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I do have a quick question....

Old 08-04-2011, 09:11 PM
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I do have a quick question....

my friend has convinced me to go to a meeting or few...until I find one I fit with...can you explain to me the whole "sponsor thing"? I am lost and clueless when people talk about looking for a sponsor..I saw one guy saying his sponsors girlfriend stole money from him while they were all hanging out....is it a friend who guides you?or a guide who becomes a friend? I am scared to walk into a meeting when I had to google what "opened" and "closed" meetings are....
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:16 PM
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Here is a link to the AA pamphlet on sponsorship. Alcoholics Anonymous : Questions & Answers on Sponsorship

I hope you are met with the kindness and hope I found when I went to my first meeting. I do recommend that if they ask if there is anyone there who is there for their first, second, or third AA meeting to raise their hand that you do it. That is a way for people to know that you are new to the program and need support and guidance. It is by no means a way to embarrass you. Also if they offer a 24 hour chip please raise your hand to take one. It is the most important chip of all that I have received over the years. It is the one that reminds me that I only have to work on today. I can't stress about the past or worry about the "what might happens".

Take care
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:20 PM
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Great question. I was very intimidated at my first meeting. I walked away very confused too. It can be confusing, especially depending on the meeting you go to.

This site was very helpful for me early on:
Your First AA Meeting<

A sponsor is someone with a decent amount of sobriety, who has worked the 12 steps and can help you work through them. They are also a sort of accountability partner. They may or may not end up being your friend. They are almost always the same sex as you. Depending on the meeting you go to, they may ask those who are willing to sponsor someone to raise their hand.

You can ask for a temporary sponsor as well if you are interested in getting one. Often it can be a tough decision to make, as you have to find someone you feel you can trust and who seems experienced enough. A lot of times, they say a good way to find a sponsor is to find someone in the group that you admire, or who has a life that you would like for yourself.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:27 PM
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Ok...NEXT question the..im not religious...I only say God n conversation(and please dont over annalize that,Im not religious enough to claim it.)From what I see on 12 steps they talk about a higher power....that will not motivate me or set my goals at this point....Im not ready to tackle religion,and I mean this with NO offense...How do I get past that part? If Im at a meeting and religion is forced into my "recovery" it will not work with me..Im still way to cynical as of now.(Im open minded..just not ready to explore that deeply yet)Im not the type of person who can be convinced into believing what other people tell me to...from what I hear meetings are based on faith....I dont want to offend or waste anyones time ....please dont attack Im just being sincere
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:34 PM
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No worries at all. I myself am a Christian, but I didn't take any offense at your post, and can certainly understand not wanting to tackle God and recovery all at once. These are all big decisions.

I will say there are atheistic/agnostic groups out there if you feel more comfortable with that. But there are also AA groups that run the gamut. Some groups are very "spiritual" and some are much less so. I will definitely tell you that AA is not a Christian organization, so don't think that anyone will force religion on you.

IMO, AA seems to be more focused on admitting our own helplessness to fight our drinking.

Long story short, don't let it be a turn off for you.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:37 PM
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Gibson, you may want to read the fourth chapter of the big book of alcoholics anonymous. It's written for those who don't necessarily believe in God.

Check it out for free here:
http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt4.pdf

You can read the whole book, or peruse other chapters here if you're interested:
Big Book Online Fourth Edition
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:46 PM
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Thanks Josh...Im not at all annoyed or offended by anyones beliefs or them expressing them..I have a best friend of 18 yrs who is a preacher..lol...I just dont want to be stuck like a deer in headlights when it comes to my recovery....I need to be as honest as I can be and not feel like I do when Im forced to listen to others religious(or political) beliefs....this is a selfish time about ME...Like I said Im not close minded and I dont cringe at the word "God"...I just cant find it in myself to use that in my recovery...and if I have to spare feelings or suffer through meetings ,I may as well be drunk..
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:35 PM
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I can so relate to your concerns about the "God" thing. When I came into AA I was completely against organized religion of any sort. The only reason I stuck around long enough to find out that AA is not a religion was that I was so desperate to stop drinking I forced myself to stick around and read the book before I made my decision on it. What I learned is that AA is not about religion it is based on spirituality. One way I think of the difference is one can be spiritual but not religious and there are many that are religious who are not spiritual. The concept of "God" is based upon the belief that there is something out there more powerful than me. That could mean electricity as electricity has the power to kill me but I am able to harness that energy for my benefit such as having lights. I would recommend you read the Chapter to the Agnostic on the Big Book. It will give you more insight into the God/religion thing.

You also may find AA is not the program for you. If you want to look into other recovery programs here is a good listing to start with: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:57 PM
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gibson, no group, no religion, no book can make you stop drinking. It has to come from within yourself and I believe that is where my spirituality takes over. I have a higher power but it is within my own soul. It guides me, it gives me a sense of right and wrong, it places things in my life that I need to be successful in sobriety.
AA is one of them. I go because I want to go not because of sponsers or religion or because I'm "supposed" to because I'm an alcoholic and that's what alcoholics do.
There is an inner spirit in your soul that will help you to make the decisions you need to to make the choices you need that are right for you. No one can make you do anything.
Sponsers are nice if you can find one that you fit with. Again, I believed that my inner guidance would allow me to find a sponser when the time was right. I'm 6 months sober and just this month came across a lady who offered to be my sponser. Patience is key in life. You can't rush things.
Going to AA was a very important step for me. Not because I'm an alcoholic but because I needed more tools and guidance after rehab to keep me on track -as an alcoholic. I was running out of excuses in life to keep drinking and keep going BACK to drinking.
My group are my homies now. I went in with an inner sense of peace of where I was and where I needed to be in my life. I am there now....so far so good.
You'll never know unless you go.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:14 PM
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Emerald,I can HONESTLY say I am READY to remain sober...within myself...that part of me has nothing to do with what I feel is right or wrong morally...It had nothing to do with a higher power(or at least none that I see yet)...I want to stay sober because my life is so much more pleasant..I can finally again look at my children with FULL love....I can work with my husband to make our financial existance more pleasant......my days before were consumed with nursing hangovers for most of the day...Now (and its only been a short while) its about the people I CHOSE to have in my life and myself.A few weeks ago 2 weeks seemed like a joke...do you know how many"2weeks" flew by while I was drunk? ...Time has slowed down since Ive decided to fix that.......Sometimes I cant decide rather to laugh or cry about it all....I dont normally let religion fears dictate me...as I said I AM open minded...who knows maybe someone will say something that makes sense to me....I also dont judge because what they believe sounds crazy to me...Ive seen and lived things that if I repeated NOONE would believe....So I am not that close minded person....I dont know...I know I need to try....I just worry about feeling a spot light on myself.....IM BARELY sober....how can I deal with that right now?
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gibson3479 View Post
I just worry about feeling a spot light on myself.....IM BARELY sober....how can I deal with that right now?
Don't worry about that. What I would recommend is going to listen to other people speak, and if they call on you to speak all you have to say is "I'm Gibson3479 and I'm just here to listen tonight." Nobody ought to look at you funny, it's very common to hear in meetings.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:25 AM
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Gibson, your writings suggest that you're under the misimpression that AA is the only choice you have when it comes to recovery groups. That is not true. There are several groups/programs that don't subscribe to the "higher power" philosophy. SMART Recovery, my own favorite, is the largest and best organized of the empowerment-based groups and has both face to face and online meetings. You might want to check it out and see if it is for you.

SMART RecoveryŽ | Self Help for Alcoholism & Addiction

Other non-12-step groups include SOS, LifeRing, and Women for Sobriety. In addition, there is an approach called Rational Recovery that isn't a support group.

Different strokes for different folks!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:02 AM
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I've been going to AA for quite some time and I can catagotrically say that I do not believe in some all knowing, all powerful thing that looks down on all 6+ billion of us and intervienes in each individual's life. I simply can't buy it. So some of the steps are meaningless to me as written. However the spirit of the "program" is OK. Basically I see it as 1. We want to quit and find we can't on our own. 2. We understand that quiting will require a change in our attitude, perceptions, habits, etc. 3. We find a way to accomplish that.

Personally, I don't read the AA literature - I use "Don't sweat the small stuff - and it's all small stuff". Lots of great life/attitude changing thoughts there. At meetings I also ignore/overlook references to "god" "higher power" "him". I go to the meetings for the fellowship (once I found meetings that were not offputing). I appreciate being able to say how I'm feeling or what I'm going through and be sure that everyone present knows what I'm talking about and has sympathy and support for my plight.

As far as a sponser, it's not something I'm going to do. A sponser's role is to "guide you through the steps". As a non-believer that's just not going to happen. My route was to get phone numbers from people I thought had a lot on the ball and call them to chat - especially when I was going through a tough time or wanted to drink.

As far as the "steps" Google "The Spiral Steps" for an alternative interpretation that doesn't include any majical mystery being.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:05 AM
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My sponsor is workING the steps daily. She is guiding me thoroughly through the steps, giving freely to me what was freely given to her. She has 24 years of continuous sobriety.

My sponsor was chosen for me. That person has 34 years of sobriety and also continues to work the steps daily.
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