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my sponsee is drinking

Old 04-03-2014, 08:17 AM
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my sponsee is drinking

Hi Everyone,
I am new to sponsorship, I love being in service and find it truly does help keep me sober. Its important to me to share my experience strength and hope with another alcoholic, as it can not only give them hope, but truly drives home for me the nature of my malady.

I need some help tho. I've been sponsoring a woman who can't stay sober. She's been a daily closet drinker a long time, and has been telling me (but lying) that she's been sober for 3 weeks. We meet weekly, speak on the phone frequently, she's doing her reading, praying and going to meetings... but drinking all the while. last night at a meeting I could smell it on her breath for the first time. I didn't confront her about it b/c we were in a group talking, and i didn't want to embarrass her. But i called my own sponsor for advice on the way home.. She asked me to pray on it, and talk to my sponsee, as this woman did drive home last night.. a danger to herself and to others.

my plan is to ask her about it today on the phone, and see what she says. I'm trying to keep myself out of this, and have God guide me.. But is there any advice out there? Thank you in advance.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:46 AM
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you could bring up the part about rigorous honesty and possibly ask why ya smelled alcohol on her.
then read,"working with others"
Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:25 AM
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Get her to work the steps and recover from alcoholism. Sitting in meetings, reading, praying, service doesn't work for the real alcoholic described in the Big Book they need to get into action immediately to save their lives.

If you haven't worked the steps find someone who has quick for her and get her to change sponsors or else this is going to be another case of a sponsor sitting on their arse whilst consoling themselves that she was drinking anyway so no harm could have come whilst advising her to do nothing but sit on her arse, with a bunch of other people coming out the woodwork patting you on the back for the effort you have made with her.

Has your sponsor worked the steps?

If she won't work the steps and you have tried this route and explained it to get and shown how you have recovered then she isn't ready yet.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:43 AM
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She needs to work the steps.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:00 PM
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We are working the steps, the way my sponsor worked them with me, through the Big Book.

every time i ask her if she's drinking, or when she drank last. She lies.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:15 PM
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I would suggest she find a sponsor she can be honest with.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PaperDolls View Post
I would suggest she find a sponsor she can be honest with.
Ouch. thanks.

She's lying to everyone, including her family and other people in the program.. Hiding her drinking... like alcoholics do.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:18 PM
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That wasn't meant to sting ..... it's just a fact. Until she can get honest with someone, she probably won't be able to stay sober. That was a big reason it took me 15+ years to get sober, I was in complete denial and lied about everything.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:23 PM
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i agree. i'll talk to her about it tonight and if she can't make herself a promise to try just not drinking for one day, then she'll probably need to go to Detox and rehab.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:56 PM
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My relationship with a sponsee does not depend on them meeting my expectations.

The very nature of alcoholism is the inability to quit drinking. This may be the best she can do. If she's showing up to do the work. Take her through the work.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:05 PM
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I'm sure you have done this already but Pray together. About honesty.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:39 PM
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Well in the big book it says if there not serious let them go. But that's kind of harsh I say your doing a good job helping her id confront her yes if she lies well Id talk it over with your sponsor to see what to do.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:00 PM
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She is probably feeling very guilty and very ashamed. Maybe if you have had a similar experience (lying to your loved ones or friends etc.) about your drinking and hiding it you could share it with her so she can see its her alcoholism at work and she is not unique and she is not an awful person just a sick one who needs to get honest with others but more importantly with herself.

Ps: she is not a diabetic is she? Sometimes diabetics smell like spirits when their blood sugar gets out of whack.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tobiano22 View Post
Hi Everyone,
I am new to sponsorship, I love being in service and find it truly does help keep me sober. Its important to me to share my experience strength and hope with another alcoholic, as it can not only give them hope, but truly drives home for me the nature of my malady.

I need some help tho. I've been sponsoring a woman who can't stay sober. She's been a daily closet drinker a long time, and has been telling me (but lying) that she's been sober for 3 weeks. We meet weekly, speak on the phone frequently, she's doing her reading, praying and going to meetings... but drinking all the while. last night at a meeting I could smell it on her breath for the first time. I didn't confront her about it b/c we were in a group talking, and i didn't want to embarrass her. But i called my own sponsor for advice on the way home.. She asked me to pray on it, and talk to my sponsee, as this woman did drive home last night.. a danger to herself and to others.

my plan is to ask her about it today on the phone, and see what she says. I'm trying to keep myself out of this, and have God guide me.. But is there any advice out there? Thank you in advance.
I'd back off and look for someone else whose serious about getting sober. Even the Big Book says if the person insists on drinking, to let them go. There are others you can help. I've used this method and just called once a week or so just to let the person know you're still concerned.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tobiano22 View Post
Hi Everyone,
I am new to sponsorship, I love being in service and find it truly does help keep me sober. Its important to me to share my experience strength and hope with another alcoholic, as it can not only give them hope, but truly drives home for me the nature of my malady.

I need some help tho. I've been sponsoring a woman who can't stay sober. She's been a daily closet drinker a long time, and has been telling me (but lying) that she's been sober for 3 weeks. We meet weekly, speak on the phone frequently, she's doing her reading, praying and going to meetings... but drinking all the while. last night at a meeting I could smell it on her breath for the first time. I didn't confront her about it b/c we were in a group talking, and i didn't want to embarrass her. But i called my own sponsor for advice on the way home.. She asked me to pray on it, and talk to my sponsee, as this woman did drive home last night.. a danger to herself and to others.

my plan is to ask her about it today on the phone, and see what she says. I'm trying to keep myself out of this, and have God guide me.. But is there any advice out there? Thank you in advance.
"she's doing her reading, praying and going to meetings"
what about working the steps? Might be wise.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:52 PM
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I just say.....remember, you can tell me anything.

Then I don't mention it again. The truth will come out when it's time. To me, this is between her and her higher power. We can't generate that desire within.

We can offer help. I also don't worry too much about setting up appointments, etc. Let her ask you for an appointment. Don't worry if she doesn't call.

It takes what it takes.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:26 PM
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She's not done yet, simple as that. When she wants it enough to be willing to go to any length, she has a shot at sobriety. She's not willing to acknowledge the obvious, and while you cannot make her do anything, by ignoring the elephant in the room you are giving her a pass on the dishonesty. It's up to you to decide whether to continue investing your time and energy with her, but without her honesty it would seem to be pointless.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:41 PM
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When I was new I was trying to run that BS on my first sponsor and he put
up with it for a few weeks until after a meeting one day when he said "Joe,
whatever kind of program you want to work is OK by me, but I would appreciate
it if you would stop blowing that stale booze smell in my face." Then he walked
away.

I saw him the next day and came clean. Then he suggested I might want to go
back out and really get it on full throttle until the booze kicked my butt enough
to make me honest - hopefully before it kills me. I took his suggestion and
over a year later I came back an honest drunk and never drank again.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:45 PM
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It seems to me that many examples in the Big Book that turn into solid recovery are of people who fro one reason or another, did not want to take the help offered. However, a strong theme with them was that they were willing to talk honestly about their drinking and their inability to stop.

In these cases the AAs continued to work with them, after each relapse helping the newcomer to discover the cause. The desire to stop drinking was the key. These folks wanted to get sober and were honest about their drinking. Eventually their efforts paid off.

Not drinking is not a prerequisite for AA. It is the desire to stop. And the very reason we came to AA in the first place was that we could not stop on our own power.

If your prospect is, even with the knowledge that you will not judge her, unable to be honest about her drinking, then you are fighting a losing battle. Honesty, open mindedness willingness. These are indispensable.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:48 PM
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like Music said,I'd back off and look for someone else whose serious about getting sober.
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