|A pizza with green peppers I made the other night|
Last night we were at a social event together. She introduced me to someone as her sponsor. Then she said "I wouldn't be alive without this woman!" I told her that is not the truth. I really don't believe it is the truth. She went on to elaborate about how much I have helped her. That's great, that's what sponsors are supposed to do.
In good sponsor/sponsee relationships, you will hear the sponsor say "you have helped ME tremendously." Because, in my opinion, sponsorship is a two way street. It is a reciprocal relationship. It is not a one-sided proposition where one person has all the questions and the other has all the answers. It is a relationship where we SHARE our experience, strength, and hope. Someone told me long ago that in AA, we don't TELL anyone to do anything... we simply share our experience. I believe that.
Recently with this woman I have begun to tell her what to do. I have begun to sort of lecture her. I have begun to be the "expert." Now, I know a lot of you are very comfortable with that, I can see it in the way you write your blogs and by the blogs you follow. But I am not comfortable with people who define themselves in these ways. Not the experts, nor the helpless.
In AA there is not supposed to be a hierarchy. Our org chart is inverted, so that the group is at the top. The group. Not the individual. We do not have leaders. We are a collective.
Most of my peers, in terms of length of sobriety, are gone. They have have died or left. Some of them come to meetings regularly in order to be a big shot. They call it "paying back." They would insist that they no longer need meetings, they just come back to "help others." I find it gross to listen to them. They don't share, they tell. They lecture. They give speeches.
I am sober today by the Grace of God. That means I can get drunk, just like everyone else. I am not immune. I did not reach a sober anniversary and become an "expert." I am a drunk, that is why I belong in an AA meeting. Part of my sobriety is helping others. But as someone who understands because I have been there, not as someone who is perfect and therefore can give everyone else advice.
I have be out of here to meet my running club in 15 minutes. I better get dressed.
I think today I shall step off the soap box and attempt to live in unity with others, just the way God intended me to. And I will likely stay sober if I do that. I hope you do too.