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I have 15 months clean and sober. I am sponsoring a couple people. One just got out of detox and the other one would have had 4 years sober on the 18th.

We talked when he was thinking about drinking. I gave him all sorts of suggestions and he did not take a single one. Wrote me a drunk email and is avoiding me. What is the best course of action?
Posted on 12/04/11, 01:04 pm
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Reply #1 - 12/04/11  1:32pm
" Not Much to do except be You I'd say ! Do you think sponsoring a male is a good idea though . I know, I have had tons of female confident 's with tons of sobriety on down but when it came to the reality of anothers or my well being in the Identification game, and my being a male Alcoholic I had a male sponsor . And likewise ,have never sponsored the opposite sex .

For me sponsorship is about the reality of helping one clear away the wreckage of the past and becoming willing to serve that person as best I can ... maybe steer the guy towards a male sponsor, could help , if he's ready to stop again:)
Billy "
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Reply #2 - 12/04/11  1:35pm
" I don't need a lecture on how I should nor should not sponsor a male. My sponsor is ok with it. Its only a suggestion that you do that. What I need is help on how to deal with it. "
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Reply #3 - 12/04/11  1:40pm
" RachylA,

The mere fact that you're asking te question should be the answer in itself. Here in my neck of the woods, sponsoring is over the minute the sponsee picks up a drink. If you have any doubts as to why that is so, then I suggest that you're getting into sponsorship much, much too early in your own sobriety.

I say that because at 15 months it's all still in the realm of ideas, like textbook instructions on how to swim or ride a bicycle. The general idea is that if you understand the steps as a concept system, you can convey that knowledge to someone else. I have to disagree with that.

You don't as yet have enough instinctive and intuitive confidence in the process from hands-on experience to make good sponsorship decisions. Personally, I took on my first sponsee when I had about eight years, and even that was a little early. "
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Reply #4 - 12/04/11  1:48pm
" Thanks Nemorino. Where is live its usual to sponsor at around a year. There is not a lot of long time sobriety. I am doing the best I can. Thanks for your advice "
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Reply #5 - 12/04/11  2:05pm
" Good! no need in confusing the issues I'd say ! Good luck:)
Billy "
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Reply #6 - 12/04/11  6:11pm
" well Rachy I just know that we have only got today and the guy is avoiding you go about your normal life! make sure if he wants you to sponsor him again upon return that there is transparency and accountability between two of works both ways! "
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Reply #7 - 12/04/11  6:53pm
" It seems we have gotten a little off point. Time for a little clarification. A sponsor is nothing more than a teacher you can take your personal inventory to a priest or a chaplin. I personally wouldnt sponsor the opposite sex but thats just me. I can assure you that teachers come in many forms and sex shouldnt be a factor in choosing a teacher. that being said. Your friend has your number. He knows where the meetings are. What should you do? Just be there for him when he reaches out. Sometimes no action is the best action to take. Greg "
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Reply #8 - 12/04/11  7:05pm
" Rats Greg, ya beat me to it. To do nothing is taking action in some cases.

As one recovering woman to another Rach: there's a reason why men sponsor men and women sponsor women. Don't be testy when people with long term experience in this rodeo pass on their experience. Did you ever stop to think that you may be doing this guy a disservice by not guiding him to another recovering man? Just askin'. "
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Reply #9 - 12/04/11  7:21pm
" Hello RachylA,

It took me a while to see the obvious but now I know that sobriety cannot be guaranteed by a sponsor’s suggestions no matter how willing the sponsor may be. Continued sobriety can only come from the sponsee’s faith in a higher power and the work that he or she does in practicing the Steps every day.

I would say that the guy is avoiding you because he is embarrassed and disappointed with himself. After giving him a little bit of time it may be wise for you to make the first move and give him a call, being careful not to lecture or judge. If he has not yet done the Steps it may be time for him to start. If he has done the Steps you could suggest going over them again, just a quick revision. The emphasis should be on Step 1 - does he fully understand it and accept that he is an alcoholic? Also on Steps 10, 11 and 12 – is he getting into the habit of practicing these principles in all his affairs? Maybe there are things in Step 5 that he needs to revisit?

On the question of a woman sponsoring a male or vice versa, I would say that it is not the ideal situation but it can definitely be done without too many problems if there are no suitable alternatives. Sponsoring someone at 15 months sober is no crime either. In fact, it is a good idea to sponsor someone as soon as you get the opportunity, once you have completed Step 9, providing of course that you have a good grasp on the Steps yourself. Sponsorship is a two-way deal and it is by working together that you will both learn. You can of course draw on the experience of your own sponsor when in doubt, being careful not to discuss other people’s business unless you have their permission.

Good on you for making the effort where so many don’t bother. Remember that you are only carrying the message, not inventing it. If your sponsee doesn’t want to know anymore, it may be best for you to drop him and to put your efforts into helping someone else. Just make sure that you give him a chance first and be there for him if he wants to continue. If he succeeds it will be partly because of your help, partly because of his own work and mainly because it is God’s will. If he fails, it will be for the same reasons so don’t let it pull you down or hold you back. "
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Reply #10 - 12/04/11  7:45pm
" If I wanted to drink, I would avoid my sponsor too.

Leave him alone to drink until he's ready for help. Just let him know you will be there and let it go. This assumes that he still believes that you can give him what he needs.

I had people try to drag me back to mtgs when I was "out" on a relapse. On occasion I came back out of a feeling of obligation, but my efforts were never 100% because I was not ready. It is dangerous to think that one has to get "done" but in the context of a relapse, I personally think there is a "done" point for that relapse. I always had to hurt a lot before I was ready to commit fully again.

Nemo, I am totally thrown off by your reply. Step 12 is about carrying the message and serves an important purpose for US to remain sober. BillW didn't wait years before he began helping others. He began helping others almost immediately so that HE could keep what he had. I don't pretend I am any sort of expert on sobriety, but I have had a heck of a time getting and staying sober and some pretty amazing stuff this time around that I think I should be sharing with other struggling alkies. I may not have the solution in its entirety but I have a peace of it for sure. I think it is GREAT Rachyl is sponsoring already. JMO. "

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