)My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic,
I see that this is a rather old topic, however I was drawn to it, and I thank everyone for opening up and sharing their point of view on this. I can completely relate to Friend of Bill W., and for the most part, I've taken myself through the steps, and, instead of getting all riled up and worried about "I need a sponsor, oh fret, oh bother (like I used to
) ," when it comes time, and following the suggestions laid out in the BB...when it comes time to share with someone, I will pray for someone to be placed in my path...and always...someone is placed in my path. It has been my experience, by observation, where "you need to get a sponsor" is responded to those getting a sponsor just so that they can say that they have a sponsor when they sit down at a meeting(I've done that too). Where I currently live, there's not a whole lotta women-folk to start with, & quite frankly, it's been my experience that sometimes it's the men who are more understandin' 'bout some of my stuff, maybe it's the lifestyle I've led, I dunno?? Talkin' to a male, though, does put my husband a little off, therefore it's less stress to say I'm talkin' to women, y'know... (and I thank Anne--previous post--as it was hounded into me that I had to have a female sponsor...and, now that ch'all brought it to my awareness...no, it doesn't say that in the BB, does it?...known that, but not consciously aware of it).
Don't get me wrong gang...I have had sponsors. The first of my last 2, after saying she would be, in the same breath said that it would help her git thru her steps, as she had been stuck on step 4 for a time, and that she didn't want me to "beat her". I chuckled, 'n said to her that this in't no competition--like who could drink more, is it? Nearly a year ago, she stopped returning my calls. I didn't git resentful, but rather thought: u-oh. My u-oh was correct, she'd slipped. When she called to tell me, or in her words, confess to me...I said I figured as much when ya'll weren't returnin' my calls, but, don't be beatin' yirself up, ya stayed sober for 8 years, so ya know you can, right? Pick yirself up, dust yirself off n keep comin' back. The bright part of this is that AA is still in yir vocabulary. I did a whole bunch-a talkin', & when done, she said: Now who's who's sponsor? I said, u-uh...it's about us helpin' each other, it's not a contest...give yirself a break. My current sponsor, I gotta say, I'm quite concerned. I hadn't talked to 'er all summer, talked to 'er machine, but not her...fin'lly is Sept., a 'person' answered the phone, I teased her, but we talked. She's been doin' somethin' else called Landmark...I won't go into detail, but sounds like they do the same stuff as what doin' the steps is s'posed to do, only ya gotta pay for it, & she's hyped up about it, says it's workin' for 'er. She had this assignment that she had to do somethin' of a project for the good of her community, so she had this idea, a good one, & I thought-a someone in town who she could talk to about it. She asked me to go w/ 'er, so I did...& quite frankly, I was surprised as this gal seemed to be flyin' at mach speed. Since that day, I've left messages on 'er machine...&, I tell ya friends, I'm concerned. From my perspective only, my concern is that she's dangerously close to a slip. I'd share this concern w/ 'er if the chance occured--it's not somethin' ya'll leave on a machine y'know. So...I gotta accept things as they are, n I pray I'm wrong, yet, I also pray that that brick wall she's headed for is equipped w/ either an eject button & a parachute, or an air-bag. Mostly, I pray that I'm wrong, n maybe she's experiencing growth??
I had a sponsor who-where I had to work the program her way, that BB is only an example. She self-appointed herself to bein' my sponsor, handed me a page & a half of her rules, then said she'd be gone travellin' for the next few months
, that was my first week ever inside the doors of AA. One-a her rules was that I was to absolutely, in no way shape or form, have anything to do w/ the men in the program, & to say very little at meetings
ya, okay. I might-a been only sober 10 seconds, but my spidey-senses tingled. There were 3 other women in that group, 1 w/ barely 3 months & she was a trainwreck (she'd tell ya)..yet, I did watch 'er very close, & benefited highly from doin' so...at the risk of soundin' contradictory, she was just a bit ahead-a me, so I watched her to see where I should be "at", in all the senses of well-being, physical, emotional, mental & spiritual. Ever so often, she'd figuratively turn back to me (if we think of this as a path) & say, how yir feelin' is normal, yir on the right track. The other 2 admitted to not bein' well enough to sponsor. Thankfully, there were the men in the program who, bar none, had what I wanted. They shared at meetings, & weren't afraid to 'git deep'& share from the heart. The one, it seemed, he'd crawled inside my head & had a look around, me thinkin' "how'd he do that?" This group was the first where it was hounded that men sponsor men & women sponsor women. Well...I thought...where does that leave me? (Back to I need a sponsor, oh fret, oh bother). Thankfully, too though...these men were not blind to the sponsorship available to women, & the one who'd wanted me to follow her rules & not BB, usually her sponsees went back out. One would not be my sponsor, but, there were 3 who said, lean on us, talk to us, etc.
Okay...so...I haven't been around this forum in months...and here I go...seemingly makin' up fir lost time
. The topic jumped out at me though, cuz, at the moment, I'm in the same position, the women have no time to sponsor, or for what ever reason (respectfully) cannot sponsor. I'm grateful to this program though, b/c...us alkies are everywhere...up at the coffee shop, on-line, heck, ya'll kin even sit down & use snail mail, & there's always the meeting table. Unload what 'cha gotta where ever ya can, cuz keepin' it inside & lettin' it fester...we know where that can go. Hangin' on to it for one person may result in retaining the ole habit of 'hangin on to it for the sake of hangin on to it...perhaps any excuse will do, even not havin' a sponsor. What we've done is no secret anyway, is it? We drank ourselves to AA...in our wake, we've left a path of destruction, that only by sharin it, do we actually tell others its okay, let it go & give yirself a break. We've all done the detestable, the unthinkable, the undesireable, the shameful...and we're rotten w/ guilt & fear, so we drank. Granted, there may be things we don't want to unload on a table in a room full of people, but are we not placing a condition of sorts, by waiting to tell one specific person? If ya can't share that ugliness with the one person (the sponsor) for what ever reason...pray about it, & share w/ someone else. Who knows? It might be HP at work, sayin' that person won't understand this anyway...but here's someone who will. This way too, I've learned...opens me up to more people in general, & that in itself--for me--is growth.
In the spirit of the fellowship,