Cool Types of Sponsors
Hey just when you thought that being a sponsor was enrichment enough for your recovery, there comes some old crony who has worked steps so much he looked at his own behaviors as a sponsor to others in NA.
(the best way to find out what type of sponsor you are is to listen to what the sponsees are saying amongst each other.)
The first time I became a sponsor was a simple thing some guy walked up and said hey will you be my sponsor? My ego answered before I could even think "why yes I will....." We got together and went through the first 3 steps (as I was shown) he left and he got loaded. I figured I was a terrible sponsor.. I went whining to my sponsor and he said did you get loaded?
(later - I learned he got clean and now has over 15 years clean..)
This brings me to the first type of sponsor
"Hey Look at me - I'm A sponsor." Type Newbie
This one is quite self explanatory really I would make sure to "talk good recovery" at a newcomer meeting and then be all too accessible after the meeting. I would then become the personal counselor for all of that sponsees whoes.. Call me at anytime Just don't use..
The second phase of my experience is;
The sponsor from Hell.
(this nickname was given to me by a group of sponsees one night.)
This sponsor needed you to check with him about everything and every little decision you where to make. "Did you check with your sponsor?"
We also worked the steps in a written format that was a precursor to the step guide we know today (but the one we used didn't have the benefit of being worked over by professional writers. It was scribbled down by some guy named Jimmy K..)
Yeah Also The sponsor from Hell was a purist even in language and how you talked at a meeting.
This sponsor type attracted the toughest cases. One Night I got a call that the group had just assigned me as a sponsor to one guy who would not shut up for a second.. He was prattling away like a chipmunk who lived in a coffee factory when I walked in. I sternly advised him to Shut up the group thanked me and that guy and I became so close in the next 5 years it was remarkable. (thanks group)
The third type I went through being was:
The Service Sponsor
Now here was a unique one, this was all about gaining ranks in service.
Now don't get me wrong about this (I was clean but sick - but I didn't quite understand the depth of how far it effected my life at that time)
Through this period I acquired / amassed a mere 212 sponsees and many had a "Name sponsor" (the next type)
Of these great guys my time was booked I didn't have a minute to be with my own issues It was fantastic...(If you were trying to avoid personal growth) At one time I was the sponsor of guys who served in every level of NA service, and several had become chairs of regional service committees all at the same time.
One strange side benefit that occurred from this insanity was having all those RSC Chairs communicate so often they came up with an idea hey lets have a forum... Lets call it the western states..whatever.. the birth of a new idea was a by-product of the thing. (see we never know who we touch)
The next type was :
"The name sponsor"
This is the sponsor who you get so you can say yeah I have ___as a sponsor. But you never call him or talk to him. We all know one or two of these guys or gals right?"
My favorite type of sponsor is this one:
Some would call this person "my sponsor"
This sponsor is there for you, he takes your calls and listens to what you have to say and always asks a question after your done talking...
The question is "usually" how does this issue effect your recovery and the step you are working on?
This sponsor is only concerned with your welfare and recovery, he/she wont stand in judgment for some of your trials and tribulations he/she will simple wait it out and then after you bring up the issue they will share what the real deal is.
This sponsor knows the real you and how you are, they offer you hope and on occasion will come to you for some help also. They aren't afraid to let you know that sponsorship benefits both parties.
They are your advocate in all matters, be warned if you lay out a plan to do something and then deviate this sponsor will nudge you back onto that track unless you let them know your changing your plans.
The caring and empathy are always there - it may at times be cloaked by a aire of seriousness or humor, but its still there.
This sponsor doesn't care if anyone knows or recognizes that they are your sponsor, it's not about all that - it is about recovery and living the message through action. Nothing makes this sponsor more happy that for you to succeed.
Now you may ask yourself what type of sponsor am I?
These are simply based on my observations of myself and if you find some humor and other thing in it good for you..
It's my opinion that to be the best sponsor is simple.
Don't Tell them what to do. (suggest things that have worked for you)
Show them that the program is working for you.
Practice patience and kindness whenever you are with your sponsee, not just to them but to everyone around you. Be that example.
Thanks hope you enjoyed my sponsorship inventory.
My freind at Earthgroup
If I am not the problem....
then there is no solution...