Author Topic: A Simple Guide To Sponsorship From The 80's  (Read 2688 times)

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Offline CD

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Re: A Simple Guide To Sponsorship From The 80's
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 03:40:56 PM »
 8) 8) 8)  I have read a lot of the information on sponsoring,beginning with the Ip Sponsorship. The Sponsorship Book can be a help.But hands on doing it experience is the best,even if you do it like your sponsor did it with you.   8) 8) 8)
Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .

Offline CD

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A Simple Guide To Sponsorship From The 80's
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 12:11:29 AM »
A Simple guide to sponsorship from the 80'S

Just as my 12 Step program helped me organize and simplify my life, this guide dramatically helped me to organize and simplify my sponsorship methods.

A little while ago, I was wishing for a "learning day' on sponsorship. How nice it would be, I thought, to ask questions of other sponsors---as a group--and learn from their experiences. It seemed to me that my experiences were probably being duplicated every day, yet I didn't have access to all of those results (as we often do we so many other topics of recovery that are shared in meetings). Rather than reinventing the wheel with every situation new to me, I thought it would be easier, and more beneficial, to learn from others who had been there before me.

The process started by developing a questionnaire, then interviewing people whose recovery I admired and who I knew were experienced sponsors. Altogether, seventeen sponsors were interviewed.

I am writing this as a service, there are so many books and pamphlets on the steps, and so little on this all-important aspect of the recovery process. In meetings we share the most intimate details of our lives, but it is the rare share that talks about sponsorship: Either we have a sponsor or we are a sponsor---or both! But not every person has a great sponsor (this read is for you) and even if you do, there are bound to be situations that come up that are not in their own sponsor's experience (this read is for both of you). And even if a sponsor has experience with an issue, their approach may not be the best for the situation at hand. Realizing that, the sponsor may not know what to suggest (this read is also for you). I've found that it's tough enough to know what direction to take with your own life, let alone to direct someone else's----even if you have some objectivity about it. This is meant as a resource for those new situations and for new ideas to old situations.

Does this thread answer every question about sponsorship? Of course not. This is not meant to be the last word on the subject, but the first. I hope you get as much out of reading this as I have in writing it.

I have a Narcotics Anonymous sponsor who works a Narcotics Anonymous Program. We work the steps using the step writing guide in the above post..."How It Works " (a WSO approved piece of Narcotics Anonymous literature) .. I also try to suggest to my sponsees that they only try to work steps from one fellowship at a time with one sponsor, and if they want to continue to work with me we get going on the NA step writing guide. Before I sponsor anyone I hand them IP #23 (Sponsorship)and ask them to read it through and then give me a call. Was told "If you want what we have do what we do" I been doing what they did and I'm getting what they got. Everytime I try and customize the program I get unproven results.. I have learned not to wander too far from the proven course without a co-navigator.

I would be looking for some different meetings then or be taking the newcomer that shares the most intimate details of their life at a meeting aside to allow them the benefit of your experience working the steps with your sponsor, the person you trust with those intimate details of your life. That is how the more experienced members of NA passed their experience strength and hope to me, simultaneously explaining to me that some things didn't need to be shared "publicly" ..Sort of answering why the topic of "principles before personalities" and "I feel my anonymity has been violated" are so popular at some meetings. Then I hear these reports of how sick the meting has become. It saddens me to see the clear message of Narcotics Anonymous continually being diluted, ignored, translated, and reinterpreted when its as close as the Basic Text., the step working guide and a sponsor.

"My gratitude speaks...
When I care and
When I share with others
The N.A. way."

"We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just as freedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, so freedom for the group springs from our Traditions.

As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well."

" The Twelve Traditions of N.A. are not negotiable. They are the guidelines that keep our fellowship alive and free."

I know that our answers are in the traditions.

The 12 Traditions of narcotics anonymous

I think what causes the alarms that go off for me is that you are the moderator and this particular forum is very special to me. I'm having a difficult time not feeling threatened by past experience's where I've seen NA meetings that get so mixed up, I'm not sure whether we are going to read from the Basic Text, the Big Book, the Bible or the Koran, or Ask Heloise. The result has been disheartening. Before NA addicts died with nary a chance to find their way home. Some found a God of their understanding and managed to recover their life. Some found their way to AA and were able to identify. Jimmy K and some others got together (addicts weren't supposed to associate.. it was a felony at the time ) and figured out that the steps of AA might work for others if they played down the God thing and could talk about the nature of addiction. I sure am grateful they did.

Pernell maybe I would feel more comfortable if I knew your story. I need for all of us to be accountable to the newcomer and when we share an implied Narcotics Anonymous message, do our best not to blur it or add to it what has worked for us that we heard somewhere else. (Outside contributions mean more than $$)

I'm certainly open to the possibility of appearing antagonistic. Did appearing defensive and protective of the Narcotics Anonymous program also occur? I am not dually diagnosed . (Many years before "getting it" I was asked to lie and call myself an alcoholic so I could get a slot in a treatment center. I felt prostituted. How would you have felt if they had asked you to deny your family to receive treatment?) I don't have dual citizenship. I am a member of Narcotics Anonymous. I am an addict. In identifying myself as an addict I also identify myself as having a strong conviction in the belief that there is only one disease.. Addiction. Whether I smoked, snorted, shot, drank, or sat upon fill in the blank to satisfy my obsessive, compulsiveness I found my way to Narcotics Anonymous and learned how to work THE program. not my program .. my program got me to denial,depression, desperation, and degradation.

I don't think I have a patent on recovery. I know that there are many who have found other ways to recovery. I have the utmost respect for the AA program as it illuminated the path to recovery for the addicts who could not relate or were shunned in that fellowship. If and when I do attend AA meeting's to honor my friends who get their recovery there, if I speak I identify myself as an alcoholic out of respect for their traditions. When I am in that house I feel a welcome guest. It wasn't always that way. Things have changed. There are AA members who feel the same and when they come to NA meetings they respect the traditions of NA and identify themselves as addicts. Since we can only keep what we have by giving it away, its been pointed out that I better give away what I have learned works and is time proven.

I am open, objective, and willing or I would not have conferred before posting last night. I spoke to other addicts on the phone and online. I do not attack your credibility or your recovery. I do not disagree with the nature of the topic. Before I posted here I checked the other boards to see if this was being simultaneously posted on AA.
I and others are curious to see where this is going. Perhaps I am being overprotective of the message, but I am a product of those I admire most who have years of hard earned experience, working the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous, and one point they have driven home is that the unity found in the Narcotics Anonymous message must be preserved and respected.

Hi family sponsorship is a great topic, and I would like more than ever to share my experience, strength , and hope on the subject. First of all for me sponsorship is an honor, and privilege for anyone to seek my guidance, direction, and service of carrying the NA message of recovery. This also say that someone believes in me, and wants my help in there recovery process. Faith, and trust play a dynamic role in this uncovering, and discovering of self. What makes a good sponsor is a good sponsee. you only get out the program just what you are willing to put in. only you are responsible for your recovery. sponsorship is a two-way street, one addict helping another is with-out parallel. and I can only keep what I have by giving it a way one day at a time. A sponsor is another recovering addict, there are many ways to approach this service of teaching, learning, healing,acceptance, and developing of one's character and aiding in personal growth. now the spiritual growth is up to the sponsee ,I've learned that this is not about CONTROL . And when someone ask me to sponsor them then I myself must first check my motives. because this is a responsibility, and commitment and a vital part of the recovery process. getting a sponsee is relatively easy all you have to do is show-up on a regular basis. But to keep a sponsee is something all together different. SEE we all come into the rooms with baggage, anger, resentments, lack of trust , self-worth , and self-esteem. Along with a hole lot of issues , there for I must be spiritually fit if not Then I can cloud the recovery message, and process with my mess and personality. so I must allow a GOD conscience to always be present seeking guidance, and direction, and the willingness to allow GOD'S Will , not mine be done in helping this very fragile human being . walls must come down, can I really extent my hand to the still suffering ,and confused addict. or is my life so full that now I don't seem to be as willing as before , once I realize the real challenge and effort that must be applied here. See a sponsee helps me to continue in my process of growth on both a personal , and spiritual level. And also helps me to stay in touch with my sponsor, as well as other members in the fellowship. Which helps to increase my gratitude to GOD , the fellowship of NA , and to a new way of life through the desire , and willingness to surrender. I must not allow ego , or unfounded pride to get in the way. there are not big I's and little y"s on this journey. It's nice to be important, but I know that it's more important to just be nice. We develop long lasting relationships through sponsorship. also remembering that the sponsee may not get this program as quick as we did , don't be to quick to give-up on that person , that's why we say KEEP COMIN BACK! one day at a time, more will be revealed. do we as sponsors really have the patients, and tolerance that is needed. see we know that the sponsee must go to any length for this thing , But the question is What length are we as sponsors willing to go . See everyone is not meant to be a sponsor. and that's why I feel that a person should take there time in picking one.everyone in the rooms aren't necessarily there to recover remember some are sicker then others (YOU FILL ME!) , so we must also take that in account when shopping for a sponsor. See some of us can come to a meeting and share real good on the steps , and only show what we want to be revealed, because we became very good at that. but what about what's beneath the surface, the deep dark secrets , are we willing to share some of that. see it is said to be careful what you share in a meeting, But when I was shopping for my sponsor I needed someone that had been through the muck and marror and whom could, and would be willing and capable to walk me through the obstacles of life on life's terms. I needed to know that they had been delivered from a helpless, hopeless state of mind body , and spirit. but if you were not able to release the chains that which had you bound then you were not the sponsor for me . Because in the beginning when a person don't have s clue about the steps they need a place were they can feel love, and safety. And need to talk about just were they are , and we know that they are in pain the evidence was there when they walked in the room . so we need to allow them there process of openly sharing the pain. This is a program that focus on , and to allow the therapeutic value of our similarities , and not our differences to keep the newcomer , coming back. So I thank this site for being here for both the old-timer, and the new-comer , I'll keep coming (Beloved) , Blessed, and Highly favored recovering Addict.

Hi Family,

I've read through most of this thread and truly believe that the intention for posting it was good and thoughtful. Sponsorship is so very important to the survival of the NA Fellowship and NA Program, and it should never be minimized. It's one of the basic ways the NA message gets carried from one addict to another: an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live. Our steps are what make recovery possible because they are the solution. Yet, in order for the newer members to be guided through the steps, there has to be members who are ready, willing and able to provide the guidance.

So often I hear members with extensive clean time share about how many sponsees they've had (or have) as a testament to their ability (or qualifications) as sponsors. Anyone who has been around for some years can tell you that the doors to NA continue to revolve and addicts come and go all the time. Numbers can be very misleading and the quantity of members sponsored pales in comparison to the quality of the lives of those sponsored. I mention this not as a put-down of those listed with much time and multiple sponsees, but more so as a caution for the newer members to not buy into the hype. The quality of a potential sponsor's recovery is more important than how much time they have or how many members they sponsor. Our recovery speaks louder in how we live than it does in what we say.

Since this is a NA thread, I can relate to the importance of adhering to Traditions, NA Language and "singleness of purpose." Yet, we have to be careful not to become overly restrictive or venture into the realm of being the NA police. I, for one, am well aware of the importance of keeping our message from being blurred or directly associated with other fellowships, but even in our Basic Text, a member uses the term "clean and sober" (page 182, 5th ed.), so I try not to get my drawers in a bunch whenever someone goes there. We have to learn how to allow others to find their way just as we did - this includes coming to understand that being "clean" covers all bases and the terms sober or sobriety becomes redundant. Patience and tolerance are the principles applied here.

When it comes to sponsorship, we have to keep in mind our 12th step, and understand that our ability to carry the message is always directly associated with our distinct personalities. Sure...there are some basic fundamental suggestions, but I believe our real value as sponsors is revealed when we can cater our efforts to carry the message according to those we carry it to. Meetings, sharing, reading and writing was a big part of how I was taught...and I still think it's just as important today, but being flexible to the needs and concerns of the newer member can play a crucial part in helping them to stay clean and grow spiritually. Most importantly, we have to remember that the best way to carry the message is by the way we live and the most powerful tool for reaching the still suffering addict is the power of example. Too often there are those of us who bite off more than we can chew (by taking on too many sponsees) and find ourselves not having enough time or resources to be as effective as we could be. Being a sponsor should never be viewed as a status thing.

The basic suggestions: do 90 meetings in 90 days...join a home group...get a Basic Text and read it...get a phone list and reach out...get a sponsor...step work...get involved in service, and don't use no matter what; have worked for countless addicts before and after me. The new member's desire to stay clean, fostered by desperation, will determine their willingness to follow direction. And when it's all said and done, it's not so much our unique abilities as teachers (sponsor's) that should be given credit. Why? Because sponsorship is a two-way street and the sponsee helps us to stay clean just as much as we help them. We can only keep what we have by giving it away, and it is the giving that allows us to receive our daily reprieve.

The heart of NA beats when two addicts share their recovery.

What Makes A Good Sponsor

What makes a good sponsor? Some suggestion to give a newcomer who has asked you to sponsor them. The most important things told to our sponsor by their sponsor.

There is a common belief that a strong foundation is instrumental to long-term recovery. What newcomers do in their first ninety days and in their first months with a sponsor are key to how they will work the rest of their program. During this formative time, what basic things can you have your sponsees do to set this foundation and establish your relationship with them? Below are some suggestions. Quite honestly, I believed that our sponsor participants, especially on a question as basic as this one, would have pretty much the same answers. I was quite surprised to find out otherwise. It is consistent throughout that the answers are inconsistent. Everyone has an individual approach, and it's a plus to have so many perspectives to choose from. You may not choose to do what they did, but what they did may help you choose what to do.

What makes a good sponsor?

M.T.: I think a good sponsor is someone who has worked the steps, has a strong program, and is passionate and inspired about her program.

Charles: I think a great sponsor is one who is available whenever possible, one who always reminds us of who we are and why we're doing what we're doing. In other words our biggest problem is we forget. I recently (in the past three years) moved away from somebody I loved very much, and then got back with that person and continued the relationship. My sponsor reminded me of why I moved out. I'm ten years sober, and I moved out at seven years sober. Moving out was one of the best things I ever did. I forgot why I moved out, and after he asked me the question three times, I remembered why. But I had to hear the question asked three times. I consider myself a pretty good listener. So, for all of us, not just for my own experience, our biggest problem is we forget.

That's what Bob and Bill did for each other. They didn't talk to each other; they listened to each other

I don't like "don'ts". I like "dos". I think "don'ts" have a way of being self defeating. I'd like to see: This is what we do." I'd like to see that over and over again. "This is what we do to stay sober." I don't want to hear anything about, "We don't do that." That's crap. We do everything. So I think, if we get into what we do to stay sober, that's where the emphasis should be.

My responsibility as your sponsor is for you to see that I love you, and in that sense, loving to myself. As your sponsor, I also try to get you to see (no matter how big, mean and tough or nasty you are or how many things you've gone through) that your parents aren't responsible for your actions. And, again, I'm here to love you and to be loved. That's the key to the program.

When I come back, we will hear from "Suzanne" on the subject, "What makes a good sponsor?"

From Chapter 5 "What Can I do" the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text -

"We have found it helpful to have a sponsor and to use this sponsor. Sponsorship is merely a way of describing the special interest of an experienced member that can mean so much to newcomers after they turn to N.A. for help. Sponsorship is also a two-way street, helping both the newcomer and the sponsor. The sponsor's clean time and experience may well depend on the availability of sponsors in a locality. Sponsorship is also the responsibility of the group for helping the newcomer. It is implied and informal in its approach, but it is the heart of the N.A. way of recovery from addiction-one addict helping another.

One of the most profound changes in our lives is in the realm of personal relationships. Our earliest involvements with others often begin with our sponsor. As newcomers we find it easier if we have someone whose judgment we trust and can confide in. We find trusting others with more experience to be a strength rather than a weakness. Our experience reveals that working the steps is our best guarantee against a relapse. Our sponsors and friends can advise us regarding how to work the steps. We can talk over what the steps mean with them. They can help us to prepare for the spiritual experience of living the steps. Asking God as we understand Him for help improves our understanding of the steps. When we are prepared, we must try out our newly found way of life. We learn that the Program won't work when we try to adapt it to our life. We must learn to adapt our life to the Program."

Sponsorship means different things to different people. Do they need to be controlled? Do they need to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it? No. Do we need ongoing love and support in our recovery? Yes. I think we could all benefit from having a mentor or a partner to walk the path with just check in with and touch base with. When you're in isolation, recovery is measured by the degree you participate in it. To think you've arrived and no longer need to check out reality with another human being is a dangerous position to take.

I've chosen to sign up for the long run because of what I receive as a result of that surrender. I've never been totally comfortable with labeling myself. But that is partially why it took me two years to find a sponsor. When I first was clean, I was about to be married, I was in a committed relationship. I had just been accepted into graduate school, and I had never been arrested. I had good relations with my family. I had never written a bad check. I'd never been evicted. I was not a "curb creature," as I heard talked about in a meeting. I was pretty much an upstanding member of society. When I looked around the room, there weren't too many people who fit that bill. There wasn't a lot of clean time in this area; there was very little. I can count on one hand the people who had as much or more time than I had in this area. What was suggested to me (I think it was one of the most valuable things I ever heard) was try to find somebody whose life seems to improve as a result of working the Twelve Steps of NA who can teach me about working the steps. It doesn't matter what she looks like, what her sexuality is, what her experience has been, what her religion is, or what her familial status is. What matters is, Is she staying clean and does she work the Twelve Steps of NA? Choose somebody based upon those criteria and let go of the other stuff. I picked a sponsor who was as opposite from me as you could possibly imagine. But she was working the Twelve Steps, and she was of service and still is today. She has not relapsed; she doesn't relate to some of the experiences I've had, but she relates to the feelings. She always relates to me on a "feel" level. That's my biggest suggestion: If you're looking for a sponsor, try not to think twice about the criteria you're using to make that selection. Do you respect her and see her as knowledgeable? Do you speak the language of the heart with one another? Do you feel she is a positive role model? That is what your decision should be based upon. Not how similar you are in terms of status symbols.

Bea; I don't know what a good sponsor is. What does that mean, "a really good sponsor?" Sponsors are good because they're there for you in your life, and even if they're not there the way you want them to be, you get something out of it, you still learn something. I don't like this idea of firing sponsors. I don't like that lingo. If someone takes the time to care about you, that's very special.

Danny; I think the most basic thing that makes a really good sponsor is caring. If somebody comes into this program and connects with someone who cares, then he'll start to care about himself. I think that's one of the things that's so intimidating about asking someone to sponsor you. When somebody asks you, it's like "Wow!" "Why" and " Thank you" at the same time. Most of the people I sponsor have approached me at meetings I go to regularly where they have heard me share. I think it's also important for a sponsor to stay humble. By that I mean I have to share my stuff with my sponsees and stay open to learning from them and not be so arrogant that I feel I know it all and can tell them everything they need to do. Sometimes I'm in awe of the mystery that presents itself. Sometimes a sponsee presents a problem and I'll say, "I don't know; let's figure it out." I think those things help to cement that bond that allows the work to be done. If it's not there, the work won't get done.

I don't believe any of us have the right to judge what makes someone a "good" sponsor. Thank God this program is written to be "tailor fit" for "any addict". Just as we all have the right to a God of our own understanding, I believe that sponsorship is also personal. Just because one person may be right for me and another not, does not make either of them "good" or "bad", just right for me. Each of us has our own needs as individuals and we find those needs met in different ways. The person that was right for me in the beginning, is no longer my sponsor, but that doesn't mean she was a bad sponsor. And, just as important, the person who is right for me today is not better than her, she is just the right person to help me in the stage of my life now. I hope this makes sense.

Some Suggestions to Give a Newcomer Who Asked You to Sponsor Him/Her

M.T.: The suggestions given to me were simple---and numerous. In New York, where I got clean, at the beginning of almost every meeting, written into the format, were the suggestions (so every group acted as a collective sponsor to the newcomer): If you're new, there are no rules in Na, but there are some suggestions." They went on to read: "Make ninety meetings in ninety days, and if that sounds like a lot make a meeting a day and the ninety will take care of itself (this made sense to me and told me I only had to worry about it a day at a time); get a phone number at every meeting you go to so, at the end of ninety days, you will have ninety phone numbers; use the phone: a meeting is only an hour -and-a- half long; your disease is with you twenty-four hours a day. Get to meetings early and help set up, stay after and help clean up; sit up front

Another suggestion we have seen work is to ask the potential sponsee to read IP # 23 (Sponsorship) ( I would post it here but don't have a copy in my literature collection currently). It explains what a sponsor is and what to expect from one. Equally importantly it explains what not to expect from a sponsor. Most importantly a sponsor is someone who has a working knowledge of the 12 steps of NA and applies them in their lives and can guide the newer member as they learn to practice them.

They have to make at least ninety meetings in ninety days, to get phone numbers and to use them to call three people a day. They must make one or two meetings a day; some people need three meetings a day, depending on how they used. What I recommend depends on the state they're in. If they're having seizures or not bathing, I tell them the most important thing is not to use. Some people have big problems going on, and I try to get them to focus on staying clean and the concept of having a successful day. If they're coherent, I'll have them write a first step.

The first thing is to call me every day and leave a message if I'm not home. The main thing is that they go through the motions. If they want me to call back, they need to ask for it. I tell them to make meetings regularly. Sometimes there's a cloudy zone with people coming out of rehabs and detoxes who are exposed to multiple fellowships. I ask them to choose one fellowship. If they choose other than NA, I tell them they can call me until them they can call me until they find someone in the other fellowship. No one is left in the cold.

I ask them, "To what lengths are you willing to go to for your sobriety? To what lengths are you willing to go to follow the program?" The "correct" response is, "Any lengths to change my life." If they're not sure, I tell them to ask themselves, "Why did I come to AA?" When I first came in I wanted to do it my way. I thought you didn't understand that all my problems were everyone else's fault. Only later did I realize I was to blame. I was told to "just do it" and I did. That's is how I pass it on.

I tell them to keep a rock in their pocket to remind them to call their sponsor. I suppose calling everyday is the most important thing. It begins to get them into good habits. I tell them to go to meetings, no set amount, because they won't be using in a meeting. If they're messed up, they need to be in a meeting. I feel my way along with the person I'm dealing with and then see what to suggest. Sometimes they just have to get comfortable going to meetings. I'll have them read the book so they become familiar with the program; it's not like a demand. Mostly, I get women with three, four, or five years clean, so I tell them just read the Twelve and Twelve through.

Karen: My suggestions to a newcomer: Make a meeting a day, especially if she is struggling on a daily basis to stay clean; if she isn't. I still suggest a meeting a day, but definitely not less than three or four times a week. I also suggest beginning prayer and meditation immediately and getting one number from each meeting and calling that person the next day just to get into the habit of doing so.

Sunny: I tell a new sponsee to call me every day for the first month. Don't drink between meeting every day and read the AA sponsorship pamphlet so she has some sense of how this relationship works. I emphasize making meetings every day and that I'm there for her. I don't give her any other directions beyond these at first. But I do expect her to show up if she says she will.

Patrice: I tell them AA is backwards; it's not how you feel, think, or believe that is important; it's taking recovery actions and to keep taking them until your feelings, thoughts, beliefs catch up with your actions. I tell them the disease doesn't want them to recover, and it will try to stop them from being successful. It's going to tell them they're safe when their not, that they've done enough when they've barely started. The only way to beat this disease is to stay in action, stay connected with people in recovery. Recovery is really very simple; it's about learning how to spot danger, then acting appropriately. I go over the actions necessary to stay clean and sober (no set number of meetings, some may need several a day, others several a week). The most important thing is to get connected with recovering people and stay connected. This disease thrives on isolation. Most addicts and alcoholics are like the Lone Ranger who killed Tonto because they could do it better themselves

The first thing I suggest they do is create a schedule, just like a work schedule, of meetings they're going to go to on a regular basis and keep going back to. If they're just starting and don't know which ones they want to go to, I suggest very strongly that men go to all men's meetings (men's stag meetings) and women go to all women's meetings. I find the quality of sharing and authenticity iis greater and the focus of sobriety, per se, is stronger in same gender meetings. I ask them to generate a schedule of where they're going to be every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday---what meetings they're going to be at, and work that out, so they commit to that and keep going back to those same meetings so people get to know them. I also suggest that they start taking phone lists from the meetings they're going to and getting names and numbers from people and making a commitment: once a day they make a minimum of three program calls, to just call and say hello and check in with people from the meetings they go to, in order to start establishing phone relationships with people.

I have never been somebody who insisted somebody call me every day. I find most alcoholics don't take direction very well. If somebody is nearly sober, vacillating and wondering whether or not she is an alcoholic, that kind of expectation and direction may be overwhelming. So I may suggest that I'm available to her, and if she wants, she can call me. I also let her know that it probably would be helpful for her to check in with me, at least on my machine, on a daily basis, but I don't insist upon it.

Charles; I want them to call me every day; if I see they're going to meetings every day, I don't require that. But definitely, they have to call me once a week. They have to tell me what they've been doing. They have to meet with me regularly. I like to meet biweekly or every week for two hours at a time. And if they can't come to me, I go to them.

Bob; The calling every day becomes very inconvenient because you won't be able to get a hold of me every day. The constant home ringing and conferences on the phone---very often they're looking for a father, mother, friend, companion, or a time passer, rather than doing some step work. So, I really don't encourage it. In terms of periodic checking in, yes. Let me know what you're doing, how you are. There doesn't have to be a tragedy or anything. Just let me know how you're doing, once a week, once every couple of weeks, or whatever. It is a matter of constant, regular contact over a period but no particular specified time period. You establish a time mode of when you feel like you need to be in touch with me. I feel that works more comfortably, as far as I'm concerned, than anything else. They need to be writing the first three steps, before I even agree to sponsor them. That's just the first assignment: to write their feelings and their understanding of the first three steps.
Being stuck way up north I read literature do service in my area,region,and homegroup.New friends new ways of life.Left old friend out there same old story they have .Like helping newcomers , I was one once,have to give back what was freely given to me .