Friday, September 09, 2011

Sponsorship

This is the back of this year's "spring" shirt - "spring" season starts in January!  This is possibly the cutest shirt, but very tight.  I am pushing sixty, so I don't usually wear skin tight shirts :-(

I have really begun to realize that I am no longer smack dab in the middle of AA.  That's a dangerous situation in many ways, but I don't think I can do anything about this  - other than have a drink and become newly sober.  That's not something I would want to do.  So, I shall remain someone who is, by virtue of being sober a relatively long time, sort of apart from the rest.  I wish it weren't so, but it seems to be.  My experiences are different than most of the people sitting in AA meetings now.  The thoughts I express seem to be about 180º apart from most.  And my age separates me from the young girls giggling around each other at meetings.

So, about a month ago I had a sponsee who was calling, texting, and visiting a lot.  She was in crisis.  I finally told her she needed to get some professional help.  She was suicidal and had some PTSD issues that I know I cannot help her with.  I think I would be doing her a terrible disservice to pretend I could help her with those.

I called her several times within the last week or so.  She never returned a call.  I sent her an e-mail yesterday and asked her why she never returned my calls.  I asked if she was OK.  She responded that she is seeing a counselor.  And she is still having a hard time, etc.

But in between the lines, the message I got was that she is now seeing a counselor and there is no need to return my calls.  Seriously?  I have been her sponsor for 7 years.  I didn't consider that her seeking professional help was the end of our relationship, but I guess I may have been wrong.

I will talk with her about this in the next few days.  Because I think she needs to know that this is hurtful to me.  And it might be emblematic of some of her problems in relationships with others.

I see the sponsorship relationship as a very profound, spiritual relationship.  It is disturbing to me that someone might perceive it as a utilitarian one.

I will trust God that this will be as it should be.



9 comments:

dAAve said...

You might want to discuss this one with YOUR sponsor. I think I would.

You have so much to offer other AA's, be they new or old in the program. Don't sell yourself short.

Mary Christine said...

Oh Dave, I have... ad infinitum.

Mary Christine said...

Discussed it with her, I mean.

August said...

I posted a comment several weeks ago when you were talking about having no patience for relapsers and how telling them things like "keep coming back" was a real disservice to them.

I wanted to follow up to let you know that I was sitting in a meeting the other day (next to a certain person whom I know to be a chronic relapser ... not that she ever cops to it in the meetings.) The topic was "willingness," and after about 40,000 people yammered on about keep going to meetings, do what your sponsor tells you to do, etc., this guy piped up and said, "The really sick people will tell you 'keep coming back.' The ones who want you to get better will tell you 'don't f'ing drink.'"

I thought of you then and I understood a little bit better why you take the hard line that you do. I just wanted to drop by and tell you that. Thanks -- I enjoy reading your blog.

susanm said...

I see much in meetings that bothers me,cell phones and revoling door sobriety, A.A. "lite", but I also see a lot of folk remaining sober, working to grow and thrive. I continue to go to meetings, to learn from these people and to share my exeriences before and after. I also learn from the folk who go out, and I always appreciate identifying with the pain of what it is like out there --- I want to keep that part of my life green, and never forget. I work hard to remain in the middle, even after 24 years, because my disease, my broken perceptions, have never left me. I know where I am safest, and I work to remain there. Self pity and a thousand forms of fear can still take me out. I don't want that to happen, ever. I also go to a meeting where long term sobriety is part of the focus --- it feels so great to hear others with double digit sobriety share about their experiences after putting the plug in the jug. Don't quit before the miracle. That is one of my favorite slogans. I like it because it took a long time for me to understand that there is more that just one miracle!

Syd said...

I sometimes think that those I sponsor see me ax just someone to call in crisis. But I like the relationship with others. That is an important aspect of recovery--learning how to have a relationship.

Steve E said...

I too, feel a generational distance from the under-35 crowd. But the program remains the same, yet, so far, for now...OMG! What could we do to it

SO MANY drop out now. I don't recall that in 1974. But then I was still in quite foggy skies, so who knows? Most then were lower-bottomed drunks.
Thanks for your honesty, Mary.
PEACE!

Lou said...

MC, I too understand why you take the "hard line" :)

God bless, and have a wonderful week end.

Pammie said...

I get so tired of the "new crop" every few years that "know a better way" and want to whisper about me in a meeting. When that group either stays sober or goes away, another "new crop" shows up with brilliant ideas for the program. It's tiring isn't it?