Gulp, I Raised My Hand

Take a Chance

I’ve worked the steps, read the book more than once, but I’ve never sponsored anyone – officially. I’ve supported women in their recovery, I’ve given advice, I’ve shared my story – but I’ve never sponsored another woman one-on-one. So, the other night in my home group meeting when they asked if those who were willing to sponsor please raise their hand, my hand shot up and I took the first step in overcoming my fear of sponsorship.

In my program of recovery, working with other alcoholics is a must. It’s how we stay sober and give back all that we have received. I’ve been skirting around the whole idea of sponsorship ever since my sponsor “cut me loose” to sponsor other women. I was scared. That little voice kept saying “Why would anyone want you as their sponsor? What if you don’t do it right?” That little voice ruled by fear kept coming at me. The same voice that I used to drink over.

I give fully and honestly on this blog. I don’t hold back. I try to share my story as openly as I can – pretty or not. However, I know I have to do more. I didn’t get sober online. I got sober in rooms and church basements in my community. It was the women and men who greeted me first thing in the morning with my coffee cup in hand who saved my ass. It was the women who ate loads of cake with me when my sugar cravings were off the charts. It was my first sponsor who told me (not suggested) that I needed to call other women, go to meetings and read the book. It was my current sponsor who took me under her wings after I dragged myself back in the rooms after a relapse.

So, maybe raising my hand during a meeting doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it was. It was me telling that fear to stick it. I have no idea when I’ll have the chance to sponsor a woman, but when I do, I’ll share my experience, strength and hope with her just like all those other alcoholics did with me. Just like my first sponsor, I’ll ask her if she’s willing to go to any lengths to get sober. I’ll share my own miracles with her. I’ll tell her that just when you think you’ve lost everything, you can get it back twofold. I’ll tell her that there’s an amazing life waiting for her, if she’s just willing to do the work.

I thank God every day for my sobriety and being at the point where I can give back to others is a miracle in itself.

11 responses

  1. Hi Chenoa,
    Great post and I can soo relate. For me it was the fear of not doing it right for sure! And then out of the blue, I shy young girl, with tears rolling down her face asked me to be her temporary sponsor… All fear melted. I just wanted to help her, yep just like people in the rooms helped me. That was my first sponsee and I will never forget her. She has moved away but we keep in touch on FB! It is such a gift, but it’s not always an easy road or a good ending, and that’s the hard part. But then again we don’t give up… No one gave up on me and I had a loooong journey! – Maggie

    • Maggie, thanks so much! I know it won’t always be easy and I think that’s where a lot of my fear comes in. But, I know that’s part of the process. It’s the miracles that keep us going in the end. Thanks again for your comment. Btw, I tried to comment on one of your posts the other day but it wouldn’t go through – I’ll try again!

  2. I LOVE this post. I remember having those thoughts – the fears, the what if I mess it up, the whole thing about not being “wise” enough, or knowing the BB enough, or not knowing it all. These are common things we go through. They say sponsees are like pancakes – we burn the first few (I can’t say that for real, and it’s tongue in cheek, but I certainly know what they are trying to get at – it takes a bit of practice, so to speak, to find a way that works for you).

    Anyway, I have been reading your stuff here for a while, and you are nothing if honest and warm and positive and centered and full of life. These are the things we were NOT like at all, and that is attractive to those who are still suffering and caught up in the whirlwind of alcoholic thinking. I think you are selling yourself short, as I think you have soooo much to offer to other women in the program. I think you would be a fantastic sponsor – just explain to them what worked for you…that’s all we do. We aren’t reinventing recovery or the BB. Just our experience, as you do here all the time.

    As the saying goes – for someone who isn’t willing, there isn’t anything we can say which is right, and for someone who is willing, there isn’t anything we can say which is wrong. We can’t screw anyone up – we are as responsible for their sobriety as much as we are their drunkenness…which means not at all. We just show the way…and it’s up to them if they want to follow with.

    I am sure you will have someone ask you sooner than later.


    • Thanks, Paul for your support! At first, I thought you were going to say “we can’t screw anyone up because they’re already screwed up” – lol! Anyway, I always appreciate your insight – and humor! I missed your latest post so I’m off to read it right now. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

  3. Chenoa, I do think it’s a big deal, and I am so proud of you for raising your hand! There is not a doubt in my mind that you will be a FANTASTIC sponsor, and I can’t wait to hear all of miraculous tales! The newly sober in your community are a very fortunate lot to have you to help them…

  4. Way to go! Thanks for this encouraging post! I am still enjoying my “newcomer” status (will celebrate 6 months soon), but I know that, one day, I will “have to” sponsor another woman and, yes, I’m scared. Your post and what my sponsor told me (she said she lets her Higher Power speak through her) helped decrease my anxiety. It was not love at first sight between AA and me, but now I’m just in love with the whole thing. Way to go!

    • Thank you! And, congrats on your upcoming six months – that’s awesome! I think we all have our doubts at some point because instinctively we want to do it on our own (go figure!). But, once we see the miracles that happen within the rooms, it’s pretty hard to ignore it. Best wishes to you and thanks again!

  5. “It’s a big deal” … I think every time we step into that place we are afraid of, yet drawn to, all in the same moment, we are growing leaps and bounds. You’ll be a wonderful sponsor. First because you have actually done the program yourself (12 steps), second because your heart is so filled with love for the program and what it has to offer, and third because your heart is so desirous to help another. I’d pick you!

  6. Good for you!!! You are a amazing woman God will guide you through any thing that comes your way I am so proud of you!!! I love you .we will talk soon 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s