easyI started working with a new sponsee two weeks ago and she has about 45 days of sobriety. We have been going to meetings together, talking on a daily basis, reading the big book together and fingers crossed, this weekend she’ll complete her Third Step. Last week (after we’d been working together for only one week) she happened to blurt out that she  really wanted to get started on her amends because there were people who were waiting for her to make things right. I asked her what had prompted this and she said her adult son knows someone who is a recovering alcoholic, they work in the same office and the man told her son that he had 90 days sobriety and he is already writing his amends letters. Her son went on to tell her that the man he works with said this is where his mom should be at too.

Needless to say, I was exasperated, because not only is she getting advice on working her program from someone who isn’t even in the program himself, she’s was also being told by a family member who was being told by another person who has 90 days sobriety. It doesn’t bug me that the person with 90 days is telling someone else where they should be in the steps (he doesn’t know any better and probably thinks he’s helping), it’s that my sponsee’s son is taking what this person says and running with it, putting pressure on his mother to make amends, way before she is spiritually fit to take that on. She is living in a sober housing facility, struggling to pay rent there, trying to get a job and all the while she is still in a fog from the booze and scared and apprehensive about the future. It’s a little frustrating when a sponsee who is already under a lot of pressure and anxiety because she is so new to recovery, feels pressure to rush things because she wants to make her family happy. 

All I could do was explain to her that she is right where she needs to be. We are not rushing through the big book or the steps; we are reading and concentrating on the step she is on until she has a full understanding of it. We had only briefly touched on the rest of the steps after Steps 1, 2 and 3 because there is no need to worry about those until we get there.  I tried to explain to her that by completing each step to the best of her ability, will better prepare her for the next step and so on.  

She really wants this, she wants a life without booze and she is doing the best she can, working the step she is on, listening to suggestions, developing an understanding of her Higher Power and taking it one day at a time – that’s all any of us can do. If she can concentrate on working her program and not have other people tell her how she should be working it, hopefully the rest will fall into place.


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