Sponsor Problems

Discussions related to Sponsors, Sponsoring, Working with others,
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Location: Lake Erie, Ohio

Postby Susan » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:29 am

Thanks Dallas, I am glad I am here.

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Location: Baton Rouge

Postby BatonRouge » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:27 pm

Well, using the proposed situation above, I must leave the girl be. After all if I do think so much of her, she derserves the same chance that I got to develop a higher power of her own, rather than taking the chance of someone becoming a higher power. Soberity must be number one.

Thank You all for your help.

garden variety
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Location: Ohio

Postby garden variety » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:48 pm

Hi again BatonRouge,

Now what I'll pass on to you is a blessing that I hope brings a smile to your face, and a deep sense of satisfaction.

I'm impressed with your choice, although it sounds like you don't really want to choose this way and it doesn't make you feel all thrilled, or "happy, joyous, and free." But if you reflect on this for just a moment, you might see one of the best blessings of living sober. Are you ready?

You said that you "must" leave the girl be. That is not true. That might be how you feel, but it isn't the fact.

This is the truth that I see. You had a choice to either act selfishly: motivated by your own agenda, or you could choose what looks like you feel in your heart of hearts is the best thing for someone else. Your choice looks like it's driven by that "intuitive" sense of right and wrong that comes almost automatically by living sober a while and practicing the principles of the 12 steps.

This is the "blessing" I see. Today you have a choice to take constructive action to help another human being even though you might not have wanted to. Four years ago, you probably didn't have that choice if you are a real alcoholic. The only thing you would be driven by is a "hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity" if you were still drinking. As alcoholics in "our cups" we all were "self-seekers even when trying to be kind". Even at our "best moments" before sobriety, we produced "confusion rather than harmony". It's not like that today, is it? That's what your choice tells me - even with the doubt or reluctance you might be feeling.

Now let's reach for the inspiration that has come to all of us here as a result of your choice. Today you said: "I must leave the girl be. After all if I do think so much of her, she deserves the same chance that I got..."

Don't minimize your freedom to choose so quickly - it's the foundation of the same freedom you serve all of us with in your job with the Guard.

You don't "have to let the girl be"...it's not a "must". It's a choice you made driven by your conscience that you now have the freedom to make.

You "GET to let the girl be..." to have the same chance as you have.

That is the incredible blessing of sobriety.

Words cannot describe how proud and impressed I am with you. You might not realize it right now, but you have helped me and others like you wouldn't believe! You showed each one of us watching and listening that this spiritual program of action is a "design for living that really works" in both "fair or foul" weather. Incredible blessing, my friend.

Thanks so much for finding the courage to share your problem with us. Man I thought Dallas was the guy who could start my engines!

Thank you BatonRouge for your courage under fire. You are a fine example of living sober. God bless you!

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Postby BatonRouge » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:57 am

Hey guys,

I had a very good conversation w/my sponsor yesterday afternoon. I had written him an email the night before, and when I got to his house yesterday we discussed it. THOURGHLY!

It was a very good experience. Because I got to see alot of things that I have been missing. Perception is everything. Like Dallas was saying, I was completely sure that my sponsor was completely wrong! And how right I was. After discussing alot with him yesterday, my eyes were open to how even now, after a small period of sobriety. I still play the victim, and how selp-pity is my worst character defect. I said my sponsor was a control freak pretty much, well after seeing ( I didnt want to ) the facts, I really do have a choice to do what I want. He merely presents me with all of the facts before hand. Either way I am still left to make the decesion.

When I started this topic I should have wrote "Sponsee problems" instead of sponsor problems.

The last three and a half years, well they were better than drinking, but they havent been the most wonderful either. I just still havent found it in myself to admit complete defeat! I have no doubt about the first half of step one, being powerless over alcohol. But it seems that I am just unable to internalize the fact that I cannot manage my own life!

Life is still good today though, I feel so much better after yesterday.

garden variety
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Location: Ohio

Postby garden variety » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:25 pm

BatonRouge wrote:But it seems that I am just unable to internalize the fact that I cannot manage my own life!

How-do today BatonRouge,

I swear you are a gold mine of good for me! I really am grateful you joined us. You really and honestly can't believe how much inspiration I get from your posts. This is no lie - God as I understand Him speaks to me, it seems like almost directly, through your posts. Absolutely incredible!

Like you said, perception is everything.

Look at your posts a little closer. It sounds to me you have "admitting defeat" down pretty well. You said you know your powerless over alcohol.

But right in this post you just made, you showed me that your life is indeed unmanageable. You did the perfect first step, and you didn't even realize it!

You said:
BatonRouge wrote:I still play the victim, and how self-pity is my worst character defect."

You said you're not actively drinking. The alcohol is gone and what happens? You play the victim and feel sorry for yourself so much that you recognize it as a character defect. Can anyone else identify with that? I know full well I can! I totally understand.

Lets just plug "me" into what you just said. Whenever I "play the victim" (which has been pointed out to me even today sometimes) and/or whenever I feel sorry for myself (I've already admitted to pouting a number of times), it means that I unwittingly make a choice to let people, places, things, or circumstances "manage" the way I feel and perceive things. In other words, my life is being managed by someone or something other than me - at least that is my "victim" thinking telling me that someone other than me is responsible for the mess I'm in.

Isn't that another way of saying "I'm not able to manage my own life"? "If it wasn't for my evil wicked sponsor - if it wasn't for my incompetent boss - if it wasn't for that POS Jeep breaking down in the midday sun in the middle of the road - well, I'd be in a much better mood today." Holy cow! Who's in charge here now that alcohol is gone? I thought it was supposed to be me. My life has all of the sudden become unmanageable.

For this alcoholic, "life" was always unmanageable. That's why I drank. Alcohol was the solution to my unmanageable life. Now agreed, it made my life even more unmanageable like it says in the Doctor's Opinion:

"These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance on things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve."

If you look at that, it describes that "once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it", then it's all over. Everything else just becomes a plain and simple fact. My problems pile up and become "astonishingly difficult" to solve.

Now the point of this is, once I become "powerless" over alcohol, I automatically have a pile of problems that seem to fall right in my lap, that are indeed "astonishingly difficult" to solve. This "problem pile-up" of mine - ITS THERE - EVEN AFTER I STOP DRINKING! Then add on to that I haven't got a clue about how to "manage" anything in life sober in the first place - and buddy let me tell you what - I got a mess on my hands! And if I don't start working a recovery program, my piled up problems NEVER go away. Even when I work a recovery program, I been taught it's impossible to do it perfectly. I strive for progress - quickly, slowly, whatever. So that means I still have a pile, lets call it a "backlog" of problems that are difficult to resolve. My life "had become unmanageable."

The biggest part of my unmanageable life now that I've stopped drinking, are my character defects. Try this one on for size...If I didn't have character defects, my life wouldn't be unmanageable now that alcohol is gone! If I didn't have any character defects, I could face "life on life's terms" perfectly. My life would then be manageable instead of unmanageable.

BatonRouge, if you give it a couple minutes of thought, which you now have freedom to do, I think you'll find you're fully qualified and have "both parts" of step 1 alive and well going on. At least that's what I see. Otherwise, I don't think you would have said:

BatonRouge wrote:When I started this topic I should have wrote "Sponsee problems" instead of sponsor problems

God bless you my friend, and thanks again for helping me so much.

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Re: Sponsor Problems

Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:35 pm

BatonRouge wrote:Anyway, I told my sponsor what had happened the following day, and got my butt chewed up and down. I belive he used the words, "Predator" "And worse than malestng a child" In fact he yelled and freaked out like he usually does when I have screwed up in the past. He gets really emotional, tends to beat me down to a moldable level. Then gets real tender and understanding. You know when you beat a dog, then pet it hoping you make it feel better. Similar, just with no physical abuse.

Holy crap -- this makes my experience which I've been plastering all over this site today seem completely ridiculous. :shock: Although, ya' gotta respect this guy. I'm sure I wouldn't like this AT ALL if someone did it to me, but ya' gotta respect the principle.

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Re: Natzi sponsor & 13th stepping

Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:43 pm

sunlight wrote:My 1st sponsor was very hardcore & when I was 13th stepped at 4 mos. sober she freaked out & said I would drink again. I was determined to prove her wrong & held back just how involved I was,then started to not reveal other things cuz she "wouldn't understand". I wasn't drinking so I thought I was well. I was insane & this man almost killed me & by the grace of God I escaped with my life.
My sponsor said she couldn't help me anymore - my mind was too shut. I was led to a new sponsor who had the same experience in sobriety. I was able to see that I was trapped in the same way that alcohol had trapped me & I was powerless. But she was much more easygoing & kinder & I was able to be honest with her. Ask God for guidance.
I heard that alcoholism is a disease of perception & distraction. Please don't distract yourself or this lady from your primary purpose!

Mmm, mmm, mmm . . . who knew all of this. :shock:

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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:46 pm

garden variety wrote:First of all, when I am asked to mentor or sponsor someone, I look at this from the view of the Second Tradition. In particular, as a sponsor or mentor, I'm definitely in the position of "trusted servant". It doesn't matter if my protege' lies to me - before I speak to him, I have to remind myself that this is human being that God loves, and I am only there to extend the helping hand of AA. I always - and I mean ALWAYS - understand the way to treat another human being was said like this, by some carpenter fellow. I want to stress here that I'm saying this in the context of the univeral spiritual principles that are in the 12 steps:

"Verily I say to you, insomuch as ye have done to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me"

Now THIS is precisely the kind of sponsor I want. Now I know what I need to look for. Thank you. :D

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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:50 pm

Susan wrote:now you just need to find a woman with at least 31/2 years sobriety.

How did we go from 1 year to 3.5? :o

Actually, I'm not "jonesing" to date anyone; I haven't dated anyone in years by design. But it's very interesting to read about this principle.

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