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Ep. 49 – Sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous: What to Look for and What to Stay Away From

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“The 12th step is sponsoring someone. That is where the magic happens if you want to see growth in somebody.” -Ben Bueno Click To Tweet

We are going to discuss what exactly you should look for when getting a sponsor in this episode. We will also talk about what to watch out for. There are people out there who in my opinion have no business being a sponsor. By the end of this episode, you should be able to identify the rules of a sponsor, their primary purpose, and what it looks like if they overstep their boundaries.

Tom is joined by Benjamin B. and Billy Badass. We are coming to you from South Florida the recovery capital of the United States. People come here to get clean and sober every day of the week. There is a very fluent AA and NA community. Wherever people are in AA and NA, you have to have sponsors. If you are looking for a sponsor, this episode should help you discern if you’ve found the right person.

“A sponsor can give another viewpoint and help look at things from a different angle.” -Billy Click To Tweet

Show Notes

  • Members Of Support Group Sitting In Chairs Having Meeting[04:40] The job of a sponsor should be providing inspiration.
  • [05:00] It’s a sponsor job to share their experience. They need to take the clear precise directions that come from the big book.
  • [06:25] They need to stick to the steps and share their experience.
  • [07:52] A sponsor can give another viewpoint and help look at things from a different angle.
  • [09:49] Sponsorship and having someone to guide you and show you the message is absolutely vital.
  • [10:41] It’s a sponsor’s responsibility to share that their opinions are opinions and if they give advice that is not part of the 12-step program be clear that it is not part of the program. It is just something that they’ve found helpful.
  • [13:20] The sponsors job is to take the sponsee through the 12 steps.
  • [14:33] Sponsors aren’t there to tell you what to do. They can give suggestions.
  • [15:36] A sponsor starts out as an instructor who teaches people a method that already exists. They then end up as a teacher who shows people how to think on their own.
  • [17:22] The 12th step is sponsoring someone. That is where the magic happens if you want to see growth in somebody.
  • [18:42] A sponsor isn’t in the results business, they are in the business of just showing up.
  • [22:33] If all you do is plant a seed it’s good. Don’t withhold the truth or have people call you for 30 days before helping them.
  • [24:52] Be willing to help people.
  • [25:52] A sponsor doesn’t have to be clean and sober for a year before sponsoring someone.
  • [28:58] The steps are laid out in the textbook. Go through it together.
  • [29:34] A sponsorship is a promise.
  • [35:15] You get a sponsor and do the step work, so you can find out about yourself and the disease.
  • [36:23] Having a sponsor helps with the treatment side and the accountability. Treatment and 12 step work are two different things.
  • [37:15] Nobody should be forced to go to an AA meeting. Being in treatment and having the willingness to do whatever it takes goes along with attending AA.
  • [38:43] You have to find meetings and fellowships that you like. Don’t let any certain individuals make you condemn AA as a whole.
  • [39:23] Some people don’t buy into AA and then other people are way over the top.
  • [40:26] Doctors should be utilized. Most sponsors aren’t doctors or therapists.
  • [41:08] Ben believes that the 12-step programs are the best way to get sober. He also believes that opinions can kill alcoholics. He believes that sponsors should not overstep their boundaries.
  • [42:14] 100% of Ben’s sponsees who have done all 11 steps and then became sponsors and continue to do the work stay sober.
  • [44:12] To find a good sponsor take suggestions from other people.
  • [44:47] Put yourself out there You have to be okay with getting uncomfortable.
“Sponsorship and having someone to guide you and show you the message is absolutely vital.” -Ben Bueno Click To Tweet

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