Get Addiction Help (888) 804-0917

Sponsee Rewards

I picked up a sponsee yesterday, and I need to be honest here, it’s a part of the program I don’t care for that much. Well, at least at first. Since I began attending AA many years ago, it’s been one of the pieces I understand so little. No, it’s not that I don’t get the idea of it, and it’s one of the best ways to give back to a program that’s been there for me. It’s just that it makes me uneasy that anyone would see me as an example of sobriety. Yes, 19+ years of sobriety and running is normally a good example, but I sometimes wonder why anyone would listen to what I have to say about it.

A major character defect I have: Ego with a twist of inferiority. What can I say, I am working on it.

I see fear in this sponsee’s eyes. He’s young, 22, and I am old enough to be his dad. (What am I doing?) After we do our introductions and I listen for a few minutes, I ask him if he is afraid. It’s always interesting to see and hear the response. Most often there is a slight puff to the chest, the eyes grow bigger, and in a slightly higher pitched voice comes, “No, not at all,” or something to that effect. I typically look over my shoulder, then turn back, lean in and whisper, “I am.” Which is 100% honest on my part and it usually gives them a moment’s pause. I add, “But, that’s because this is new to me.” I point to him and I. “I won’t be afraid after we get to know each other and build an equal trust.

Usually this works to break the ice a bit, and I always hope to establish there is fear when getting sober at first. It’s not easy and it takes a lot of physical, emotional, and spiritual work. I wasn’t able to grasp all three parts of it at first, and I don’t expect it. In fact I don’t know anyone who has. I was able to grasp the physical and the spiritual parts, but the emotional work came later, and it still surprises me when I think I ‘got it.’ None of ‘get it’ completely. We are human and imperfect. None of us knows all the answers.

So, although I don’t like it at first, I sponsor from time to time. I do it because I am supposed to. It’s painstaking sometimes but it ends up, for the most part, one of the most rewarding experiences I have now in AA. It’s rewarding because I get to remember. I get to remember what it was like when I came in the doors of AA, what it was like for me to be afraid to pick up, to follow so blindly, and to trust so completely.

Recovery Rob

Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.