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Grapevine : March 2011
their sponsor due to a move or death. Or some had moved to the area from somewhere else and just hadn't got- ten around to getting a new one lo- cally. Either way, there had been a change. But here is the other pattern I found. Something like half of those people never officially got a new spon- sor. When I asked them who their sponsor was, they said things like, "I have a bunch of people I talk to and stay current with, I'm doing OK the way things are." One guy I was thinking of ask- ing to sponsor me pointed me to the pamphlet "Questions and Answers on Sponsorship" instead of saying yes. He pointed out that most of the questions/answers in the pam- phlet had to do with newcomers (I hadn't noticed that before). His point was that sponsorship was primarily something we suggest to newcomers and people who need guidance in the beginning. His view was that hope- fully after some time we shouldn't need that kind of hand-holding as we grow to help others. I was blown away! I went from having a sponsor---and a great re- lationship with him---to suddenly not having one, and questioning if I needed one, or even if I was sup- posed to have one. Was I weak? If I felt that I still needed a sponsor, did that mean I was sicker than most? THERE seem tobeas many views on sponsor- ship as there are views on a Higher Power. And the opinions on these matters run a parallel range of extremes, from warm-and-fuzzy friend to wrathful tyrant. In meetings I have heard people recount with visible glee the fury and condemnation their sponsors hurl at them. "And then he said, 'You moron! You did that in the ird Step!'" Perhaps this model of sponsorship seeks to duplicate early childhood experiences at the hands of gru -but- innocuous parents. Other people share stories of selfless sponsors with un- paralleled devotion to their sponsees--- helping to bury the dog's ashes; attending birthing classes. My own spon- sors have in- cluded one chronic relapser, a sponsor who refused to do anything other than read alternating paragraphs out of the Big Book, a sponsor who seemed most interested in giving me marital advice and a very wise old woman who would just smile know- ingly when I would rant, rave and di- agnose myself. My sponsees have in- cluded people who wanted to move into my garage on WHO'S YOUR SPONSOR? 20 March 2011