When All Else Fails...Why Don't Sponsees Follow Directions??

Discussions related to Sponsors, Sponsoring, Working with others,
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When All Else Fails...Why Don't Sponsees Follow Directions??

Postby chuckc » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:52 am

Hey all,

Been months since I've logged on.... All's well on my end and I hope everyone's keeping the faith!!!

I've scanned the sponsor section briefly and, while I'm sure it's in here somewhere, I was hoping someone had a few good suggestions.

I've got a new sponsee who refuses to follow a "simple program." He's got 30+ days (coming back, again)...at his request, I've talked to his employer who demands that he come to a meeting everyday (he doesn't...always an excuse...tired...back hurts...etc.) He's batting about 50% on things I've asked him to do.

My 32-year-sober sponsor says to move on to the next person, which I will do. I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions or experiences in how to handle these things. Dallas????

Muchas Gracias...

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Postby Dallas » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:27 pm

Hi Chuck C.

Your sponsors answer is the best one. Move on to the next one.

As it tells us in the first part of Chapter 5, they will fail because they can not or will not give themselves to this simple program. And, often, it isn't until the pain of living gets so bad that they become willing. Willingness and cooperation is their job and it's their responsibility. They are responsible for the results in their sobriety, their recovery and their life. If I've offered a meal to a starving man and he doesn't eat -- that's the meal-deal that he chose for himself.

There are lots of specific suggestions in the Chapter "Working with others." Those suggestions, written back in 1939, are just as applicable in 2008.

Here is a link to a thread where we discussed about "When a sponsee disappears"... eventually, the one you've been trying to help will disappear if he doesn't change. Sadly, that's how it works.


I hope that helps.

Nice to hear from you! Keep coming back!


daily reprieve
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Why don't sponsee's follow directions?

Postby daily reprieve » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:57 am

In the years of my untreated alcoholism, one theme was always prevalent; trying to get others to do what I wanted. I never fire a sponsee because in the grand scheme of things, I didn't hire him nor him me. I am there for one reason and one reason only: to help others recover. Their recovery is and will alway be about them. I relate my experience with other sponsee's who don't call me on a regular basis (they usually drink again) or don't do their step work (they usually drink again) but they are observations based on my personal experience and not A.A. guidelines. I can never push a guy to do more than they he is WILLING to do. I can only show them how I got sober. Demands are never made. Just suggestions based on what I've seen work as the result of taking action. Their sobriety is never about me. What has worked is reading the book and going to meetings. Simple. A sober member read the book with me and once a week we met at a meeting. He stayed sober and i got sober. I don't stray from that formula because it worked.

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Postby Dallas » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:16 am

Hello daily reprieve! I sure enjoyed reading your message. It sounds like you'd be a great sponsor to have! My very first sponsor in AA -- was a lot like you. And, he saved my life. I will be eternally grateful for him and for his love, and tolerance and patience... in putting up with me! It seems as though he was perfectly what I needed at the time. And, I seriously doubt that I would have made it without his help. The mentality I had at the time -- would have never put up with the kind of sponsor that I have, today. :wink: I just didn't seem to have it in me -- to have enough discipline and structure in my life -- to be able to have the kind of sponsor that I have now. I have to work real hard to develop the discipline to do what I was directed to do -- and my Ego required a huge smashing -- to be able to take direction! :lol:

I had been sober for about seven or eight years -- and I hit a bottom in sobriety. I started spinning out. I knew I wouldn't make it. God put the perfect sponsor in my life that I knew would be able to help me -- but, I also knew that if I got whimperish, or argumentive, or didn't follow direction precisely -- he would drop me as fast as a hot potato! And, that's what I needed.

I am so glad that AA has such a variety of members -- and a variety of sponsors -- that it leaves no excuse -- for a guy or gal to not be able to find just the right person that they need for a sponsor. The variety option sure saved my life!


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Postby Silverbullet » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:59 pm

Not entirely ready??

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