Some of you guys are missing the coolest part of this. The hardest thing I did when I got to in to Alcoholics Anonymous was let you into my life, to be vulnerable. to let someone in and get close with somebody. But then in turn, you can help somebody else and it is the coolest thing in the world. That’s the way it works, because the people that can help another alcoholic are the people that have been through the torture chamber that we’ve been through. I hear people all the time talking about sponsorship, and one of the first thing they do, especially if it’s in a Q and A deal, they start talking about, “Well I don’t think it’s possible to sponsor more than one or two people effectively.” Of course, I vehemently disagree.
If you do not think it’s possible to sponsor more than one or two people effectively at one time, then follow me around. Yeah, taking some people through the work at one time is intensive. It takes time to sit down and explain a fourth step, it takes time to show them how to organize their eighth step list. But after they’re through the steps, they’re bumped out the other side. Now we’re going to go get another one. So see, I’m not sponsoring 30 guys all at once, taking them through the steps. I’ve been there through that. Now that they have worked the steps, they’re out there working with others they can help. If they get in trouble, they can call me and I’m going to be there right there to help them. That makes sense. Dr. Bob sponsored over five thousand people in a fifteen year period of time; check the archives. I’ve talked to people that knew Dr. Bob personally and they all agreed to this.
They didn’t sponsor somebody by taking them on to raise and getting involved in every stupid facet of their life. They got involved in sponsorship by getting them connected spiritually to God, period. They did a third step prayer with them. They showed them how to do a four step. They heard a step. They showed them how to make amends. They guided them in prayer and meditation and they encouraged them to go out there and get some more drunks to work with. That’s what we do period. If you’ve got somebody that’s trying to use you as a therapist, stop it, unless you happen to be a trained therapist. If you’ve got somebody in here that’s trying to use you as a doctor, stop, as a lawyer, stop it! This idea that with sponsorship you have to have the answer for everything is ridiculous. Folks, this is what stops us from carrying on the tradition of sponsorship.
Misconceptions about half measures
One of the reasons why sponsorship is so critical is because a sponsor is a guide to help lead the newcomer through the work. Chris does an amazing job of getting down to the heart of the program, and how a sponsor can help guide the alcoholic so they do not settle for half measures. If a sponsor is there to show you how to work each and every step, the chances that it goes off the rails or half measures are settled on is greatly decreased. Chris also does a great job of explaining what sponsorship is, and what it is not, he pierces through the misconception that sponsorship has to be like some sort of life coach. In reality, it is a guide, a helper, to have the alcoholic have their own spiritual experience.