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Old 06-12-2018, 06:30 AM
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Sponsorship

Hey guys,
I wanted to jiggle the ear of some of the veterans on this site who have sponsorship experience. I recently started sponsoring men and have been working with someone who i believe has gone back out. My question is how do you deal with someone who has and are lenient on continuing to work with them?
Thanks!
Garrison
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:42 AM
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Good topic.

So, I have almost 28 mo sober. In the past couple of months I have begun with sponsorship "for real," meaning with people who want sobriety. Before that (and I am sure in the future, based on what more experienced people share, with others who will disappear or go back out for x time), I had a number of one or two meetings, or just get togethers w me as a start...who flaked ASAP.

Two things to specifically contribute to the question, IME....

With the two people in recent relationships, I laid out the expectations I had. I had a very (VERY) strict first sponsor (we got up to 4/5 and among other concerns about her I realized I didn't trust the process to do these with her) so some of my specifics do "require" discipline (ex: text checkins in AM and before bed, and reading the first 164 p of BB, and such), while others are more the "art" of applying the steps to live the best life you can in recovery. I also specified that honesty w me is critical and if they did drink, to tell me w/o fear of judgment. This connects to my current sponsor's position, if you will, that continuing to work with someone with a sincere desire is the right thing, even w relapses.

I also learned that presenting myself as a temp sponsor, for us to evaluate ea other was their option (or mine). One of my sponsees is almost as dire a case as I was, and had about 5 wks, then drank and is now back at 2; she is an old friend who lives in a diff city, so I have shifted to a sober friend, ally and confidant while she has found local sponsorship, mainly because our lives and such stopped matching up enough of the time- meaning, I began "pursuing her" or wanting to which isn't what a sponsor should do, much or some people say at all. I also felt that not being able to "see her face" or read body language or such limited how well I could sponsor her.

My other sponsee is also a childhood friend (interestingly, though not suprising from what I have learned form others) and both ladies had been observing my journey from a distance (largely via FB and my public recovery and leadership of a restaurant industry recovery group in Atlanta) and something I said/posted clicked enough to reach out. This sponsee is possibly the highest "bottom" I have ever seen - she is at the beginning stages of alcoholism and sees the writing on the wall. She might even "just be" a heavy drinker as the BB describes. She had 30 days then one night drinking wine with friends at dinner. She is committed to permanent sobriety so whether I continue as a sponsor or a sober ally a I mentioned above, our relationship will continue and I think grow, through her journey.

I waited quite awhile compared to some to start the working of a sponsor, though in the recovery group have that kind of role with members in general, and learning to use the right judgment and approach with sponsees or potentials is an ongoing process. Lastly- I have to remember that it is always someone's decision to drink or not; I can do the best I can to serve but it is up to the hers to choose to live in recovery.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience August! I tend to think that I’m a pretty forgiving guy but I also want to protect my own sobriety and don’t want to compromise that. My sponsor will typically give someone a few chances although he has 20+ years of sobriety. I feel at this point I think I OK with giving someone another shot but after that probably will recommend that person finds someone else. I liked what you said about temporary sponsor. I did that with John and it seemed to work for both of us.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:01 AM
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I agree- "endless" chances would begin to mean that someone was not serious about sobriety. And sponsoring people is indeed something that can be as good for us as for the newcomers, in its best form!
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:20 AM
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i got thrown into a locked psych ward in my first year because of my failure to follow direction

my sponsor never gave up on me

while locked up i became willing to follow direction

meetings
sponsor
steps
service
higher power

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Old 06-12-2018, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by comtnman740 View Post
Hey guys,
My question is how do you deal with someone who has and are lenient on continuing to work with them?
Thanks!
Garrison
trust my gut instinct. some good stuff in the chapter,"working with others" gained from experience.
-If he does not want to see you, never force yourself upon him.
-If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady.
-Continue to speak of alcoholism as an illness, a fatal malady.
-Outline the program of action,
-If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, you may have to drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt some more.
-If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval.
-If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience
-Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.
-Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no reason why you should neglect his family.
-
Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.
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