ONE DAY THEY GROW UP ……….A member shares his thoughts about sponsorship.
As long as sponsees stay sober, their growing confidence and independence are good things; it means they have learned.
They will always need their Higher Power, but maybe not their sponsor so much.
Some folks even take a step down from being sponsors to being supportive friends once the sponsee has worked the Steps.
Each person’s experience will be different.
I admit it—I love being needed. I enjoy watching a newly sober guy become the man he was made to be.
But over time, that means he depends less on me as he gains his own experience, strength and hope.
All this is from a male perspective.
For myself, I do not believe in cross-gender sponsoring. I’m an old guy, but I am still a guy.
I never want my gender to stand in the way of another alcoholic maintaining sobriety.
It may work for others, but not me.
A woman asked me to sponsor her a while back and I wanted to say yes, as she is one of the most interesting people I know. And most importantly, she showed a willingness to do whatever it takes to stay sober.
I often wished I had said yes. It would have been fun.
But I really did not want to be a potential dark spot in her story, which has so far been a success.
I’m happy to report that she recently picked up her one-year chip.
Guiding someone through the Steps is a very intimate experience.
Some of us have very ugly pasts.
I have heard confessions of every dark behaviour a human might tell, including abuse, violence, neglect and suffering that goes well beyond my own experience or understanding.
I’ve held grown men in my arms, like a loving father, while they have soaked my shoulder with tears from memories repressed in darkness for years.
Often, while dealing with my guys, I pray, Lord, give me the words and hold my mouth when I need only to listen.”
And then one day they grow up and move on.
Some guys just disappear and don’t bother to return messages.
They just drop out and are never heard from again.
Others send me long messages telling me just how I have failed them as a sponsor and a human being.
Some stick around and get on with enjoying their lives and their families.
Sponsoring is sometimes a very strange and messy mission.
I am blessed to be called to serve.
Shared by a member of AA who wishes to remain anonymous