Al-Anon, Sponsor, Sponsorship
When I first came to Al-Anon, I heard about this "sponsorship" thing a lot. I didn't want a sponsor because I thought "I was waaaay too smart for anyone to teach me anything." Plus, I thought - deep down - I don't want to "burden" anyone with my feeble foibles. And, how in the world would I explain what the hell is happening in my life.
Well, one day, a guy raised his hand when they asked who was willing to be sponsors. I heard him talk before and so I asked him later to be my sponsor. When we talked I was appalled to find out "how different he was than I." He was; a stay at home dad for the main thing, never traveled in his job, not in the"corporate world," and he was - well - physically different - as I am very tall.
This difference - was my ego talking - basically saying - "This is not going to work Joe. What the hell are you doing???"
I never called him. The "burden" of calling - and sharing my "troubles" were too much for me to allow myself to share what I thought would be things I could address "ALL BY MYSELF." For I am not a weak person - "I AM STRONG and POWERFUL." And - could HANDLE ANYTHING.
He called me one night. Amazing. I was dying. Under the burden of alcoholism - I was; lonely, tired, frustrated, and frankly - lost.
Four months later - maybe six - from the night he called me - I called him asking for advice about what to feed my child and get him/her off of pasta. I was on my way to an Al-Anon meeting at the time when I called and we talked. I had separated from my spouse a few months before, and I had joint custody. He explained what he had done and what he was doing. He said - "Every Wednesday is pasta night. This way they know what to expect and when to expect it."
The solution was so simple - of course - I thought. Then I thought - "Isn't this interesting." Seven or eight months ago when I first met him - I thought "we couldn't be more different" . . .
Now I thought - I am a "stay at home dad too" and my higher power or God - had placed this sponsor in front of me eight months ago and I had no clue how this would turn out. AND fortunately, it turned out for the good.
It turns out we are more similar in other areas too. I trust my sponsor. Even when he "criticizes" me in some form, I know he is doing it in a loving way - and he has the best interests for me and no hidden agenda. I say "criticizes" - only to mean this - I do something or I am about to do something - well - frankly - stupid - he asks me some pointed questions. I go - "oh yeah . . . that is not being honest or acting with utmost integrity." I figure it out by his questions and also - listening to myself "think outloud."
I am indebted to my sponsor. He is beginning to know me. I am beginning to admit things I never could or would admit to someone else. He gives me guidance sometimes, but most of the time, he listens, and when I talk, I hear myself and I hear the answer or I hear where I am steering off course.
Here is my message; If you do not have a sponsor, get one. Find a temporary sponsor, if you have to. They are free. They are invaluable.
AND . . .
We wind up helping them as much or if not more than they help us!! And we all are fixers and helpers - and that can be our "reason" to getting one and being honest - in order to trick ourselves into getting help for ourselves!!!
PEACE today. Hope for Today. Faith for Tomorrow
Friday, October 3, 2008
Al-Anon, Sponsor, Sponsorship