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 05, 2010

A Little On Sponsorship

I was asked for my experience, strength, and hope on sponsorship, specifically what to do if one's sponsor doesn't seem to be available anymore. As a sponsor myself, I make sure I don't take on another sponsee unless I have the time they seem to need. Communication is the key, something we Al-Anons aren't always good at because of our broken relationships due to alcoholism. But we get to practice new behavior in Al-Anon where it is safe.

So if your sponsor doesn't seem to have time for you, you probably need to pray about it and then talk to her. Ask her if she would have time to meet with you regularly, even if that is once a month. It depends on what you need. If she admits her lack of time, then you can let her know you'll be looking for a new sponsor. This doesn't mean you can't stay friends. I repeat, this is not like burning a bridge. It is simply admitting your relationship has changed and is not working the way it used to.

To begin your search for a new sponsor, pray for guidance. Since you've already worked the Steps, your needs are not the same as a newcomer, but you still need this special kind of confidante. Listen to people share at meetings. My sponsor found a new sponsor recently in a younger member, both in age and years in the program. She simply liked what she had to say in meetings - she wants what her new sponsor has. That's the key - there is some kind of attraction.

All this talk reminds me that I haven't heard from a couple sponsees for a while, so I probably need to check in with them to see if they still want me as their sponsor. If they have moved on, I will have more time for others. It really isn't a big deal when we change our sponsors/sponsees. It's not like we're married to these people - we're all just growing and sometimes we grow in different directions, our needs change. And it's important to take care of our needs. No one else will do this for us :-)

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