How do you join a group and get a sponsor?

Old 08-21-2017, 09:04 PM
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How do you join a group and get a sponsor?

Is it ok to join a group after 1 or 2 meetings and how do I get a sponsor if I'm too shy to get to know people? It's weird I'm sociable and can tap forever with people at work but I'm scared to death of other social situations. Quit frankly all the handshakes etc. and small talk at AS meetings make me uncomfortable. Do i just go against my uncomfortability and ask?
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:48 AM
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If you're going, then you ARE a member. You may not feel like it yet, because you know - some of those folk will have known each other a long time and it will take you a little while to get to know them, and them you.

The thing that helped me most in getting to know people was getting there early to help set up and staying after the meeting to help tidy up. It is much easier to chat sometimes when you're doing a shared task. Also, people will note your commitment and understand that you're not just floating in and out on a whim - you do want this to work.

The other thing is to not shut people down with the "I'm fine" answer if / when they ask how things are going. (Maybe you're not doing this - if not you are in a minority as most newcomers do exactly that and I was no exception). People ask because they care and want to help. They want you to feel supported and like you are right in the middle of the rescue boat. So, if there is something specific bugging you - not sleeping / constantly hungry / struggling to fill time at weekends - I dunno, whatever, then "mostly okay, but ....." would be more useful than "I'm fine." They might not have any suggestions, but getting it out there can only help, but chances are someone will have gone through the same.

I used to feel uncomfortable with the 'small talk' and holding hands, but it soon became less so as my anxiety subsided.

As far as getting a sponsor goes, its worth getting to know a few people first. We ask someone to sponsor us if they have the kind of sobriety we'd like for ourselves. Not being funny, but there are a few people I've met in the fellowship who are up and down. When they're on an up I would have seen them as fun and lively, and besides, they're not so strict on the steps - they openly say they just do the bits they want to - that sounds so confident. And a little rebelious - yay - my kinda people. But then, the next week they're tearful and self-pitying. They can't understand why because they work the program 100%!! (urm, pardon me, I thought last week they said they don't?!?) Anyway - that's just a little illustration. When I first turned up at my home group my sponsor was the one who kind of scared me a little. She was old, and stern, and there was something about her that kinda said 'dont f*** with me' although I couldn't ever imagine her saying a swear word. But after a few months I'd also noticed that she listened and if people mentioned something they were struggling with she would have a discreet word with them at the end of the meeting. She was consistent. She did not take credit for her own sobriety but understood it to be the direct result of doing all the steps - even the bits she didn't want to do. She never, ever gossiped. In the end I knew that she was the one I needed as my sponsor. And I'm not kidding you, I was terrified about asking her. Eventually I got up the courage and said "I think it's time that I started doing my step work and wondered if you would consider being my sponsor." She said "I wondered when you were going to ask. We'll have to meet up and talk about what I expect, because I don't like being f***** about." Lol.

You know, in the meantime it is fine to get people's numbers and call them - that is seperate to sponsorship - it is fellowship and just what we do. BUT only other women's numbers.

Have you tried a few different meetings yet? It is def worth doing so before you decide which meeting you want to consider to be your 'home group'. The main difference with having a home group to other meetings is just that:
- they will put your sobriety date on the 'Birthday' list if they run one
- this is likely where you'll put your extra donation when gratitude week rolls around
- you will likely to want to make the effort to stay to any conscience meetings (meetings about how the meeting is run) for your home group

Different meetings tend to have a different 'feel' about them, even though you might see a lot of the same faces at different meetings you go to. It's worth asking people who are your potential sponsors what other meetings they go to - chances are they'll be happy to take you along / lift share / look out for you there. It's another good way of getting to know people, esp those potential sponsor ladies. I'd also suggest that study meetings are a great way of getting to know the program better, and to meet people who are program focussed and willing / able to sponsor others.

Anyway - I wish you luck in finding a great sponsor.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:38 AM
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^^^^What BB said! Such a great response.

Being patient with yourself and keep coming back.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:34 AM
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Go to the meetings, listen and if you hear someone of the same gender share something that resonates with you, ask for their number. There are some meetings specifically for newcomers....and there are some old timers who go and are ready and willing to help. Attending one of those meetings might be good. Some meetings ask people who are willing and able to sponsor to raise their hands at the end of the meeting or something like "Would anyone willing to talk to a newcomer raise your hand." Look around. There's plenty of help available to you.
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