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Grapevine : March 2011
Would I be OK by just staying cur- rent with friends, as I saw others do- ing? Did I really still need a sponsor, and if so, why? Rather than just ac- cepting things at face value, I needed to know why---for me, no one else. What was right for Dave? For a while I was so upset that this great relationship with my spon- sor fell apart that I got angry with him, and unconsciously blamed him for this sudden need to examine this huge area of my life and my sobriety. Thank God for the footwork I had done over the years, because deep down inside below my anger, small messages bubbled up, letting me know that I couldn't afford to stay angry. Experience had shown me that many members don't stay angry and sober at the same time for very long. So I went back to the basics. I read a lot. The pamphlet "Ques- tions and Answers on Sponsorship" was a good place to start, given the topic. I moved on to other books that talked about our collective history and about the history of sponsorship. What did Bill say about sponsorship? Here's a guy who had no one "in front" of him; how did he handle it? Who did he use, if anyone? Dr. Bob lived halfway across the country and died years before Bill. Did Bill believe in sponsorship? The recovery section of the Big Book is silent on it. What a long-term basis, one who fired me a er the first ses- sion and another who seemed to use text messaging as a form of all-night entertainment. My best sponsees have been the ones who said things that made me think, Oh no, I'm worse o than that, and I'm supposed to be the sponsor! ey are the ones who make me launch into action as soon as we hang up the phone or say goodbye. One of the most rewarding mo- ments of sponsor- ship is to hear a Fi h Step. ere is no more profound a speech that a sponsee will ever make, nor a more essential audience that a sponsor will ever be. If there has been a thorough, well-guided Fourth Step, an attentive sponsor and a proper invocation to both persons' Higher Powers, the Fi h Step is a monumental catalyst for trans- formation. When IsaythatIama grateful alcoholic, one of the pillars of that gratitude is the ability to transform my rocky past into stepping-stones for my sponsee's journey. It's like turning poison into medicine. at is why we don't regret the past or wish to shut the door on it. A sponsor has the privilege of using past experience to benefit others. Suzan C. San Francisco, I have heard people recount with glee the fury their sponsors hurl at them. Grapevine 21