Need a sponsor!

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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Need a sponsor!

Postby debvan » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:11 pm

My name is Deb. I am an alcoholic.

I have been coming to meetings regularly since September 2007. And I do not have a Sponsor. Living in a small community has many limitations and this is one of them.

There are very few women in AA here. There perhaps will be 1 to very 12 men at a meeting, if lucky. My husband attends Al-A-Non and those women who do attend AA thinks he is great and are subject to bringing him baked goods at any given time. They have known him or his parents since the day they entered this world. So...............asking anyone of those 2 is questionable only because I would like someone unbiased toward me and my family. Can't you tell I am not from here or even this from this great state. So to me those options are closed.

My luck at meetings are not going so well either. So at times I wonder what the ---- I am doing. I am beginning to believe a sponsor would be an excellent sounding board on what is being said and done at meetings. Plus a great teacher on the 12 steps. I can't get beyond 2 or 3 and this makes me feel less that inadequate. No one needs that.

I know a sponsor should be someone of the same sex. But how do you reach out beyond your group for a sponsor? I know Sponorship is very important to them to the ladies and I would have one of them as a sponsor. But I believe the majority of their focus should be on me or anyone else on this tight wire trip of survival.

Any Suggestions for a sponsor

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Postby Dallas » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:16 pm

Hello Deb,

Hang in there for a little bit. We'll come up with something to help.

Back when AA first started, there were no Sponsors or meetings west of Akron, Ohio. The Big Book wasn't online. There was no Internet. And, even telephone service was limited. Yet, despite all those difficulties, thousands of books were sent out in the mail to suffering alcoholics, who read the book, took their Steps (alone) by following the instructions in the book, and then wen't out looking for other alcoholics to help. Sometimes, it took them a year or two before there was two AA members so that they could have a meeting. When they needed help, they wrote a letter to New York, and in about six to eight weeks later, they would get a letter back from New York. :lol:

If they could do that then -- and they did do it -- and AA grew to cover every country on the globe -- I think we've got a head-start at being able to help you! We do have the Internet. We can send you sound files, tapes and CD's, from other AA members talking about and explaining the 12 Steps, and you can learn and be supported by listening to those. Plus we can help you here online, and if you ever need or want to talk to any of us, I'm sure that we would all be willing to exchange telephone numbers with you. At least, if you have a question, or need some suggestions... you won't have to wait six to eight weeks for a reply or an answer! We can get it to you at the click of a button. :wink:

I don't want to sound as though I don't think sponsors are important. For me, it has been important. However, one of the first things that my very first sponsor passed on to me -- was he wanted to be sure that I understood that I did not need him to stay sober. And, that he could not keep me sober -- and, he told me that if he felt like I was relying on him too much, and not trying to find a Power that was bigger and greater than he was -- he would drop me in a heart beat.

He also told me that neither he, nor all the other human power in AA combined... could keep me sober. And, he told me that there is One, that has All Power -- and that One is God, and that I had better do whatever I had to do to seek Him and to find Him.

A sponsor doesn't have the power to keep us sober. And, if we place our sponsor above God, my first sponsor told me, that if he allowed me to do that, we would probably both end up drunk again.

I believed him, then. And, I still believe what he told me. Sometimes, it's tough for some of us alcoholics to seek God's help. But, when the pain and the frustration and the depression get's great enough... we most often become willing.

I think my first sponsor might have said something like this to you, "Seek God's help first, and we'll be here to help you all that we can, too."

Hang in there Deb. I've seen miracles around here that are bigger than you finding a sponsor happen! And, if that can happen... and it does happen... then all things are possible! :wink:

I feel that I am sure, and I believe that I am sure, that every single person on this forum is willing to do anything they can and go to any length to help you.

Just keep coming back, and sharing, and talking (writing) about what's bothering you. We will be with you, too... as we all trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. If you have a Big Book, I suggest you offer a little prayer up to God, and then read page 164, of the Big Book. (Pray first). :wink:


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Postby Susan » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:46 am

Welcome Deb, having the web site is a blessing today. Not all people can go to meetings for many different reasons. This forum is wonderful, feel free to send me a PM any time. :D

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Postby HANGING-IN-THERE3 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:54 pm


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Postby Dallas » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:27 pm

Hello Qwendy :wink:

Welcome to the site and to the forum!!!

Thank you for taking the time to participate and to share.
I appreciate you.

That's awesome that you live in an area with so much help and support available! I'll help to spread the word and see if I can send mass multitudes of afflicted and addicted alcoholics and other problem people to your community!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Keep coming back and sharing. It's great to hear from you and I'll want to know of your progress.


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Postby Jackie » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:14 pm

Hi everyone I'm Jackie and I'm an alcoholic.

Reading the views on sponsors is very interesting to me. I've been in AA for a few months and have a sponsor, although I don't tend to talk her very much, I know she's there if I absolutely find I cant cope. But God gave me a brain (albeit a little pickled) but becoming more functional every day thanks to Him and AA.
Also I'm pretty much a private person and always have been so discussions of personal affairs is mostly between God and myself, I talk and He listens, (doesn't interupt either!) Then if I apply the principals found in the big book things generally work themselves out.
My biggest issues at present are prejudgements, and playing at being the one who knows it all. They are very bad habits and can be so darn harmful to others. It is not my sponsors responsibilty to hold my hand it is up to me to get off my butt and practice:" Judge not lest you be judged." And Let God do the driving!
But then everyone is different and you have to do what you have to do to keep your sobriety. Sponsors are a very nice thing to have but if you haven't a sponsor keep on talking to the one who has the most power he will help you.
Thank you for letting me ramble on. Another 24 to all!

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:21 am

Hi Jackie!!!

Nice to hear from you!

Glad to hear that all is well.

I used to be the way that you described above. :lol:

It didn't work for me -- and it became a good idea for me to change -- especially my mind. :wink:

I'm happy to know that it's working for you. As they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." And, "if it stops working for you -- you can always change your mind."

Keep coming back!

I appreciate you.


garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:12 am

Hi all,

I guess this might not be the best idea east or west of the Mississipi, but in the pioneer days, there weren't a lot of women in AA. I heard a gal share last night from Akron, and she has over 30 years sober. But when she first joined AA, there were many men that said "Women don't belong here - they're runing it for everyone". Now this is a woman who came into the rooms in 1976, not 1939.

So back in Bill W and Doctor Bob's days, there weren't many women in the program, and a lot less female sponsors. Then what happened? Not a lot of folks like to hear this, but the men mentored the women - it was the only choice in some circumstances. A mentor or sponsor doesn't have to be the same sex. There is no rule or anything in all approved AA literature that says this is not allowed. I know - I know it's not recommended, and I wouldn't recommend it for just anyone. But here in the cradle of AA - in Akron and Cleveland - there are folks that do just that. And it has worked. They just used common sense.

I know a younger lady, very attractive, about 30 years old. For whatever reason, she couldn't find the "right" sponsor, so she went up to this guy who did 12 step calls with her mom. Her mom has 27 years sober, and the guy has 21 years sober. Now the guy has children and is a widower, and the young girl is married. The guy is much older, and he also has some physical conditions that make it hard for him to get around, like he needs to take his oxegen tank everywhere and he also needs a walker or cane. I can say with pretty much certainty that there isn't or wasn't a sexual or relationship interest in this mentor/protege' combination. I know the guy pretty well, and he has a real heart for the newcomer, and he sponsors a boatload of guys too. If there was a guy like this in one of your groups, that would be something to think about.

The lady that did the speaker lead last night was told by her sponsor early on, that she should find someone - "anyone" that goes to a meeting every night. Then she should go to meetings with this person she found. Once again, this lady found a longtimer that went to meetings every night. He was much older than her, but he also had a lot of sobriety. This combination was enough for this girl to learn the program. Once again, physical attraction and relationships were not a factor.

There was a new girl who could not find a sponsor that would hold onto her because she was a chronic relapser. She asked me to sponsor her. This was a girl that I wouldn't have wanted to be her sponsor because I found her attractive and "things" could have happened. I spoke to my sponsor about it and he said that I could either "co-sponsor" her or be a "temporary sponsor" to at least get her going in the steps and hopefully get some sobriety under her belt. And my sponsor said "I'd never sponsor a female. I was taught to always sponsor the same sex". But he knew me well enough and just said, "But you're not like me, and it's something I think you could handle and it would even fit you."

In other words my own sponsor believed in me enough to know that I could help the girl in some way, and for him he thought it was better to help the girl get a foundation, then to just let her keep going in and out. Of course he would always ask me about her after that, so I knew that I'd have to be accountable. But the situation never came to pass, and I haven't heard from the girl ever since.

I'm just throwing this out here as something to think about - not to cause a controversy. I think if you found a longtimer to run with where there would be no "conflict of interest", you could probably get anchored in some good sobriety until you found a woman to be your sponsor. I know there are many longtimer men that would be willing to help or sponsor or co-sponsor or temporary sponsor whenever they are called upon. If it were me, I'd just be sure if the opposite-sex sponsor type was not someone I'd want to date or, well how can I say this without being crude? I'd make sure that it's someone I wouldn't be physically attracted to - probabably someone several years older and wiser than me.

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