Follow Up

Yes this is a follow up on yesterday’s post but it is also a way to frame the results of my meeting my sponsee today. We both agree he is good at pushing away things that might be helpful. In this case he has a real reluctance to meet with me regularly. Since this is something I explained to him from the start is what I need to have happen, it is a problem. My being his sponsor is contingent on my being able to meet up with him. He was free from the start to say no, this was not something he wants.

I must say I was happy to say he did agree to meet with me again next week. Of his own volition he also offered up that not showing up then would be a clear statement on his part. His absence would demonstrate he was not willing to committ to our working together in a way that I felt had to happen.

I really hope he shows up. I want to help him and meeting with someone is the way I have found works best for me. I simply cannot effectively sponsor someone without regular face to face contact. Just one of the many, many limitations I have come to understand about myself since I have become sober.

I do believe that people can have a sponsor-sponsee relationship without regular meetings too, so this is not a case of my way is the only way this can work for everyone. I have also learned in sobriety that there are very few absolutes.

This is a jumbled post but there you have it.

All the best in your sobriety,

AA blogger

Our Best Ideas

Will you choose the easier softer way, of try to blaze your own trail?
Will you choose the easier softer way or try to blaze your own trail?

As happens too often, someone that asked me to sponsor them has gone away. Don (as mentioned in this post about sponsorship) decided he needed to try to do find his own way to sobriety. My own sponsor said it best “why do you need to find something else, this works well for a lot of people!”

The thinking and reasoning of this guy was classic. I was almost dumbfounded by what he told me as things were quickly unravelling.

First was Don’s stopping doing some basic things he had told me he would do if I was to sponsor him. I called him out on this stuff and told him he needed to make a decision if he would do those things or not. He said he needed to think about it. Within a few days fired me, saying he did not want to do those things and that he needed to do his own thing.

He explained how he knew some guy in AA that had long term sobriety and worked his “own” program. The steps he didn’t like this guy simply ignored. How well did he know this other guy? Someone else he sort of knew in AA had told him about him. So he was going to go to a meeting this fellow went to and see if he could talk to him.

Great “lets go get drunk idea.” So there are lots of people around that are sober and talk about how the steps brought them sobriety. Out of this, pick one guy that did it differently and say that is what I want to do. What worked for one person, not what is apparently working for a whole bunch of people.

The most crazy thing of all was this one line he told me.

I want to try to find my own way of doing this AA program.

His own way. He called me a few times after he fired me. He was growing increasingly irritable, restless and discontent. Don was also getting more and more scared. At one point he decided he needed to do what I had suggested and said it would be good if I would sponsor him again. That was the next to last day that I heard from him. It has been a few weeks. He is not at meetings. He has not kept in touch. Is he drinking? I hope not but it does not look good.

I am so glad that I once came to the realization that my best ideas were killing me. This was a very important change in my thinking that allowed me to get sober. I was then teachable and open minded. I thought a lot of these AA things would not work but was willing to entertain that I could be wrong. I was. Completely.

Sponsee Sponsor

I make the conscious choice to be free, and to hold my freedom as a priority, not to be compromised.

Passing it on. Three related bits of my sober life.

1. I asked someone to sponsor me last night. Thank goodness. I woke up today feeling much freer than I have in a long time. I’m going to a number of meetings every week, having a better sense of spirituality, am sponsoring a few guys and now have a sponsor. Is that the final piece that has lifted the weight of the world off of my shoulders? It feels like this is how things are going. And that perhaps I am on the cusp of having the weight of the world stay off. I have lived like that in the past in my sobriety. It has been lost for awhile. I would love it if it is back.

2. About a month ago I had a guy (lets call him Jim) ask me to sponsor him. He has been around AA for 15 years, a bit back and forth, and has been clean for more than two years. Here were the most significant things I found out right away. His five year old son and his fiance were killed in a car crash about three years ago. They were hit by a drunk driver. He is still struggling with this. And he is just getting over surgery to remove cancer in his bladder. He was still not physically well. Physiologically his white blood cell count had not yet bounced back from some just finished radiation treatments.

It took me a few weeks to figure out he has never worked the steps, in order. He has dabbled but the best thing would likely be to start from the beginning. He was game for this approach.

Yesterday this guy told me the cancer was back. Its aggressive and spreading fast. The doctors are not that hopeful. Essentially he could be dead in months or perhaps by the end of the year. He just called me and we talked for close to an hour. I am not sure I have the fortitude to handle all of this. I’m devastated and I cannot begin to fathom how this person feels or can deal with things.

I am completely humbled. I can only pray. For him and for me, so that I can have the strength to be the best I can to help this guy.

3. I had another guy (Don) ask me to sponsor him last week. He is fresh, just getting clean. We are starting from the beginning. So far so good.

All of this puts me firmly in the middle of AA. All of this is many things: difficult, exhilarating, challenging, exciting and right where I need to be.

Being Responsible

I have a new sponsee as of yesterday. I find this to be a momentous occasion, as it marks me as being back to where I need to be. I have been going to a few meetings a week again. It was a struggle to get back to that point! Now I am familiar with people around the place I now live.

I even went to a different meeting this Saturday morning (in part due to my new pigeon). I was surprised and happy to see many of my new found regulars at my noon meeting at this place. It was also a lot easier to hang out and talk after the meeting, as it emptied out into a large parking lot in back of a church. My noon group empties out into a busy street.

I also can just tell things are way different in where I am at today with my AA community than I was just a few months ago. I am starting to hug people again. I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t until I was doing more of this. I guess that was part of being and feeling like I was outside rather than in the middle of things.

Funny thing my new pigeon is feeling isolated. It was what caused me to reach out to him. I spent a few hours with him and the next day he asked me to sponsor him. He has been sober for a few years, which is nice. I will call him Don on this blog. He is a real talker and he does listen too, but it is tough for him to listen for long. At least this is what it seems so far.

I need to make an appointment with him to tell him my story. This is something I like to do as a way of getting introduced to someone that wants my help. They need to understand I’m hardcore. Serious. And am responsible.