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AA Sponsor question

Old 08-26-2014, 07:41 AM
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AA Sponsor question

I met with a woman who might end up being my sponsor. She told me to pray about it and let her know next Saturday if I want her to be or not. I am not a person who prays but I figured it couldn't hurt. So far I haven't had any great revelations from praying but I'll keep at it.

I do have a lot of fear though about how much I have to share with a sponsor and how soon. I know there is a step where I am supposed to write down stuff and then share it with a person. I just feel very nervous about meeting with a sponsor and suddenly divulging all of my life crap. Do I have to do it right away?
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:49 AM
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Working the steps is a process - not something you meet up and dump your crap on. I've had my sponsor for 8 months and we have not got around to Step 4 yet. Steps are to help you sort out things and feel relieved. If you don't feel comfortable enough with this person yet - give it time. I've never been into people who tell me to pray about everything. Praying is important, but if I can't get a good feeling about someone after interaction, then praying isn't going to help. It's not a magical tool/wand to make everything better. Having the gift of spirituality is something within you that is constantly guiding you to make good and right decisions. Sponsor/Sponsee is not a marriage or a committed relationship. This person can be a temp sponsor, get you going in the right direction. Don't be afraid of step work, all it is is learning about you.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:27 AM
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There is no rush but faith without works is dead. That means having the belief that something can help but doing nothing about it, wellÖdoes nothing about it. Nothing changes if nothing changes but change does not have to move quickly for progress to happen.

Trust, at least for me, was not something I walked in having when it came to the relationship with my sponsor, it was something that developed over time.

When I first asked her to be my sponsor I did not really know that much about her. She shares at meetings but is not one to share just to share. She shares when the topic really seems to be personal to her.

We started meeting once a week to read the Big Book and the 12&12. We read each step. She would read and then we would talk. Sometimes I understood and sometimes I didnít. When I didnít, she would explain it. It was hard at first to admit I didnít understand something and even harder when she would explain and I still didnít understand but I learned that is okay. My sponsor took the time. She told me ďit takes what it takesĒ. Some meetings went fast and we got through the step. Others lasted longer and we never finished the step and we continued with it the next week.

The more we talked the more we got to know each other. She would share things with me that I could tell were personal and were meant for me to keep, she was showing trust in me, which in turn helped me trust her.

By the time I got to the 4th and 5th step, I had no problem telling her anything and still donít. She never judges me. I never hear, how could you do that, how awful or that was a terrible thing. That is not what a sponsor is about.

She showed me unconditional love and has supported me through some rough times. She gives me suggestions and she asks me to look at my motives. She also lets me know I can wait on just about any decision I have. This has become important to me. Even if I decide something, I donít have to act right that second. I can pray about it and take the time I need. I no longer have to be impulsive or hurry to make a choice.

When I pray I donít look for some amazing answer to come floating out of the sky. I am praying to turn it over. To remove my doubts, my judgments, my prejudices from the question. You can also look at it that since you have no negative feelings about it, then you may have gotten your answer.

The fact that this person asked you to pray about it tells me that they are letting you take the time and that is what I would suggest looking for in a sponsor if you were like me and had trust issues. You do not want or need someone that is going to rush you a long. Donít drag your feet but donít dive in without looking first.

Pray one more time, take a deep breathe, and go for it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:33 AM
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If praying is not your thing than this woman will not be a good fit for you as a sponsor. Being truthful to her is more important than pretending to believe in something you don't believe in. You need to find a sponsor that is less religion centered.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:35 AM
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I don't think she is religious but I do think she wants me to cultivate spirituality which I have very little of. It seems like praying is a big part of AA.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:49 AM
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Praying to me was a way for me to let go. I wanted to control everything. I had to find a way to let it go. To take it out of my controlling hands and mind and give it to someone else to handle.

I do not have control of what will happen from day to day. I can plan but if that plan wavers in anyway I have learned not to be upset and just accept that what happened was meant to happen.

In the beginning I prayed but found no relief because I was not handing it over. I was praying for what I wanted to happen, not saying…here is my problem, you decide what happens.

The more I prayed to turn it over, the easier my life became. I stopped worrying so much from day to day. I still have a tendency to worry about big things. In those cases I talk it over with my sponsor or other ladies in AA and I pray. Both help to see me through.

They say....Let go and let God. God can be whatever you want it, he, she, them to be as long as it is something you believe has a greater power then just yourself.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:05 AM
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Trust is always earned. The sponsor sponsee relationship evolves as time goes . I trust my sponsor 100% I have trusted my life to him and he takes that responsibility very seriously. I would never trust someone unconditionally until they earned it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MIRecovery View Post
Trust is always earned. The sponsor sponsee relationship evolves as time goes . I trust my sponsor 100% I have trusted my life to him and he takes that responsibility very seriously. I would never trust someone unconditionally until they earned it.
ya took the words right outta my...umm...fingers??
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by snakes View Post
I know there is a step where I am supposed to write down stuff and then share it with a person. I just feel very nervous about meeting with a sponsor and suddenly divulging all of my life crap. Do I have to do it right away?
You're talking about Step 4 and Step 5. In Step 4 you do your "moral inventory". Step 5 asks you to admit to God, yourself and another human being the inventory you wrote in Step 4. The other human being does not have to be your sponsor. You can do this Step with a therapist, a Priest, a clergy person or another person you trust. However, if you trust your sponsor, you can do this with her.

Do you have a Big Book yet? If not, you may want to purchase one at the next meeting you attend. There is also a free online copy here: Alcoholics Anonymous : Alcoholics Anonymous

I suggest reading and studying the Big Book as soon as possible.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by snakes View Post
I don't think she is religious but I do think she wants me to cultivate spirituality which I have very little of. It seems like praying is a big part of AA.
You could look at prayer as a form of reflection and meditation; a quiet time where you open yourself up to whatever higher power you've chosen.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:28 PM
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Snakes - I am at day 79 today. Found a sponsor early on. There have been bumps in what might have been best for my sobriety with this person, but working through.

If I were to do it over again, I might get a temporary sponsor - which is offered in our group. After 30-60 days I would have been better able to judge what would work best for myself and the sponsor. We are helping them stay sober as well.......

You might consider asking this person if they would do it temporarily to see how the personalities/availabilities meld.

Just a suggestion......
Keep coming back!!
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:21 PM
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I've been to one whole AA meeting, and will go to a few more before making any decision there. But one of my main objections to AA was the whole "God" thing.

If I don't believe God made me drink, or God will not stop me from drinking, than I need a different perspective on "God" as it reads in the 12 steps.

One of our members here stressed to me not to give up on it, and suggested that I don't view my higher power as God (in the Judeo-Christian sense), but find a different higher power. I'm OK with something this nebulous right now, and by doing so, it changed my perspective on the spiritual part of AA.

At some point, I likely will have a sponsor. And my hope is that I can find someone else who has a similar approach. By your, mine, and some other members' comments, I'm pretty confident there will be a match for you at AA; not everyone has the same level of spirituality.

When people share, I think you'll get a pretty good feel for who might be a better fit for you. In my case, I saw a couple of people who were of a similar age at my meeting, with many more years of sobriety. However, I got a better feel listening to them speak. For example:

"I know God kept me alive for a reason, and I thank God everyday for my sobriety" - likely not a good fit for me

"I know I cannot control my drinking, and am so thankful to have found AA. The support I get from all of you is a great help" - likely a better fit

Regardless, I'm in no rush to find a sponsor. I know it's important, but it's equally impotant to be in and stay in the program. If I dislike or am incompatible with a sponsor, it gives me a reason to stay away.

At least those are my thoughts, for what they're worth. Just the perspective of someone else starting in the program.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:51 PM
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Good Stuff Sparky

And THANKS for changing your avatar! I was having nightmares....
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FeenixxRising View Post
You're talking about Step 4 and Step 5. In Step 4 you do your "moral inventory". Step 5 asks you to admit to God, yourself and another human being the inventory you wrote in Step 4. The other human being does not have to be your sponsor. You can do this Step with a therapist, a Priest, a clergy person or another person you trust. However, if you trust your sponsor, you can do this with her.
And Feenix took the words right out of mine Tomsteve!

My sister chose to do those not with her sponsor..but a member of the clergy who had gone through the program (who has done those steps for a number of folks in their local program).

My therapist (also been through the program) is willing to do mine (if I decide that's what I so choose over sponsor). She too has also done those particular steps for others as well..as a result of her therapist role. Some folks feel more comfortable with folks with even stronger bonds and experience with confidentiality.

All that being said...I would hope that my sponsor relationship would be one of trust that I could utilize in that way..but I'm glad there is a "back up" option.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:11 PM
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I sat on the fence for about a month before choosing a sponsor. I live in a very small town and our group is very small (ie not many choices for women sponsors)... and I knew it had to be the right person or I would not be a very good sponsee . Also my first attempt at working the steps with my first sponsor many years ago, clearly, did not end well (through no fault of hers ... I just wasn't ready I guess). I chose the person who best summed up what I wanted to be like ... the one who had what I wanted. Her and I are very different in many ways, we are not "best buds". But I know that when it comes to working the program, she is on very solid ground. And I know that when I do steps 4 and 5, she is not there to judge me. (It helps that she told me that nothing I tell her will shock her ... she's probably done it all and then some!) She also did not kick my butt nearly hard as I did myself for a relapse. She calmly set out a course of action, made a few demands (that were requests before), and got on with it. I feel very lucky to have her in my life.
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