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Sponsor Question

Old 04-30-2015, 07:01 PM
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Unhappy Sponsor Question

Hi all. I am new to recovery and have joined AA. I recently asked a lady to be my temporary sponsor and immediately regretted it. I am really struggling with the continual contact and the requirement to reveal my deepest thoughts and feelings to this person. I'm pretty much a loner and do not normally talk about myself or my "secrets" and being required to do so with a sponsor is really stressing me out. The thought of having to reveal some of the things in my past and then see the judgment in someone's eyes or on their face is too much to take.

Don't get me wrong, she is a very nice lady but I'm totally uncomfortable with this level of revealing conversation. I want to just stop the sponsor thing and just attend the meetings and read the books. But as crazy as this sounds, I'm afraid to tell her this. And I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up for failure if I do this.

I have started seeing an addiction therapist and I have my recovery plan note book in place.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I should handle my issue with a sponsor? I'd appreciate any insight.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:48 PM
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In our area a temporary sponsor is more of a bridge from outside the rooms to inside. Sort of an introductory mentor if you will.
Doing steps 1-3 doesn't have to be revealing too much on your part. It's step 4 -5 which is down the road and doesn't need to be concerning at this point.

You should never feel as if you have to reveal anything you don't want to with anyone.

If your feeling pushed explain your feelings. Tell your new friend you need time and just keep it light.

Step 1 is all you
Step 2 is you and God
Step 3 is all God

Part of recovery is being honest. Explaining openly to your sponsor is a good start!

Keep coming back !
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:43 PM
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There are different approaches to sponsoring. Some sponsors do not expect or want to know the dirty details. So you may want to shop around -- and do not be afraid to be frank about what you need and what you have a problem with.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:53 PM
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Yes it is okay to say "thx for your help but ...."
Firing sponsors is really hard, Im still friends with both of mine but I delayed talking to them about ut bc I didn't want to hurt their feelings or deal with an argument or anything like that. I hate the term "firing "too . I simply said thank you for your help I'm going this direction now. They were both supportive, HOWEVER I have heard cases were there was a disagreement Or a falling out of sorts.
Anyways not sure if aNY of this helps but back to my original point-I think trusting your intuition is really smart and if you arent feeling Com for table with the situation then change it
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:37 AM
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Most sponsors could not care less. Having a sponsee is a lot of work so it is one less thing on their plate. One thing you may wish to consider are the words from

How It Works
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves

Recovery is not something we necessarily like because it makes us uncomfortable But change and growth always will make us uncomfortable
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:42 AM
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Whatever works for you! If you feel uncomfortable, then definitely be honest and tell her that you're going to try a different approach. Personally, I consider myself to be a loner too and I don't have a sponsor. I attend meetings, read the book, attend my local addiction centre and it works for me. I take what I need from AA, listen and support other people where I can :-)
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MIRecovery View Post
Most sponsors could not care less. Having a sponsee is a lot of work so it is one less thing on their plate.
I guess I was lucky because the 2 sponsors I had cared a great deal about me. However, if this sponsor makes you uncomfortable, find a new one. You are seeing a therapist so you can always save the difficult things to share for him/her. Besides, early sobriety should be focused on staying sober, not hashing out your deepest secrets...at least IMO.
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:57 AM
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You don't need to divulge any details of yourself to anyone you're uncomfortable doing so with. If anyone tells you different, tell them to shove it.

Encouraging someone to open up and let out their secrets is one thing, but demanding it is cult-like behaviour, and should be discouraged.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:14 AM
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While my sponsor wanted me to reach out daily she did not require or have any set rules. I did call her everyday but many times it went to VM or it was a brief five minute conversation unless something was going on with my sobriety or life that I needed help with.

I have never heard anyone demand that I tell them anything and even before my fifth step my sponsor made it clear I did not have to speak with her, I could go to a pastor or someone else that I trusted.

It took me a long time to trust and I would have ran for the hills if she demanded to know all about me in the first week.

My sponsor has never judged me or made me feel bad about anything I have done while drinking or while sober. She is has always been there to help me sort out my feelings and actions, not to judge me on them.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:22 AM
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One never needs to discuss anything with their sponsor that they wish not to. Give it time and stress not, this Lady may turn out to not only be a fine sponsor but also a good friend.

Share with her at this time only what you think to be safe to share.

MM
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Flynbuy View Post
In our area a temporary sponsor is more of a bridge from outside the rooms to inside. Sort of an introductory mentor if you will.
Doing steps 1-3 doesn't have to be revealing too much on your part. It's step 4 -5 which is down the road and doesn't need to be concerning at this point.

You should never feel as if you have to reveal anything you don't want to with anyone.

If your feeling pushed explain your feelings. Tell your new friend you need time and just keep it light.

Step 1 is all you
Step 2 is you and God
Step 3 is all God

Part of recovery is being honest. Explaining openly to your sponsor is a good start!

Keep coming back !
Thank you Flyn. I appreciate your insight.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:52 AM
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Thanks Miami. I do need to be truthful with her.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:53 AM
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Thanks Greens, it does help!
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:59 AM
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My sponsor was my guiding light and
is still after all these yrs. a person in
recovery who continues to pave the
way for me to follow through her actions
and responsibility in her own life.

Below is one of the 12 steps I learned
early on to incorporate in my everyday
life in order to remain true and honest
in my own recovery.


Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another
human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Knowing what you have done wrong and admitting
it are two very different things. Admitting past
errors and wrongs to a group and receiving support
to change your life is a part of AA that all participants
go through.

As explained to me back in rehab in 1990
that sponsors are folks in recovery doing
service work helping the newcomer work
and guide us thru the steps.

They are also used in our recovery
program to call upon, or get used to
calling upon them, so that when I get
squirrely or tempted to drink, that
I would emmediately call my sponsor
or someone in the program to help
me or talk me out of or guide me away
from wanting to drink my problems
in life away.

Many use sponsors for recovery,
their priest or minister for religious
reason, confessing, spiritual guidance,
doctors for physical or emotional
problems.

As long as I am working on being
responsible and honest in recovery
and in all my affairs then will I become
truly healthy, sober, happy in recovery.

Also, a sponsor or someone you put
ur trust in in sharing private, personal
issues with keeps us from airing out
our dirty laundry so to speak in public
or the rooms of AA.

Keeping recovery lessons we need
to learn in classrooms of AA.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:04 AM
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Thank you all for taking the time to comment on my question regarding sponsors. Your advise and experiences have helped me tremendously.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
I guess I was lucky because the 2 sponsors I had cared a great deal about me. However, if this sponsor makes you uncomfortable, find a new one. You are seeing a therapist so you can always save the difficult things to share for him/her. Besides, early sobriety should be focused on staying sober, not hashing out your deepest secrets...at least IMO.
It is not that they don't care just that there are others who may be a better fit and their time can be better utilized with people that agree on their approach

I have had a couple of sponsors and we cared deeply for each other. The sponsor sponsee relationship has to be built on mutual trust over a period of time
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:48 AM
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Dear labgirl

If you do not feel confortable to talk about your privacy,
maybe you need more time to open up,
or you have not found the right sponsor.

What ever you do you have to be sincere to yourself and your sponsor.
If you want to stop, stop! Tell her you do not want a sponsor right now...

I do have a therapist, I did try the NA way and did not like it.

And one thing I learned is:
You have to do what I want,
If you put in a sentece I HAVE TO...
Then that means you do not want to and have to learn to say NO.


If you want to just go to meetings plus your therapist do it that way!
What works for you!!!

I wish you the best in your recovery
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:58 AM
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labgirl,
might be worth your while to sort out if your discomfort is with the daily contact and speaking of personal things with someone or if it is about this particular person.

when i started the steps, i'd been sober a long time. and didn't want to or felt i had a need to do the daily contact thing. but sponsor person explained it was about getting used to reaching out, getting used to speaking a bit about where i'm at. doing things differently. that was/is a biggie.

under no circumstances are you "required" to share personal stuff you're not comfortable sharing. if the person is asking that of you and you're clearly uncomfortable, it's more like bullying instead of helpful.
for me, figuring out whether i was feeling unsafe because it was new for me and different or whether it had to do with this person....a good process. in my case, it was about me.
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