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Old 02-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My sponsor isn't in a good place

I'm a bit stuck. Doing well in sobriety, despite a few very difficult weeks at work and am currently battling some ill-health which has laid me a little low. No thoughts of drinking, but I know I really need to work extra hard at my recovery at the moment. I'm wary of complacency and of drifting away from the path.

The trouble is my sponsor is withdrawing, not just from me but from everything. She is struggling a lot with resentments, and does not appear to be coping too well.

I'm on step 8, and seem to have been here for the longest time. I asked when we could meet up so she could give me some guidance, but she said she needed some time and wasn't ready to resume our meetings at present.

I've already started to make the straightforward amends, but there are some more complex ones. One in particular to my sister which I'm definitely going to need advice over. I really want to push on with this. But it is a sensitive issue and not one I can just talk to another AA person about without going over the past with them and I'm not able to do that easily.

Should I do what I can and move onto the other steps on my own?
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would strongly encourage you to find someone you can talk to about this, move on with the steps with guidance from fellow AAs and seek another sponsor. The 8th step is a classic falling off point for so many and loss of momentum could be fatal.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, that's too bad! But I would ask someone else to help you. Just thank her for all her help up until now....and keep moving forward.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would strongly encourage you to find someone you can talk to about this, move on with the steps with guidance from fellow AAs and seek another sponsor. The 8th step is a classic falling off point for so many and loss of momentum could be fatal.
I agree. What's just as dangerous as losing momentum is making amends without the proper guidance. We can do more harm than good. I am sorry to hear your sponsor is not well at the moment. Hopefully she will come out of this alright. But it's your sobriety and program that you need to focus on.

Like BBT suggested, find someone who you can discuss this, and seek counsel with another AA who has worked the steps. Good luck - I am sure you will find that person sooner than later
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. I hope so, but I'm not looking forward to having to go over some of my stuff again with someone new.
I will think it over. I don't want to get this wrong but I don't want to stand still either.

Thanks for your replies x
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Jen,

Hope you feel better soon. Is your sponsor getting help and guidance from her own sponsor? I am also at step 8, Interesting what BBthumper said about people falling away faced with this step, I can see how that could happen easily.

I started a thread about doing the steps without a sponsor, maybe it hasn't been posted yet but I am looking forward to people's advice. My sponsor is on holidays fo 4 more weeks and I don't want to wait any longer. I am in daily contact with her by email.
I am feeling very good at the moment and this is a time I don't want to rest on my laurels and get on with the work.
All the best and lets know how everything is going.
Love
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jen, I canít help but think that there may be a reason for your sponsor not being able to help right now. Perhaps you were meant to go over this material again with someone else? Just a thought.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Jen, I canít help but think that there may be a reason for your sponsor not being able to help right now. Perhaps you were meant to go over this material again with someone else? Just a thought.
That is an awesome perspective.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear your sponsor is not in a good place.

I would look around for someone else,changing sponsors in the programme is not uncommon.

I loved what awuh said,true.

If I can be helpful please let me know.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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this is a good time for the sponsee to be the sonsor. 12th step. did yer sponsor step away from you when you were trudging?
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Tomsteve-I'm not sure I know how to help her really. I see her at meetings and we talk but she seems kind of lost at the moment. I am concerned for her, I know that didn't come across in my post. We've never had that sort of relationship where we were in daily contact. I've always known I can contact her if I need to but as we attend the same meetings I can ask questions when I see her.
Before Christmas I was having regular weekly meetings at her house to work through the steps. When I had finished step 5, we agreed to meet again when I was ready to start step 8 unless I needed her in the meantime.
We both have long working days and busy careers and it has been a crazily mad time for me since.
I'm not sure what to do to help her really. The last time I saw her was Monday and she opened up a meeting. She seemed really pleased to see me but just looked so tired. I get that. I'm exhausted most of the time too.
I think once this step is out of the way, I will be fine working through the rest on my own.
Maybe I will phone her over the weekend just to see how she is.

Thank you for your replies x
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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And I don't want to step away from her, not at all. I'm quite prepared to offer support and to wait until she's in a better place.
Guess I will do what I can for the moment.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I can only share what I did and the outcome when something very very similar
happened to me at Step 8.

Now I didn't start my steps until I was almost 6 months sober, when my brain
finally started feeling clearer and not so filled with mush and fog.

I was about 13 months sober at Step 8. My sponsor sort of pulled away and I
and her other sponsees noticed it. All I could do, was say "I am here for you Bev
if and when you need someone to just listen." Lo and behold about a week later
she called me wanting to go out for lunch. We went and she opened up to me.
It had nothing (or maybe it did) to do with her wanting to drink or that she and
Hugh might be having problems. She had received some very disconcerting health
news (she had cancer) and was just functioning in a haze. Hugh was very sup-
portive of her but she was literally numb one minute and very fearful the next.

I was able to share with her some of her, giving her back some of the most helpful
words she had shared with me. Yep, she got through it, yep she survived, and
after treatment went into complete remission, and didn't pass away for another
18 years from different causes (her body, heart, etc just gave up).

After the worst of the crisis had passed, she shared with me that of all her sponsees
(she was 17 years sober when she got the diagnosis) I was the only one that asked,
and offered my shoulder. Needless to say this did change our relationship drastically,
and not only was she my sponsor, until she passed when I was 18 1/2 years sober,
she and Hugh were my dear friends, they played "Devil's Advocate" with me many
times and at times were like my siblings, like my parents, like my counselors, and
my very very dear friends!!!!!

So, with the above being said, and based on my own experience, since you seem to
be close to your sponsor (in that you have shared very deeply with her) maybe for
now, put the brakes on (this may be what HP wants for you) and just offer your
friendship and your shoulder to lean on, that you are more than open to just listen-
ing to her and being her outlet to vent. It can't and won't hurt you, but it might
be the support she needs right now.

I hope my experience gives you just a bit of incite.

Love and hugs
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"I'm not sure I know how to help her really."
sure ya do! ya care for her, yer gonna call( i suggest callin every day) and pray for her.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you Laurie. That has made me think. I hope it isn't anything as dreadful as that.

I'm hoping that it is just the pressures of her work. At Mondays meeting, there were only 5 of us there. She and I both shared. She talked a lot about resentments towards the people she worked with and how it was making her feel.

I understand she hasn't time to give very freely and I guess perhaps I'm just being impatient.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Any time I got stuck in any of the steps my sponsor would tell me to go back to the 3rd step. Get on my knees and reaffirm that my life and will were under God's care, and then move forward in trust. 8th step requires that we become willing, which it seems you are. 9th says we make those ammends when we can do so without injuring "them or others". While you didn't say so specifically, I'm going to guess that this is sensitive because it may hurt your sister, or someone else.

My experience is that as long as I am willing and trusting that I'm being guided, the right time, actions, and words witll present themselves. I have more than one instance where I made ammends I never thought I would, and at completely unexpected and unplanned times. As long as the willingness is there, I believe the rest will work itself out. I'd say move on with the rest of the steps. And be open to whatever opportunites regarding this are put in your path.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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At this time your sponsor is unable to help you. I suggest asking someone to be an interim sponsor (it may turn out permanent). You must put your sobriety before all else........
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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And I don't want to step away from her, not at all. I'm quite prepared to offer support and to wait until she's in a better place.
Guess I will do what I can for the moment.
Does your sponsor have a sponsor? Perhaps this is an opportunity to get to know your sponsor's sponsor.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Does your sponsor have a sponsor? Perhaps this is an opportunity to get to know your sponsor's sponsor.
Excellent idea!!!!

I had 2 home groups my first few years, one at each end of the San Fernando Valley.
The group in Pacoima had the "Old Mama Lion" who was a love. I got to know her fairly
early in my sobriety and she would be the one I would call, when I could not get a hold
of Bev.

It was years before I knew that she was Bev's sponsor, roflmao and when Bev passed
away, my grand sponsor Doris C became my #1 guide on my recovery journey.

Either way, just standing still for a while and being available for your sponsor to 'lean
on you' will also be a BIG PLUS to your own recovery.

Love and hugs,
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe its not time to step away from her but step closer.

I truly believe that one alcoholic has the ability of helping another, sometimes the plan doesn't pan out as we would expect...but maybe it was the plan all along....

Sometimes, we can be so deep in our own delusion, it becomes impossible to see....no matter how sober ..and in my experience , resentment is the number one offender .....maybe you have the ability to see something that concerns you that she doesn't ?

Some years ago, i took an alcoholic into my home and took him through the book..... about a year ago, i got into serious trouble with regards to maintaining my own recovery ( all my own making )....that guy that i took through the steps, took me back through the work...then and only then did i see the depth of delusion i was in....one alcoholic helping another....regardless of sobriety time..

God may get you busy when you least expect....in fact its always when i least expect it .
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