There are many types of sponsors. In today’s marketing-heavy world, sponsors are the companies who pay to support a program, sports events, conference, or workshop. Another type of sponsor is the sometimes life-changing ones available through 12-step programs. Guess which kind I have?
As I have walked alongside someone I love through their recovery journey, there have been many family events and educational sessions. All of those have been about helping the family/parents understand what the addict is experiencing, and timely topics such as enabling vs. supporting.
Along the way, a few times it has occurred to me that I have addictive tendencies as well. I find that my “drug of choice” is easily accessible, and just as hard for me to resist as is cocaine or heroin or alcohol to the users of those drugs. As a matter of fact, during a conversation several months ago, my dearly beloved addict told me that I was saying things about food that sounded just like the things addicts say about drugs and alcohol.
I try more and more to listen to the inner promptings I experience. There are plenty of times when I am just barely aware of them and plow over them and do what I want anyway. But, the times I act on those promptings are powerful.
Recently, I felt a prompting to ask my beloved addict if he would sponsor me. I recognize that he is still in the midst of his own recovery, and doesn’t have everything figured out. I see that he is young and still making his way into adulthood and maturity. But I also note that he has a sponsor, so he knows how it works. And I’m not expecting perfection, only perfect imperfection.
I started out by asking what a sponsor does, how does it work, what is their responsibility, what is the sponsee’s responsibility? And then I asked him if he would be my sponsor. He said yes! I could see there was some hesitation — after all, he is only partway through.
Our breakfast meeting turned into the first meeting between a sponsor and a sponsored person.
After our breakfast meeting, I was given an assignment. “Write a blog post expressing any new discoveries and thoughts or understandings about your belief system.”
Here it is.
People who use drugs or overdo it with alcohol are always at risk of being getting into legal difficulties. People like myself who “use” food or overdo it ALWAYS get in trouble with the “police’ in their own head. I NEVER escape being convicted, tried, and sentenced. Every single time I break my “law,” my internal police force comes down on me hard.
This is an ironic realization for me, because I am just about the least likely person I know to break any laws. I was accused of shoplifting back in my early 20’s, and every single person who knew me knew that the store had made a mistake (which they had and admitted to). And yet, here I am, breaking my own “laws” on a regular basis.
My other assignment this week is to tell my sponsor just one time when I am facing temptation, to realize that I can eat donuts every day for the rest of my life if I want, but to take one instance of temptation and contact my sponsor about that. I will do this.
I’m honestly surprised at the places we went in our discussion today as we talked. I wonder what will come of this for both of us!