Sunday, February 5, 2012

Question: Finding A Sponsor.

Craig asked: "In my area, there aren't very many men in the program, almost none still married to an active alcoholic. It's hard to find a sponsor and work the steps. I don't know what to do other than to pray to God for help. Any thoughts?"

Al-Anon's official site on the page entitled "How Al-Anon works for me" has an interesting quote down at the bottom of the page:

"Newcomers to Al-Anon are often interested in learning from members whose personal situations most closely resemble theirs. After attending Al Anon meetings, they begin to understand how much they have in common with everyone affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of the specific details of their personal situation."

I don't need a sponsor whose personal situation mirrors mine, in order to find good help, support, and guidance in working the program. I might find that someone with whom I appear to share no life experience is the one person who consistently says what I most need to hear.

Finding a sponsor is not like picking a friend, (although most of us go on to become incredibly close friends with our sponsors over time.)  A sponsor is there to help us learn and use the Al-Anon program. We don't need to feel that spark of personal interest right off the bat which makes us want to pursue a friendship. We don't even have to like the person. I've sponsored people I wouldn't have chosen as a friend, and they've turned into friends. Choose people who have knowledge about working the 12 Steps, and whose life is calm and serene. I suggest that newcomers ask someone who has been in Al-Anon for a while, has worked the 12 Steps themselves, and has a sponsor with whom they consult on a regular basis.

You might find this interesting reading, also from the official site: forum-magazines-stories

Try asking the men you see at meetings, even if you think you have nothing in common with them, to sponsor you, and if they are unavailable, then you could ask a woman to be your interim sponsor until you can find a male sponsor. I think it's acceptable for a man to have a woman sponsor, as long as you have firm boundaries established right from the start - you both need to be comfortable with the relationship.  Perhaps you could ask one of the older women who has been in Al-Anon for quite some time, and that might make it more comfortable than working with a woman your own age.

Good luck, and please let me know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to still have my original sponsor as well as a local sponsor too. I think that if I am to sponsor someone, then I need a sponsor as well. In most of my meetings, it is suggested that one can be a temporary sponsor for a person of the opposite sex--taking them through steps 1-3. After that, well....God is in charge.