- WHAT IS A SPONSOR?
An A.A. sponsor is not a professional caseworker or counselor of any sort.
A sponsor is not someone to borrow money from, nor get clothes, jobs, or
food from. A sponsor is not a medical expert, nor qualified to give
religious, legal, domestic or psychiatric advice, although a good sponsor
is usually willing to discuss such matters confidentially, and often can
suggest where the appropriate professional assistance can be obtained.
A sponsor is simply a sober alcoholic who can help solve only 1 problem:
how to stay sober. And the sponsor has only 1 tool to use--personal
experience, not scientific wisdom.
Sponsors have been there, and often have more concern, hope, compassion,
and confidence for us than we have for ourselves. They certainly have had
more experience. Remembering their own condition, they reach out to help,
Living Sober, page 27
WHAT IS A SPONSOR?
Sponsorship has been here from the beginning of the Program. First the
definition of sponsorship from the conference-approved pamphlet from G.S.O.
A sponsor is someone who helps you work the Steps as they are set forth in
the Big Book and 12 and 12. If someone tries to run your life they are not
sponsor material! Get away from them as fast as you can. That person is no
a personal power trip and is carrying their ego instead of the message.
Sponsorship is to teach you how to work the Steps so you don�t need a
sponsor any more. You are going to have to live life sometime and someone
isn�t going to be there to hold your hand. My sponsor "fired" me after 3
years although we remained good friends. I had learned how to do it and
could do it on my own (10 Step and spiritual direction excluded). Eddie had
other people to help, and I was ready to do the Steps on my own.
Sponsorship isn�t something you can get "from just your friends."
There is a law of economics called Gresham�s Law. It says that bad money
drives out the good. Not even all the people who have 20 years of sobriety
have good sobriety. They manage to stay sober but they white knuckle it.
There was a group of these men in Houston where I sobered up called the
"Investors Group", a bunch of old, rich farts, with a lot of sobriety time
but very little quality to their sobriety. They were not happy.
The only way to learn the Program is to learn from those who have done
it from the book with the aid of a teacher who has done it from the Book
with their sponsor. If you do it any other way "the bad sobriety drives out
the good." And this is why the ability of newcomers to stay sober has been
dropping for the last several years. There are too many people who think
they know better than the Book or the people who started this Program.
After all the Big Book does say in he original intro that this Book is
meant to pass on "exactly how we recovered."
Get Real, Get Now
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