Three weeks ago, a gentleman asked me to be his Sponsor. Three weeks, two weeks, I honestly don’t remember. It’s been a while but the point is I have to make a hard decision to let him go.
When I sponsor people in AA, I did as I was taught. First, like my old Sponsor, Joe, asked me, “If there is anything I ask you of this program right now are: honesty – with yourself, me and your Higher Power, when you come to believe in one; open-minded – take suggestions I and others offer you; and willing – trying new things in your life because you’re here because the old way didn’t work” From my own experience it is only with those three principles do I first tackle any problems or even just the days activities.
Second, as most people do in the AA program, try to go to 90 meetings in 90 days. From my experience, I didn’t know anything about how the AA program really worked. Listening to others, their stories and how they “practice these principles” in their lives even today as saved my life on many occasions. Meetings for me are an important part of my program because without them, I will drink.
Third, making and sticking to commitments. In my past, I would agree to do something but not do it. Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to be responsible and accountable for myself. First, I made the commitment – not to drink “One Day at a Time”. Second, I went to meetings as suggested. Third, I make a coffee commitment so I learned to get to know others in the program so I had someone to help me and perhaps, I ended up helping someone else.
These three things, for me, are the cornerstone of my recovery. They, in addition to working with my Sponsor through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, have kept me sober. Therefore, this is what I pass down to those people I sponsor in AA.
Unfortunately, a person I sponsor is not following through with any of these suggestions. While I attempt not to take someone’s inventory, I don’t believe he is being honest – I can see it in his actions. Two, he’s not going to meetings. Three, he agreed to make coffee one night a week (Friday) and hasn’t done it in two weeks. I have to question his desire to stay sober.
What he has done is come over to chat when he is going through difficult times. Again, I’ve been honest, open-minded and willing to help him. On the other hand, I have a feeling of being a door mat. I was there in my early sobriety when my Sponsor finally said, “Mike, you have to work the program. I can’t help you get sober unless you help yourself.” I feel it is time for both him and I to part ways.
This is part of the program which is hard for me because of my codependency. I want to help him but I just don’t see that “desire”. I recognize I can’t get another person sober unless they have this “desire” and for now, it’s just not there. Thus, I have to do what I believe is best for both of us.