Mysterious recurring problem with sponsees - Whats my part?

Discussions related to 12 Step Sponsors, 12 Step Sponsoring, Working with others using the 12 Steps, for AA's, NA's, Al-Anons, Nar-Anons, OA, and others using the 12 Steps.
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Re: Mysterious recurring problem with sponsees

Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:27 am

I'll see if I can fix that PM option for you now.
Give me a couple of minutes and then give it a try.

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Re: Mysterious recurring problem with sponsees - Whats my pa

Postby angelcakepuppy » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:53 am

I know this thread was started a long while back, but I just wanted to thank TrailerTrashDood for sharing. I can relate with some of the "mysteriousness" you describe. In my limited experience, I think it boils down to the fact that when someone is truly absolutely willing to go to "any lengths" to get and stay sober, there is nothing anyone (including a sponsor) can do to stop them; likewise, if they aren't truly willing, almost ANYTHING will take them off the sober beam. Someone passed something on to me that I have found chillingly true: as alcoholics/addicts we have two states of mind and two states only: we are either (1) making conscious contact with god OR (2) setting ourselves up for the next drink (or whatever your substance of issue may be). Period. No in between. As humans, we inevitably do a little of both every day. To stay sober, we have to seize every opportunity to make conscious contact with god (work with others, make our beds, prayer/meditation, extend compassion and forgiveness, etc.) to build up our spiritual reservoir as a defense against those inevitable moments when we do things that threaten our sobriety (lie, shirk our service commitments, gossip, isolate, judge, take on and nurture new resentments, etc.). Keeping it that simple for myself, and trying to stay aware of how my "balance sheet" is faring from day to day has helped me stay sober one day at time for these few short sober years.

We aren't always going to get it "right" with sponsees. I had one who continues to challenge me even now that I have severed the sponsor/sponsee relationship with him, but I have to be grateful because those challenges (and the work I have to do to get to the other side of them) do keep me sober. Relapsing alcoholics/addicts will inevitably blame any and every one and any and every thing for their relapse. It doesn't change the fact that when we really want sobriety, there is nothing anyone can do or say to get us off that path.

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Re: Mysterious recurring problem with sponsees - Whats my pa

Postby TrailerTrashDood » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:00 pm

Here is the final denouement:
I wound up talking to a couple of them, about 8 months later. They both told me totally different excuses that not only kept changing during the actual conversation, but they were also totally ridiculous to me. I don't want to repeat both conversations here ~ but they actually helped me a lot, insomuch as it was at that point really obvious to me what had actually happened.
It turns out that the reason they all got together and refused to speak to me for so long, is that they just didn't feel like it. It just didn't mean enough to them, and they couldn't be bothered. (At that point, they all felt better and were not as desperate anymore). It was easier for them that way, than to actually talk to me and tell me that they didn't want to call me every day anymore, do Step work once a week, go to meetings, etc. So they just all got together, agreed not to speak to me at all anymore, and all bailed at the same time. They knew how bad I felt, but it didn't affect them, so they just all kept avoiding me. End of story.

Obviously, when I first posted this I was really totally devastated. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what "I did" that was so horrible that would suddenly make them all refuse to have anything to do with me. (At one point, those guys meant the world to me, and I was so proud of them that I would have done ANYTHING to help them). I had been fired a lot over the years, but NEVER had it happen that way before.
At this point right now, I have let them all go and worked through it, after doing (2) 4th Steps. (One before I spoke to them and had no clue what I did to them to cause this, and/or why they all hated me so much, and another one after I spoke to 2 of them and had a better idea what happened). I'm still mad at myself giving too much of myself, and getting so involved that I really set myself up for being screwed. Also for burning hundreds of hours of time and gasoline on something that wound up making no difference whatsoever, to anybody. But thats my problem ~ at least now I know what happened. I'm still working on it!

In the last couple months, I've had at least 5 or 6 more ex-sponsees (all of whom fired me separately over the last 1-12 years, mostly because they were "cured" at that point) individually contact me because they wanted to get together and take another stab at it. Plus a couple more who fired me, relapsed, and are still using~ but just wanted to talk. Unlike the sponsees who are the topic of this post, these other guys all had the basic decency to meet with me beforehand (usually because they were "cured" or they didn't want to keep doing the maintenance, or something similar). I know that is a typical stage that most people in recovery go through, and we all parted on good terms. So I can't be that horrible... lol

FYI: Out of the 7 of them, one of them still goes around the group actively talking sh1t about me behind my back, to try and make the group think that he really wanted to do the work but I wouldn't help him (!?!??). The 4 newest ones all relapsed almost immediately afterwards and are still MIA. Out of the 2 guys that finally condescended to finally talk to me 8 months later ~ One of them moved away and has gone through a bunch of sponsors since then, and the last one alternates wanting to "make nice" with not wanting to have anything to do with me. Go figure.

So thats it. Thanks for putting up with my sh1t, it helped me a lot.
I'm really hesitant to work with anyone new at this point, because I realized now that I'm too stupid to figure out in advance how to prevent this from happening again. But whatever ~ at least I got some kind of closure and feel MUCH better about it now, than I did before. Thanks, everybody!

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Re: Mysterious recurring problem with sponsees - Whats my pa

Postby TrailerTrashDood » Fri May 10, 2013 12:41 pm

Oh yeah, well of course! How stoopid of me... Lol

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