By Amanda, Renascent Alumna
It took me five years of continuously relapsing to finally surrender to the fact that my solution to life’s problems (drinking), was no longer a solution. It did not work any more, and with that realization, I checked myself into the Munro house.
This past week, I celebrated five years of sobriety. My sponsor and I went out to breakfast at our usual place, and she presented me with my medallion. We laughed and cried and shared some stories. My sponsor has been with me since the beginning (10 years!). She has seen me through thick and thin. She is more of a best friend and sister than a sponsor today and I am very grateful to have her in my life and for me to be in hers. She is sweet, and kind, and smart and funny. I love her very much.
One of the things she likes to tease me about is when I fired her, during my very rough years of relapsing, Mistake #……. I fired my sponsor! I fired someone who was willing to give me her time and help me FOR FREE! My reason? I wanted a sponsor who relapsed!! Is that not the most insane thinking? She had grasped the AA Program, had learned to overcome alcoholism and had the solution. Isn’t this the person I should want advice from? This still makes us laugh!
That’s the thing about a sponsor. If you can relate to them, perhaps you should pick a different sponsor. You want someone who does not tell you what you want to hear; who does things you would not do; who does not think like you when you are dying from the insanity of addiction. You want a sponsor who can show you how to do life differently.
I already knew how to kamikaze my life (one of my sponsor’s sayings). I wanted to learn how not to kamikaze my life. My sponsor took me through the steps and taught me a new way of living.
I have learned many things, and some stick out more than others. One is “You can’t fix your problems with the same thinking that created them.” I needed someone outside of myself to show me a different way. Thank God I finally decided to listen to her.
I am now and will be forever grateful for a sponsor who I could not relate to. What she has given me, I could never repay. All she asks is that I carry the message to others, as she did with me. That’s pretty amazing stuff!
You could maybe say that sponsorship is like a parachute. You can go ahead and jump from a plane without one, but having one will more than likely save your life.