Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh to be a Good Sponsor

I chaired a meeting last night. The topic was "losing it and getting it back," how we "relapse" like our alcoholics and the tools we use to get back on the beam.

I shared an embarrassing story about "losing it" recently over something inconsequential, so I was surprised when I was finished and we were breaking up into our groups and the woman next to me asked me to be her sponsor.

For people who have years and years in the program and have sponsored many people, this may not sound earth shattering. But it is for me. I've never had the privilege of sponsoring anyone before.

So I feel humbled and a little scared.

My sponsor calls her sponsees her "bugs." She told me that one day I would have my own little bug in the room who was attracted to my light.

Now I think I will have to walk a little straighter in my program, because my sponsee will be watching me just as I watched my sponsor.

I have a good role model. I have seen my sponsor attend all her regular meetings (three Al-Anon and one open AA meeting) every week, rain or shine, good times and bad. I've seen her mentor something like 14 sponsees with wisdom, and make each of us feel cared for and loved. I've watched her walk through difficulties at work, the illness of her mother, a death in the family. All with grace and dignity. I will look to her example.

And I know that I don't have to do it alone. The beauty of being part of a line of sponsorship is that it contains the accumulated wisdom of all who came before us. The way we work the steps is bounded by that tradition. And if something comes up that I don't know how to answer, I can ask my sponsor, and she can ask her sponsor, etc.

Of course, I will pray.


  1. Good subject for a meeting or any discussion really. The getting it back part is essential. I am pleased for you that you are sponsoring someone and that you take it to heart.

  2. I like the term....bug attracted to the light.
    As we grow our light gets stronger.


  3. The teacher will come when the student is ready..

    The student becomes the teacher to others.. :)

    Sounds like you are a teacher..

    And remember no one is supposed to put their sponsor/mentor/teacher on a pedestal... so you are going to do great JUST BEING YOU..

    I have some calling me now. Yikes..one today.. and I hope I handled it well. I'm not a sponsor and never had a sponsor.. but I had a few mentors..


  4. How wonderful. I look forward to being a sponsor in my CoDA group. I have been asked... but I haven't finished the steps yet, and my sponsor said I wasn't ready.

    Good luck. I think you'll do well. You have so much wisdom to share.

  5. I'm sure you will find it fulfilling, and be a great sponsor!

  6. God has done a marvelous thing here. I am sure you will be a fine sponsor and God will use you. You will gain so much from your sponsee. I am so happy for you.


  7. Ahh, that's so cool, you have your own little bug! : )
    I love that analogy, about being bugs attracted to someone's light, how very apt.

    One of the lady's in our group gave me a list of people and phone numbers I could call. So far I haven't picked up the phone cause a) I am assuming they are as insanely busy as I am and I don't want to interrupt their day b) I am not used to call strangers to talk about myself and c) Oh I simply don't push myself in other peoples faces, haha what a good little people pleaser I am. It's all about them, not about me.
    The lady told me I would get over it in time.
    She would be the perfect sponsor for me, I already know it, so maybe she isn't, if your previous stories is anything to go by.
    And still my head whispers 'why do you need a sponsor? Can't we do this by ourselves, like we always do?'