Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Learning More About Sponsorship

I learned more about sponsorship this year, that it is important to tell your sponsees the truth even if it hurts - especially if they ask for help in a particular area. Yes, they do need encouragement, but they also need to grow. If a sponsee tells you they are stuck and you believe you know why, you should tell them.

Yes, it is hard. We want people to like us and be our friends. But we don't want them to "die" spiritually by letting them stay in the dark about their own behavior. It is the one thing they can change - even past behavior by admitting they were wrong, making amends, and moving on. We as sponsors need to be responsible.

After all, where would we be, where would I be, if my sponsor hadn't asked me at the end of a two-day fifth step if I had any "coffin nails" - things that will kill me. Yes, I had, and when I shared it, my life changed. I needed that push to tell the truth, to get rid of the big secret that was keeping me sick.

And so I need to "push" my sponsees, and yet do it gently in God's time, not mine. More often than not, when I share the truth as I see it with a sponsee, they come back later and thank me. I tell them I'm just the messenger, and that I learned just as much as they have. This passing it on is how we keep our recovery. It is courage in action. I encourage you out there to tell each other the truth, but remember: Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean.

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At Saturday, November 24, 2007 3:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So often, I, as a recovering woman, am not even aware of some of my most glaring shortcomings. Thank God I have good friends in recovery who have shared certain truths about me with me. I need this so I can first become aware, and with awareness comes acknowledgment, then acceptance; and finally, I am able to take the needed action to change. Of course this isn't always easy but I always ask my Higher Power to help me along the way too. Thanks so much for this post. Take Care, Judy

At Sunday, September 21, 2008 7:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know if you are ready to be a sponsor? What are the "rules"? If I'm asking this question, does it mean that I'm not ready to be a sponsor?
Is there a website or a book I need to read that could give me guidance on this? I too am a recovering woman and I know that in my recovery having a higher power, honesty, embracing my pain, awareness, acceptance and action is required for me to grow. Take care! Linda

At Monday, September 22, 2008 9:17:00 AM, Blogger Al-Anon Lifer said...

Dear Linda - You are ready to be a sponsor if you have worked the steps. In so doing, you are ready to pass on what you have received. That does not mean that you need to be perfect or have it all together. Progress not perfection is part of sponsorship, too. I have made many "mistakes" which have turned out to be lessons for myself. I also learn much from my sponsees, often amazed at how strong and spiritual they are, wondering why they are coming to me for help? I guess they see something in me they want, which helps me see just how far I have come. As far as reading about sponsorship, there are Al-Anon pamphlets and indexes in all the books. But if someone asks you to be a sponsor, you are ready. I assume you have a sponsor? Perhaps just pass on to your sponsee(s) in the same way your sponsor has passed the program on to you. Or go with the flow - what does your sponsee need? To work the steps. Then have them go to a step study meeting or go through the steps with them using any of our literature. Give them assignments to answer the questions at the end of the chapters in Paths to Recovery, or have them go through the Blueprint for Progress. Keep in mind that you are not a guru, just a guide, but the real guide is both of your HP(s). If there is only one rule I have for myself as a sponsor is to keep my sponsee(s) focused on the solution rather than the problem, and that means focused on their own recovery rather than continually complaining about the alcoholics or other miseries in their lives. It really is a learning process for all of us. It is like doing any service work. You learn it by doing it. So just do it! In Service, Al-Anon Lifer

At Friday, June 22, 2012 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just feeling the same, wondering if I have it in me to be a sponsor! I worked my steps quite long back and that too with an AA member. with my HP grace, am going with the flow and taking up being sponsor, one day at a time...


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