WITH WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME. I MAINLY WANT TO READ UNTIL I AM MORE COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT I AM TRYING TO GET OUT OF THIS GROUP SITE. THANKS.
Member: Robin W
Location: Georgetown, SC
Time: 10:55:59 PM
Great Topic, don't know what I would have done with out my sponsor in those early days! and it's funny cause the longer I stay around here the more I need you people (including my sponsor.) Tom D. used to say "the farther away I get from my last drink the closer I get to my next one, cause you see I have a disease that tells me I'm not sick." I need to sponsor a new comer more than He could ever need me.
It's hard to add to what's been said already, So I'll use my sponsors words...which I always use each time someone ask me to sponsor them. " I am not a marraige councelor, banker, Job finder,lawyer, doctor or baby sitter if you need these thing I suggest you hire a proffesional one." "I am not interested in "us" being friends...this is not my social club."
This program saved my life by helping me find out the truth about myself and a disease that was killing me,... Friends want your friendship and maybe afraid of hurting your feelings and and losing a friend...(look around these rooms you'll find plenty of friends here) I am not concerned with hurting your feeling, besides they change so often before you are done being mad with me you will have forgotten what it was that hurt your feelings. This truth, that we must swallow hurts like hell. And I'll love you enough to tell you the truth until you can see it for yourself. I am interested in helping you save your life. If we become friends as a result of this, That's icing on the cake!
Then I ask them are they willing to go to any length to stay sober? I review the chapter on working with others and a vision for you. I take my own inventory, as the answers will only come...if my own house is in order. My sponsor says, Carrying the message comes at the end of the steps...Step 12,If I haven't done the steps, Haven't had a spiritual awakening I don't have a message to carry...so toplease keep my mouth shut and don't spread the disease. She explained to me that sponsorship is about Working the steps, Applying these principles in my everyday life and learning this way of life. That I can't give away something I don't have. She gave me a copy of the big book and insisted that I read it. Many times when I would call her she would ask me to read the answers to the questions I asked from the references she made in the Book. This is not to say that she was impersonal, quite to the contrary she taught me to rely on AA and God as I understand him now in my personal relation with Him. And before I could Find a God of my own understanding, she told me about hers and Loaned me her God...And she said I could talk to Him just like I talked to her and he would understand Everything... She always told me that spending time with me was a highlight in her life, and even if I never benefited one iota,(can you imagine that) that I had helped her... Now I understand this too... Occasionally, I'll get a new girl to sponsor, and i call up my first sponsors, though the miles and time have now come between us...I just want to tell her that once again I get to experience just how much she loved me back then... Everytime someone ask me to be there sponsor, I now say a little prayer and thank God because the student in me must be ready again now that the teacher has appeared. The only thing In life that is really worth knowing I learned in AA. I thank You people for this way of life and I try to pass it on as it has been given to me. My sponsor is a Big Book Thumper(she said here read this...It's the Bull S--- Sifter, if it ain't in the Book(s) well you get the message... and I am eternally grateful for this, needless to say neither of us are very popular...in the Social circles of AA. However, I have come to know this way of life promised to us all, that is so far beyond anything even my selfish Gradiose EGO could imagine...When I have the privelege of working with a newcomer I truly experience that fourth Deminsion, the sixth sense seems to be a natural part of me for that time period...I truly do get to see God doing for me what I could not do for myself. It is then I see the Great Reality right before my very eyes! Without a sponsor who had a sponsor who worked the steps and taught me to do the same...I would still be living with untreated alcoholism Wet or dry, there little difference when you are as sick as this alcoholic had become. Without my Sponsor(s)..I would have missed it all... PS. She also told me one thing very important that I must remember always, in working with others..."that no Human power(no not even me)could relieve ther alcoholism." "either God has removed their Alcoholism or He has not" What a privelege it is to pass it on. Robin W
Location: Jax FL
Time: 10:58:09 PM
Hello , my name is Melissa and I am an alcoholic and addict I am new at this, I have read some ,but really do not know how this works so I will just start writing. I was clean for awhile then relapsed when I went to my boyfriends, (ex now) and he was getting high, turned out he had been doing it for almost a year and I did not even know it. Anyway I could have walked away and did not ,we did this every weekend for a few weeks until I got caught when going to get more my baby was with me and HRS took her from me , and can you believe gave her to him! Anyway, I am close to getting her back, but will never forgive myself forletting mysef slip and losing her,thank God I have been strong and am doing well!So what do you think?
Member: Sare G
Location: Denton, Tx
Time: 11:14:25 PM
Hello....my name is Sare, and I am an alcoholic. My sobriety date is Oct 31, 1985, so I have about 16 and a half yearr, under my belt. This is my first time, in this group. I went to AA meetings, my first 2 years of sobriety, and had a wonderful sponsor. She was a good listener, and became a very good friend. After those first two years, I moved to Lubbock, Tx, and just never found a group. I am very backwards about going into new places. I do a panic job, when I have to visit a new church, a new job, or anythin, so have not been to a meeting in about 14 years. But I have never "slipped", and I think a lot of that was due to my sonsor. We kept in touch, for a while, after my move. I would like to see if I can find group, here in the Denton area, and get back to AA meetings. Sare
Time: 2:02:58 PM
I'm Linda, an alcoholic. It is so wonderful to be with you for the meeting and to find you on the web.
Member: Chris H.
Time: 3:09:30 PM
Hi I'm Chris I'm an alcoholic/addict/bulimic....I have never sponsored anyone, but I certainly have had a fantastic sponsor for 7 years. I don't know what I would have done with out her. She has a level head (which I certainly have have not always had ! ) , and a non- judgemental heart.Both of which I have desparately needed all of these years. She has ALWAYS been eager to listen to me anytime of the day or night. I have called her from all many of my travels, and she has always been there when I needed her. I cannot tell you how greatful I am for her. I would probably be a dead person right now if it wasn't for her....Even though I haven't sponsored, I have tried to work with some others outside of the program and pass what I have learned along. I do have one friend now that is going through similar physical struggles as I have, and I am trying to pass on the encouragement and wisdom that I have recieved. One of the things I have heard in the program is that when you are really down, nothing helps more than to reach out to others. I haven't been completely successful in that area, but when I HAVE done it , boy has it helped me get out of my funk. THE preiciples of this program are certainly fantastic. Thanks for letting me share.
Time: 1:09:21 AM
Pam: By an odd coincidence, I was also visiting in Marietta, OH, last weekend. I also called the rehab unit to find out where there were meetings. I went to one on Thurs. night and one on Sat. night.
Those of us from larger metropolitan areas are perhaps a little spoiled with some of the services our intergroup provides. I did not find it difficult or even odd to call the rehab unit in order to locate a meeting. Being an active AA memeber gives me the tools to solve these questions of "where are the meetings around here". It would never have occurred to me that the "trusted servants" of Marietta area AA were negligent simply because they do not have a number in a phone book. I usually look in the AA regional directory before I take a trip and copy down the contact numbers. Marietta is listed in this directory.
Member: Bernie S.
Location: Woodside Group
Time: 1:11:34 AM
Hello friends. My name is Bernie and I am an alcoholic. I have been coming to AA about eight years but have only been sober a little more than half that. I suppose I must have been difficult to sponsor in the first few years. I was not very good at following directions. Fortunately, I acquired a hard-nosed sponsor at some point. He took me on the journey of the steps and when we reached step twelve he told me it was time for me to sponsor others. I would liked to have started sooner, but he kept telling me "Read pg. 164. You cannot transmit something you don't have." I now sponsor about half a dozen men and one woman. Some of them follow directions very well and some...well, they're a lot like I was. They get a few steps done and they want to go save the world. The words of my sponsor always echo in my thoughts, "Are you passing on to them the same undiluted message of Alcoholics Anonymous that was passed on to you? It's the one in the Big Book. The one they talk about in the Twelth Step. We take the steps, we have a spiritual awakening as the result of this course of action and then we try to carry this message." It's a pretty simple message to give, it's getting the message that's difficult.
Time: 1:15:37 AM
Hi G here and I am an alcoholic. Sponsorship for me hasn't went well at all the only person who ask me to sponsor her went back out and came back ask again and went out again. It's scarey now there is one more who hints for me to be her sponsor but she is as scared as I am because both of the people she asked to sponsor her went out, so now she doesn't want to hex anyone either. Funny how it works. For Trish in In I am also from In and if you would like to talk with me here's my e-mail address. Grea105@cs.com For Tim it's not a cult and believe in a higher power of your understanding and you will come to grips with AA. God bless you all and thanks for being there for me to share. Hope it works for someone.
Member: Paula N.
Location: Poconos Pa.
Time: 2:06:01 PM
Hi My husband and I both celebrated 25 yrs. in F eb.I have had the sAME GREAT SPONSER 'til she passed away last year.We have spent 25 incredible sober yrs in this program by going to meetings and LISTENING.We both try to help others and that helps keep us sober.I always try to "keep it green" and never want to go back to the life before A.A.tHANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR BEING HERE! pAULA FROM THE pOCONOS.
Member: Dennis M.
Time: 7:19:23 PM
Pam wrote:"I think it is pretty sad when "Trusted Servants" do not take care of these responsibilities."
How about taking a little responsibility yourself? When I go away I just check the 'net before I go and usually come up with a list of meetings.
Next time try this, they list the meetings in Marietta:
Time: 9:36:35 PM
I`m Jeff an alcoholic. Sponsership has been good for me. When asked i also sponser others. Not to many have stuck it out thought, for the long run. Sponsered a few guys from the local 1/2 way house here in town, although some are only doing what they can to get out i`d like to think that if they are drinking today that before they take that 1st. drink that they call someone in AA if they can find a phone number or a listing in a newspaper. The newcomer i dont think, has the knowledge of the inner workings of AA to locate AA easily. I think we have to make it "too easy" for them to find AA. I would hate to think that a person could not find AA before they take that 1st drink. I can`t count how many times a newcomer has told me that they didn`t know or couldn`t find a meeting or even knew we were here to help, some just keep drinking to the gates of insanity or death. Where ever the newcomer goes i want the hand of AA to be there. A sponser has told me these things.I pass this knowledge on to others also. AA was a gift to me, of which i give freely to others.
Member: Gary G
Time: 5:02:08 AM
My name is Gary and I'm an alcoholic with the help of God and the people in these rooms I have not had a drink in 21 years, and for that I am trully grateful. Today is my AA birthday thankyou all for 12 steping me and thankyou for my life. Gary G
Location: Mt Vernon,IL
Time: 9:37:48 AM
I am an alcoholic sober for almost 4 and half years my sponsor seems to be very busy and is hardly available for any knid of help and I am seeking another sponsor to help me through during rough times although I rely heavy on HP and God I have yet to help somebody and right way to me the only way I know is Gods will.Spirituality and doing the steps.
Member: Rod H
Location: Lethbridge - Canada
Time: 10:41:32 AM
Just new to this site ejoyed reading your comments. Looking forward to to sharing on this site. I was said to me if you want to know what your character defects are sponser someone.
Member: Ron W
Location: los angeles
Time: 11:05:13 AM
Hi I am Ron and I am an alcoholic. I have found that I cannot do this thing on my own. I had accumulated almost 9 years of not drinking without a sponser. The inevitable happened and I drank again. It is much harder to get sober than to stay sober.
I now have someone who is helping me to work the steps. He is a trust guide that is all.
Member: Dan H.
Location: Glennallen, Ak.
Time: 6:16:52 PM
Happy Birthday Gary G.
Member: Lisa W.
Location: Lehigh Acres, Fl.
Time: 8:39:01 PM
Hey! My name is Lisa, and I fight this everyday I breath...I hope and pry that I am able to stay clean and sober. I had alot of blackouts and just really do'nt remeber what I was doing. I do not want to continue to live in the dark. I go to meetings and now I have everyone here for support. I thank GOD and that I do not return to my old ways and I really enjoy life again now. I also remember everything that I do and say. Thanks to AA I can live a clean and sober life just one day at a time. Sometimes those days get long and hard, I fight it always and never forget who I am and where I come from..
Member: Debbie P
Time: 12:07:55 AM
Hi Everyone. I'm Debbie. This is my first time on here. This is great!!! I'm celebrating 90 days clean and sober today! For the third time. For Tim, the guy who thought AA was a cult, I'd like to share with you that I was involved in a "cult" and AA is nothing like that "religion". My relationship with my Higher Power whom I call God is unbelieveably more fuller and richer than it ever was the whole time I was involved with religion. They tell us in AA that drinking is just a symptom of our disease. That our real problem is a living one. Once the fog cleared for me, I began to see that as the truth. I was living pretty insanely long before the drinking kicked in. Keep going to meetings,Tim, and pick up the spiritual tools of honesty, openmindedness, and willingness. The seed has been planted. Fertilize it and watch it grow. God Bless!!!
Member: Rich R
Time: 6:52:59 AM
Donnie, thank you for asking this question about how to sponsor others. I don't have a clear understanding of the topic myself and I have learned a lot from the comments of others this week.
I got sober 12-12-90 and a few people have asked me to sponsor them in AA over the years. I didn't sponsor them the way I was sponsored because my sponsor (Andy) has such a completely different personality than mine. He is a strong leader and I am more of a follower. For me to be a kind of AA 'drill sargent' to my sponsee would have not worked. But, I gotta tell you that my 'wishy washy' (anything goes) kind of sponsoring didn't work very well either.
We all come here to share our experience strength and hope with each other. On this topic I guess I only have experience and hope (not much strength). As that country western song says ' 2 out of 3 ain't bad'. :-)
Thanks for helping me to reflect on this important topic.