December 14, 2012
I recently saw my old sponsor. Surprisingly, we sat talked and had a very pleasant interaction.
It has been a little more than a year since we parted ways as sponsor and sponsee.
Although I thanked him very much for the time that we spent working together I decided to move on because I began to resent him tremendously.
To make a long story short, I thought he was very controlling, expected me to do everything he suggested without asking, and to make matters worse, he canceled a lot at the last minute.
During this past year that we have not worked together as sponsor and sponsee, we have regularly seen one another, as we both go to meetings in the same Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouse.
During this time I have observed us progressively become more civil with one another. Additionally, my earlier perceptions of him as controlling and unreliable have changed.
Time has passed and due to the fact that I have a bigger life, with a lot more responsibilities, I have learned to prioritize what I take in, as well establish more boundaries with people.
With that said, my part was I expected too much of him.
When I first selected him as a sponsor, I was not just looking for someone to take me through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is actually the main purpose of a sponsor, I wanted an omnipotent one.
In retrospect, I realize that I was looking for a guru, fearless leader, surrogate parent and a life-coach all in one, to instruct me on obtaining the perfect life.
That is not the purpose of the twelve steps, nor is that the purpose of a sponsor.
Besides, the reality is no one can be all those things, especially if he has a demanding job, with other responsibilities and children of his own.
Only now am I able to understand that as I have a much more full life, with lots of responsibilities.
He was not controlling either; I just did not have a backbone yet. He merely provided suggestions that I could take or not take.
More often than not, perhaps due to the way that I was raised, I am very impressionable, particularly with regard to elders. I often feel obligated to take their direction, even if it does not feel right to me.
I realize now that was my own thinking….my own perception, and not the fault of my former sponsor.
If I took him up on his “suggestion” and it did not work out, that is not his fault, despite what I once thought.
Before, I would listen to people, do what they suggested and if/when it did not work out I would blame them and resent them.
Today I no longer feel obligated to do as people say without first considering other options, researching, or just thinking about how what they have told me feels. Consequently, I have a lot less resentments.
I am more awake, so to speak; conscientious even.
And, as far as him canceling, now that I have a much bigger life, with sponsees of my own, I have had to cancel as well. I now recognize that if he canceled, similar to me now, he must have had something important come up. The reality is things happen.
Going forward, God divorce me from being so self-absorbed and wrapped up in self. Help me to see the totality of the circumstances.
As well, God show me how to be more independent minded, to think for myself, and to trust what I feel. Should I endeavor to seek counsel from others, guide me to take it under thoughtful consideration not absolute law.
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