Alcoholism Support Group

Alcoholism is the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages, even when it is negatively affecting your health, work, relationships and life. If you think alcohol is causing you to lose control, it's time to seek help. Our group is a safe place to vent, check in, get back up if you fall, and reach sobriety.

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2 Online

Need Help

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?

Replies

okiyoe1
okiyoe1

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
okiyoe1
okiyoe1

Good! no need in confusing the issues I'd say ! Good luck:)
Billy
billwfriend
billwfriend

well Rachy I just know that we have only got today and the guy is avoiding you today....so 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 you...it works both ways!
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
gr8ful2b
gr8ful2b

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'.
PJ54
PJ54

Hello RachylA,

It took me a while to see the obvious but now I know that sobriety cannot be guaranteed by a sponsors suggestions no matter how willing the sponsor may be. Continued sobriety can only come from the sponsees 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 peoples business unless you have their permission.

Good on you for making the effort where so many dont bother. Remember that you are only carrying the message, not inventing it. If your sponsee doesnt 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 Gods will. If he fails, it will be for the same reasons so dont let it pull you down or hold you back.
Taradactyl
Taradactyl

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Don't worrry. It appears he doesn't really want a sponsor at the moment, so he fired himself.
If he makes it back in, then consider whether you're ready to take him on as a sponsee again.
Meanwhile, enjoy your sobriety and look to his example....
LindaJean
LindaJean

We can't make anyone want to be sober - they have to come to that determination themselves. So I'd let go of this one and move on as has been suggested.
nickyj18022002
nickyj18022002

There are no rules here. Some people make great sponsors at a year sober, some make terrible sponsors at 15 years sober. Sometimes when someone drinks it is right to draw a line under sponsoring them, other times it is right to sponsor them again when they come back. Most times it isn't a good idea for a women to sponsor a man but other times circumstances dictate that it is a good thing.

What is always true is that we need to be willing to examine what we are doing especially in light of what other people say or suggest, mostly if those people are fully in possession of all the facts rather than applying generalisations.

I dont know what the right course of action is. I might consider replying to the email saying to get in touch when he is ready and then see what happens from there. I might also talk to my sponsor as she would know the situation and might have something useful to suggest. But you may have a gut feeling about what is the best thing to do and given that you know the situation then it might be good to follow that. The one thing I know I wouldnt do is chase the guy and try and coerce him back into recovery. He has to dictate when and how that happens.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Five years ago, a friend of mine was destroying himself with alcohol and prescription drugs. This was my best friend, coming apart right before my eyes.

His girlfriend was calling me several times a day: "What can we do? We have to stop him from killing himself!"

It all blew up one night. I had tried to steer him into a saner lifestyle but he just kept getting worse. Now he was mad at me for not being such a good friend.

So I told him that I was not going to watch him kill himself but I would always be ther if he needed me.

My friend is now four and a half years sober and our relationship is great. We laugh about the irony - he sobered up way before I did.

Rachyl, you do a great service by sponsoring. Don't take this person's actions personally. If he really wants this path to sobriety he'll come back. If he doesn't, it's not because of you.

Good luck!
stickywick
stickywick

Do you have a sponsor? My sponsor, who has 28 years, has a sponsor:) When she's stuck, she tells me she calls her.
I do know that when someone is drunk, I can't be of use at all other than to give them a ride home and take their keys:-)
Seriously, until he's at least willing to stop drinking long enough to communicate, can you do anything? I'm guessing no.
Good luck!