Well, last week, after the urging of another AA who correctly pointed out that my lack of sponsorship was making me tense and freaky, I made a decision and asked another fellow to be my sponsor. He’s a guy who I have already worked a 5th Step with, and who I also admire, but not because he’s a spiritual superman—quite the opposite. He shares his struggles as well as his victories at the meetings and has great wisdom and humor as a result. This was something that was missing from the previous relationship. Nonetheless, I made the break official two nights later when I “gently withdrew” (as another AA put it) from the old union. I had no other way of reaching M, except via email. He didn’t return my calls, so I was left with that avenue. In my letter to him, which was short, I acknowledged how much he had guided, inspired, and taught me over the past 3 years, and how it was time for me, I felt, to seek that guidance from someone else.
I wished him well, sent my hopes and prayers to him and his family, and hit ‘send’. Not the best way to sever a tie like that, but still, I haven’t heard a peep from him since, so I assume it is a mutual feeling.
The good news is that my new sponsor solved my 9th Step dilemma right off the bat…He assured me that by remaining sober I am taking steps against committing the same derilictions as I had in the past, but I could go farther as an official amends. He suggested that I take the inspiration from the 3rd Step prayer and the Promises, namely when it says to “Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help…” and also “No matter how far down th scale we have gone…”. So the upshot is that he he told me to find someone else who had a similar (or identical) story to tell and share my experience, strength, and hope with them, as way to both get some things off of my chest, but to show them that perhaps they aren’t as alone in this world as they may believe. The final result is that I contacted another program of recovery that deals with these issues and will be attending a meeting tomorrow night. I am nervous, to be honest, but also excited, and will be saying many prayers to try to gain humility and clarity before I go.
So, the previous sponsor set me on an intellectual, fact-finding. quest for some abstract quality with which to quantify an amends that, in his words, “should hurt”. This is all wrong. I’ll take the new sponsor’s program of action first, thank you very much. Humility and service will always beat the hair shirt and knotted ropes of self-castigation.
As an AA is often heard to say around these parts…”The chapter is called “Into Action” not “Into Thinking”.