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Old 10-11-2004, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question...please respond


I have a question. I am a wife of an alcoholic. He went to rehab for 15 days in August and since has drank several times. Granted, it is much better than the drinking EVERY night, but still, he really wants to stop. He has been attending AA meetings regularly, but his sponsor is basically useless. He has been sober for 18 years and my AH really liked him and thought that he would be a great sponsor. They set up a time (his sponsor's choice) to talk at 10 pm every night so that they wouldn't have to play phone-tag all day. 8 of 10 times, when my husband calls him at 10, he has to leave a voice mail, to which maybe half of the time he returns the call. The 2 of 10 times that his sponsor actually answers, he always asks if he can call him back in a few minutes, which may be 5 or may be an hour. Anyway, my husband left a message for him yesterday and asked him to call him at work today. He didn't. My husband called him from work b/c he was having a really rough day and left a message and he never called back. He left two more messages for him today and hasn't had a call returned. He feels so angry and so defeated. He has no idea how to do the steps alone. He is stuck on step 2 b/c his sponsor hasn't even begun to work on them with him. He told him 2 weeks ago that he was ready to really commit himself to sobriety and working the steps and there has been no more mention of it from his sponsor. Here's my question: How does he go about getting another one? He got this sponsor b/c he offered sponsorship at a meeting that his rehab had taken the group out to one night. He is under the impression that no one wants to sponsor anyone b/c no one has offered sponsorship to anyone at the group he attends. He is now telling me that he guesses he can just talk to me about his bad days, but that's how it has been for the past 7 years and, let's face it, it didn't work. Any suggestions? I know that alot of people have to go through several sponsors before getting a good one.
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keep going to meetings. Keep going to meetings and keep going to meetings.
When at meetings he can talk with the leaders and ask about sponsors.
He can talk with you about his day and his problems. (communication is always good in any relationship) A person who has been there and done that... a sponsor would have answers you may not though.
Not to give excuses for the sponsor but he will need remember the sponsor has a life as well. Yes a commitment to be a sponsor should be made if willing to be there but life happens and there may be times we can't be there.
He can read the book, go to meetings, gather as much info as he can, be his own solution as best he can and the right sponsor will show up when the right sponsor is there.
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Red face

I agree with Best. He has GOT to keep going to meetings. If it were me, I would tell the current sponsor that the relationship just isn't working for me and that I will be seeking a new sponsor. Then I would keep my eyes and ears peeled at meetings and find someone who has some good sober time and is working a solid program. When I found someone, I would ask them if they would sponsor me. If they said no, I would keep looking. Your husband would not be the first person who had to try a few different sponsors before he found one that worked for him. Tell him we are rooting for him!!!
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, jalacola, here's a few things that might help.
He can have more than one sponsor. Some people, especially newcomers, have several.
He will hardly ever hear anyone volunteer to sponsor. It usually doesn't work that way.
He needs to read the Big Book, titled Alcoholics Anonymous, available at most meetings. There's a soft-cover version with a plain dark-blue cover with the title embossed rather than printed. You can't tell what the title is unless you look closely, so it's great to keep handy at work.
You didn't mention if you're in Al-Anon. If not, please give it a try.
Get the AA pamphlet, Sponsorship Questions and Answers. It'll help you both.

The best way for him to get a sponsor is to ask someone after the meeting, "Will you be my sponsor?" A sponsor is someone who is farther along in the program than he is, someone he's comfortable with and can talk to. As you've found out, some sponsors aren't much help. Dropping a sponsor is as easy as getting one, just don't call him anymore.
Most importantly, it's an honor to be asked to be a sponsor. If the member being asked doesn't think so, he's probably no good as a sponsor. The current one seems to think he's being imposed on. I think your husband should dump him. Quick.
But the first rule of mountain climbing applies: Don't let go of what you're hanging on to until you've got ahold of something else.
Take what you like of all this and leave the rest.
Remember, I'm pulling for you both. We're all in this together.
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