sponsor1When I became a Sponsor, I was so excited and ready to work with another alcoholic or addict, I was going to make a difference – sprinkling my experience, strength and hope around like fairy dust. Taking all the newcomers under my big Fairy Godmother wings and protecting them from relapse and early recovery jitters.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I fell off my pink cloud and plummeted down to earth for a dose of reality. Being a Sponsor is hard! Actually, I’ve come to realize that it’s accepting that I can’t make people do what I want that’s the hard part. I’ve spent many a day wondering why my Sponsee doesn’t do what I have suggested, surely my story of what it was like for me was convincing enough! After all, I was a hopeless drunk, I always relapsed, NOTHING worked for me until I finally lit a fire under my ass, got a Sponsor and worked on the 12 Steps.  Wasn’t my story of redemption enough to light a fire under someone else’s ass too? Apparently not.

After talking it through with my own Sponsor, I have to remember back to when I was the one who was indifferent and not quite sure if I was ready for sobriety.  I went through about four different Sponsors before I got desperate enough to start listening and taking suggestions. Before that I’d sit there telling people what I thought they wanted to hear, all the while thinking to myself, what a croc! My gnat-like attention span would only get it together long enough if the conversation was about me and how bad my life was, I didn’t want to hear about their story – b-o-r-i-n-g!

I continued this way until I was completely ruined, physically, mentally and spiritually, that’s when I finally admitted defeat, surrendered to the process and made a choice to complete the 12 Steps. Until I was ready to do that, nothing anyone said or suggested was going to make a blind bit of difference to me and that’s what I have to remember when a Sponsee hasn’t called in three weeks, is balking at the 4th Step or is too busy dating the hottie from the 8pm meeting. That’s when I realize I was like that too and just because I want someone to want this – doesn’t mean they’ll want it! All I can do is move on, hope they come back and continue trying to be of service to the people who do.

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