Saturday, August 29, 2009

Out Of My Comfort Zone---A New Al-Anon Sponsor

I am way out of my comfort zone this week, for several reasons.

First, on Wednesday after the Al-Anon meeting, I asked a lady to be my sponsor. That makes me accountable to her for my behavior and growth. When I asked her was during a hug. I started crying---still don't know what that was about. I told her that I have been meaning to ask her to be my sponsor for awhile. My obstacles to asking her have been my fear of being rejected, fear of being blamed for the incest, and fear of not being worthy of her time. Having a sponsor in Al-Anon means seeing her in person for discussions about my recovery, or lack thereof, while using the 12 Steps of Al-Anon to create growth in my life and talking to her on the phone several days a week besides at Al-Anon meetings. I touched a spark of shame that I didn't know was still there. That spark was about not being worthy of taking up someone else's time. That is my biggest reason for not calling someone else on the phone when I need help. Well, this week, I went out on a limb and asked. It left me feeling vulnerable which is a feeling that I still haven't learn to be ok with. Feeling vulnerable means not feeling safe to me.

My first sponsor was a male friend from Adult Children of Alcoholics. I was told that women should have women sponsors and men should have men sponsors so that no 13th stepping goes on. (I think it is called 13th stepping. I am not sure.) It prevents possible sexual abuse happening between the man and woman. At the time that I picked my male sponsor, I was more afraid of being judged by a woman. Most of the women in my life when I was a child were extremely judgmental. That was my biggest fear from women. At the time, I couldn't face that possibility. He was my sponsor until his wife came along. Then she became my co-sponsor. After her death ( ), I was very angry at God and didn't want another sponsor that could leave and abandon me. After a few months, I asked another lady to be my sponsor. This was only for a short time before I stopped going to Al-Anon.

Asking another person to be my sponsor is a very big step for me because it means that I have to do the First Step and give up control to another person as well as to God. It means that I now have to work all 12 Steps over again with a new person in charge. It is very hard for me to give any control over to another person in my life.

My new sponsor asked me to be sure and share all of the good stuff in my life too if I am going to share all of the garbage that comes along. Knowing me as well as I do, you will be hearing more about this new part of my journey. I made the committment to call my new sponsor every week which I haven't done yet. We did meet at McDonald's earlier in the week for breakfast and our first discussion as sponsor/sponsee.


Corinne Edwards said...

That is amazing news. Hope you will share some of your progress as you go along.

But - I think you have ALWAYS shared the good stuff with us.


Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, Thank you for the encouragement. I will definitely be sharing the good as well as the challenges that this new road bring up.

Deb Estep said...

Dear Patricia,

Kudos to you as this is a huge step.

I'm curious, when was it that you had your last sponsor ?

I'm also confused on the point that you made saying...
"a new person in charge".

My interpretation of your statement would be that the sponsor is in some way superior to you.

You and your sponsor are on the same path, maybe a step apart, but the same path none the less.

In all human interactions each individual learns from the other.

I am quite certain you will be a point of *light* in her life.



Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, my last sponsor would have been back sometime in the middle to late 1990's. I am not sure of the exact date that I quit going to Al-Anon. I quit going to Al-Anon around my 10 year mark which was March of 1999. I had quit using my sponsor a year or two before that.

I don't mean to suggest that my sponsor is more powerful or more important or more superior than I am. She has more years in Al-Anon. She didn't drop out of Al-Anon the 8 or so years that I quit going. She will be my guide which we all need sometimes. She will be who I go to when I need help with finding my own answers. She will be my support person for when I can't see the forest for the trees. She won't give me my answers but she will help me find them for myself.

Yes, I learned a long time ago that we are lights for each other. Teacher and student each have something to teach the other. What we teach is what we most need to learn ourselves so we are helping each other along this path.

I am not putting her on a pedestal. I learned a long time ago that when you do that, most people will at some point jump off and disappoint you.

Deb, I know that you have my best interest at heart. Thanks for that. I will probably be writing more articles about this relationship with my sponsor. She will also be reading each of these articles. She isn't a computer person so I am printing them out for her to read so she and I can have open discussions about everything that I am feeling about this new beginning.

Liara Covert said...

Glad to sense you continue to find ways to merge with vibrations of love and peace. You discover new places for healing, connect with kindred spirits and realize you have the capacity to stretch and grow through the power of choice. In gratitude for your intimate sharing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, thank you. I just had a conversation with a friend of mine about my blog writing and how I need it to help me process through my own healing. Writing for me has a power that just the spoken word doesn't seem to have for me.