Lessons From Sponsorship
One of the joys of my sobriety has been sponsorship. I was recently asked by two young women if I would be their sponsor, and it has taken me back in thought to all the lessons being a sponsor and being sponsored have taught me along the way.
I think that we sponsor the way we have been sponsored. I was told in the beginning by my sponsor that I must attend a step meeting, a big book meeting, and a women’s meetings as a base for my meeting schedule. However many other meetings I attended these must be my base. I have tried to pass on this message to those I have sponsored. My sponsor had me into service very early. My first job was as a greeter at the Saturday night speakers meeting and for someone who could not look people in the eye it took a lot for me to comply. I did it and I learned a lot. I have been in service to AA one way or another all my sober life and it has given me accountability and responsibility.
One of the first benefits I received from my early sponsor was the fact that she listened to me. I mean she *really* listened to me. I hope I have been able to do that for the gals I have sponsored. It is so important that you hear what *isn’t* being said, you know, the stuff that is underneath.
As nurturers, I think we can get too attached sometimes. I know that I have, and I had to be told by my sponsor that I can’t get them sober and I can’t get them drunk. That was said to me after a gal that I sponsored drank again and blew her brains out. I learned a lesson that day that I still use to this day and that is “If your sobriety becomes more important to me than it is to you, it is time for me to let go.”
During my years in the program I have had four sponsors, three have passed and my current one is very near the end of her life. She is in a long term facility in Virginia Beach with end stage COPD and lung cancer. I speak with her on a daily basis, and I am already feeling the loss of this great lady who in the very beginning of my sobriety took we new girls into her home, fixed our hair, made us tea, talked to us, and gave us dignity.
I guess what I am asking this week is for you to share with me and the rest of us what blessings and lessons you have learned from sponsoring or being sponsored. Of course, you can always discuss whatever is on your minds. It is your meeting ladies and I look forward to your shares.