Saturday, December 15, 2007


I have heard many people talk about their sponsor as a good friend, a confidant, a teacher....but that's not what I've actually experienced or seen for myself, in the g.a. program in my area...the sponsors that I have actually encountered seem to make 'demands' on their directives and ultimatums...I have often heard people speaking of 'submitting' or 'surrendering' to a sponsor.

In 2002 I asked someone to sponsor me on a temporary basis...and basically, she would tell me 'do this' or 'don't do that' .... I didn't feel like she would ever be my friend or confidant...and I didn't really feel like she WANTED to be those things...

I really want recovery.

When I became active in online communities, I found someone to be my online sponsor....that didn't really work for me either...

To be honest, the word 'sponsor' sort of makes me cringe....maybe this is why??

In the Gambers Anonymous 'Sharing Recovery Through Gamblers Anonymous' 67..Chapter IV Recovery and Unity, An Overview...Fourth Paragraph:

Each step is open to individual interpretation. Because the Recovery Program is designed to be adapted to personal needs, many different interpretations of the steps have arisen over the years. The commentary that follows is a basic overview of many different interpretations of the Twelve Steps of Recovery and can be considered as a starting point for more detailed discussion.

Well...that makes sense to me...however...if this is stands to reason that there are many different variations of the program going on out there..depending a great deal up on who your sponsor is???

So then...just picking someone who seems to be successful working the program isn't necessarily a good move.

This is getting more and more complicated :(

That same book also describes the duties of a sponsor in G.A.:

The duties of a sponsor are to do everything possible, within the limits of experience, capacity and prudence, to help other members continue their growth. Sponsors must let them know that they care and understand, that they can be counted on to help with any problems that arise. Sponsors are friends to their charges, and as good friends they are not afraid to tell them the truth, even if it is unpleasant. One of the most important duties of the sponsor is to make sure that the member attends GA meetings and adheres to the program.

The role of the original AA sponsor was defined in a pamphlet written in 1944 by Clarence S.

1) qualify yourself as an alcoholic

2) tell your story

3) inspire confidence in AA

4) talk about “plus” values (happiness, peace of mind, material benefits)

5) show importance of reading the Big Book

6) explain qualities required for success in AA

7) introduce faith

8) listen to the prospect’s story

9) take the prospect to several meetings

10) explain AA to prospect’s family

11) prepare the prospect for the hospital experience

But then...I found this on the web...this was written by an AA member who would like to remain anonymous:

Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship
1. I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.

2. I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.

3. I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.

4. I can not give you dreams or "fix you up" simply because I can not.

5. I can not give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.

6. I can not take away your loneliness or your pain.

7. I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.

8. I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.

9. I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I can not get close to you when you choose not to grow.

10. When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.

11. You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and "hang in there" with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.

12. If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.

I like that.
I also found information on the web regarding recovery 'coaches'...there are many ideas on what, exactly, that role should be also...but I sure do like that 'title' better.

For now..'friends' in recovery are meeting my needs...

One thing that I do know...I cannot do this alone.

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