- FISHING FOR......HELP

FISHING FOR......HELP




Discussions related to Sponsors, Sponsoring, Working with others,

FISHING FOR......HELP

Postby ROBERT » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:59 am

"OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO STAY SOBER AND HELP OTHER ALCOHOLICS ACHIEVE SOBRIETY" I NEED TO STAY PLUGGED IN THRU WORKING W/OTHERS...HOWEVER THESE PEOPLE ARE OFTEN AFRAID OR WHATEVER ,TO ASK FOR THE HELP. I NEED TO HEAR SOME EXPERIENCE ON FISHING FOR NEWCOMERS AND HOW AGGRESSIVE,CAN ONE BE WITH A NEWBEE, OF COURES I DON'T MEAN SCARY AGGRESSIVE---"FIRM"-- MIGHT BE A BETTER WORD, ANY HOW .........ANY SUGGESTIONS FROM PRACTICAL EXPERIENC,MEANING,I READ "WORKING W/OTHERS"SO REAL EXPERIENCE......THANKS IN ADVANCE....ROBERT
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Postby GeoffS » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:51 pm

No rules, just from my experience

Offering your number if they ever want someone to call can be a good start. keep it simple.

Suggesting that if they want a sponsor or temporary sponsor that you would be happy to help, or indeed happy to help them find someone is also a good way of being of service.

Another way is to have a sponsee approach them and offer the above. That helps both, and you.

My home group have a sponsorship guy as a commitment who stands up each meeting and acts as a contact afterwards for new people to find out about sponsorship.

It is a tricky balance to know how to offer help, the newcomer may be easily scared off if we are too pushy (and remember my idea of subtle may be threatening to a newcomer). If we are not forward enough the newcomer may miss the point. Just talking to them, nothing to do with sponsoring etc. can help you figure out what approach they may need.

The best way I've been told of being asked to sponsor people is to work your program and want what you have in your life, and be as good an example of the program working as you can be. Thats attractive to other alcoholics in AA. If you put it out there, they will come.

Chances are if we decide we are the sponsor for that newcomer, and go after them, then we're not the right person.

Instead if we quietly offer help where it may be needed, god can decide if we're taken up on it.

Go to meetings where newcomers go, Steps study groups, beginners meetings, young people's meetings.

Bring sponsorship up as a topic in a topics meeting.

When you share, mention the role of sponsorship in your recovery, and point out that to get what sober people have we did what they did.

Also though remember we can fulfil that primary purpose in many simple ways.
Listening politely to new people at meetings.
Shaking hands with the newcomer. Do it first before you greet your friends.
Remembering their name when we see them again.
Offering a cup of coffee or tea if they look shy.
Introducing them to others.
Sitting by them if they sit alone.
Smile.
Never try to give away what you don't have, I've seen that and it gets ugly.

This is a great topic Robert, hope to hear some helpfull stuff from others.
(May I also respectfully ask you to not type in capital letters, it is a bit tough too read over here in Australia)

thanks
GS
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Postby Dallas » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:57 am

Hi Robert,

Sorry I didn't reply to your topic.

GeoffS offered some sane and sound suggestions.

It's not good to let newcomers know this -- but, it helps me much more than it will ever help them -- for me to be trying to help them. :lol:

My group was going through some political attacks by AA's controlling the local Central Office... which meant that we weren't getting any 12 Step calls from Intergroup and they would either keep our meeting schedules and location out of the AA Directory. If someone called the Central Office requesting info about our group, meeting times, etceteras... they were told that "they no longer hold meetings." :twisted:

So, what we did was:
Installed our own AA hotline.
Provided a location where meetings were held three times each day.
Called on Judges, Bail Bondsmen, Doctors and Lawyers and Ministers and Police Officers requesting that if they had any patients or clients or offenders that might benefit from what we have to offer -- to please give us a call and we would pick up the guy/girl if needed.

I also had some waitresses in all-night coffee shops that had my number to give out as a referral -- if one of their customers wanted to do something about a drinking problem.

There were times, when I felt like I experienced the same thing that Bill W. experienced when he was standing in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel -- right before his first meeting with Dr. Bob.

I needed an alcoholic to work with! :lol:

So... I went looking for them.

I would drive through alleys behind downtown business areas looking for guys pushing shopping carts and living in dumpsters... to ask if they were interested in sobriety.

I called on the Salvation Army and local rescue missions.

I would check the Greyhound bus station parking lot, etceteras.

You might imagine how disappointing my efforts were to the local Ego-A's that were trying to control the local "AA." :lol: :lol:

I ended up with plenty of prospects for sobriety and I made many more new connections to provide me with many prospects.

I had some bird-dogs in the local homeless communities that were also passing our my number and maps and directions and times for our meetings.

Needless to say -- it kept me really busy and it was one of the most joyful experiences in my life. It was keeping me happy, joyous, sober and free. I would have continued doing it full time just for the fun of it, but... it takes money to do what I was doing and I was running out of money... so I had to go back to work for my business... and raise money and give it to others that were trying to do much of the same thing that I was trying to do.

Anyhoot... that's what I did.

There was plenty of ridicule and critisism from the local high-class AA's and lots of rumors and gossip... but... that's what happens to most anyone that really wants to do something good. They probably wanted to, (and a few still do)... :lol: ... hang me on a cross... they just didn't have the courage to do it! :lol: :lol:

Dallas B.
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Postby Jools » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:47 pm

I don't think I'm quite ready for sponsorship just YET! What do y'all think? Haha!!! :wink: That would be the trying to give away what I don't have that Geoff mentioned! Butttttttt, I still try to reach out to the suffering alcoholic.

It always bugged me when folks would tell me to call THEM, can y'all imagine something buggin' me? ;) I was scared to death to pick up that phone and call other people, but I did so nonetheless. When I see a newcomer in the room I give them my phone number and also get theirs and I call them just to see how they're doing. That helps me stay sober today and it gets me out of myself and my lil problems.

Geoff, those are some great ideas about folks who're sitting alone and greeting new people b4 I greet my friends. I do try to reach out my hand to new people in the room and introduce myself, but I don't think I make them feel welcome enuff. Thanx for sharing those suggestions.

Julie
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Postby Dallas » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:16 pm

Julie wrote:It always bugged me when folks would tell me to call THEM


:lol: :lol: I understand!

When I was new... and guys would give me their number... I would hand out their number to other newcomers and tell them something like "If you need help or want it... call this guy!" :lol: :lol:

Sponsor?

Sober
Person
Offering
Newcomers
Suggestions
On
Recovery.... :wink:
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Postby sunlight » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:26 pm

Thank you for the simple, beautiful suggestions Geoff.

Our group has a literature table, & on it is a list of temporary sponsors who are available. The greeter gives it to each new person.

I've found that a gentle approach is best, especially if they are very ill or shy. But, it depends on the person. I've had to tell some to get their @ss in motion or find an undertaker.

Had to laugh at your other post, Robert where they wouldn't let you work in the jail. Same thing happened to me trying to bring meetings & sponsorship to the women's prison. I have to wait a year to try again & I will. Meantime, I've gone to the rehabs & got connected with a program that pairs women coming out with someone who will take them to meetings, introduce them to others & be a sponsor if they want.

A new woman came to my homegroup & I talked to her after the meeting & offered to buy her a big book. But we were out of books, so I gave her my worn,"traveling big book" that I keep in my car.
She kept coming back, carrying that ragged book with her to each meeting. When we got more books I offered to get her a new one. She said, "No. I want this one. It's been loved." She got a sponsor in my women's group & is on her way. But each time I see her we look at that book & smile. :)

Julie, you can be a friend. And you can be a beacon of hope, saying that you were told, "If Julie can stay sober, anyone can!" Wish you were there when I came in! :wink:
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Postby Tim » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:10 pm

Dallas wrote:Hi Robert,

My group was going through some political attacks by AA's controlling the local Central Office... which meant that we weren't getting any 12 Step calls from Intergroup and they would either keep our meeting schedules and location out of the AA Directory. If someone called the Central Office requesting info about our group, meeting times, etceteras... they were told that "they no longer hold meetings." :twisted:

So, what we did was:
Installed our own AA hotline.
Provided a location where meetings were held three times each day.
Called on Judges, Bail Bondsmen, Doctors and Lawyers and Ministers and Police Officers requesting that if they had any patients or clients or offenders that might benefit from what we have to offer -- to please give us a call and we would pick up the guy/girl if needed.

I also had some waitresses in all-night coffee shops that had my number to give out as a referral -- if one of their customers wanted to do something about a drinking problem.

There were times, when I felt like I experienced the same thing that Bill W. experienced when he was standing in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel -- right before his first meeting with Dr. Bob.

I needed an alcoholic to work with! :lol:

So... I went looking for them.

I would drive through alleys behind downtown business areas looking for guys pushing shopping carts and living in dumpsters... to ask if they were interested in sobriety.

I called on the Salvation Army and local rescue missions.

I would check the Greyhound bus station parking lot, etceteras.

You might imagine how disappointing my efforts were to the local Ego-A's that were trying to control the local "AA." :lol: :lol:

I ended up with plenty of prospects for sobriety and I made many more new connections to provide me with many prospects.

I had some bird-dogs in the local homeless communities that were also passing our my number and maps and directions and times for our meetings.

Needless to say -- it kept me really busy and it was one of the most joyful experiences in my life. It was keeping me happy, joyous, sober and free. I would have continued doing it full time just for the fun of it, but... it takes money to do what I was doing and I was running out of money... so I had to go back to work for my business... and raise money and give it to others that were trying to do much of the same thing that I was trying to do.

Anyhoot... that's what I did.

There was plenty of ridicule and critisism from the local high-class AA's and lots of rumors and gossip... but... that's what happens to most anyone that really wants to do something good. They probably wanted to, (and a few still do)... :lol: ... hang me on a cross... they just didn't have the courage to do it! :lol: :lol:

Dallas B.


Dallas--I don't understand how an Intergroup Office can refuse 12-step calls to anyone in AA or not list their group meetings. This is astounding and I've never heard of this happening before.

Why wouldn't they list you or route calls if you are following the AA traditions. I understand how some church-related 12-Step groups would not be listed, but why not yours?
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Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:49 pm

Hi Tim... I was as surprised and as shocked as you! It was utterly unimaginable to me... but, it's the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Just to prove it to ourselves that it wasn't something we were imagining... we even had non-alcoholics... call the Central Office, and say something like "I'm a newly sober alcoholic and I'm traveling... and I was told to go to this particular meeting at the Into Action Group... can you help me?"

Then, we did it numerous times on numerous days at different times of the day.

What can I say?

temporary sponsors


When someone inquires of me if I'm available to be a temporary sponsor... the first thing that comes to my mind is... is it because they are only interested in temporary sobriety? So... I ask them that question.

If they are only interested in temporary sobriety... they don't need a sponsor or they can continue to sponsor their self and get the same results.

If they are interested in quitting drinking for good... they should be seeking a sponsor instead of a temporary sponsor.

I suppose we're all temporary sponsors and use temporary sponsors from time to time... as we're all trying to help each other. However, I do think it's important to remember... that during those times, we're simply one alcoholic helping another alcoholic to do whats necessary to do to avoid the next drink, or next rope, or next bullet.

Having a sponsor, to me... is a relationship. It's not an on-and-off relationship. Those are called an affair. :lol:

Dallas
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Postby DiggerinVA » Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:23 pm

Interesting. I have been struggling with the "politics" of AA. It is reassuring that I'm not the only one to see these things.

The term Temporary Sponsor I would suspect comes from the rehab centers. Wanting their patients to go out and find a sponsor. Then get adjusted to this support system. Oddly enough it does not appear to be what happened in the 40"s and 50's. Then the sponsor's job was to get the newcomer through the steps and then into the fellowship. The rehab center idea actually IMHO deters from AA's purpose and traditions. People have a hard time finding sponsors here. Between the VASAP's (court ordered), the rehab center patients, and a large retirement community located in a small city. The availability of sponsor's is limited or at least appears to be. I know when I told my sponsor about my job situation may force me to move, he looked disheartened. I understood, actually I may have stayed where I am as long as I have because of this.

I will figure out my place in the sponsorship arrangement when God wants me to. Until then I will chair meetings, share thoughts and discoveries as I feel I'm directed by God.

Stan
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:01 am

Thanks for your reply, Stan. It's reassuring to me... on the AA politics... that I've got company! :wink:

Immediately after I relocated to Arkansas from Southern California... and had my first experience that I was aware of... in regards to Egos and Politics... I was convinced that it was a "Fort Smith AA" thing exclusively.

It was such a disappointing discovery. I felt like I just wanted to quit AA entirely.

Then, as I continued to study AA history... I discovered that the politics was not something new to AA... it had been going on since the beginning with Akron and Cleveland and New York. I was just personally unaware of it.

It is sad, though. It's so destructive to the Fellowship and for the newcomers that are trying to seek help in AA.

Dallas
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