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Service Work




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Service Work

Postby LaurenG » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:29 am

Hey everyone,
My sponsor is out of town and I brought this up at a meeting but got no real reply... I tried to stay after but there was a newcomer and so that took the front burner... anyway... I am still making ammends but have worked all 12 steps. My sponsor is strongly suggesting that I start taking on sponsees but I am not ready. I chair meetings and I go to the special events and volunteer to read at meetings but I just don't feel ready to sponsor. I also work in the social work field and have a passion for animals. I guess after all these years getting drunk or high I have a lot of places I want to give back. Does service work have to be for addicts? Can it count to be volunteering with my clients or for the humane society etc. I don't know how to fit it all in and I am getting stressed out about it and feeling pressured to be a sponsor. I will have 5 mo on Sept 4th so its not like I have been sober for a long time and I am complacent. What do you guys think?
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Postby Dallas » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:24 am

I only speak for myself. I volunteer anywhere and everywhere that I can -- inside and outside the Fellowship. I also take in stray animals and try to find them back to their homes. And, anonymously feed the homeless and stray and wild domesticated animals.

However -- I don't consider or count any of that time towards my responsibility of working one on one -- face to face -- with a fellow alcoholic.

Two things I notice about Step 12 (among other things):

1. I tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and
2. Practiced these principles in all my affairs.

If #1 is being of service to a fellow alcoholic to help them achieve and maintain sobriety, then, for me #2 implies that I'm also helping others to achieve their objectives. And, one is not two and two is not one. :lol:

For myself, I MUST do my 12 Step work AND be willing to sponsor. I don't like to sponsor -- I'd rather be out doing 12 Step calls on drunks that haven't achieved sobriety yet.

There is a difference in 12 Step work and Sponsorship.

In your case -- I'd say that at least you are honest. And, if you feel you're not ready to sponsor -- if it were me -- I wouldn't sponsor. However, I would double my efforts to help other alcoholics that are still struggling -- to make up for it.

We don't have to sponsor -- to help another alcoholic. Sometimes, I think sponsorship is better left to those that do it well. Other times, I think that if we don't feel up to being ready to sponsor -- that we should be actively preparing ourselves for it.

My suggestion is: Always listen to my sponsor. My sponsor knows more about what I should be doing -- than I know about what I should be doing. And, if the day ever comes that my sponsor doesn't know more about what I should be doing -- for me, it's a clear sign that I have relapsed back into wanting to run the show myself. If I'm so smart -- why do I have a sponsor? :lol:

And, actually it isn't about "smart or dumb". It's about structure, discipline and following directions (other than my own directions).

My directions led me into addiction. My Ego tells me I can run my own show. My head tells me I don't need the suggestions and advice of my sponsor because "I am ALL powerful and ALL knowing." :lol: :lol:

Again, I don't know if any of that was helpful for you -- but, it sure is helping me. :lol:

Best wishes,

Dallas
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Postby LaurenG » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:36 am

That is helpful thank you Dallas
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Postby Rain » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:32 pm

I think that step 12 means freely passing on what you have been given, namely a way to stay sober.

That means helping someone work the 12 steps of AA. Here is some info from the AA website:

Q. What is the history behind AA’s Responsibility Statement?
A. The Responsibility Statement reads:

I am Responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.


It was written for the 1965 A.A. International Convention in Toronto. I have enclosed an article titled, ‘How I am Responsible became a part of A.A.’, from the GSO newsletter, Box 4-5-9. The article identifies former AA trustee, Al S. as the author of the Responsibility Statement.
In the souvenir book for the 1965 Convention, [color=darkblue]Dr. Jack Norris writes: “…We must remember that AA will continue strong only so long as each of us freely and happily gives it away to another person, only as each of us takes our fair share of responsibility for sponsorship of those who still suffer, for the growth and integrity of our Group, for our Intergroup activities, and for AA as a whole. It is in taking responsibility that real freedom and the enduring satisfactions of life are found. AA has given us the power to choose – to drink or not to drink – and in doing so has given us the freedom to be responsible for ourselves. As we become responsible for ourselves, we are free to be responsible for our share in AA, and unless we happily accept this responsibility we lose AA. Strange, isn’t it?â€
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Postby Dallas » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:34 am

Thanks for sharing that, Rain. I appreciate you!

Dallas
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Postby Ranman99 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:30 am

Ya and if I live with the thought what would be the will of an HP and the power to see that and carry it out then people just get put in front of me in the most bizarre way. Even outside of AA.

Left to my own devices I'm a selfish, self centred, SOB :lol:
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Postby sober1988 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:00 am

What is it that we are trying to 'give back' to a newcomer? I believe it's the 'message' and what is that message -- it's our es&h and how we have applied the steps in our daily lives. If one has not completed the steps, then one can't transmit the message. Also, another criteria for working with other alcoholics is that the 'sponsor' is also an alcoholic - that always helps!
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Postby Ranman99 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:06 am

Ya I also found at first I was not being quite as straight on as my sponsor was with me. A tad to much of the people pleaser comin' through.

Doesn't do the guys any favours though so I don't do that any more. By the book.

To many good speakers on XA-Speakers dot com

:roll:
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Postby ccs » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:14 pm

ok so where in the big book does it mention sponsorship ?? step 12 tells me to carry the message to others I can do this in many ways by sharing my ES&H with them in meetings helping them get to and from meetings or just listening sometimes when they need an ear or offering a hug or a shoulder

I have seen many sponsors totally mislead newcomers and send em right out the door

I`m just sayin

the program is in the book

if followed it can and does render a person sober I`m not sayin that anyone should or shouldnt sponsor we do need help in the beginning from others that have already done the deal in my opinion that is guiding someone through what is written in
THE BOOK
now please dont dont go nuts on me I`m not putting down anyone its just my opinion I was told the program of recovery is in the first 164 pages of the book and I know for a fact that some are sicker than others and if one feels uneasy about being a """sponsor""" then maybe they shouldn`t there are other ways to carry the message :D :D

Watch out Dallas I`m Ducking now :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:32 pm

I've missed you here, Cessie. :wink: So nice to see you!!! Many hugs to you!

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