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Online Sponsorship




Discussions related to Sponsors, Sponsoring, Working with others,

HEY DALLAS WHO ON EARTH DO YOU DO IT ? ? ?

Postby schooner » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:29 pm

Dallas wrote:Personally speaking...

I'm sure, as with anything, it has it's pros and cons.

When I look back at AA's history -- as the Society grew by leaps and bounds, often, the newcomer had no help whatsover, outside of receiving a Big Book that was mailed to them, and an occasional letter from the members in New York, if help was requested.

In most areas, there were no meetings, there was no Fellowship, there were no sponsors available to the new person. All they had was a Big Book that had been mailed to them, giving the precise instructions to follow to achieve and maintain sobriety, and they were encouraged, in the book, to begin to search out another alcoholic to help. That was it.

Obviously, newcomers read the book, followed the instructions, and then it was up to them to create the fellowship around them. They basically had no help. And, it worked. A.A. can be found now, in many places.

However, I have many encounters with prospects for AA that will contact me by email, because they found me or found us through the Internet, and there is no local A.A. fellowship and no A.A. meetings, so obviously, no AA sponsors to help them in the areas that they live. Sometimes, here in the U.S., -- they are located in remote areas where the nearest meeting is 200 to 300 miles away.

I believe, that any kind of help from a sober member of A.A., who has A.A. sobriety, is good, and the sober AA member has valuable experience, strength and hope, to share with still suffering alcoholics. So, regardless if it's in person, over the telephone, or by snail mail (as it used to be), or on the Internet, what is the difference? Help them!

My sponsor lives 1527 miles away from me. I send him at least one email each week, (sometimes more) and I talk to him by telephone at least once each week (sometimes, more often that that.). Whenever he is within roughly 500 miles from me -- I'll travel to see him. We knew each other before he became my sponsor. However, I also know that he sponsors people in the U.K., Dublin, Italy, Australia, Iceland, Canada, and other countries, in addition to sponsoring many here in the USA, who are like me... several hundreds, or thousands of miles away from him. They (like myself :wink: ) are staying sober, and leading good and productive lives, and are actively involved in their local A.A. community, and they sponsor others. (He Sponsors so many... because with 49 years of sobriety... he has gotten around and he still gets around! Some, he sponsored in the home group and later they moved, like I did, others... he sponsors that were not local when they met him.) :lol:

I have a friend here in Arkansas, and his Sponsor is Sponsored by my Sponsor, and his Sponsor lives in Nebraska... and my friend, (my sobriety-nephew) Sponsors several men in Alaska and in California.

So, I think the answer to your question, as I understand it -- it depends upon the Sponsor and the Sponsee.

I'm sure that there are many in AA who disagree -- but, so what? It works for me. It works for us. And, it works for many of them -- it just doesn't work for the disagree-er's... because they don't work it because of their disagreement. :lol:

Some would say "well if you move to a new area you should get a new sponsor where you live." So what if that is their belief? I wasn't about to find a new sponsor just because my circumstances had me moving to a different part of the country. And, when I moved, and discovered the selection to choose from -- if I did want to find a new sponsor, I made a decision that I would be better off not having a sponsor rather than pick from what was available to me.

While I am a huge advocate of Sponsorship and having a Sponsor -- I have to admit that some of the finest examples of AA sobriety that I have ever known -- had no official AA sponsor. And, some of those... did not Sponsor others. They did 12th Step work and helped many alcoholics -- but, they wouldn't allow anyone to call them "Sponsor." (Yes, they did what Sponsors do, but they would have nothing to do with the title of "Sponsor." ) I personally prefer to do 12th Step work, without having them call me "their Sponsor." My personal experience has been -- that often the "title" of Sponsor can screw up, otherwise good working-with-others arrangements.

I realize that my reply has become rather long and wordy :lol: but, when you asked, "What do you all think of online sponsorship?" and "Let me have your thoughts!!!" ... I took it as an "AA request." :lol: (I'm an over-do'er!) :lol:

With all that said regarding online Sponsorship -- I do believe strongly that personal-in-person AA activity and association is vital. The Sponsor should be actively involved in person-to-person real live one-on-one AA, and the Sponsee should be involved, likewise. The Internet should not be used as an A.A. substitute for real-live-one-on-one A.A.

With technology the way that it is now -- we could have live webcasts of meetings, and with Internet telephone, video and webcams -- we can look each other in the eye. We haven't figured out how to smell their breath yet, .... but, in some situations -- that's probably a blessing, and I hope it may never change. :lol: "Oh what an order!!!!!" :lol: :lol:

With the consideration of all those thoughts expressed --- Carol, I see nothing wrong with it.

That's what I think about it. What's most important to me -- is that I have a Sponsor. And, I have the Sponsor that I want -- to be my Sponsor. (So, I follow his directions so that he will continue sponsoring me!) :wink:

What do you think?

Dallas

P.S. Carol, did you ever imagine I would have all that many thoughts to share on your topic? :lol: :lol:



Hi Dallas

You sponsor lots of people from what you shared.
How in the world do you keep track of all the situations/problems you get HIT WITH :roll:

I got sober in good ol' Brooklyn, New York and I was taught that you sponsor ONE ON ONE.
You got go thru the step with one at a time. What happens when you get two or three 12th step calls at the same time.

For me, I can't SPREAD myself too thin. Hey Dallas, I not saying you're doing anything wrong towards me ~ but what about the others :?:

O.K. that's it for my 3 1/2 cents . . . lol
Take Care Dallas
GOD BLESS YOU

Schooner :cool:
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Postby Memgal306 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:38 pm

That's what I think about it. What's most important to me -- is that I have a Sponsor. And, I have the Sponsor that I want -- to be my Sponsor. (So, I follow his directions so that he will continue sponsoring me!)

ok Dallas. I fired my sponsor. Now I am looking for a new one perferrably (why do you not have spell check on here?) online. Because I do not drive or I do not drive outside downtown Memphis :D and most of the people in my AA group are men so......
I am ok with this. BUT if I remember right someone (ummmmmm..... :wink: could that be Dallas???) said to write step 4 and that is what I am doing? So we could not do step 4 online.

I have not posted in a while. I am doing good. It's been a month & 2 days. Should take out stock in mtn dew and Reeses peanut butter cups. No job yet. THink my Cerebral Palsy sarthern accent scared one prospective employer away. O well, his lost. :) All for now.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:18 am

Memgal306 wrote:That's what I think about it. What's most important to me -- is that I have a Sponsor. And, I have the Sponsor that I want -- to be my Sponsor. (So, I follow his directions so that he will continue sponsoring me!)

ok Dallas. I fired my sponsor. Now I am looking for a new one perferrably (why do you not have spell check on here?) online. Because I do not drive or I do not drive outside downtown Memphis :D and most of the people in my AA group are men so......
I am ok with this. BUT if I remember right someone (ummmmmm..... :wink: could that be Dallas???) said to write step 4 and that is what I am doing? So we could not do step 4 online.

I have not posted in a while. I am doing good. It's been a month & 2 days. Should take out stock in mtn dew and Reeses peanut butter cups. No job yet. THink my Cerebral Palsy sarthern accent scared one prospective employer away. O well, his lost. :) All for now.


Hey Kim,

I'll try to answer the questions, but some, I'm not sure if they are comments or questions:

Kim wrote:1. "(why do you not have spell check on here?) online."


Because I would have to install it and it's a huge database to install and it's a lot of work and takes up a lot of web server resources that I would have to pay additional for. You can always write your message and then past it into a word processor page and run spell check on it. Firefox browser has spellcheck built it, but that browser gives me PC problems... Maybe it would work for you.


Kim wrote:2. BUT if I remember right someone (ummmmmm..... :wink: could that be Dallas???) said to write step 4 and that is what I am doing?


I'm not sure what you mean. Did I say to write a 4th Step to you? I don't remember that.

Those were the two places where I saw question marks about. Not sure if the rest is questions or comments... you'd have to be more specific for me to understand.

Kim wrote:So we could not do step 4 online.


No question mark on that one -- so I guess it's a statement. :wink:

You and your sponsor may not be able to do Step 4 online... totally, but I can and have done it with others, almost totally online.

Sometimes, they mail me a copy of the Inventory and then we discuss it through Private Messages, emails and telephone calls. Either way, we get the job done. :lol:

As soon as I get more free time to do it... I'm going to work on making some DVD or web videos with sound... to explain each one of the Steps, including the 4th. But, that's down the road a ways.... Wouldn't help for now.

Dallas
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:36 am

Should I maybe set up an online-sponsor training... to show others how they can use the Internet and telephone to be a well connected long-distance sponsor?

I do it all the time. And, it has become the primary way that I work with my sponsor... email and telephone. He is in Los Angeles and I am in Arkansas. I see him as often as I can in person, but sometimes that's only a few times each year for short periods of time. However, we do keep in contact with each other at least once a week on a designated time and day, and I send him email with time for him to read it before I call.

Up until recently... I had to send hand-written letters to him and mail them or Fed-Ex them, so that he could get them before I called. (He wasn't into email).

It isn't hard to tell when someone is not being honest, on the telephone, when you're sponsoring them. Maybe it's a God thing. (It's also not too heard to tell when they're being dishonest online).

Come to think of it... I work often with God... but, I've never seen Him in person! :lol: I don't know if He even has email! I've heard that He spends some time down on the beaches in Costa Rica, sipping Pina Coladas... and talking to well tanned chicks in bikinis, but, he can do that... because He's God and He's not alcoholic. I'd like to go to Costa Rica and talk with God there... maybe someday... until then, I guess I'll just talk to the Invisible One! :lol:


Also... think of all the things people are able to do online... they can go to school, get a degree, take exams, do web casting and video calls... the only thing you can't do online is reach out and touch them, or smell their breath. (Maybe that's good! :lol: )

Additionally... think back to 1936... and even into early AA History. There were no sponsors outside of Ohio, PA, NY, and NJ... If a guy or girl wanted to get sober in Memphis... they bought a Big Book, read it, followed the instructions in the book... and if they had any contact with another sober AA... it was through letter writing... with mail that often took three weeks to reach it's destination.... Even if they had a telephone, it was not easy to make long-distance calls... and to be sure you were going to reach the person on the other end of the phone when you did call. (Are you old enough to remember Party Lines? It would be about like talking in a chat room of today!).

Surely, the Internet has greater advantages over snail-mail and telephone only.

Also... another thing to consider... there are many alcoholics today, getting sober in places right here in the USA... that has no local meetings, no local AA Group... and in many cases, even the ones that do have local AA Groups... can't find a sponsor that has been sponsored and knows how to sponsor. What should they do? "If" I had to find a sponsor where I live now... I'd be screwed. I'd end up basically sponsoring myself. So, I have AA buddies and friends where I live... but, my sponsor is 1500 miles away.

Just a few more waves to rock the idea boat!

Dallas
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Postby ROBERT » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:51 am

Good topic, through my countless vain attempts at getting to the point of surrender, I had the opportunity to visit the prison system, and on my release I moved back home, a man that I met while serving my sentence (we had outsiders coming in) helped me immensely, and until I was established, found a sponser at home we worked this thing together via the internet, and phone. I was ready so I did not have any problems w/ the arrangement. The willingness on my part allowed for teachability, openminded, enough that it did not matter where my sponser was I wanted this thing and was willing to go to any lenght, I did the work necessary as recovery was/is MY responsibility and the guidence helped no doubt. Today my sonser is local and I stay in touch w/ steve in Ohio but neither of them keep me sober, and I feel grateful for the ones gone before me that shine the light on this road of recovery with the message that IT WORKS, an important part of this thing and today as I give back I stay right sized and realize I don't get/keep any one sober but I keep the light shining.So in my opinion, the phrase-- When any one any where reaches out for help I want the hand of A.A. to be there, has a loud and clear message. GREAT TOPIC
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:49 pm

Rober wrote:I stay right sized and realize I don't get/keep any one sober but I keep the light shining.


So true! I can lead them to the Solution but I can't work it for them.

If I begin to think that "I am the Solution"... then, it's my time to drink. :wink:

By helping another alcoholic to achieve and maintain sobriety -- I get to stay sober.

It's kind of like the Motel 6 TV commercial where the guys says "We'll leave the light on for you!"

By leaving the light on for someone else -- it leaves the light on for us.

Thanks Robert. I enjoy your messages and comments! I look for them! :wink:

Dallas
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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:44 pm

Online sponsorship, well I see it working quite well. I work a night shift and then I try and flip my life around for the weekend (family obligations). So most everybody else is opposite of me. It would have been nice to have just worked from messages vs trying to mix schedules.

The 5:30 PM meetings are like 5:30AM for me and they serve decaf. ;-)

Many people today use computers for socialization. So why not. The instructions in the Big Book provide you what you need.
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Postby GeoffS » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:40 pm

I've been a temporary sponsor to help another alcoholic through the 12 steps, and we started here on this very site.

They were in the position in very early days of finding it very difficult to get to meetings and feeling very anxious about the whole thing.

Through regular emails and discussions they ended up getting the courage to get to more meetings and to begin to hook up with people out there. I passed on to them what I had been told about the 12 steps and they did them and reported back everything and we discussed it all. I was lucky to be able to do that as I learned a lot about the process of taking someone through the steps by doing it via email.

Even if this type of 'sponsorship' just gives a newcomer time to get a bit of time and confidence to move forward then, maybe its a good thing.

I guess it just comes down to the two people involved whether the long distance thing works, and how much the HP helps out.

It has certainly helped this alcoholic, for which I'm very grateful.
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I want to do this 12 step recovery online and need a sponsor

Postby rock » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:25 pm

Carol
Also there are ways to communicate by voice, there is the phone of course, and many programs as good as using the phone where ppl can talk live.
I am going out now to buy the 12 step book, and would also be interested in how to make an online recovery program work, please email me any website address that you have found to be most useful. If you want to be my sponsor lets work that out.
Thanks
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