Experience with AA Online?
Have you ever been helped by AA members online? Was your introduction to AA from an online chat? Do you live in a remote location and depend on your computer for sobriety? Do you do rewarding service work reaching out to members through your computer? Share your story here.
Hi This is Jim S. from the Spirit of Recovery Group in Lakewood, CO. Have a great day.
We have 4 online AA meeting a day. We average about 20 AA members for each meeting. I have been coming to online AA meetings since 1997. Way back then you had to have AOL to attend my first online AA meeting. I also visit another really big online AA meeting. They average about 60 AA members a meeting. They have 4 meetings a day also. When there is no meeting, it is live open chat. My screename is Aloha EddieHawaii. Take care and I hope you have a blessed day, filled with small miracles!!! P.S. I am 28 years sober...
Can you please share your online AA group?!
About 260 members, a delightful group that so far is free of bullying and attention seeking that I see more of in some of the facebook secret groups I have joined. I think people can be meaner online than they are in real life. It's a mixed bag of worldviews (a lot of humanist, atheist, buddhist, agnostic members) with a good mix of decades of sobriety and days of sobriety.
My first meeting was 1976, before anybody heard about computers. I believe that person to person and meetings and working the steps on a daily basis keep me clean NOT on line meetings, that sounds ridiculous. I am 58 years old and I have been clean for almost 7 years. I relapsed quite a bit because I stopped working the program. The biggest relapse was back in 2003 after 17 years clean. People helped me not computers. Bill W didn't get sober from a computer.
My first meeting was in '79 and have maintained the gift of sobriety since. I'm glad I didn't have to do it like they did in Bill's time. It's a long ways to Akron or New your City. I rode sixty miles to a face to face meeting today but I could only hear about half of it with the best hearing aid money can buy. I can "hear" every word of it here and on other online forums. So can people in remote places or with transportation problems.
Computers don't help me stay sober but PEOPLE communicating with computers do though.
Sometimes it is a challenge to find the new posts on these forums. Someone may have just answered a
post several pages from the top and below older posts.
To use the Windows Find feature hold down the and at the same time.
A small window pops up with a box to enter whatever you are looking for. will close it when you are finished.
Today is 06-19 and I want to find recent posts so I enter 06-19 for the search term and enter.
I click the arrow in the find box to move to the entries found. If there are none today than change it to 06-18 and so on.
On the far right side of the screen where the bar is that shows where you are in the page
there is a yellow marks for each find. That makes it easy to scroll and find them.
Hope it works for you.
Sorry for the typo
To find hold down the CONTROL KEY and the F keys at the same time and the find box pops up.
I was kicked out of a AA chat room because they don't like GLBT's I should say that differently
they didn't like me. Because a certain young woman got it in their head that I was trouble. All
I wanted to do is go in there and work on my sobriety and stay off my drugs. Since I live in a
small town its hard to find support for both. I have been dealing with things I wouldn't wish on
my worst enemy. But I have maintain staying sober because I don't want to die a wet drunk. I don't
go to meetings on line or face to face I read the Grapevine and my Big Books I have three copies
of them.I carry one with me in my back pocket. I talk to newcomers at coffee shop and other drop
in places. I give away my medallions the last one was my twenty year. I have been clean and sober
One Day at a Time Thirty two and half years. Oh by the way my name Terry P. I am an alcoholic and
a drug addict. The Chat room I'm talking about is 12step cafe.com
My drinking is going out ov controll
Hang in there....and please get yourself to a recovery program. A local AA meeting will have people there that can guide you in various directions and assist you if you need medical intervention first. go to any length to get and stay sober. It is so worth it.
Look in your phone book for your local AA group and call them.
Info. can also be bound on the computer.
What stands out to me is if you read one of those Big Books and follow the instructions you wouldn’t need to worry about dying drunk or even getting drunk plus having a new freedom and a new happiness, have self seeking slip away and much more. My Big Book falls open by itself to the instructions for getting rid of resentments; I’ve used it so many times. Since you have had the benefit of all AA has to offer and have had problems with drugs, you look like a perfect candidate to start a local NA group. Read the section on AA pioneers in the big book. With less than a year of sobriety and no literature they started AA in Chicago, Detroit and all of Canada. That was one member for each.
Some of us would consider it a breach of anonymity to spread tales about an online group. If you don’t like the group, just don’t go back. If you do like it, just change your nom de plume, rejoin and do things their way on the subjects they don’t like. Remember our only requirement for membership is our liabilities not our assets and heed the warnings in How it Works.
At thirty plus years revisiting Step Two was most helpful for me. A visit to the New Age shelf at the book store gave me plenty to work with.
Or stay down in the problem if you have something down there that is working for you.
Hello, Terry, I am Shirley K. Have just read your post and understand you are kind of between a rock and a hard place. Don't know anything yet about this Internet AA and how it works, but am successfully familiar with regular AA and How It Works. Am in my fifth decade of sobriety, mostly confined to my home for physical reasons, but I do have tons of time to work with others. If I can help you in any way to follow the AA path, I will if you want me to.
I actually don't know yet how we do this via ipad, but perhaps you could help me learn the in's and out's, the do's and don'ts of this method and I could help you with your situation.
Contact me if you want to walk the path together for a while.
Sometimes we need to be anesthsized. No one wants their parts carved with a scalpel when awake. So the trick is to make a responsible person in charge of your drugs. When it's time to take them, they give it to you, you swallow. You need to be out of pain to heal. When you no longer need them, your appointed responsible person gets rid of them. Have had to do this several times in my forty-one years of sobriety. Worked well every time. Sometimes your daughter or best friend or doctor can be your Higher Power for the distribution of meds any sane person would take because of surgery or illness.. We didn't get sober to suffer needlessly or to prove how tough we are in dealing with unrelenting pain. We get sober and eventually, hopefully, somewhat sane. We have the right and even the obligation to live a sane and sober life. Shirley K. Kern River Valley, Ca
soon, my doctor will perform neck surgery on me and one of the result's will be pain. now the doctor can and will prescribe powerfull pain killer's all in good conscience however as a abuser of narcotics for over 40 year's i know that my addiction will return in spades, but it will be legal and therefore, ok????i think not but what is a person to do. at this point a rerun of my past life flashes in front of me and after what i had to go thru the last time it really scares me to do the right thing. any suggestions
I did an inventory with a thorough fear inventory. I put one fear per line and asked myself and then what will happen? It is amazing what a twisted spaghetti mountain of fear I find that way. If I asked for HP's help and did the 3rd step prayer
before I started, I couldn't very well refuse to write down whatever idiocy came to mind. Yeah and then what will happen? I will die. Fear will kill me. It is embarrassing what I think I am to grown up to fear. Better on paper than in my head for sure. Then I pray "take away my fear and direct my attention to what you would have me be" just like the book says.
I made sure to go right through step nine including all the prayer work the book suggests and made the amends.
Then I asked HP to show me how to get through the surgeries without the compulsion flaring up again.
In my case, medical hypnosis sessions, self hypnosis and meditation worked just fine. After the general anesthetic wore off, I knew I was wounded and was very tired, but had no pain, no throbbing, none of that. I did take some ibuprofin the first night after to reduce the swelling. But after that and with daily gratitude and 11th step and many blessing prayers for others who needed help, I got through with no pain.
Your route may be different. I know some who did their deep thorough step work and had family manage them pain meds. They had prayer projects going on for those who were suffering from addiction or lack of medical care. Likeme, they prayed through the steps every day starting with "Dear God, I am powerless over drugs and alcohol and need your help. Please keep me clean according to your will. Please don't drop me because I really really don't want to go back to using. Even if I think I do, that is just me at my sickest needing you and your protection from using. Please keep me clean no matter what. And whatever help you give me, I will pass on to others. Thank you!"
I know 2 ladies who had hysterectomies and using this method and took the narcotics for pain and had no craving afterward. Those are joyously grateful ladies too!
I've tried quitting for the last 8 years. I can't do it alone. After a night of sneaky drinking (when my husband is asleep), I wake up full of guilt and bruises. I fall a lot. The guilt wears off on day 2 of not drinking, and I drink everything I can get my hands on. If I buy a 12-pack, I can't stop drinking until it's gone. If I buy two bottles of wine, I am compelled to drink them both ... and wish for more. Can somebody help me?
Next time you fall down, you might want to stop and ask your Higher Power or the universe for help.
An old timer asked me at one of my first meetings if I had any objections to getting on my knees in the morning to ask God to help me stay sober and then doing the same at night saying thanks. I said that I'd been an altar boy and was familiar with the routine. I tried it. It worked. He'd ask me at every meeting, "how's that going for you?" I had to admit I was staying sober.
I was also going to meetings, reading the book, working steps with a sponsor and doing service. The on my knees thing, though, was a physical admission of total defeat and total powerlessness. It's not for everyone but it worked for me.
So I've been at this a few years and finally got 60 days. At first I just went to meetings to listen, not really thinking I was an alcoholic - but like the say - booze is always the final convincer. If you go to a meeting raise your hand and say you are having a hard time staying away from a drink - more often than not you will be approached after the meeting and you will get some phone numbers... This is a 24 hour program - you only need to stay sober for today - some people start with an hour, then go another - if you can make one day, try two... but go to meetings - as many as you need to in order to get through the day - If you can lay your head on your pillow at night without a drink in your system you are a howling success....It is also progress and not perfection... little by slow if you don't get AA it will get you - hang in there and god bless
Meetings are great but they will not keep you sober. Ask someone for help ask someone to sponsor you to help you take the steps and meet your HP-GOD. I drank for 44 years tried to kill myself more than once married 4 times. And then I walked into the rooms asking for help was so hard for me but I did got a sponsor did what I was told to do and now I am going on three years and working with others I love the rooms but it was all GODS doing. WOW I did not know life could be this good and free. I needed GOD rooms and others but GOD first. Good luck you will not need luck if you find GOD.
In AA, we'd probably say you are working on a pretty good first step in that you are beginning to recognize your powerlessness over alcohol and the unmanageability of your life. My first step drove me through the doors of AA where I found people just like me who had struggled with alcohol but had found a way to live a happy sober life.
You are fortunate to live in a world full of recovery opportunities. In any decent size town, there are multiple AA meetings per day that you can find online or by calling your AA Central Office. I went through a treatment program and learned a lot about alcoholism but found the real solution to my alcoholism was in AA.
I was told early in AA to just give it a try and if I didn't like it, they'd refund my misery. I have not taken AA up on that yet.
I feel the same I can not find a reliable sponsor
You wrote this on my 41st AA anniversary, or birthday, as they say here in California. I was afraid to ask anybody to be my sponsor when I got here, because I was sure I was too messed up and nobody would even want to deal with me. Finally, HP took over and I still have the same sponsor He, She or It led me to all those years ago.
I'm not saying I liked everything my sponsor said to me, or everything I was asked to do, not at all. But, I listened, and amazingly enough, actually did what I was told to do and, poof! It works. It actually works. It's not work that we do, like going to a job, but A Way of Life. It's a path we follow. It's an attitude we adopt. It's a "new Pair of Glasses" we put on, as one well known (now deceased) member of AA described it. We begin to see things differently after a little while of following instructions that, I have to admit, I thought were weird, stupid etc. but I was desperate. Great place to be. Desperate people don't argue too much, usually. Like, "grab this life preserver!" Says the sponsor. "You're drowning!" I never said, "well, I know, but do you have a different colored one? I don't look good in that color." No. I grabbed onto the principles like the drowning grab a life preserver, as it says in the Big Book. Here I am, forty-one years later, being the person I was meant to be.
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has THROUGHLY FOLLOWED OUR PATH. Come, join us.
Shirley K. Kern River Valley, CA
I have had a reliable sponsor for 41 years. My sponsor has had one for 45 years. I have been a reliable sponsor for 39 years. There are thousands of us out there.
Of course, we all had to be reliable, truthful sponsees for it to work. Are you that? Or are you willing to become that?
Let me know if you need help. Shirley K.
I am an alcoholic and I stopped drinking several years ago.
To stop I needed help.
My thinking was so damaged that the simple idea that buying any alcohol would result in me drinking all of it was too difficult for me to understand. In any other part of my life I could easily see that repeating behavior and expecting different results time after time is crazy.
My same damaged thinking told me that I knew how to specify what kind of help I needed. I didn't. I went to AA. I was told to be honest, open and willing. I did the best I could with that and I got the help I needed. Where you are there may not be a sponsor available, there may not be as many meetings or the kind of meetings you might like. If you sincerely want to stop drinking you will receive everything you need. Millions have. Early members didn't have a Big Book or a 12 & 12 or computers or meetings and handled assignments like go start AA in Chicago, or Detroit or Canada. It's all there in the Big Book, help yourself.
have you gone to any AA meetings? I would try some f2f meetings if possible and get some phone #s and use them. A sponsor can only help if you want to try to stay sober. If you are ready this may help.
Why can't we just offer our solution to prospects without
conditions? I find that "if you want to try" and "if you
are ready" come across as conditions. This lady IS trying
and sounds as ready as she will ever be. If she is not
"ready", it is up to us to help her to become ready.
If. Very important word. If you put your gloves on, your hands will get warmer. If not, then they stay cold.
We cannot make a person be ready. But don't worry, if she keeps drinking, alcohol will help her. If she calls us, and if she goes to meetings, and if she actually walks the walk, she could stay sober, if she doesn't drink.
If is just another way of saying, "it's your choice." "If you have decided you want what we have..." "...suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders...recover if they have the capacity to be honest."
We'll be here, if she wants us.
Shirley K. Kern River Valley, CA
I tried to quit drinking for two or three years. I really
wanted to stop. I had every reason to stop. But I found
that I could not stop. It was hard to understand that I
was powerless over that stuff. I am not certain how well
I understand it today, but the evidence is evident. I could
not stay off alcohol using all the resources I could find.
I was, and am, an alcoholic. There is a name for the
condition that it seems that we both have, alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous held an answer for me. I found
people like me, who accepted me. We are not hard to find.
It will be worth the effort. AA certainly saved my life
and made life very much worthwhile. I really don't agree
that you need "a sponsor". I needed a whole group of
sponsors to help me. The group carries the message.
I became aware of AA Meetings online by one of those 'Happy Little Accidents', which some claim is really nothing more than God loosing His/Her/IT'S Anonymity for a moment....long enough for the more 'careless' amongst us- like me-to get the point....that may well be the Truth, I don't know, nor do I really NEED to know....much like AA is here, wherever 'here' may be, AA online IS here, right now, and available and indeed working very REAL Miracles in People's Lives, just as assuredly as F2F Meetings have been doing longer than most of us have been Alive....it's an idea whose time has come, and I believe it's as every bit God-Inspired as any other aspect of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous...I believe were Bill Wilson still 'Trudging that road of happy destiny' down here with the rest of us, he'd be all over this online stuff...because his purpose was to Carry THIS Message, and the realities of the power and reach of the WWW is quite apparent to anyone who approaches it without all that '...contempt prior to investigation' stuff, which then, like now, WILL keep you in everlasting darkness and ignorance. ALL that matters to this alcoholic in regards to this particular subject, is that as our Words tell us all....anytime, anyone,anywhere reaches out for the hand of AA, I want that hand to be there-reaching back, and for THAT, I AM RESPONSIBLE...and so are you. And so we are....whether face-to-face, or online, or on a telephone, or writing letters or zipping out emails. If you are suffering from a disease so devastating to Mind, Spirit and Body, as most alcoholics ARE or HAVE BEEN, the time to 'discuss' the delivery apparatus is AFTER the medicine that Heals is delivered, not before.
I have been privileged to be involved in absolutely nothing BUT 'Hand-Shakes and Hugs' F2F Meetings since my Sobriety date of February 22nd, 1997, it's only been within the last year or so that I've even been aware that one can 'attend' an actual AA Meeting Online...since that time, I have utilized this aspect of my Recovery to the fullest extent possible for me to do so. I have online Sponsorship, as well as other Service Obligations, AND I even Sponsor online as well...and so far, it has been nothing short of a BEAUTIFUL and REWARDING Experience for me. When I think of shut-ins and those institutionalized either in jail cells or hospital wards, those suffering from every possible 'ism' that exists which one can possibly suffer from, and what an incredibly valuable Service AA Online is, quite frankly, I'm at a loss to understand how ANY alcoholic would think differently about this topic, provided they were educated and knowledgeable about it. And, just one-final thing...the AA Meetings, (and NA, as well as others), which I have affiliated with, ALWAYS stress that these online Meetings ARE NOT designed to take the place of face-to-face Meetings, but always as a 'tool' to add to that, HOPEfully, VERY heavy tool-belt you already wear daily...but, as I've mentioned already, NEVER with the purpose of taking the place of...the physical, AA Meeting.
Thanks for reading and listening and indeed, for MY Sobriety; I could not, would not, have the very-real, very SWEET LIFE I now LIVE DAILY, without the AMAZIN' GRACE of MY CREATOR, that 'God of MY understanding, and all that good and powerful, positive energy for me from ALL of YOU, to 'home in on'. God's BLESSINGS upon all who Seek THAT Will,
Yours in Recovery,
Audemus j., Alcoholic
Aidemus, I am new to Internet AA. What is F2F? Shirley K
I like to periodically mention that there is an Online A.A. Intergroup at http://www.aa-intergroup.org/ AA members worldwide are available to help by email with fast, confidential responses. The Online A.A. Intergroup has a meeting directory of online meetings. These meetings are in various communication formats: Email, chat, audio, and forums meetings in a variety of
languages. I've found the Online A.A. Intergroup to be helpful in finding online meetings.
Hi, my name is Chris. I live on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean and have been sober for 97 days. It is wonderful, but lonely!! The hardest part right now is that the AA meetings are very few and far between for me. To get to a meeting takes a three hour train ride and a two hour tuk tuk ride. There are only two English speaking meetings a week on the island. It is a grueling trip and very expensive. At first I was willing to make the trip because I felt hopeful. There are three other women in the program and I thought I would be able to make friends with them. Not to be. They are way too busy. One of them has kind of attached herself to me as my sponsor but her advice is really hurting both my feelings and my program. I know that I am new, but I also know that she makes me soooo depressed. I think she is kind of depressed herself and after reading some of the comments in this forum, I think I am going to stop letting her try to control me. She keeps talking about me getting honest but I am not sure she really listens to me. Her agenda is interesting, but she is trying to force me to move to another city and do things that I just can't afford to do right now. I was really happy with my sobriety and felt that I was doing well until she started calling me a few weeks ago. Now I am so sad and lonely. I know she means well, but I can see now that she probably is very sad herself and doesn't know any different. I am 60 years old and really don't want to spend my time left on this earth in self=recrimination and negativity. I have a terrific sponsor and I need to put up some protective barriers. Thanks for giving me the courage to take care of myself.!!
Chris, sponsors help sponsees learn and understand the principles of the program and how to apply them to our lives. They do NOT tell us where to live, when to move or how to spend our money. Be careful of those who try to use us for their own gain. I'm sad to say it, but AA has these people in it, the same as any other organization. People are people, in and out of our rooms. Shirley K. Kern River Valley, CA
I live in US, but was fortunate to attend AA IN Thailand's 18th Roundup, Mar 2013. Met many expat AA's in situations similar to your's. I don't know how I would stay in recovery in such a life, but now I know if they can, so can I! Perhaps some of those folk will show up in the Overseas Intergroup, or perhaps the intergroups in Thailand and other countries in your region can hook you up. Please pray for me if you need something to break the obsession for just a moment.
Consider looking at the AA Online Intergroup to find some online group meetings. The Intergroup has a meeting directory of over a 100 groups / meetings to choose from. They list email, discussion forum, chat room and audio/video type meetings. Lots of different meetings to choose from. The meeting directory is at http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php
I've been having trouble getting to meetings because of the terrible winter and my demanding work schedule. It leaves me feeling isolated and guilty. That's why I joined the online group.
I, I am retired, but live on an isolated tropical island. There are a few meetings here but they are very far away. Plus, only two a week are in English!! I am trying everything I can to stay on the grid. Maybe this will help?
I have 88 days sober.I was without a job for 6 months and have gratefully been working for 1 week. my world is different now b/c I am working the graveyard shift. Getting used to these hours is new and very different. I haven't been able to make meetings every day and my sponsor is less than understanding. sometimes she calls me twice during my daytime sleeping time slot.All she cares about is "are you going to a meeting?" she is appearing ignorant to me. tonight I told her I have to drive 2 hours each day x next 4 days for job-related classes. Instead of saying be safe( I hate driving far)she said are you going to a meeting? I am getting turned off and feel pissed off with her and feel like disassociating with her. just putting this out there. am not drinking of drugging. also I go to church every sunday which I feel is a meeting and she says church doesn't count as an hour/aa stuff. tonight she told me I need to get into step 2 work and find a god. so my church isn't enough for her? this is today's dilemma. not a bigee like my old issues but this all is disturbing me. should god be the chair I sitting on OR all the people in the rooms??? I like church..it makes me feel calm and peaceful. any opinions out there?
Congrats on your 88 days.
Sometimes sponsors have not been taught what sponsorship is. We do not try to run people's lives. In my beginning sobriety, they told me to go to as many meetings as I could, then pick out several that I really related to and choose three meetings a week that were my steady I try not to miss them weekly AA meetings. Then they said try to show up at some others occasionally, so that I would have an AA meeting on each day of the week where, if I needed to, I could show up and they knew who I was and I knew some of them. This worked beautifully for me, as I was raising six kids, went to school full time and worked some to make ends meet.
See what suits you and allows you to be safe, to always have a safe haven to go to.
I have never changed sponsors my whole sobriety, but after having sponsored hundreds of women, I know that sometimes the first one doesn't click, and we have to let them go, with love.
Shirley K. Kern River Valley, CA
I love my church as well, but it sounds like your sponsor really cares about you staying sober. I now have 25 years sober but when I was where you are my sponsor had me go to a meeting every day and I sometimes went to more than one a day. I was told that we have to "do recovery" like we did our drinking in order to remove the obsession to drink. I also think it is important to learn to "follow direction" and remove ourselves from "being in charge" which we do by following our sponsor's direction. I hope you and your sponsor can get on the same page and that you will get this difficult time behind you. PS...you will appreciate your church more with some quality sobriety. :)
There are other objectives in AA, we realize this at meetings this may be a topic too. Sobriety affects us all and is a goal we function in, and can be a spiritual journey to prioritize. I have found meetings a great way of life, when I can get there.
I wonder if this subject may also question others?
Thanks for your thoughts! I am 97 days sober and having similar issues. I have a terrific sponsor but one lady in the program seems to have adopted me as her project and is really trying to run my life for me. I didn't ask her to be my sponsor because I don't really feel she and I communicate well. I like her and would like to be friends with her, her control issues just aren't for me. MY sponsor helps me stay sober, but dealing with this (well-meaning!) person makes me feel really depressed!! I really appreciate knowing that I am not alone I this area! I think I am going to try some of the suggestions I see on this page and be nice bit a bit distant from her.
If your 88 days sober and are going to daily meetings as your plan of recovery, feeling pissed off is what you should be feeling, I know from experience. The 12 steps used as a way of life expel the compulsion to drink and make you usefully and happily whole, try it.
To me it sounds as if your sponsor uses meetings as a plan of recovery and places a lot of weight on going to meetings. As you can see at 88 days sober, the average alcoholic cannot attend a meeting everyday and still live life. At some point you have to work, be a family member and meet daily obligations that humans must meet.
As far as church and step 2, if going to church was enough to replace the steps, we would suggest you go to church and not emphasize the steps as a program of recovery in AA. Besides if you had the power to apply what you learned or experienced at church you wouldn’t have a drinking problem. Don’t get me wrong, I attend church and AA meetings weekly. I apply what I learn in church and meetings in my daily life. Even I know I can’t sit in my garage and become a car. So why would sitting in church or AA meetings make me happy and sober? Faith without works is dead.
As far as sponsorship goes, you will get a lot of advice on sponsorship from people who haven’t had the experience of sponsorship. Funny isn’t it, alcoholics giving advice on something they don’t have experience with! When I met my sponsor, he said we would work the steps from the big book. He said the book would protect me from him. As you can see with your sponsor, since your not working the steps out of the book, you are having problems. If you follow the program from the big book, do what it says, and put half the effort into that as you did into drinking, you will not fail.
Please be grateful for your sponsor, at least they are teaching you what not to do!
Opinions! you bet!. This is one of my concerns about today's
concept of sponsorship. Thanks for an honest example.
The original duties of a sponsor was to help a new member
get admitted to a hospital, and to assure the hospital that
the patient's bill was going to be paid. The sponsor
was to be a servant not a master. Follow up to help the
newcomer and his/her family were the duties of a sponsor.
IMO, today's concept of sponsorship ought to be totally
discarded. The real sponsor will reappear, as a matter of course.
I have never really had a sponsor. I have kept a name
available to reply when some AA expert asks me, "DO YOU
HAVE A SPONSOR", so as not to appear controversial.
I did try the role as sponsor, after a dozen sober
years, but had little knowledge about that role. I am
only qualified as an equal, not a teacher/preacher/teacher.
I, too, have found a Sunday church service which aids
me greatly in my search for peace and calm.
Be as polite as you reasonably can, but part ways with
this person. If she chooses to remain an equal AA friend,
thank her. If not, don't feel offended. This distorted
understanding of sponsorship has been ingrained for about
twenty five years now. It makes us look like some kind of
cult and harms our public image. ANONYMOUS
I almost hate to say this but the program of AA is not just meetings. The program is spelled out quite clearly in the AA Big Book. The real program is something I take with me to work, home and in the world. For me, the program involved having a spiritual awakening as the result of working the steps and then sharing that with others. I now enjoy applying the principles of AA in meetings but also at work, home, play and in my community.
Don't get me wrong, meetings are great if you can make them. During early sobriety (not working and no family), I enjoyed hitting one and sometimes two per day. As my life filled up with work, wife, home, kids I had to cut down on meetings but remained committed to my home group, service and AA.
I worked with a couple of guys in AA who spent summers on fishing boats in Alaska. They took their Big Books and journals and continued to work the program of AA. They would return to town for the winter and we'd pick up where we left off. They loved going back to meetings after months cooped up on a boat.
Also, there are lots of ways to have a meeting. When I lived in a small town with few meetings, AA folks used to drop in on each other or meet for coffee. One old timer couldn't get to meetings so people would stop by her house for a cup of coffee and a "meeting". The key was that these folks were committed to working the program and to living a sober life.
Change sponsors immediately. Interview them as you did for your job. They are interviewing you as well. Look for a good fit so that you welcome calls from your sponsor, not view them as an annoyance.
If you absolutely need someone one-on-one to talk to frequently you will likely be stuck with some control that you don't like, especially with her. A sponsor is one of many tools for recovery, a good one. A guide to a place you have never been to before and sometimes can be scary. If you can keep an adequate meeting schedule, read and learn the program of recovery and practice it you certainly won't be the first.
Recovery requires a program of action. Information isn't enough. There is so much crap passing itself off as AA in meetings that we need to spend an hour reading AA literature for every hour at AA tables.
I think it shows some good balance that you put a high priority on returning to work. If we aren't doing what we can to be responsible human beings and getting some rewards for it what do we have to lose by drinking?
Most of us were good at re-setting the standard for when we needed to quit. The "I'll quit when..." kept getting worse and worse. We are apt to do the reverse in recovery. "I'm going to 90 in 90, well almost, twice a week anyway, I'll make up for this week later." Write down what you're willing to commit to for the next 88 days (reading, writing, meetings, church and more) and see if you can stick with it. If not you may need someone nagging you.