Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ready and Willing

I had my call time with my sponsee last night, and I'm feeling fortunate that God blessed me with a person who is ready for change, open to suggestions and willing to work a program.

So far, she has done everything I suggested. She has begun a daily gratitude list in her journal. She is reading "Courage to Change," one of the three, conference-approved books of daily meditations. She is attending an open AA meeting every week. She has started to pray.

She also started a quilting class on Saturday, which was her idea not mine, but which delighted me. She says quilting completely absorbs her. It's complicated, so she has to pay attention. She can't get carried off with her thoughts. It keeps her in the moment. Her class is turning into a club. They are meeting again this Saturday.

What a gift that is. I know when I get involved with something I love I lose my obsession with my alcoholic and start to really live my own life.

Also, the quilting club is social. It will keep her among supportive people instead of isolating, which is what so many Al-Anons (myself included) often want to do.

She also finished the first assignment I gave her, which was to read "Alcoholics Anonymous," the AA Big Book, up to the personal stories.

So now, we're ready to start working the steps. Last night, I gave her the step one reading assignment.

I didn't think it would happen this fast.

I'm excited.

I'm excited because I can't wait to see how working the steps looks from this vantage point. I know working the steps helped me to learn and change and grow. I'm excited to see them work in someone else.

At the same time, I need to be careful of that awful "e" word, "expectations." I know that expectations are premeditated resentments. I want to stay open and humble and teachable myself so I can be the best sponsor I am capable of being today.

I must remember that I don't have all the answers. That I am not perfect. That I will make mistakes. That she will make mistakes. That she will teach me as much as I teach her. That I need to be loving and gentle with us both when that happens.

So today I prayed to be guided in this new role by my Higher Power. I prayed to be ready to change, open to His guidance, willing to work my program however He leads me.


  1. That sounds like an exciting moment in your journey. I like how you are approaching it with openness and anticipation.

  2. Kathy,
    For me when God allows me to see another person on the road to freedom. When He uses "me". It is the best. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You sound like you have a wonderful tender grip on being a sponsor. :) She is blessed with you.

  4. What a blessing...always good to find a sponsee who really wants this stuff, isn't it, and is willing.

    You'll be amazed before you are halfway through..the rewards of this life of ours are wonderful.


  5. Kathy, this is wonderfully beautiful. There are so many things awaiting you in your new venture. Blessings.

  6. You say "I want to stay open and humble and teachable myself so I can be the best sponsor I am capable of being today." The fact that you are open to learning from your sponsee and not set in concrete that you are the knowledgeable one or experienced one is a blessing indeed for your sponsee and for you.

  7. I'm reading this with anticipation, someday I will sponsor someone. You are writing about a very positive experience!

  8. It is wonderful... you are getting so much out of it, and that is great to see. I think it has to be that way. If you are only doing it for the other person, that's a pretty codependent attitude!

    Somehow, your sponsee reminded me of me, and so I feel I have to share this with you:
    I am on the fourth step.
    I've BEEN on the fourth step.
    I was perfect, at the start. I did everything she asked in less time than expected. I put a lot of thought and journaling into each reading and each assignment and really did well with the first three steps.
    My sponsor was so pleased with me. She praised me and said she wished all her sponsees were as good as I was.
    Unfortunately, I have been having a lot more trouble with the fourth step.
    It's less concrete than the first three steps, in a way. It is more about my perceptions of things that have happened in my life and less about something I can read, understand and just "get".
    I couldn't find a way to do the fourth step perfectly... and so I have been unable to do it.

    It took me a long time (months) to understand why I couldn't get going on the fourth step. I spent days beating myself up and went weeks without calling my sponsor at all.

    I finally understood that this is not something I can do perfectly. It just isn't! Not only that, it doesn't have to be THE fourth step, it can be A fourth step. I can go back and do another, later, to get what I don't get now.

    I have no idea if this will be helpful to you, but it felt related...
    I am doing my fifth step next wednesday, and I'm finally, almost ready.

  9. I think that the steps are a great foundation for sponsoring. Although I came into program through a step group, it wasn't until later that I met my one and only sponsor who was a service gal but not particularly a step gal. To me, it made sense that we combined different facets. But when I had my one and only sponsee it did not occur to me to structure it around the steps & she did not voice the desire. I can accept that there are no mistakes in God's world but also feel that it was a missed opportunity for myself as well as her. Hugs!

  10. Your sponsee is blessed to have you, and you her! This was also a good reminder to me about "expectations"

  11. Kathy you have already been a tremendous blessing for me thank you. I will let you know what I am doing about finding a meeting.