I got the news today that one of my sponsees went out on a bender and it made me angry. At first I couldn’t understand why it made me so mad that he had made the decision to go back out and throw away the little bit of sanity that was creeping back into his life over the last few months. I questioned whether it bothered me so much because my own sobriety was precarious, I somehow took responsibility for his actions or I didn’t want others to think I was a bad sponsor…all of the above was my answer.
It doesn’t matter how long it has been since my last drink or drug, if I don’t take my daily medication (meetings, prayer and meditation to create a conscious contact with a God of my understanding, contact another alcoholic) my sobriety is in danger. And yes, I use that word danger intentionally. It is so easy for me to forget the despair and utter defeat I felt when I first came into the rooms to get sober. The memory of the disillusionment and fear in those first 90 days can sometimes seem so far away. The only remedy for that is work with a newcomer, even if it means the pain of caring for them so much and wanting it for them so much just to see them relapse. As a good friend reminded me today, you stayed sober today, didn’t you? Isn’t that what sponsorship is all about? So true.
The craziest, and probably sickest part of this experience is the false belief that somehow I could have stopped this from happening. Like I have that kind of power and control…HAH!! All I can do is lay the tools of the program out for someone, be there for them to talk to, walk with them through their steps and share with them my story and how AA has worked for me. Anything more than that and it is my ego shouting at me for attention. I would like to think that I have more power than that at times, but the truth is…I don’t. And probably couldn’t handle it if I did.
So just for today I will call my sponsor and talk about my feelings, thank God that it wasn’t me that went back out for more ‘research’, and be grateful for all the blessings that are in my life because of my sobriety and the daily work that I put into it.