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I Need a Sponsor

Old 03-26-2010, 07:29 AM
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Snarf Snarf
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I Need a Sponsor

I'm trying sobriety again after several years of heavy, heavy drinking. A really horrible night 2 nights ago, and my reaction to it (wanting the 1 thing that had caused me the trouble - alcohol) yesterday led me back to AA. I attended 4 meetings. Wanted to go home after the first, but followed some people to another meeting. Got in the car after that one, left the parking lot, and turned right back around for the next meeting. After that I went home. Then I got in the car, and went back for the late meeting. I just needed to be there. I needed to be around those people and hear their stories and talk to them.

Of course, several people came up and introduced themselves to me. Very nice folks, and I enjoyed speaking with them. Several of the guys asked me if I had a sponsor. Problem is, when I started the program 5 years ago, I picked the wrong sponsor. We just didn't mesh, and he was much too forceful for the approach I was taking. I like being around others, but I also like my personal space. And he was just all over me 24-7. Texting me when I was in class and stuff. And I was drinking, and wasn't really thinking about it. I was like, "Dude, back off. I'm not drunk, I'm at school, I'll call you tonight." Just way too overbearing for where I and my mental state were at in that time of my life.

So now I need a sponsor. Told 1 guy last night that I want to attend several meetings off the bat and find one that feels right that I can attend often, and make that my home meeting. Perhaps it would be to my benefit to seek a sponsor in that meeting as I know I will likely see him several times a week. But really, I don't have to be friends with the person; I just want to be able to work with them without feeling pressure. This is something I really want to do; I need someone to guide me through it, not try to crack my head open with a sledgehammer and cram all this stuff into it.

Any ideas or tips for finding/selecting a sponsor? Has anyone had rough experiences that caused them to have to "fire" their sponsor and seek a new one? As I said, I am quitting drinking for to better my life for myself and those around me. I'm highly motivated. I want to do it. I just want the right person to help me.

Thanks for any insight. I've spent several of my last waking hours reading the posts on this site, and they've helped me see a lot of myself in them. That makes me see things in myself that need to change, and for that I am very thankful.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:57 AM
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Snarf Snarf
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My bad. In my post I wrote "I was drinking, and wasn't really thinking about it." I meant I WASN'T drinking. I was being good. My sponsor was just too overbearing. That only lasted 5 weeks, till I started drinking again.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:35 AM
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Hi Snarf,

I'm glad you are ready to stop drinking, and I hope you find a sponsor who fits you.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:38 AM
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I would suggest you find a home group first, then watch and listen to the members until you find one who "has what you want" in sobriety and living and ask them to be your sponsor.

I get ya on the 'sledgehammer' bit. I don't mind being led around, but not by the nose and not 'shoved' here and there forcefully.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:41 AM
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Keep going to meetings to find one you 'feel' could be your 'home group.'

Pick up this pamphlet on the literature rack at one of the meetings:

Alcoholics Anonymous : Pamphlets

If you 'click' on the pamphlet it will come up in PDF format on line.

and study it and highlight what you believe to be important for you to discuss with a prospective sponsor.

Watch and listen at your meetings. You will start to be able to tell who has worked the steps, who has a sponsor and who 'walks the way they talk'.

And remember, if you do pick one, and find after a bit that the relationship is not the correct one for you, there is no 'law' that says that you cannot get a different sponsor, just as there is no 'law' that says a sponsor cannot let go of a sponsee that that are 'uncomfortable' with.

Keep going to those meetings, more will be revealed to you.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:51 AM
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It took me along time to find a sponsor that I jelled with. This is probably as much of a reflection on me as it is/was on my previous sponsors. I think for long term sobriety picking a sponsor is critical, for short term sobriety a temporary sponsor may work well for you.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:02 AM
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Went to an 11 o'clocker today. A guy that I met yesterday was asking if I needed a sponsor. He's a cool dude, but he has less than a year of sobriety and is younger than me, so I knew there's a lot of stuff I have gone and will go through that he won't have much knowledge about. I'll just keep hitting the meetings and talking to as many people as I can in order to help me find a sponsor. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:19 AM
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I wouldn't wait too long to get a Sponsor. Having one early on made me got me active on my recovery right away. I called him everyday and knowing that I would make that call keep me focused on doing what I was supposed to.

I think it's advantageous to have a Sponsor in your home group but more importantly select one. My Sponsor lived in a remote city so I could only see him once a week but it worked just fine.

Good Luck
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:35 PM
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Hey there, Snarf - good for you in being active in your recovery.

I've had bad experiences in choosing sponsors too quickly cuz people said I needed one.

You've already had one that showed you what you're NOT looking for so that's a good start this time around.

My experience is not to look for perfectionism in a sponsor - that's not realistic - but since sponsors play such an important role in recovery, it's best to continue to go to meetings early/stay later, mingle with folks, listen, listen, listen and select that one that has the kind of attitude and recovery that you'd like to learn from.

He's out there. You'll find him or you'll find each other.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for all the wisdom, guys. I think I may have found my man. I attended 4 meetings yesterday (Day 1 - trying to immerse myself as much as possible), and one of the meeting leaders stood out to me. Seemed very laid back (like myself), laughed a lot (like myself), and has a good stretch of not drinking behind him (like what I'm looking for). This also happened to be the meeting where I picked up my white chip.

I was hoping he would be leading the same meeting today. Instead, I saw someone else at the desk, but my guy was wandering around and we exchanged a quick "Hello." Then I went into the room and selected a seat. As I was searching for a seat (there were over 100 available ones), something said to me, "Select that seat. He'll pick the one two seats over from you." I selected that seat, and sure enough, out of all the chairs, he sat next to me.

I could tell he was looking at my expression after certain things were said, almost checking my reaction. I wanted to talk to him after the meeting, but there was a kid in there definitely in need of some assistance, so my guy went to talk to him. However, after the next meeting, we struck up a great conversation. I even ended up giving him a ride home, as we were pretty much headed in the same direction.

He asked if I had a sponsor. I said that I didn't, and explained why, based on my previous experience. He agreed I needed to select one that I felt comfortable with on a personal level, but also one with a lot of experience in the program who could lead me through it. And my views of how I want to proceed through the program were almost congruent to his approach. So while nothing was settled tonight, we exchanged numbers and will be talking very soon. Had a great feeling on my way home; my (probably ex-) fiancee is out with the girls, so I think I may just go out for a late meeting and be totally lame with my Friday night. But lame in a good way.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:23 PM
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Glad to know you are moving forward....
Keep up the motivation.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:59 PM
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Snarf

So glad you found SR. Hang in there, come back often.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:25 PM
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So it looks like I have a sponsor, guys. We ended up having a phone conversation for over an hour about some stuff that was really weighing on me today. It was a very uplifting conversation and left me feeling at ease with myself, even though the issues are still there. He also said he'd be happy to help me if I want that, but no pressure and to just let him know if ever I was interested. But he told me his plan for beginning the program and for working through the steps, and it sounded great to me. Just got home from a meeting, still feeling that tension and unease I felt earlier, but I feel like I'm learning to better deal with those issues. At least I didn't have a drink.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Snarf View Post
So it looks like I have a sponsor, guys. We ended up having a phone conversation for over an hour about some stuff that was really weighing on me today. It was a very uplifting conversation and left me feeling at ease with myself, even though the issues are still there. He also said he'd be happy to help me if I want that, but no pressure and to just let him know if ever I was interested. But he told me his plan for beginning the program and for working through the steps, and it sounded great to me. Just got home from a meeting, still feeling that tension and unease I felt earlier, but I feel like I'm learning to better deal with those issues. At least I didn't have a drink.
Hello and welcome to SR.

Thanks for all your updates on finding a sponsor. It sounds like this man is going to be very helpful to you.

Working the steps is a life-changing experience and you will know a new freedom at the end of it. A happy, joyous, free life - free from the obsession to drink alcohol.

You may also want to check out the 12 step forum here on this site for more support as you work through the steps.
Good luck
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by intention View Post
Hello and welcome to SR.

Thanks for all your updates on finding a sponsor. It sounds like this man is going to be very helpful to you.

Working the steps is a life-changing experience and you will know a new freedom at the end of it. A happy, joyous, free life - free from the obsession to drink alcohol.

You may also want to check out the 12 step forum here on this site for more support as you work through the steps.
Good luck
I definitely will, thanks. Right now I'm just kinda absorbing a lot. I'm trying to go to as many meetings as possible (8 in 2 days) because it seems like at every single one there's at least one person who shares an experience that I connect with deeply. It's like, I'm sitting here thinking I'm the only fool who would actually do something like this, then I hear someone else say the exact same thing. And I kind of realize I'm not alone. But at the same time, it makes me feel isolated because I'm beginning to see that I'm not the person I thought I was. So that's kind of a scary feeling.

But I started keeping a journal because it helps me wade through my thoughts. And I'm excited to start going through the 12 steps with my sponsor. He's a cool guy and I'm very comfortable with him. The sponsor I had 4 years ago made everything feel so negative and forced; the sponsor I hooked up with yesterday is much more into the spiritual side of things, which is how my brain is likewise inclined.

Thanks again to everyone for all the help. I'm sure I'll be here looking for it a lot in the future. Today I'm going to work, but I know the money will come, so that I don't even have to worry about; my main goal for today is to not take a drink.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:10 AM
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Welcome to SR! 4 meetings a day is a heckuva commitment. Stay strong.

Nellie
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