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Grapevine : March 2011
There is that awkward feeling you get when you're about to ap- proach a new sponsor, like you are asking someone to dance for the first time. That turns out to be a deterrent no matter how long you are sober. My odyssey took me close to a year, during which time I grabbed hold of my dear friend John, who knew me inside and out. (I have a couple of friends like that now; thank God for the footwork.) I asked him ifitwouldbeOKifIusedhimasa sponsor as I went through this pro- cess. After a full year of searching, reading and praying, I realized what I had been doing. I decided to make the relationship official and asked John to sponsor me. I got a sponsor because I had learned something about myself. I learned that I was vulnerable to pride. I can easily convince myself that I am "OK" because my family is happy, I have a job, I am not drinking, I go to AA and I sponsor a bunch of guys. But it's very easy for me to stop looking inward if I do that. I learned I am a person who val- ues sponsorship. I need help. I needed it when I came in and wanted to stop drinking. I needed it when I had to work the Steps in order to change. And I need it be protected from the "return of the full-fledged ego" that Dr. Tiebout talked about on page 249 of AA Comes of Age. He also goes on to talk about an early member who was also afraid he was "suffering from 'halotosis' a reference to the smug- ness and self-complacency which so easily can creep into the individual with years of sobriety behind him." I don't want to go there again. It was hard enough surrendering the first time. Early on I was handed a spiritual toolkit, and one of those tools was sponsorship. It was offered tomeforfreeifIcaredtohaveit.My life is better for it. Dave R. Manchester, N.H. Discussion topic In "Cut Loose," a mem- ber goes through a year of soul-searching on the meaning of sponsorship and if it's really necessary to have a sponsor once past the initial stages of recovery and working the Steps. "I saw many good AAs, who, through no con- scious fault of their own, had suddenly found them- selves without a sponsor," the author writes. "Many people told me that a lot of time had passed and they had not found the right person yet." Do you think a sponsor is necessary beyond early recovery? Please share your comments on i-Say on AAGrapevine.org. Grapevine 23