Thanks, Susan. This is great that you're working yourself out in front of me. I appreciate your rigorous honesty with yourself.
I've had sponsor things, too.
There are all kinds of sponsors. Hardliners. Compassionate. Grim. Friendly. Whatever. I was told, "If you want what we have ...". I wanted to find one with what I wanted. They all had what I wanted. It was how they expressed it and how they got there that I was shopping. And there's nothing wrong with shopping ... if you're HONEST with yourself about what you NEED.
I go to this place at least 3 times a week. Usually between 50 to 80 newcomers and about that many AAers. Fri. night there are usually over 200 peops in the room. Normally about 20 sponsor hands get raised.
When I was a resident and looking for a sponsor, I always looked for a face under a hand. Got it. Then we circle-up and everybody gets lost in the crowd.
I had my eye on this one guy, but never could catch him. I was admonished, "Get a dam sponsor! TODAY!"
That Fri night , the BIG meeting, same thing all hands disappeared in the crowd. I finally jumped up on a chair and yelled, "WILL ALL THE SPONSORS PLEASE STAND STILL AND RAISE YOUR HANDS ... FOR 5 MINUTES!"
I scored a sponsor that night. Good guy. I'd watched him. I'd been paying attention to who said what I needed to hear and said it in a way I could understand and identify with.
The next night, I ran into the guy I really wanted. I asked him to sponsor me. I called the other guy and fired him. Never had a meeting. Kidding about fired. I told him why and he said, "That's great. You're doing what you need to do for yourself. Call me if you ever want to jaw or if you can't reach your sponsor "in time". That's the perfect sponsor attitude.
I loved the guy I picked. I thoroughly grokked his attitude, spunk, BB knowledge. I called him Coach.
Into step 9, he went out on me. Bless his heart. He's a great guy. I stiffled myself from being overly buddy-buddy with him to maintain my submitted respect for him. He came back in a few days later lookin' like a whipped puppy. I put a choke-hold on him and gave his bald black head a hard noogie.
He'd taught me well. His relapse had absolutely nothing to do with MY sobriety. I was sorry for him, but I wasn't even the least bit worried about myself. "Shaken .... not stirred."
We're buds now. Joking, guffawing, crying, and staying sober together
. I drive 8 miles east to pick him up for a BB study which is 15 miles west from my house. I love the guy. This is the relationship we sould have.
But I digress ... I scored another sponsor the next day. I chose this one because he is very Biblically orient. I talk Bible, if ya haven't noticed. I wanted that. He just had his 5 year last week.
At our first meeting, he finally found his Big Book in his kids bookshelf.
"AWrite, Lord, Let's see how this goes."
While reading, I noticed he was "interested" in what I said about our reading.
I was saying things he never caught outa the BB.
I prayed and decided to use two sponsors. It's done sometimes. Not necessarily recommended for perfectly good reasons I fully understand, but it can be done.
I would use him for his sobritey related Biblical approach. And I would use my other sponsor to WORK the steps intensely with me.
When I told him about my decision, he was kinda disppointed. HE wanted to read the BB and go through the stepwork again. He'd misunderstood my plan, to keep him AND have another.
Anyway, two in a row, I'm getting staying sober with a sponsor and I'm sponsoring a sponsor.
Go figure. 'sokay by me ... I'm 12 steppin'.
Re: the previous sharing, in my exprience watching the sponsors around here, there are all sorts. One, "I don't give my number to guys who won't use it. Call me tomorrow." Another, "Are you willing to go to any lengths?". Another, "Let's sit down and talk about you so you can be sure you want me." Another, "Hi. Lookin' for a sponsor?"
Their all good ... for someone.
As I related in another discussion, as they say here, "It's MY PROGRAM."
Yes, it's the AA program. Yes, it's God's program. But they tell us that YOU are the one who has to work YOUR program. No one else can work your program for you. Your sponsor guides you to help YOU correct wrong thinkin', attutude.
It is absolutely non-negotiable that I am rigorously, brutally honest with myself and that I fully and humbly submit to HP to get what I need, not necessarily want. What I want is what's best for me, like it or not.
And that's AA in it's entirety.
Thanks for helping me work on this, y'all.