Member: Therese
Location: Spain
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 15:16:12

Comments

Hi my name is Therese and I am an alcoholic. Please could we discuss Sponsership- To be a sponser and to be sponsered. Thank you very much.T.


Member: Lori B
Location: Portland, OR
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 15:16:42

Comments

Hi, everybody. My name is Lori and I'm definitely an alcoholic. I think I may just be the first person here--so I get to choose a topic! What I'd like to hear discussed this week is how you've evolved, personality-wise, since you've been sober. You know...what you used to be like, what happened, and what it's like now. Tell us how you did it, why you did it; and finally, how and why you *continue* to do it.

I'll post in a bit when I've had a chance to get over the excitement of being the first person to post this week! (tehehe)


Member: Frank C.
Location: Yreka, CA
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 15:29:54

Comments

Page 77 (top of page Big Book, 2nd 3rd and 4th sentence.)My Spiritual Growth in AA by Frank C. Hi everyone. I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts about the spiritual aspects of AA at the meeting level. I came into AA with the attitude of an agnostic as it is spoken about in Chapter 4 of the Big Book. I see many others coming in the same way. Now , yes, I did know that their was a "God" because of having a spiritual experience the vary night of my last drink. But I knew nothing of God really other than some vague Bible scriptures that I'd heard but couldn't really believe. I, like many of you couldn't give my heart and love to somebody that seemed to threaten me like a fearful God. That kind of person or thing just made me all the more adamant that I would never worship something under force. I remember my attitude of defiance at the world and how I was going to go my own way in spite of anything or everybody. Now don't get me wrong, this was usually a quiet stubborn and non-violent attitude. I did have the capability of violence within me but that side of myself rarely came out. You know how it is in the papers...the quiet unassuming kind ore the ones that usually crack and start a war in McDonald's. Well that is the kind that I was. I grew up around alcoholism and an alcoholic uncle that said he was going to get up on the hill and pick the officers off one-by-one if they came after him. And a step-father who said that if he ever got seriously ill that he was going into the courthouse and take a bunch of politicians with him before he died. These are the attitudes that lurked within me. My counselors in Care School told me later that they were fearful of me. That they didn't know just how I might react to things they were teaching, didn't know just what might set me off. Well something happened to me as a result of AA and one certain Care School councillor. I started listening to what was said and so I started growing. One way that I started growing was spiritually. Now slowly I started hearing about God and how we get to choose our own God and it can be different from everybody else's God. Having had the experience I didn't question that there was a God but still I knew nothing about Him. As my attitude changed I heard many people talk about God and even a few spoke about religion. Most spoke about God like I perceived Him at the beginning as a vague, wonderful entity that seemed to be behind our every action. One that made everything we did all right. In other words "If it felt good or had happened, then it must be a God thing, or from God, preordained, etc." Many spoke about various religions like Indian spiritual beliefs and their experiences in Indian sweat lodges. A few spoke about the God of nature (maybe a Budist philosophy). Others spoke about how they were "recovering" from a religion. They spoke in a derogatory manor about religon. Some said they were recovering Catholics, Baptists, etc. I have rarely heard anybody talk abut the good religious experiences they have had as Christians. Why is that, when many talk against it and not tell about the good things? Could it be that many of us had that attitude of defiance that I had? We all know that this is not a program that is affiliated with any sect or organization but a vary spiritual one. Well I'm going to tell you what has happened to me. As I said I also started out thinking of God as a fearful thing, as a punishing God, as something to be afraid of. At first God was a vague, formless entity that I could consider to be "spiritual." As I've grown within myself, and grown spiritually within the steps of AA, I know much more about the God in my life than I ever could have believed possible. Our Big Book on page 49 says "Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God's ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn't it? We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves. " This was certainly true for me. I needed this attitude change because for most of my life I've looked down on people who had "religion." I'm sure that these good people have many times prayed for me - I certainly needed it! Anyway as I've grown within this program, I grown in life. Part of life is physical, part is mental and part is spiritual. All these are important to us and me in particular. My physical part keeps growing (I don't' necessarily like it either! Ha), and my mental part keeps growing because of the challenges of my job and my program. The part I'm most concerned with here is the spiritual part of me. As I've continued to grow within AA, I grow into the true meaning of the Big Book more and more. On page 131 and 132 of the Big Book it says regarding the family after recovery "Father will necessarily spend much time with other alcoholics, but this activity should be balanced. New acquaintances who know nothing of alcoholism might be made and thoughtful considerations given their needs. The problems of the community might engage attention. Though the family has no religious connections, they may wish to make contact with or take membership in a religious body. Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-denominational people, we cannot make up others' minds for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience." I'm growing up folks. I've just this Easter become part of a church. I had to be re-baptized into it and confirmed. I've sworn in front of God and a whole lot of people some serious things about my thinking and my conduct from here on out. Just because it "feels good" doesn't make it right any more. I've found out that I didn't choose God, God chose me when He said to a wondering tribe in the desert "I will be your God and you will be my people" several thousand years ago. And I'm proud to belong to God and to this church. I'm proud to call myself a Christian. This is my way and I just thought I'd let you know that. If we come into the AA program and we stop growing where are we? If we were to stop growing physically what would happen? If we stopped growing mentally (as we did while drinking) what happens? If we stop growing spiritually we are in a fix also. By-the-way here are two definations of the word "fear" that many have misinterprited and/or may not known (f r) n., v., fear, feared, fear•ing. 3. concern or anxiety. 4. reverential awe, esp. toward God. You see I have a tendency to interprit things differently from other people and my interpritations may not be correct, probably a result of this disease I have called alcoholism. Well, I have not stopped growing in any of these aspects of life yet and I hope that I never will. With your united help I never have to die alone (as it says on page 561 of the Big Book) and I want to thank all of you in AA for continuing to be there for me - my pledge is: I'll do my best to be there for you.


Member: Kathy F
Location: Carlisle, Ia
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 15:52:41

Comments

Hi my name is Kathy and I am an alcoholic and a drug addict,

What I was like, what happened, and what I am like now.... to me I was the worst person on the face of the earth when I was useing. I would use as much as I could and as often as I could. I got into trouble... almost didn't graduate Highschool. Only did because I agreed to go into treament. I still had that using personality "nothing matters but me and my happiness" although I wasn't happy too often. I got into a stong group that really seemed to care about me. I slowly started to change the outside of me... I started to dress better... I stopped using the F word... and slowly my inside started to change. Now I am at a greater peace with me, others, and God.

Now onto the other topic... sponsorship... I owe much of the above change to great lady that sponsored me. She was exactly what I needed - a mother figure. I had a mom, but she was never the sit down and talk with me or advice me type. My sponsor adviced me to quite wearing the ballcaps and garbage shirts... and to cut out the F word. She helped me with my steps and dealing with my troubles.

Now, I know we all are different and therefore each need something different from a sponsor. My advice to anyone new is to find someone that you see every week at the same meeting, that is the same sex, that talks and acts the program, and that has at least 2 years sober. Ask them out for coffee, and spend some time with them... get to know them... I've seen too many people that just say "hey will you be my sponsor" and don't know much about the person and therefore can't feel comfortable with them, and they don't understand what they need from each other. I've sponsored people before... and I always ask what they are looking for in a sponsor. If I can't give what they need, then I point them into the direction of someone who can.

great topics, thanks, Kathy F


Member: cc
Location:
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 17:41:23

Comments


Member: JB
Location: Minneapolis
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 18:47:32

Comments

Hi there, J. grateful recovering alcoholic. First topic, sponsorship. I have had the same sponsor my entire sobriety which next week will be ten years. She has been my mom, my counselor, my financial advisor, my boundary enforcer, my fifth step listener, and my step and service work coach. We write to each other more on email now than see each other but that is mostly because she is committed to watching her grandkids everyday and doesn't have the time she had when I first met her. How we were brought together was a miracle. I was living with an alcoholic, drinking to medicate a deep depression I was in, financially dependent, and newly divorced. Out of desperation I turned to a church for help who put me in touch with the woman who would later become my sponsor. She turned my focus onto my own drinking (not his) kicked me in the butt to move out, stand on my own two feet, go to meetings, stay out of a relationship for a year, work the steps, and ask for more pay at my job. It was tortorous and I screamed the entire time but slowly, one foot in front of the other, I did what she said and after a while my life started to improve. She has always been there for me, and she models the type of woman I want to be: strong, sober, loving, and sane. On the other hand, I have sponsored a few women but they have all drank after a short period of sobriety so I don't know if that is reflection of me or if it is just the disease. All I know is I love this program and I am a better person for having worked the steps and stayed sober. Hope you all have a good week and God bless-J.


Member: MIKE M.
Location: ST. LOUIS,MISSOURI
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 19:02:11

Comments

HELLO EVERYONE,MY NAME IS MIKE AND I AM AN ETOHic AND ADDICT. SPONSORSHIP IS VITAL FOR ANYONE WHO DESIRES LONG TERM SOBRIETY. THE BEST THING I HAVE DONE SINCE JOINING AA IS TO LISTEN AND DO WHAT MY SPONSOR HAS TOLD ME TO DO,BECAUSE MY BEST THINKING ALWAYS GOT ME DRUNK. IF YOU ARE NEW TO AA,LOOK TO SOMEONE AT MEETING WHO HAS AT LEAST ONE YEAR SOBRIETY. IT WAS VERY HARD FOR ME TO ASK SOMEONE TO SPONSOR ME,SO SOMEONE TOLD ME TO ASK FOR A TEMPORARY SPONSOR. IT WONT TAKE LONG TO FIND OUT IF THAT INDIVIDUAL WILL WORK FOR YOU. BUT DON`T BE AFRAID TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE WHO ALREADY HAS WHAT YOU WANT. MY SPONSOR KEEPS ME FOCUSED ON THE BIG BOOK AND THE 12 STEPS. HE HELPS ME GET THROUGH THE TUFF TIMES AND I STAY SOBER. RECOVERY FROM THIS DISEASE IS A WONDERFUL LIFE,IF WE TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. THANKS FOR BEING HERE FOR ME AND FOR LETTING ME SHARE.


Member: Mick W
Location: UK
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 19:07:25

Comments

Hi, My names Mick and I'm an alcoholic.(1st time here) It took me 3 1/2 years slipping and sliding in the rooms until I hit my 'rock bottom'and surrendered to the llness of alcoholism, I thought the drink was my problem. The drink was a symptom of the illness, I have come to believe in a power greater than myself.......but don't ask me what or who it is. Perhaps it's my concience, I just don't feel at ease doing the things that I did when I was drinking.My life has changed dramatically since my acceptance, and I am learning to love other people and more importantly myself.My sponsor tells me that to keep it you must give it away, I have been given the gift of sobriety and I love it!! Some days can still be bad but as long as I don't pick up that first drink my life will get better. Live the programme and my sponsor tells me it gets even better, who am I to argue. On the subject of sponsors....I didn't have one for those 3 1/2 years and life didn't get any better, I have to be shown the steps of recovery and llive them on a daily basis. I chose my sponsor because he had something I wanted, he has been sober a number of years (close to 30), he was happy and appeared content with his sobriety. His story is my story, and I want the kind of sobriety he has to offer. Not only is he my sponsor but he is a very dear friend today, both to me and my family. Once it used to be me and me alone, (was there anyone else as important)thank God things are different today. I attend three to four meetings a week and do service at two, it makes me feel worthwhile to try and give something back.


Member: Steve H.
Location: Yorkville,New York USA
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 19:17:03

Comments

I am Steve and I am an alcoholic. I am 4 1/2 years sober and I still dont have a sponsor. I go to meetings regularly and try to live a good life. I read a lot of AA literature and books.I guess I am pretty much self relient and I dont want to ask anybodies help when I can answer my own questions myself. I pretty much keep to myself on a regular basis and I like it that way. It ddoes get lonely on occasion but I am not the friendship type.I think that I am just too selfish of my time to be close to other people.I just dont want to have to be accountable to anyone. I am still sober afterall. Maby I just need more time ,I dont know.


Member: Teri F.
Location: Marion, Ohio
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:00:59

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm an alcoholic and my name is Teri. Thanks for the topic of sponsorship Therese.

Even though the first 164 pages of the big book doesn't mention the actual term "sponsorship", that type of person is described perfectly in Chapter 2 on page 18. "But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with the facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours."

It goes on to say, "That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured----these are the conditions we have found most effective."

A sponsor is someone who has found the solution (the steps) and who lives in the solution by carrying the message of recovery. That was how Bill W. won the complete confidence of Dr. Bob. The doctor had been in and out of the Oxford Group but was unable to stay sober. He had pretty much given up on the idea of being able to ever stay sober. He did not want to meet with Bill W.---he thought it would be another waste of time. One of the first things he ask Bill was what he thought he could say or do to help him get sober when so many other attempts had failed. Bill told Dr. Bob that he wasn't there to try to get him sober--he was there to share his story with the doctor so HE could stay sober. That is how this whole deal works--one alcoholic working with another.

I would not have been able to work the steps without the guidance of a person who has been sober for awhile and has worked the steps herself. It is important to me that my sponsor attends meetings, has a sponsor, and practices the principles of this program in her life.

It was devastating to me the first couple of times I sponsored women and they drank again. I thought I had done something wrong. Today I realize that I can't get anyone sober or keep anyone sober. I can only share my ES&H. That is what keeps me sober. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: robyn d.
Location: az
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:10:06

Comments

Robyn, alcoholic. Watch it steve, i like to sponsor myself, too, and it gets pretty squirrelly out there. Don't get me wrong, though, if your still sober, keep doing what works. I have a long distance sponsor of 5 years, (2 yrs local). It helps to have someone to run my bullshit by at any time, since my best thinking 8 years ago got me here. Grateful to be sober today by the grace of God.


Member: John,L
Location: Delaware
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:15:18

Comments

Hi my name is John Alkie//Addict These are both good topics,,,, Therese: Sponsorship is a good topic,I have a great sponsor"s",,,,who doesn't always tell me what i like,,,but what I need to hear,,,they have been there for me through the good and the bad in my sobriety,,,I can go on and on about sponsorship,cause they are a big part of my recovery,,,cause actually I have more then one sponsor,,,they all know of the others and they all agree it is a good idea,,,granted I have only one that I tell and talk about the big things in my life of recovery,,,but it is good to have someone else just incase something happens or you can't reach one of them!!! Thanks For listening

Lori:What it sounds like to me your topic is ,, "Experience,Strength,and Hope"as well as why stay in recovery!!! My Experience is not really unique,,,I drank, stole,lyed and cheated to get a drink or anything else that would make me forget what ever it was I was thinking that day,,,enough about that,,like I said,,,i'm not unique,,, my Strength is a realization check that i never thought possible,,,I was worth living and giving my self a second chance at life,,,I made real friends in my recovery that care about me today,,,and that i do things with,without having to get all F??ked up to do it!!!these are things I never thought possible when I first got into recovery,,,but i'm learning one day at a time,,,my Hope is to live a long and sober life one day at a time,,,any thing beyond that is asking to much for me right now!!!!! and why stay im recovery,,,cause i don't want to die a lonely old drunk man,,,with no life friends or family ,,,,cause i gave them all up for a drink or a drug!!!and that is not a question for me today,,,cause i'm enjoying life and having people in my life today,,wether it be a wife ,a family or friends all of these things would not even be a concideration,,, they would be a drunk man rambling about things he'll never know cause I never gave him myself the chance i'm worth!!!! Thanks for reading signed :John "a better person today thanks to recovery,my HP,and people like you all,cause I couldn't do this alone" again THANKS!!!!!!!!


Member: David G
Location: Tampa Bay
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:42:15

Comments

My name is David and I am have only recently found the fellowship of AA(actually I had dabbled with it 6 years ago but have now returned). The primary difference between my previous experience and my current one(with 3 weeks of sobriety) is that I am now committed to making this program work for me. Previously, I just attended meetings(~3months w/a minimum of 5 per week). I showed up for the meetings, didn't really share, and didn't hang out to connect/chat with any of the fellow members & made no real effort to find a sponsor or work the steps. I decided to do it on my own and lasted another 6 months sober.

This time, I am committed to being a part of the meetings. I have been attending Beginner Meetings to find out how to get involved in the program & am actively working on finding a sponsor(or will take up one of kind offers of temporary sponsors). From what I have seen and heard, one of the keys to increasing your chance of success with this program is to find someone who has travelled the path and can lend guidance(so that you don't take the easy way out on any of the steps).

Thanks so much for letting me share & G-d bless you all!!


Member: Gavin E.
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:52:39

Comments

I wanted to know if I can do court ordered AA meetings on-line? I have a tight work and school schedule, and with no car it makes it very hard to get to meetings. If someone would respond I would greatly appreciate it. My e-mail address is Dianee8@juno.com.


Member: Kathleen O.
Location: Yreka, CA
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:53:38

Comments

Hi All, I'm Kathleen a recovering alcoholic. This is my first visit and I want to thank Frank C. for connecting me with this form of fellowship in recovery. Thanks to HP and the fellowship I celebrated 8 yrs on 4/12. I had lunch with my sponsor and was telling her that I'm not so sure that I have changed all that much in 8 ys. I'm frustrated that my character defects still have a tendency to step on other peoples toes! She assured my that I am different than when she meet in struggleing to get sober 10 yrs ago. My sponsor's guidance, unconditional tough love, and no bull attitude have kept me in check with my ego (Edging God Out). She had pointed out the promises that have come true in my life, when I couldn't see them. She reminds me that the HP may actually use my character defects in the lives of others. Thanks for letting me share, and I'll look forward to visiting this site soon. Easy Does It, Kathleen


Member: Caroline P.
Location: Austin, TX
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 22:55:23

Comments

My name is Caroline, and Im an alcoholic. Since the two topics are both so good, Ill write on Sponsorship now, and the other topic later. I have chosen my sponsors according to what I thought I needed at the time. When I was new in recovery, it was important to me that they had long term sobriety, and went to lots of meetings..then I wanted someone who had good knowledge of the 12&12, and who spent time living and working all the steps. I wanted someone older then too, because I needed some mothering and kindness. For me Helen was the perfect blend of commitment to the steps and AA, on the one hand, but human and kind on the other. She got alzheimers desease a few years ago, so I had to sadly let go of her.....now I have another woman older than myself, but 20 years younger than Helen. She has M.S. and shows me how to deal with physical pain(something I have too) while still having fun in the program. All of my sponsors had/have a willingness to grow and learn spiritually. I have been very blessed by them. As far as sponsoring goes, I believe one of the most loving and healthy things you can do for your sponsees is to set limits. I give homework, and expect phone calls, or effort. If the people I am sponsoring dont try, or arent calling people or going to meetings, although it is hard, I confront them. I have found great success with this, as opposed to sitting back, and saying.."oh, She never even called me." Or, "I guess she wasnt ready" Instead, I pray for them, ask for Gods guidance, and seek them out. If I cant find them at a meeting, and I dont have their phone#, I let go. If I can find them, I ask them for a minute, and see how they are. If it seems right, I tell them that I am not sure I am the right sponsor for them, because they havent been calling - perhaps I could help them find a more suitable sponsor - someone they might be more apt to ask for help from.......major growth usually occurs at that point, and it turns out for the best - either they say "oh no- I just havent been spending the time I need to on my program" or they tell me they have been thinking about getting another sponsor.... At which point I feel (and they feel) completely relieved since finally facing whats actually happening... Now we can both get on to the next right thing, and no more time is spent wondering whats going on... Since just moving to Austin, I have not met any woman I respect enough to ask, so I continue to use my sponsor from back in NY. She is so great - I love her.. I am still sponsoring one girl from NY long distance, until she finds someone she likes......we keep in touch on line... Guess I'll get off now so I can see how she is... The only other thing is, there is an AA pamphlet on sposorship which is the BEST KEPT SECRET IN AA. It is called Sponsorship..PLEASE ask your group rep to get a stack of them. The groups always seem to be out of them, which is , I think a great loss. Best of Luck to you if you are looking for a sponsor. Above all , TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE... ONE DAY AT A TIME - Caroline


Member: Marcia D.
Location: California
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 23:20:24

Comments

Marcia, Alcoholic The topic sponsorship is very important to me. And the longer I stay sober, taking inventory, I have realized even more than when I was new how critical it is for me to have a good sponsor. I've been able to see how my thinking IS an "eighth-of-an-inch-off", because I have a tremendous ability to rationalize and justify almost anything, and if I want to really change everything I need to be willing to take direction from someone I trust, whom I consider to be the kind of person I want to be. My sponsor told me if I want what she has, then I need to do what she does. This sounds so incredibly easy, but at times it hasn't. I've certainly made my share of mistakes, but the point is that I'm willing to grow along spiritual guides. It's "progress, not perfection". My sponsor has 40 years, and for me it's good because she can cut straight through my, if you will, b.s. She also tries to get me to come to my own conclusions, so I never feel talked down to. I'm learning not to take myself so seriously as I've been working with her. She's definately got what I want. She's 80 yrs old, and is very active in our homegroup, H&I, speaking, sponsoring. I want to have the health,energy, and spirituality she has if I live to be 80 or more. I'm very grateful to God for putting her in my life. Thank God, I don't have to do this by myself! Thanks for listening. Marcia


Member: Marcia D.
Location: California
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 23:20:36

Comments

Marcia, Alcoholic The topic sponsorship is very important to me. And the longer I stay sober, taking inventory, I have realized even more than when I was new how critical it is for me to have a good sponsor. I've been able to see how my thinking IS an "eighth-of-an-inch-off", because I have a tremendous ability to rationalize and justify almost anything, and if I want to really change everything I need to be willing to take direction from someone I trust, whom I consider to be the kind of person I want to be. My sponsor told me if I want what she has, then I need to do what she does. This sounds so incredibly easy, but at times it hasn't. I've certainly made my share of mistakes, but the point is that I'm willing to grow along spiritual guides. It's "progress, not perfection". My sponsor has 40 years, and for me it's good because she can cut straight through my, if you will, b.s. She also tries to get me to come to my own conclusions, so I never feel talked down to. I'm learning not to take myself so seriously as I've been working with her. She's definately got what I want. She's 80 yrs old, and is very active in our homegroup, H&I, speaking, sponsoring. I want to have the health,energy, and spirituality she has if I live to be 80 or more. I'm very grateful to God for putting her in my life. Thank God, I don't have to do this by myself! Thanks for listening. Marcia


Member: Tim S.
Location: Hollywood Fla.
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 23:25:36

Comments

Tim S. Hollywood Fl Alcoholic, Good to be here, Good to be sober.

By the Grace of God, I will have 21 years of permanent contented sobriety on May 4. I have had two Sponser's who have passed on to the Big Meeting. My current is a Minister who is not actually in the program but had very much the same past and can and does guide me very well in my "Program". The ultimate objective I've been told, is that Conscious Contact that the 12 steps lead us to. That reliance upon that Power greater than ourselves. . .There will come a time when that will be all that stands between me and a drink or drug. It's happened to me twice in recovery and fortunetly my connection was intact. What I found is that I can't rest on yesturdays spiritual accomplishments but must continue to expand that awareness. I find that easiest when I'm working with another alcoholic. (Sponsership) The more I work, the more I grow and the more that I receive.

One of the stories my current Sponser shared with me was that of an acorn that is planted within the confines of AA. For awhile it grows drawing sustanance from within the confines but eventually it grows into a tall oak spreading its roots and its branches beyond the confines. Does it stop growing? No it continues to draw from within and without and as it does, bears fruit and drops that fruit within and without. The moral? Grow as God would have you grow but don't forget where you were planted. Thanks for letting me share.

Tim S.


Member: John F
Location: Pa
Date: 18 Apr 1999
Time: 23:53:54

Comments

My name is John and I'm an alcoholic,I would not have made it this far without my sponser.He has not been a counselor or anything like that but what he has shown me is how to work the steps and to face life on lifes terms.For that I have a debt to repay,the way I can repay it's by being there to help a new comer work the steps the way I was shown.At this time God has not seen fit to place someone in my path,but when the time is right we will know.


Member: Jim H.
Location: Ord, NE
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 00:03:45

Comments

Sponsorship is the heart of AA, circulating the Fellowship's lifeblood. Over the years I've proven--beyond a reasonable doubt--that I am my worst advisor. Those little demons in my head creep in and take control, turning minor living annoyances into certain doomsdays. My first trip around the AA block ended up in a massive drunk; mostly because I was unable to share on a personal level. After that mess, I found the toughest sponsor I could find--I didn't even like the person--and started a new life. That's about 10 1/2 years ago. The sponsor I didn't like became a dear and trusted friend. I've since moved and have a another sponsor; however, I still communicate with the original sponsor at times. I've also sponsored a few people over the years. Some have died, many are drinking again, and a few are sober. The point is that I have stayed sober. I was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War and owe a great deal to my instructors. I owe even more to my sponsors and to the people I've sponsored--they help me to avoid a certain death.


Member: Sue W
Location: Wisconsin
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 01:50:24

Comments

Hi I'm Sue, I am a grateful Alcoholic. When I first got to the tables I heard that alot and didn't understand how anyone could be grateful to be an alcoholic. on the 21st of this month of April I will have 17 years sober and now I know why. I have had opprotunities that never would have happened if I had not sobered up. Sponsership! my sponcer told me "shoulda, woulda, coulda, if and but!" every time I opened my mouth the first three years I was sober. It took me a long time to understand what she meant by that also. And beleive me she wasn't trying to be mean. She loved me enought to want me to stop and think about what I had spilling out of my mouth and how it was affecting my life. I was so dys-functional that I had no idea how messed up I was. She also told me she needed my help and put me to work helping on the farm once in awhile just so I would have busy hands (that gets you out of your head. Being in my own head was the worst thing that could happen for me. After all my best thinking got me onto the addictive self defeating behavior. My thinking was definately NOT going to get me out of it. She knew that I was very independant and didn't trust easily so it was hard for me to hear the suggestions of the group. I will forever be eternally grateful to my sponcer for seeing the fear I hid and for helping me learn to let people in. She was patient and gentle and tough all at the same time. She said to me once that I was smart like a fox.So smart that I would outfox myself before anyone else could. It took me awhile to see she meant that I fooled myself more than anyone else could or would. I have tried to emulate her style of sponsering and have only had a mild success. Only three of the 6 that I ever sponcered stayed sober. Two are now counclors. She also taught me to let things happen in their own time and not push and shove recovery down my own throat. She knew I was a perfectionist adn was harder on me than anyone else ever could be. Thanks for being here and stay sober One Day at a Time.


Member: Avril G
Location: Driffield UK
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 04:58:35

Comments

Welcome, Kathleen and Steve. (A fellow Brit. Steve great to see you here) Theresa, great subject, thanks also Lori, for ESH theme. With regard to Sponsorship, Theresa, if anyone asks me what sponsorship entails, I usually ask them to read the booklet 'Questions and answers on sponsorship, then tell them if there's anything in there they do no understand, I will try to explain it to them. My first sponsor drank again, my second had a nervous breakdown (I didn't think I was THAT bad lol) Sorry to be flippant, but today I have a weird sense of humour, hope it doesn't offend. I spent months, even years, in AA looking for the ideal sponsor - If anyone else is doing the same, FORGET IT - There isn't one. What I do have today is a sponsor, who this week celebrates 20yrs, who knows when ther is something 'not quite right' with me.(Usually because I have stopped ringing her) So she rings me if I do not ring her on a weekly check-in. This is not saying that EVERYONE should contact sponsors weekly, but it works for me, especially right now, with many major things happening in my life (divorce pending, house move, drastic drop in income etc.) My sponsor has a sponsor, who has a sponsor, who has a sponsor....... So I am in a very good sponsorship chain, and whilst my sponsor is away, from today for two weeks (Celebrating her 20th in Hong Kong, where she got sober) She has left me in the C/O her most 'senior sponsee' so I guess we all 'babysit' each other when Spons. is away (LOL) It is NOT advisable IMHO to ask someone to be YOUR sponsor if they do not have one of their own. I speak from experience, here, my first sponsor drank again, I believ because she was unsponsored, so therefore, was doing it 'My Way'. Of course I did not know all this first time round AA (First of many times) Today, (9yrs in July) I find that I sometimes disagree with my sponsor, and that is OK, a sign of growth if I can actually say "Sorry, Dulce, I don't think that's right for me. She will usually say, Ok, try it your way then, and if it pays off, great, I'll still be here to pick up the pieces. (Thankfully, I do not disagree with her ALL THAT often, otherwise I would change sponsors. I like the saying 'Sponsor is someone who holds the light whilst I carry on digging' HER word is NOT law (It has to be same sex, for me - again learnt through bad experience) I sponsor 3 people only today, as I have seen people get so screwed up sponsoring too many (Again I speak only my own opinio based on personal experience) The previous posting saying choose one with at least 2yrs is a good suggestion, purely because it takes us 2yrs (AT least) to be able to live sober ourselves, let alone anyone else. I also agree with Robyn who mentioned not having a sponsor being dangerous for us alkies. I do not know HOW I would have got through the past year, marriage breakdown, ill-health, 19yr old daughter developing her OWN alcoholism etc.) alcoholISM I Sponsor Myself. This really is one of my pet subject for f2f meetings, so thanks Theresa, I could go on & on about it. The best part is, that once the sponsees have grown enough to be given a longer leash, they help ME. It is a two-way thing. Just another couple of points, before I close:- There are two reasons why you will feel unable to get honest with a sponsor, They are:- 1. You still want to drink 2. You DO want to stop drinking, but you've chosen the wrong sponsor. He/She does not have to have anything, other than AA in common with your life eg. 1.Mine has a husband of 25 yrs standing/I am awaiting divorce no.3

2.She is very sporty, plays for a local tennis club/I am physically disabled due to an accident at work (Not totally disabled, just not able to work again)

3.She has money and a lovely house, which is their own/I don't

I could increase the list ad infinitum, but I have gone on too long already. The point I am trying to make here is - I spent years looking for a sponsor who was a divorce, 2 kids, worked as a nurse,went linedancing,etc. I conditioned myself right back out there! One last point, If ever I tell my sponsor that I am fine she says "Are you Fine, or are you all right" FINE = FU$%& up, Inadequate,Neurotic, Emotional avrilgoodall@driffield99.co.uk


Member: AvrilG
Location:
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 05:28:33

Comments

MICK UK, and STEVE Sorry guys, got your names mixed up earlier (for Steve read Mick)


Member: Glene W.
Location: Des Moines
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 08:10:13

Comments

Hi Everyone,I'm Glene and I am an alcoholic My sponsor is Jesus Christ. My big book is the blble and my meetings are prayer, meditation and fellowship with other Christians who seek only to follow His word until He returns. The Lord saved my soul the same morning He sobered me up. He showed me my sin and gave me an alternative. The experience was so intense. It was like "this is your life" I was overcome with remorse that I thought would kill me, the pain of it . Then such joy that I could be washed clean. That day I stopped drinking I also quit swearing, attending to any that was filthy or nasty. I went from wearing provocative clothing to dressing modest attire that befitted a child of God. None of this came from myself. Talk about a religous experience. I called AA that morning and went to meetings for about three months( this was 2 years ago) I quit going to meeting because any time I wanted to share the wonderful things He had done for me people got upset. The name JESUS makes alot of people here in Des Moines nervous. Also the filthy language really bothered me. Glene W.


Member: Larry M.
Location: Virginia Beach
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 10:30:07

Comments

Larry, alcoholic

What I was like: a fall-down, blackout drunk

What happened: I went to AA

What I'm like now: sober

I find I need a sponsor when I'm in trouble emotionally. When I first came to AA I asked someone to sponsor me because I was told I should. Although he had 17 years sober, he wasn't really into sponsoring and I wasn't really into being sponsored (LOL). I pretty much ignored the little advice he gave me. He served more as a prop so when I was asked, "Do you have a sponsor?" I could say, "Yeah, that guy over there." They would then leave me alone and not lecture me about the importance of sponsorship. I hated being lectured back then - am still not very fond of it. I pretty much stopped calling my sponsor after a couple of months. Fortunately, I loved going to meetings. I didn't connect much with people outside the rooms, but I connected big time during the meetings, so I was able to stay sober. I was probably on a pink cloud because I didn't feel much emotional turmoil back then. After about six months I felt I'd had about as much AA as I needed and stopped going to meetings. In reality, a lot of it had to do with fear of doing a 5th Step. I had managed to do a pretty decent job on my 4th Step by just following the BB. I shared different parts of my 4th Step with different people, but never shared my deepest, ugliest secrets with anyone, so I didn't get much out of it. I'm sure that if I'd had a sponsor I would have continued working the steps.

Fast forward 5 years later: I learned that my wife was a closet drug addict, would need to go to rehab, and that her "bottom" was largely financial as she had secretly milked both her business and our household finaces for all the cash and credit she was able to squeeze out of them. Obviously I was still a self-centered alcoholic, albeit a dry one, because I barely noticed what was going on in her life. I was overwhelmed with fear, anger, rage, self-pity, etc. I knew I was in trouble, so I went back to AA because I remembered the Promises. I quickly got a sponsor and got to work. Lots of meetings , service work, carrying the message. (I also used a counselor - I needed all the help I could get.) I did another 4th Step and this time I pressed on with my 5th Step. I didn't use my sponsor because I didn't fully trust his emotional stability and was a lot different from him in lifestyle, outlook on life, etc. So I used the guy who was my first sponsor - the guy I had ignored 5 years earlier!

Later that year I moved from Brooklyn to my current locale. I immediately got heavily involved with AA because the move (job-related) was very stressful on me and my family. I met some wonderful people and got involved with them outside of the meeting rooms. However, I was careful about selecting a sponsor - well, part procrastination, part careful - LOL. A year and a half after the move, I couldn't take my marriage situation any longer (my wife was on a chemically-based rather than a spiritually-based "recovery" program and her behavior was becoming increasingly destructive and bizarre). Once again, I was in serious emotional turmoil. So I immediately asked a friend to sponsor me - he was also a Brooklyn transplant and had 25 years sober. I also sought counseling as well. He helped get me through the trauma of divorce (we had been married 21 years). He sponsored me through a lot of 9th Step work which was real helpful in keeping the divorce as amicable as possible. He taught me that what I think or feel or say isn't nearly as important as what I do. As far as sponsorship goes, his attitude was that it was my program and my sobriety. I knew what I was supposed to do and was responsible for doing it. He was just there to help.

Sadly, he died about 5 mos ago. I don't have a new sponsor yet, but I'm sure that I'll get what I need when I need it.

Sorry for the length. Thanks for letting me share.

Peace & Serenity


Member: Kevin W
Location: Halifax,Nova Scotia
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 12:01:28

Comments

Hi I'am kevin and Iam an alcoholic. I live in Halifax, N.S . I am writing about the question on sponsorship. When I first sobered up, I didn't have a sponsor, I thought I could do it alone. Left to my own devices I will always pick the easier softer way. As a result of not having a sponsor initally I did not work the steps and I ended up getting drunk. When I was able to return to AA, I did what I was told; Yess told!!, not suggested.I got a sponsor. The man I chose for my sponsor has saved my life. I know your not supposed to put people on pedestels but without his constant support, my sobriety would have been more fragile. He was the one who took a year of his life and walked me through the steps, taught me about HP, introduced me to service work. To me, sponsor ship is very important. Sometimes, I hear people say that they don't have, don't need a sponsor, or that everyone is their sponsor. This is nonesense, be cause if Bill W had a sponsor (Ebby T) then who are we to say that we don't need a sponsor?


Member: Betty N.
Location: Thorold, Ontario, Canada
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 12:36:00

Comments

Hi. I have just 3 months sobriety after returning to AA after a miserable 10 mth. relapse. Am actively ;looking for a sponser, attending lots of meetings,and delighted to find this website. Will follow this mornings advice and get a temp.sponser immediately.


Member: Kevin M
Location: Lou Ky
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 14:11:21

Comments

My name is Kevin and I'm an alcoholic/drug addict. Great topics today, ones that I feel appropriate to post my first comments here. I've been sober two years and very fortunate to have been court ordered to a program. (this was the third time the judge told me but I was sure he was an idiot and didn't know what I needed, thank God for him) God led me to a great program where i found the most caring, spirtual, and honest man I've ever met. He told me if I was tired of the misery drinking and drugs were causing me he would show me a solution. I was tired tired tired tired tired. I gave him the benifit of doubt that I could muster and started my recovery. I was very fortunate in the fact that I have had spirtual experiences before. Growing up in an alcohlics home and being married, divorced, and a single parent of three, I learned to pray and trust God. But I did'nt see that drinking was causing my misery. It was my way of life, the only one I knew. I've found some peace in this world of ever spinning conflict though my higher power and AA. I still get confused and frustrated but I know that staying sober is the only way it gets better. I am one that does not have a sponser. My bigbook comforts me my friends and family consoles me. I do attend meetings but no set times. Being a single parent it is hard to know what I will be doing the next hour much less each week. I realize I need sponsership and more meetings and I know I will arrange them I suppose I still procastinate. (suppose? yeah right) I pray every day, I thank God for each hour and I know he keeps me safe from self. At this time I am comfortable with that.

As for what I was like before, I will just say this: I thought of myself as an active loving parent with a lot of friends. In looking back, that was what I wanted everyone to think I was because I could not face the fact that I was a drunk that does not even remember half of my childrens younger years, and all my freinds were the ones who bought me a drink when I was broke.

MAY GOD SHOW US THE WAY TO PATIENCE, TOLERENCE, KINDLINESS AND LOVE


Member: Melissa
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 14:21:25

Comments

Great topic guys. I'm Melissa and I have not yet two weeks sober. This is my 3rd time in the program, the other two don't count. I never read the Big Book (it was in the back seat of the car, I thought it would work through osmosis)I never got a sponsor, and never shared in meetings. I would go to a few, think ok, I'm cured now, and go on my merry way. A few weeks later, I was back to it. Last night I was in a meeting, and people were talking about "go to any lenghts for sobrity". I got up, called my sponsor and simply asked "WHAT DO I DO?" I felt this great weight lifted. I had admitted to myself that I was an alcholic, but I thought that if I went to meetings silently and kept a close relationship with my H.P. that everything would work out. It is important to go to meetings, and of course it dosn't work without a close relationship with your HP, but without sponsorship, someone telling you that they have been there, someone to call any time of the day or night, when you are scared and alone and when you feel that you are losing the battle, I think that all would be lost. I found a fab sponsor, and I trust her with my life.

I'm still new in the program, so my comments on the other topic is brief... I was a drunk and an addict, I want to die (and was being quit successful at it). I now feel as if there is a purpose for me here, though I do not know what as of yet. I guess it is my hope that has been partialy restored. I'm still a newbie, so little steps for now. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: BOB T
Location: St. Louis, MO
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 16:52:13

Comments

Gavin E: I doubt that your serious but if you are, then ask your parole officer, they'll probably ask how you found time for alcohol.

Thanks Therese for the topic. I dont have a sponsor per se anymore (DOS is 8-16-90). I had a guy that guided me thru the steps out of the big book. And he was the first person that I granted my trust to (I believe trust is a grant, it doesnt have to be earned)now I can share with many others what goes on with me. And I work with guys (and every once in a while a woman on a temporary basis) and guide them thru the steps. I never needed a kick in the ass and I dont kick people in the ass. I just try to hold the apple in front of their nose and if they are like me they reach for it, if not they usually find someone who will kick them in the ass. Now I have a guy that shares with me on the second and third legacies(ie.unity and service thru the traditions and concepts). You see there are 24 more spiritual principles after the steps for anyone who wants to investigate them. Thats not the most popular view in AA but I have always learned more from making my own mistakes and facing difficulties and asking God "give me the stregth to learn from this rather than be defeated by it" I believe its important to have someone to share with. World leaders and big corporation leaders do this. But I can still have parents even though I dont live with them. So I dont live my life out of a book anymore but on past experience, and thru the practice of step 12(ie. the first 11) the time between past experience and "now" is shorter and shorter, sometimes a nanosecond. but still time for me to screw up.

Love to All, and Gavin, get a hair cut.hahaha just kidding my brother


Member: Elmer F
Location: Texas
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 18:02:19

Comments

My name is Elmer, and I'm an alcoholic who has fought everbody and everything as long and as hard as I could 'til it was just me and God, and guess what? HE won. AA taught me to believe, and as the book outlines, i went back to my roots. Still, i'm programmed to attractive rather than promotion, so at the meetings, i stick to the AA dialogue. For me, there is THE program, not my program. It has the solution to any and all my problems if I just work at finding it. These are 12 perfect steps but i am NOT able to work the perfectly, after ten years of sobriety, i'm still learning. Only three ways to do this Trust in God; Trust in God; Trust in God. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Budd
Location: Heaven (Centerline MI)
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 19:29:37

Comments

Hello ... I'm Budd Iam a drunk ... Glad to be here sober straight and clean and somewhat sane ... Im confused which subject? So many good ideas to talk about ... Recovery ... Sobriety ... Spirituality ... Service ... Unity ... What is the 1st word in the 1st Step ... anyway ... Is this the same principle found on page 444 ... or more?... What is this acceptance, You all speak of in your comments for recovery ?

This is going to take some practice ... GREAT Job Folks ... Guys ... People ... Did You do it alone ...

Continue Having a Good Day ...


Member: Vicki H
Location: Ferndale
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 20:06:15

Comments

I'm Vicki H., Alcoholic Such an appropriate topic for a person who just keeps playing phone tag with her sponsor. I definitely will call now. Thanks for bringing it up!


Member: Mike U.
Location: Denver, CO
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 21:23:26

Comments

Hi, my name is Mike U and I am an alcoholic. Theresa, Thank You for the topic of Sponsorship. I just got off the phone with my Sponsor and I needed to desperately speak on this subject. My sponsor's name is Victor G. He will have 26 yrs in the program this May 1st. I just found out that he has been diagnosed as a "treatment failure" in his most recent and courageous fight against a fast moving form of bone cancer. I regret this news and I regret that I have not been a model "sponsoree" recently. I don't know very much about other's criteria for picking a sponsor but my criteria came from the big book. I picked a man that knew what he was talking about. He had no axes to grind or lectures to be endured. No "Holier than thou" attitude. He required no dues to pay and had only the sincere disire to help. I will try not to ramble as I hate it when others do it. I only know that my Sponsor tells me to keep it simple. 1) Pray ferverently 2) Trust in God and other Alkies and 3)Go to meetings, Go to meetings, Go to meetings,...

Victor has been a great sponsor and even now as he faces death he is grateful and sober. He tells me that this progam does not take much, but it takes all you have. I would ask that anyone reading this Please say a Prayer for Victor G. and remember that Sobriety is Gift from God. Thank You, Mike U


Member: Liz T.
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 22:12:04

Comments

Hi. My name is Liz, I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic. Sponsorship is a great topic Theresa...I personally believe in the benefits of having a sponsor...for me it is the easier softer way "I can't....We can" I

this is my first time on this site and I want to thank everyone for sharing their experience, strength and hope..and to send my warmest thoughts to Mike U. and his sponsor Victor G....I will pray for Victor and for you Mike...how lucky you have been to have such a warm and caring relationship with another human..May God bless and keep you one day at a time from now until forever... liz T.


Member: Patt O.
Location: Oregon
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 23:09:49

Comments

Great topics for this alcoholic. My name's Patt, grateful to be sober this day--thank you, God. I began my drinking "career" with social drinking, which went along rather well for some time until that nasty invisible line tripped me up. Came skidding into AA on my face completely and utterly defeated, baffled and beaten. I'd given myself away to such an extent that there was nothing left of me but a pitiful, self-loathing creature who still had all the material 'stuff' (but was on the cusp of losing it). Went to treatment sure that nothing was going to help me because I was such a FAILURE as a human being--a real wretch. Found so much in that center that helped me, and the greatest thing was AA (required to go to three meetings a week). Found my wonderful sponsor at a meeting shortly after I got out of treatment. Turned out she was a woman I'd worked with for about ten years and we'd always gotten along very well. What a salvation she's been for me. Pulls my covers when I need it, gives me the best of her experience, strength and hope, and is a real friend. We've been on retreats together, to the International in San Diego, go to lunch a lot with a bunch of goofy alcoholic, recovering women, and generally have a wonderful time. We are not a glum lot. My husband thinks she's grand--with her almost-25 years in the Program, she is my hero. I try to emulate her in the way I sponsor people, being completely honest to the best of my ability. I'm learning daily and hope to continue for the rest of my life.

Thanks for letting me share and for paying a 12 step call on me.

Best to all, Patt.


Member: ROBERTA
Location: IOWA
Date: 19 Apr 1999
Time: 23:24:18

Comments


Member: carol w.
Location: La.
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 00:42:04

Comments


Member: Gabriella
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 00:51:19

Comments

I am a recovering alcoholic of 5 years. I am looking for support from anyone who is facing a liver transplant or has had one . I was warned inmy twenties to stop drinking but paid no attention as I didnt think I had a problem.By my early thirties I had been diagnosed with a rare type of chirossis and became an AA member after undergoing treatment in Ottawa. I have been dvorced for 10 years and now live alone. I moved here trcrntly and just had the prospect of transplant proposed to me last week. I am terrified and my first impulse was to give up and drink. This has been a terrible week for me and I am white knuckling it all the way. I haven't been this sweaty and emotional since the beginning.My sponser has been terrific but she isn't in my shoes. Does anyone know of a support group for people like me? I am unable to discuss my fgears and guilt with anyone else.


Member: carol w.
Location: La.
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 00:54:59

Comments

hi i am still strolling with acohol it has taking over my life i belive i will beat it some day if it does't kill me first! i almost died from it ayear ago i don't know what to do I belive in a higher power which i think is god! my faith is the only time i have been sober but got away from it i know it was the only thing that helped me God don't leave us we leave him He is always their with his hand extended all we have to do is reach out and he will be at our side carol w.


Member: Ladd G.
Location: Wetumpka Al.
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 01:07:07

Comments

Ladd Alcoholic,I love what I,ve herd from many who shared-First I have a great sponsor,I call and see him on a regular basses.We have worked the steps together,prayed together played together and cried together.He is the one person who I trust with my life,now that He has shown me how to work the steps in life he shares how to apply the prenciples of the program to my daily life.I dont think I will ever outgrow the need of my sponsor because by the grace of god Im always growing,learning and experanceing more in this new life.We may not work it perfect,but we have worked it sober for the last 4-1/2 years.He has used his sponsor for 8.- By the way,we are both christians-but there have been many times I needed love with skin in front of me,there have been times when I felt quite insaine Im glade I wasent being my on sponsor at those times. For the second part,I came here hopeless,I came here helpless.Today Im free.You are the reason I stay.-You see repaying my debt is the only way my sponsor& his have been able to show me how to keep this new way of life...We do love you all.Ladd


Member: Darren B.
Location: Findlay, OH
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 01:59:50

Comments

My name is DB. I am twenty years old and I have reached a point where I know that I have a problem. I having been drinking heavily since I was 16. Alcohol has finally reached every aspect of my life and I know that it shouldn't stem out of my social life. I can't stop thinking about taking a drink and I need help. I would really like to talk to someone on a more personal level than leaving my comments out on this posting. I haven't reached a point where I can up and quit drinking, so I feel a bit awkward because it sounds as if most of you are further along in your struggle. Thankyou for your time DB


Member: Shorty-Boy
Location: US
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 02:05:42

Comments

I just want someone to talk to, I think I'm an alcholic, I can't stop drinking. Is there someone out there that can help me?

I need a friend not anything "wierd" I know my problems are... I feel stupid for even writing this place. If anyone understands please write me back. Please understand I;ll only answer when I'm drinking. Shorty-Boy Vukelic@mailcity.com


Member: shorty-boy
Location: US
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 02:17:45

Comments

Darren you sound like me do you want to talk? Vukelic@mailcity.com I'm girl, short-boy is my dogs name. Vukelic@mailcity.com


Member: Teri F.
Location: Marion, Ohio
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 07:02:49

Comments

Hi DB--My husband and I are both in recovery--we live in Marion Ohio--we are not far from you.

If you'd like to talk, send me an email: teri_fout@msn.com

We will gladly help in any way we can. If you aren't comfortable contacting someone from the internet, call AA in Findlay. Tell whoever answers the phone that you need help. Someone will talk to you. Good luck.


Member: Ron S
Location: Belle River ON.Canada
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 09:29:13

Comments

Dear Member: Gavin E. Location: San Diego, CA

I,n 1988 I had to attend meeting for the same reason.You know the anser already don,t you ? It,s NO but I,m sure if you keep asking someone will tell you the anser you want hear.In this cass though you will go to jial.Quit playing around and get to a meeting.just think Priour to 1988 I spent aspent a portion of every year in prison.Inever knew what would happen to me I ran a million sinarios through my head every night,I had to drug myself to sleep.The search for drugs and booze was never ending. I heart everyone I came in contact with.After AA 11 years ago I have not been back to jial.I,m not saying it,s been all fun i,ve often done thigs my own way and have fallen very hard.I will share more about that if you choose to e-mial me.I never have thought about killing myself sience 1988 and have had the best yers of my life.Go to meeting don,t drink or drug it,s all the same.hope to hear from you. This will not saticfy the court but it,s a really good place to come to I come everyday.It help me alot.Thanks to my HP and to AA and all how take the time to share.ronsaxon@mnsi.net

Good luck Gavin E


Member: Paul Q
Location: Toronto
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 10:30:56

Comments

The core the first 100.......... Do it the way it was laid down........ You do not have to spend yrs in AA.... To have a spiritual expereince...... Many recovered BODY only......beware of our EGO....... MIND and SOUL

After 12 1/2yrs in AA The disease "the mind and soul" led me out to the far country.... Stardom will kill us........"Time in AA"

Lost it all after 3 1/2yrs........led back to the real deal THE CORE the first 100......The first 88 pages colapse time no need to spend years and get medallians to have a Spiritual Expereince " not a pink cloud"

Love and Service Paul


Member: TomF
Location: New York
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 12:16:17

Comments

My name is tom and I am an alcoholic. I have been sober 17 years. I have had the same sponsor since I came into the program. Sometimes I follow his advice and sometimes I ignore him. There are times when I don't even talk to him. The important thing is that a sponsor isn't someone to obey but someone to talk to. If he hadever told me what to do I might be drunk today, but "bob" my sponsor just shared his experiences with me. He not only became my sponsor but also my friend. Everyone is different. Some people need a sponsor to direct them and others need just advise,the same way that some people bar hopped and others just drank alone in the attic. This is the wonderful thing about AA, there is a way for everyone.


Member: Anu
Location: DeepSouth
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 12:50:36

Comments

Hey, I am Anu, a recovering teenage alcholic. Well emotionally, I'm still a teenager. I use to hate this topic whenever it came up at meetings. At first I used the group for a sponser and it worked real good until I fell off that pink cloud. It was easy to choose the booze when I felt the program wasn't working for me. There are always people in AA who don't want to be there, and their advice is not so great. So to the point, I wasted alot of time by not getting a Sponser right away. Nine years in and out of the program, each time deeper and deeper into the mire... My 1st Sponsor, Woody, revealed at a speaker meeting that he never had a Sponser. This was very disapointing to me- I felt like hell after that night. We mainly just shook hands and said hey, after that. Woody became my 'Token Sponser'. Woody, if your out there no hard feelings-I love you bro...Also lost a Sponser to alcholism. Last time I spoke to him, he asked me were the hell I'd been-that he needed me too. It didn't register until several months later what he meant, but it was to late because he died. Hope that I haven't painted a bad picture of Sponsership. I just want to perhaps save someone some of the trouble which may lay up-ahead. I'll end with a positive note. The Sponser that I have now is execellent. He is a brilliant shining example of what AA is all about,and he is most definitely a prodigy of service work. Venerable, twice-born once by a woman and once by a whiskey bottle. Yep, I've got agreat sponser. It took awhile but it is paying off,now. So stick with it (strive on with deligence and all that jazz) and DO NOT RULE out the possiblity of getting a sponsor, soon.


Member: Gail H
Location: Oakville
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 16:44:39

Comments

HI I'm Gail and I'm a teenage alcholic. It's nice to see that there's another one out there too. On the topic of sponsership, I've had a hard time with this part of the program. At almost 2 yaers sober I still have such a hard time reaching out to some one when I'm really hurting, I just get on my knees and pray and cry my heart out to my HP although I know I dodn't have to do it that way in such a lonly fashion, I can't seem to use my sponser that I have. I have two of them. One moved far away from me, but when it gets REALLY bad I give her a call, now the other one who's around at the meeting that I go to, well..... I stay away from her, due to fear ( I mena god fore bid she might help me feel better!!) Some nights I grab a set beside her in a attempt to conect, but in the end I run again. I agree with all the other people about how great a sponser is and, my bestfriend who's young also and been sober just over a year now, she talks to her sponser everyday and goes out and does things with her on the week-end. I wish I could do the same, up something in me still feels that I can't do do. Please if there's NE one there who might have gone through this or has some words of wisdom I'd love it!! Love Ya All!

*ive *ove *augh ******


Member: Kennneth C.
Location: Okemah Oklahoma
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 17:43:52

Comments

Hello everyonoe I'm Ken C. And I'm An Alcoholic, andan addict. This was my first time to visit your online meeting and i would like to attend again if your group would have me that is ? Also is there a schedual of times and www.meeting places anyone can share ? As far as a sponcor goes my home group and a 7month treatment center i just attened are my higher power and sponcor 's and this is why a sponcor is important to me because it gives me a chance to be sponcoring others and to do service work and your www. will come in very helpful to myself and other remember to always extend your hand of service and keep the unity of A.A. alive and aware.. Kenneth C. Okemah Oklahoma


Member: bruceA
Location: PA
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 19:29:55

Comments

Hi everyone Bruce A. Alcoholic.Sponsorship is a great topic. When i first came to A.A. after 3 mos. I thought I knew everything to stay sober on my own. So I did for a week. After 3 more months of alcoholic misery I came crawling back to A.A. and got a sponsor. He was my sponsor for 10 years. Real good guidance and help working the steps and the program. Still a good friend but we grew apart and now I have a sponsor Who is my friend, spirtual adviser and progam advisor. I have been sober now for over 15 yrs. one day at a time. I sponsor eight people. One alcoholic sharing with another. The rewards of sobriety are watching people grow in the program. Love you all Bruce A.


Member: bruceA
Location: PA
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 19:30:31

Comments

Hi everyone Bruce A. Alcoholic.Sponsorship is a great topic. When i first came to A.A. after 3 mos. I thought I knew everything to stay sober on my own. So I did for a week. After 3 more months of alcoholic misery I came crawling back to A.A. and got a sponsor. He was my sponsor for 10 years. Real good guidance and help working the steps and the program. Still a good friend but we grew apart and now I have a sponsor Who is my friend, spirtual adviser and progam advisor. I have been sober now for over 15 yrs. one day at a time. I sponsor eight people. One alcoholic sharing with another. The rewards of sobriety are watching people grow in the program. Love you all Bruce A.


Member: John M.
Location: Ventura
Date: 20 Apr 1999
Time: 22:24:19

Comments

My name is John and I am an alcoholic. When I first came to AA 6 years ago I thought I was not too alcoholic and did little but attend meetings. Three months later I was back to self destructive drinking again. When I finally surrendered and came back to AA 9 months later I knew my only hope was to work the entire program. I was hesitant to get a sponsor but did it anyway and he turned out to be a "by the book" type who never told me anything I already hadn't read or heard but for me part of my surrender to AA included getting and utilizing A sponsor. Over the years I talk to him less and less, but the important thing for me was to do a lot of stuff that I didn't want to do in order to change.


Member: California Mike
Location: Midwest O.K.C.
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 08:34:49

Comments

My name is Mike I'm Alcholic...well ,this is the first time I've seen any thing like this and I'm glad that I did. I'm feeling a little nutty this morning and I needed to get focused on the solution and stay out of the Problem. Our Primary Purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety...On Sponsorship I have one and I use him. I think that its been really good to spend lots of time with him. I've been sober now for about 14mths and have worked through the steps. I have had a spiritual exp. I believe the reason that people don't stay sober is that they either don't want to ... or that after they decide they want to they don't do the deal..."recovered from a seamingly hopeless state of mind and body. I couldn't have done anything without someone showing me the way the first 100 did it and we stay with that. It seems to work real well. I'm glad to be here and be sober.


Member: Raymond M
Location: Duluth,MN
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 11:04:26

Comments

Greetings-I'm Raymond recovering Alcoholic-Addict. Thanks for the topic. Growing up in a very disfunctional family, I never was taught how to communicate about feelings, frutrations, anxieties ect.. So I would let them build up. I would act by stealing,lying and trying to pretend to be someone I wasn't. To hide and stuff my feelings, I would numb the pain by drinking and doing drugs. Being sober, allows me to change those behaviors, I call survivial skills. I am tired of surviving. I want to live life to it's fullist. Having a sponsor, gives me the opportunity to check my behavior and really decide " What is my part" Alot of the time it's me and my thinking that screws things up. I truely believe that God works through in the Program. As my being sober is a gift, so is my sponsor. I love talking about the Solution. Those who want to hit me back at chef_110@hotmail.com Thanks for letting me share. God Bless, Raymond


Member: Raymond M
Location: Duluth,MN
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 11:04:47

Comments

Greetings-I'm Raymond recovering Alcoholic-Addict. Thanks for the topic. Growing up in a very disfunctional family, I never was taught how to communicate about feelings, frutrations, anxieties ect.. So I would let them build up. I would act by stealing,lying and trying to pretend to be someone I wasn't. To hide and stuff my feelings, I would numb the pain by drinking and doing drugs. Being sober, allows me to change those behaviors, I call survivial skills. I am tired of surviving. I want to live life to it's fullist. Having a sponsor, gives me the opportunity to check my behavior and really decide " What is my part" Alot of the time it's me and my thinking that screws things up. I truely believe that God works through in the Program. As my being sober is a gift, so is my sponsor. I love talking about the Solution. Those who want to hit me back at chef_110@hotmail.com Thanks for letting me share. God Bless, Raymond


Member: Bonnie C - 5/30/80
Location: Seattle
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 13:04:22

Comments

Hi extended family, bonnie/alcoholic here (((ROOM-HUG))) thank you for two really great topics, ((therese)) SPONSORSHIP AND ((lori)) SPIRITUAL GROWTH (personality change thru Grace and my willingness to change) two topics that go together, my own thinking got me here, the only thing I had to change about my personality was everything to get sober and peaceful. Before I got here I read alot, I read those self-help books and the Bible but it was through a warped sense of reality. My conception of the material had ME in the center of everyones universe. Why can't you read my thoughts, my wants, my desires. Why don't you know what I need before I do, so you can fulfill it and then I would blame you for letting me down. As I read them I could see everyone elses flaws. I even sent them copies of the material. If only THEY could be fixed, my life would be wonderful. THAT'S one very big reason I need a sponsor, she/he keeps me looking at me and my flaws and what needs to be changed in me. I give my sponsors permission to take my inventory, to point out my flaws and promise them that I will try really hard not to say *yeah but* I promise them that the time they spend working to dig into their pasts to give me their ES&H that I will at least consider it and try to apply it to me and not waste their time and mine not taking their suggestions. For if I want what they have I have to do what they did to the best of my ability. another reason that my sponsor was so important to me was the one word explainations when I was in pain. We spent time becoming friends, I told her about my life, who I was, what my relationship was with those in my life. so when I was having one of those gut wrenching character defect attacks all I had to do was mention a name and very little else and she could get right into suggestions of solutions for the problem. for if i hadnt told her about the person, situation etc, before the pain hit I would of had to spend possibly days in the problem before we could start working in the solution, not to mention, making the pain worse. I owe my life to those who have listened to me rehash a problem time after time, letting it come up and out of me slowly. I owe my life to those who have hung up on me and said call me back when the words *yeah but* aren't in the sentence or read 60thru63 or 449thru452 and call me back once you've done that. I owe my life to those who told me to either take a suggestion or don't call me back. They loved me into quieting my own head and letting God use them in my life to help me see that I may play a part in my own problems, that others were not the root of my problems, that there was a way out from under this load that I was carrying but it was going to have to come from inside of me, my ego fought that process all the way. They helped me find GOD. They held my hand and hugged me as I sobbed and bought me teddy bears, wrote me words of wisdom on napkins, sent cards, had me write stuff in journals and in the margins of my Big Book, things that could be there when they could not. They helped me find that God has always been here, even when I couldn't feel His presense. Carrying me, lovingly watching over me and guiding me as I took my very shaky, very flawed first steps into this new way of living. I went from a frightened, confused, snivvling, self-pitying martyr that was so fearful that I kept a mental running tab of everything I'd ever given to anyone so they would owe me (loyalty and affection), to someone who is growing with the love of God, full of peace, love, contentment and hope even in the midst of stuff hitting the fan. Dear God please bless all who venture here. love and hugs, bon - bonzoc@webtv.net (this email addy will be good for 1 wk)


Member: Jean-Claude T.
Location: Belgium
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 13:29:37

Comments

My name is JC and I'm an alcoholic. Thanks for the 2 topics. I have 2 (special) friends who are my sponsors. They know about everything of my life so, if a big problem occures tome, they can help me without me to explain too much. Did at different times my 4th and 5th Steps with each of them. But, for the daily situations, I can say that every AA who shares his ES&H has been my sponsor at a time. Maybe tomorrow, if something happens, I will remember what one of you posted here that can help me to accept this situation without feelin' bad. If I'm stil stucked with it, I'll go for further advice to one of my sponsors. *** As for subject #2, I was a drunk, not better, but not worst than any other. I had enough of havin' enough of booze. By the Grace of God and with the help of AA, I stopped drinkin' and it only got better. Why should I stop the Program now? I'm not through with it, ain't no saint yet (thank God). Kiddin'. You don't change a winning team. And this team helps me to win, one day at a time, to lead a decent and somewhat happy life, with its joys and pains, but without having to drink to face it and to look at its bright side. Thanks for letting me share. JC


Member: Chris C.
Location: Ottumwa, Iowa
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 14:39:28

Comments

Thanks for sharing, Jean-Claude. Hi everybody, my name is Chris and I'm an alcoholc.

I didn't understand how this thing was supposed to work, why it worked, or how to work it. I kept it simple. I did what I was told. My sponsor is the one who told me. Also, having a sponsor is an act of humility on my part and I need all the humility.

There used to be a constant small ball of anxiety in my life. I felt it above my stomach and below my lungs. It felt like I could never relax and take a deep breath. I had moments of outright fear and occasionally even terror, but it was that constant tension in my life that I mostly drank about. Alcohol made it go away. (Thank God that it did) Eventually, the alcohol caused more pain than it relieved. (Thank God, again) Reluctantly, and only because I knew of nothing else to do, I sought help. Today, and most days, I feel like no matter what happens it will be OKAY. (Thank God and AMEN)

Thanks for listening.


Member: Chris H.
Location: Back in Colorado
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 18:25:54

Comments

Gabriella I know what it is like to be "terrified and my first impulse was to give up and drink." But will a drink help your liver? No, so will dying solve your problem? No again, so what is left, your life, and a faith in a higher power, and faith in the program that comes with reaching out to people. I'm glad you're here.

You are not alone.

I remember having chronic pain in the liver for years, and continuing to drink, because I was in the problem (fear) and not in the solution. This program works, it can save your life, and more, the program can give you peace and serenity. Face to face meetings help with fear. Doing the steps also help with fear, and together, we can face life and have moments free from anxiety. There are many things I have no power over. I am very grateful for the serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Shorty-Boy We are here! There are many meetings all over the country with people that are in your spot. All I can tell you is from my own experience, the program works, if you work it. All I need is the desire to stop drinking. Any time away from the last drink is good time. In AA, life is a day at a time, but I don't have to go it alone. It took me awhile to get into the doors of AA, but now that I have been here for 16+ years, I can truly say that my friends in AA are cherished. They share their experience, strength, and hope with me as I do with them, and together, we stay sober a day at a time. Welcome and blessings to you all!!!


Member: Dave F
Location: Maryland
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 19:33:12

Comments

Hello, my name is Dave and I am an alcoholic- sponsorship in AA is extremely important to every member - only a fool would sponsor him/herself - into a life saving program of recovery- Those that think they can do it alone - good luck- most selfsponser get drunk again- How can you apply the 12 Steps into your life without good sponsorship? I tried it myself for many years and it just didn't work -always got drunk again.

I manage to stay sober (thru Gods grace) by praying, not drinking, and going to meetings-applying the 12 steps into my life to the best of my ability, I trust in GOD- clean house and try to help other drunks try to recover. I do this one day at a time - works just great for this drunk!!!!!!!!!!


Member: Billy M.
Location: Omaha, NE
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 20:26:08

Comments

Hi I'm Bill and I'm an alcoholic. I never did view my sponsor as a teacher, a disiplinarian or a garu. He is just another alcoholic that gives only what he has, his experience, strength and hope. I don't do anything socially with him but we talk sometimes just to say hello. I have much of the same practices with the person I sponsor. We talk more often as he is still needs a little more assurance of where he is at. All I have to offer is my strength, hope and what little experience I have accumulated through 16 1/2 years of following this road to happy destiny. Sponsorship in my view is a joint effort, a helping hand for someone when needed, and to just be a good friend.


Member: Tim M
Location: phoenix Arizona
Date: 21 Apr 1999
Time: 20:58:58

Comments

Hi I'm Tim and I'm an Alcoholic. Sponsorship is extremely important to me. I have had a few sponsors in my five years of recovery. One who did not know the book, one who preached the book, and one who lives the book. The one who lives the book is so pleasant to be around. He is a good influence on my sobriety. It has been hard getting used to someone who does not tell me what to do only what he did or has done. I also tend to get highly involved and obbsessive about my job. He works for the same company I do just in a different dept. So he understands what I'm going through at work. He can also provide different outlooks on what the company is trying to do. Sponsors are good to talk to because their job is to listen and let you talk long enough to hear your own answers. Because most of the time you know what to do just need reassurance that it's the right thing to do. Just one more thought on sponsorship, look around your favorite meeting and listen to the people who really have what you want. You'll notice one thing, they don't whine. That is not because they don't have problems, it's just because they save their problems for their sponsors. This is the first on-line meeting I've been to I think its pretty cool. Thanks for letting me share. Talk to you next week.


Member: Jeff  H.
Location: New York, N.Y.
Date: 22 Apr 1999
Time: 00:25:31

Comments

Hi, I'm Jeff and I'm an alcoholic. Sponsorship was the only thing that kept me from going out of the rooms. I had trouble relating with people in general. Thank god for my first sponsor! Even though I haven't maintained the first sponsor I had, I still keep in touch with him at various times. As time went on, I developed other relationships with people. I truly believe that people are put in my life for a reason. I've developed a "network" of other recovering alcoholics, that I don't feel afraid to talk to. I think, for me, that having a sponsor in the beginning of my recovery was essential. I've worked the steps with two different sponsors, (at two different times). I just celebrated 3 years this month. I never thought this would happen if I didn't have a sponsor to guide me through with keeping it simple, and still keeping it one day at a time in those early days. I have a sponsor now, but my needs have changed since my first year. We just talk every now and then about life on life's terms. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Jeff d
Location: Ca
Date: 22 Apr 1999
Time: 00:50:11

Comments

HI Good topic. Sponsorship. The main problem I have had was trusting a sponsor. It did not always occur to me that all alcoholics are basically the same ( a little more than basically) and that a person who had been sober for a length of time probably has more experience with the way I think then I do . It never occured to me that we where all the same . It also never occured to me that a person who hda been sober for a length of time had maybe seen all the mistakes made that I would attempt to make. I always had my idea . Or what I thought about it. Well we are definitely not unique . None of us. We all have the same disease which means we think the same act the same feel the same have the same defects or malajustments to life what a relief . There is also relief found in knowing that there is only one program of alcoholics anonymous . Which usually includes sponsorshi. That is one way of a more experienced member sharing solutions to a less experienced member . If we could have done it on our own with out the AA program we would have. we could not thank AA and those who are there before us . Great to be sober. Great to be an alcoholic . Great to have a sponsor .


Member: Lynn C.  4-23-87
Location: Southern Illinois
Date: 22 Apr 1999
Time: 09:44:57

Comments

Hello fellow trudgers, Alkie named Lynn Here. Two great topics, thank you Therese and Lori Sponsorship and what I will call Growth.

On this Friday April 23rd We will celebrate 12 years of continious sobriety that I give the credit for to You my fellow members of AA, a Power Greater then myself that I can Trust today weather I understand HP or not, when I trust it works, and to the help of a Great Sponsor.

Here is a list of 12 things I am grateful for on this sobriety aniversary;

Gratitude 12 Times 12

12 Things I am Grateful for that I got from working the 12 steps of AA for 12 years;

1. AA, is the foundation for my Life today and for Living Life on Life's terms.

2. A Higher Power I can really Trust.

3. Family, AA is my Spiritual and Emotional Family.

4. The ability to be honest with myself and start taking responsibility for my own Happiness.

5. A Wonderful Sponsor.

6. Selfworth.

7. The ability to Feel Feelings.

8. On-line Recovery, 24 hours a day.

9. Two Wonderful Children, a Gift and Honor from The Great Spirit.

10. The ability to Live in the Moment, Enjoying Life.

11. A truly Worldwide Support System.

12. Human Citizenship, the feeling that I do belong, and that I am worthy of Love and Giving Love.

Lynn C. 4-23-87


Member: Mary T
Location: PA
Date: 22 Apr 1999
Time: 11:17:34

Comments

How do you know if you are an alcoholic? Is every alcoholic "as bad" as the next?


Member: Teri F.
Location: Marion, Ohio
Date: 22 Apr 1999
Time: 19:22:46

Comments

Mary T--I am an alcoholic and my name is Teri. If you have some questions about alcoholism or the program, please feel free to email me and I'll be very happy to help you.

teri_fout@msn.com

Hugs, Teri


Member: Eric S.
Location: Nashville,TN
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 13:18:00

Comments

I don't think there is any one sponsor better than another, but I do believe there is a sponsor that is best for me. I have had the same one or four years - its worked - I'm happy joyous and free - and I ain't taking resumes. To me the sponsor's a lot like the home group - every meeting might not be the topic you want to hear, etc., but you keep going back because you are comfortable there. That's the way it is with my sponsor and I. Grateful for another day of sobriety -


Member: Jackie B.
Location: Clarion, PA
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 16:24:18

Comments

Coming to you live (as oppossed to dead)from the rain forest in PA...alcoholic named Jackie. It's been awhile since I posted here last coz I got caught up in self pity. As my late sponsor would say, "get off the cross, we need the wood." So here I are. My sponsor who crossed over into the spirit world 12/31/98 was my first real relationship with anyone. She did more for me than guide me through the steps, she taught me how to trust by trusting me, she taught me how to be a friend by being a friend to me, she taught me how to live this program by power of example, she taught me how to love by loving me. Before she crossed over, she asked me to come by and sit on her patio and teach her all the things that she taught me. She had three brain anorisms four years ago and her memory was not good. But even then, she was teaching me how simple this program is even though she couldn't remember. A few weeks ago when the skies of my heart were gray, an old timer from my homegroup presented me with a package. I didn't look at it till I got home and inside was Petey's (sponsor) Big Book study edition she got at Founder's Day in '94. Even in death, she is still 12 steppin me. This relationship, I pass on to those that I have the honor and priviledge to help in this fellowship. Thanks for readin my stuff.

Peace,

Jackie


Member: Elmer F
Location: Texas
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 16:41:35

Comments

what is growth in AA? for this alcoholic, after fighting as long and as hard as i could and not wanting to follow many "suggestions," going from saying God Bless instead of God D....; from really objecting to saying the Lord's Prayer at the end of a meeting (commonly done is this part of the country) to fallen down to my knees and making that final surrender to the God of my misunderstanding, i realize today from all that's been shared that it is the relationship with my Higher Power. There is none other and certainly this alcoholic knows that God can and will if He is sought. Love to all as the week-end approaches and we turn the page to a new discussion.


Member: John St.
Location: San Diego
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 16:44:51

Comments

My name is John and I am an alcoholic. I feel moved to share on the topic of sponsership as mine is ill...I just found out that he passed away. How do I write while feeling this? It hurts so bad Ive got to go. Don't worry I'll stay sober.


Member: Allan R
Location: Fl
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 17:54:23

Comments

Wouls it be possible to set up a cyber sponsor on this page?


Member: Zac B.
Location: Oregon
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 18:17:07

Comments

Do you have to have a sponser to be a sponser


Member: Colin C
Location: Australia
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 21:56:06

Comments

Hello group - Colin, Alcoholic,

Do I need to tell my drinking story? - I'm sure you all know it - I picked up a drink for any one of 101 reasons (excuses) and ended up drunk, often doing things that hurt me or others. I had no choice, I'm an alcoholic and as soon as I put alcohol into my system, the physical alergy kicked in and I set up a craving that wouldn't be passified until I passed out! - I did that progressively for 30 years and had no idea there was a solution.

Today I have that solution. This is a 2 part disease with a 2 part solution - the first part, the alergy, I can arrest on a daily basis by not putting the first drink into my system. The second part, the mental obsession takes just as much work. I have to be ever vigilant about the mental twist that tells me I CAN have a drink, and to over come that I need - fellowship with other alcoholics, a shoulder to cry on at times, meetings meetings meetings - prayer and meditation and total surrender to my HP - who I choose to call God - on a dialy basis.

2 days ago I needed to put the ENTIRE AA program into practice with a vengence, because nearly 5 months away from my last drink, that "mental twist" kicked in. The "trigger" was emotional and I knew needed to go to a meeting straight away. On the way there, the "vague" thought of a drink, usually easy to dismiss and push straight out - became, "I need to talk to someone and if that person isn't there THEN I'LL HAVE A DRINK!" - My disease was setting me up with an excuse.

God willing, I'm gunna beat this disease, and I fought! - I did the meeting, I stayed 'til I found someone who could spend time with me and she stayed and talked me through - {love you ((((Michelle)))))}. Then, I went to a park and spent 1/2 an hour in meditation and prayer.

I didn't pick up - or need to pick up a drink that day - yesterday the same, and I worked on my fourth step, and so far today, I havn't needed to either!

Sponsorship - I don't have one at the moment, but at my time of needed, I found one, in Michelle. At this period without an "official" sponsor, I have several "unofficial" ones. People I know I can ring, or call on.

My first sponsor I only had for 3 months. He did many wonderful things for me. One of the best was after a bust. I'd been lazy, only doing the convenient meetings - 2 a week. He told me we wouldn't talk, (except that I had to ring him daily to say I was sober) until after I'd done 90 meetings in 90 days. I think that's when I got deadly serious and had my 90 days up in 60 - and I still do 80 - 90 in 90 days.

But after time - our ideas about MY recovery were different and we parted with love. Now in my search for a new sponsor, I look at people who have the sobriety I want and talk to them awhile to get a "feel" for them. I've asked 2 so far, and they have had personal reasons they aren't available. I know that God will put the right sponsor in front of me at the right time!

What's it like now? - Unbelievable! - most of the 12 promises (pages 83-84, big book) - I get in very occasional, very small doses. But I never had that before and I know I'll get more the longer I'm in recovery. My HP helped me find the right job (I hadn't had one for 2 years) - at the right time in my recovery. I have choices today, and an opinion. I know I can use these properly at times, I have a right to my opinion and I accept that not everyone will agree with, or respect my opinions - and that's OK too. And I've stopped asking people how I'm travelling - these days I can decide that for myself.

If some-one reads my share and gets something from it - that's GREAT - but if no-one does, that's OK too .......... cuz I did!

Last thing - I got an e-mail address here one time - and had a particular problem I wanted advice on - I used the address and got a woderful responce - thankyou (((((( Bonnie )))))). Several weeks ago I was here and 4 newcomers asked questions. I was too fearful to post and I badly wanted to leave my e-mail addy, to give what was so freely given to me, but again, I was too fearful - today I'm not, and that's something else I have in small ammounts today!

So for what it's worth - my e-mail addy is crysed@ne.com.au.

God bless you all - thanks for letting me share.


Member: Caroline P.
Location: Austin, TX
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 22:23:47

Comments

Hi Everyone - Just a quick thought on sponsorship . To me it is critical because it forces my to see that I need help from someone else, and I dont have all the answers. I know I want my sponsor to have that same humility on a regular basis. What can she teach me, if she still is not learning?

LORI - on your topic of "How your personality has evolved" Well, Carefully,............. and with the help of many councelors, sponsors, and qualified loving people. I was the type that was so hard on myself, that what I sought was kind people with quality sobriety. I really believed that my personality was going to change, and that if I did not let it happen thru the steps, I would drink again. Drinking was something I knew I would never consider.......so I did the hardest thing Ive ever done......I trusted God, Cleaned House, and Helped Others. Steps 4,5,6,7,8 and 9 were what showed me the way to a new personality.That new personality admits mistakes, works on having more faith, and tries to think of others. So as a result, I am looking for/seeing a different world that the world I knew when I drank. I have had passing thoughts of" wow, doesnt THAT drink look good" But have never had a desire to actually drink.. Im lucky....I was convinced of this program because I knew it was my only hope. My step sister told me today that my mom thinks I am a great mother to my children. I am content in knowing that I am doing what means the most to me. I have a lot to learn, but knowing I have a lot to learn is what makes my personality healthy. When I think I have all the answers - that is when I am going the wrong way. That is when an answer is sent my way, but I dont know what the question was.

Best Wishes to All ..... ONE DAY AT A TIME - Caroline


Member: Carol P.
Location: New Jersey
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 23:47:01

Comments

Hi I'm Carol and this is my first time at an on line meeting. Both topics are great. It certainly brings to my mind that I,m not keeping in touch with my sponsor as I should be.God put her in my life when I had 6 months sober and was looking for direction. We met at a retreat. She always has good suggestions for me unfortunately too often I go throuygh alot of unnecessary pain before I callher and ask for good orderly directions. Going to do it this weekend thanks to all of you.Thanks for a grat mmeting. Carol P.


Member: Bob K
Location:
Date: 23 Apr 1999
Time: 23:59:40

Comments

I am new to the use of the computer and decided to look up AA online. The first thing I came across was what i would call AA bashing. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion I was really offended at what I read. It was obvious to me that the people responsible for posting this info knew nothing about the AA program. There are people that I know personally who do not drink, are not in AA and are doing just fine but thats them, not me. I am in no position to tell others that AA is the only way but I feel that it is the only way for me and I am the only one I can speak for. I guess I must keep in mind that many people are close minded(including myself sometimes)but through the fellowship of AA I am getting better and there is no stronger proof for me than the difference I see in myself. There are also many other tools which can be used to assist in staying off the booze but for me the bottom line is staying off the booze isn't enough I must change the way I think because if I do not it will lead me back to where I come from. Thats all I want to share for now and I am glad I have found another source (this group) to assist in my efforts toward long term sobriety.


Member: Hollywood
Location: Cambridge Idaho
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 01:10:31

Comments

Hello my name is Hollywood. and I am an alcoholic. What I used to be like was a functoining drunk. My whole life was centerd around my drinking. my next drink and the drink I was having. What happend was that I knew for along time that I was tired of alchol and that it was no longer working for me. I wanted somthing different but the harder I tried to stop drinking then the more I drank. I was pretty much at My bottom and had been but just did not know it yet. Then came the real big kicker D.U.I. and the LAW. This most definitly was my bottom. I knew I was an alcohic so I went to a rehab to get some help. It was there I was introduced to AA and the twelve steps. Thak god I was open minded enough to listen and learn. What I am like now is sober today,Hopefull for tomarrow, and able to deal with life on life's terms.


Member: Kerry F.
Location: Delaware
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 07:14:42

Comments

Hello I'm KerryF,and I'm an alcoholic and very greatfull for my sobriety and this fellowship that helps me stay that way one day at a time.I entered recovery an agnostic and completly emotionally defeated person.I developed a new found faith in someone or thing more powerful then myself similar to the experience described by Bill Wilson in the "big Book".From that day on my life has been wonderful.When they told me that I would know a new happiness and freedom they were certainly right.Yodat I am thankful for my new way of thinking and all the good and sober friends I've had the pleasure of meeting. I'm also changing places,and will be moving to sunny Florida in a few weeks to start a new life.So many wonderful things have happened to me as a result of taking that third step and allowing God to take control of my daily affairs.


Member: Doug S.
Location: Three Bridges NJ
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 18:17:46

Comments

Hi everyone, my name is Doug and I am an alcohloic. This is very interesting. I didn't know that there were online meetings. When I first came around it was very important for my sobriety to have a sponser. It was and still is very comforting for me to have someone I can talk with about my whole life. When I was a beginner, my sponser helped me with guidance to this new way of life. He helped me to get out of my own head which is a very bad place for me to be in. He encouraged me to change which now is one of the most important aspects of my sobriety, along with honesty, open mindedness, and willingness(HOW). Take care everyone and remember, it's one day at a time.


Member: Roy S
Location:
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 19:39:49

Comments

Inlooking back at my life before AA, I can definitely say I am a much better person today. Before, I was just concerned about my instant gratification, be it with alcohol or other vices. Now I have a much better attitude towards others in that I honestly care about how my actions affect them. While I understand that I must do whatever it takes to make sure I stay sober and on the straight and narrow, I also try to take into consideration the consequences of all my actions. I think this is one of the biggest and best changes in me since coming to AA. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Jo G.
Location: No.Ca
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 21:44:42

Comments

Jo-drug addict I love AA. I'm not an alcoholic, but if it hadn't been one it would have been the other, eh? I need a sponsor. I have 13 months clean, and some kind fellow AA members have been pointing out to me at meetings and such that I am headed for a fall. I happen to disagree as my life has never been better. Thanks to my HP whom I call God and Jesus. The last time I was in the program (preferred AA over NA back then as well) I stayed sober 2 weeks shy of one year. I had a sponsor because the rehab program I was involved in insisted I obtain one. We had absolutely nothing in common but she was a sweet girl and worked with me by meeting with me every week until just after my 4th step when I never saw her again. She moved and left no forwarding address. I don't believe that had anything to do with my relapse because quite honestly I just wasn't ready. I want to follow suggestions given to me by folks at meetings, and they all seem to continue to suggest I obtain a sponsor. Would some nice lady out there consider being an online sponsor? We could call it a temporary situation until... Thanks for listening.


Member: ANTHONY P
Location: MACOMB,MICHIGAN
Date: 24 Apr 1999
Time: 23:10:05

Comments

HI MY NAME IS TONY AND I AM A DRUNK, I DON'T HAVE A SPONSOR OR GO TO MEETINGS AND MY LIFE IS MESSED UP.EVERY TIME I SAY I AM GOING TO GO TO A MEETING I ALWAYS COME UP WITH A REASON WHY I CAN'T GO I REAALY NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO SOMEONE PLEASE EMAIL ME AT antwonp260@yahoo.com THANK YOU YOUR TIME


Member: Chris P.
Location: Mo.
Date: 25 Apr 1999
Time: 00:13:25

Comments

Hello everyone, my name is Chris and I am an alcoholic. Very interesting topic, I've dabbled with a sponser but never really connected with anyone. I feel as a result I've probbly missed out some over the course of my recovery. I think two factors have helped however and that is getting involved and keeping myself surrounded by safe sane and sober people. The second would be working the steps on a daily basis which results in a connection to my H.P. and it is only by his grace that I can say that I am sober today. If anyone would like to chat etc. I would welcome the online fellowship. Thanks Chris P.= Cpuck@janic.com


Member: Don F.
Location: NH
Date: 25 Apr 1999
Time: 09:29:35

Comments

for Steve H: Ya, I know it's late, I'll try to remember to post this again on next week's meeting. This was my first time in here.

Steve, going it alone leads to white knuckle sobriety. Undrunk. Self-reliance (our best thinking) got us drunk. Pride keeps us in an anti-God state. Authority? Only God is our authority. Our own mind has infinite capacity to deceive itself. To get sober, we have to do things that are alien to our (human) nature, which relies on strength, intelligence, guile, fortitude, articulation, defiance, fortitude, rage, manipulation of others, medication of our selves, and drunkenness. We have to develop (it's not normal, you see) a spiritual nature which allows us to have available the tools of honesty, open-mindedness, willingness to change, acceptance of who we are, humility, ability to ask for help, and even prayer.

It's what works for us.

Don write Lytch49@aol.com


Member: BOB T
Location: St. Louis, MO
Date: 25 Apr 1999
Time: 16:11:04

Comments

I just got a letter from a guy that i worked with (sponsored). He's in prison and was asking for some guidance. Now this is cool.


Member: gene n
Location: eldorado il
Date: 26 Apr 1999
Time: 00:18:44

Comments

Hi I'm gene and I'm alcoholics, I'm new to the program, I have been sober for 3 months & 25 days. I have been in AA for 90 days. I have made just about 80 meetings. I'm very happy today because I pick a sponsor and did the first step with him. I'm glad that I found the staying cyber. My high power said, I should do more listening and less talking, so I hope you don't mind if I just make small comments for now. Thank You for being here for me.


Member: Bobbie M
Location: kent, wa
Date: 26 Apr 1999
Time: 00:26:59

Comments

Hi, my name is Bobbie and I'm an alcoholic. This is my first time using a compouter, but my experience with sponsorship goes further. With 7 years sober followed by a 5 year relapse and then two years trying to get any time back, i took on a sponsee. Too bad for her. Her counselor in outpatient gave his blessing to it, which was the deciding factor for me. I t was a bad choice, but a learning experience. My first problem stemmed from my biggest problem as an alcoholic, self centeredness and ego. Frustration was daily, since this new person didn't just hang on everything I said to her. There was a "yea but" for every suggestion I gave her. When she would get a month, I felt successful, when she would go on a binge, I felt like a failure. She binged more and more, and I got more frustrated and felt like I had nothing to offer. I had really missed the boat here on what sponsorship is all about. It became all connected to me. tom line, I was too new in current sobriety to be a sponsor. All I had was compassion and that was overridden by my ego. We both relapsed, and are now both back. She now has my sponsor for hers. Our sponsor has 12 years sober and has a wonderful way of listening and then relating todays events to the steps and principles of the program. She doesn't tell us what to do about any situation, but only offers her experience and prodds us into coming up with our ouw answers. She takes the time to talk when we call, takes us to, or meets us at meetings, gets us in touch with other women, loans us books, remembers our birthdays, attends birthday meetings and gives us our coins. It's some of those little things that made me feel like I could call her any time, like she was really interested in my recovery. Because of her direction and support and the fact she never gave up on me, I now have 6 months again and have worked the steps all the way through and have a start on knowing what it means to live this program and apply the principles in my daily life. If you're looking for a sponsor, I suggest taking enough time to find one who has the quality of sobriety that you want in their daily life, and if you're looking to be a sponsor, work the steps first yourself, you can't lead where you have not been.


Member: Rob
Location: New York
Date: 26 Apr 1999
Time: 03:22:10

Comments

hi my name is Rob and I am an alcoholic. Sponsorship huh, well what a day for that topic. After 6 years in the rooms and two years in a relationship that I thought was the one that ended on Saturday I found myself going to buy a six pack today. As I put it up on the counter someone from the rooms came in and put it back. I was so disgusted that I just left. I am scared angry and hurt, I have done nothing but call AA people all day and went to 2 meetings this evening. I finally talked to my sponsor about what happened and he said "The problem with you Rob is that your ego has been hurt because things did'nt work out the way you wanted and she left". I was so mad that I could'nt say a word, them he said"You think that you are so important that this is about you, and its not, and then he told me read AA comes of Age. I thought why in the hell should I read that book it will do nothing. Even though I was mad the one thing that I do is that my sponsor would never tell me something just for the hell ofit. And the more I think about alot of what he said probably is true. If anyone has ny experience with this relationship busines please let me know, it is absolutly killing me.


Member: Roy S
Location: Overland Park, KS
Date: 26 Apr 1999
Time: 03:45:28

Comments

Hi, my name is Roy and I am an alcoholic. I am having some problems getting a good comfortable sponsorship started. I may be wrong but it seems that most of my problem revolves around the fact that my job requires nearly 100% travel, often international. I attend meetings where ever I happen to be. I am home so seldom that it is even hard for me to say I have a home group. My sponsor and I have tried to communicate by phone but it has been difficult due to schedules and other demands on his time. I recently had someone suggest to try and find a sponsor that travels also. That sounds like a good idea. Does anyone have any suggestions? My soberity is the most important thing in my life and I want to give it and myself the very best look when it comes to sucessful living as an alcoholic. I would appreciate any and all input. Thanks for being here for me.