Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Do I Need A Sponsor?

I need a sponsor because I've developed coping mechanisms which very quickly will have me convinced that whatever it was I did/said/thought was perfectly and completely reasonable and acceptable under the circumstances, because -  any rational person would be feeling as I do, right?

When I go to my sponsor with this specious reasoning, she will kindly hear me out, then gently offer an alternative reasoning which will leave me not a millimetre of wiggle-room, and do it in such a way that invariably, I end up laughing at myself.

When I was new to program, I needed someone who was tough, and would listen to my torrent of complaint, and when I finished, look me straight in the eye, and say firmly, "Bollocks."

Some of us need that painful honesty - it's the only way to puncture our denial. I've seen what happens when people deliberately pick a sponsor who they know won't confront their self-deceptions or encourage them to work the Steps; they don't move past a certain level of understanding in the program. Perhaps they will stay stuck there for years on end, getting ever more frustrated, or perhaps they begin to miss meetings, and slip away from Al-Anon entirely.

I need a sponsor so that I can have the use of her experience in working the program,to see around corners which remain blind to me.

I need a sponsor so I have one person I can trust absolutely with all my "stuff," knowing she will never deliberately shame or embarass me. This isn't to say that I won't feel those emotions while working the Steps, I think that's a natural progression, as we work through them - we need to feel it, and then be able to move beyond it, in faith that God will carry us.

I need a sponsor to be my cheering section, on days when I'm tired and grumpy and feeling irritated and annoyed with myself for doing whatever it is again. On those days I need to hear someone tell me "But look at the incredible distance you've travelled - remember when you used to think this about that?" My sponsor helps to keep me motivated when I'm feeling frustrated with what I see as my lack of progress in one area. We are not always able to track our own progress accurately.

I need a sponsor to help me apply Al-Anon wisdom to all areas of my life, not merely those which pertain to the alcoholic directly. Some of us tend to have a narrow scope of vision when we're under stress - a sponsor helps to widen that.

I need a sponsor so that I have someone who loves me when I cannot love myself - this love proves to me that I am worth it - worth the striving, misdirection, and maddening vexation of trying to improve myself.

1 comment:

  1. So true. I don't think people sponsoring themselves ever works. I like to say look where my best thinking got me. How can I expect to sponsor myself? Sheer ego and arrogance would get me no where but back where I started.