88: Changing Sponsors – How and When to Make the Switch (Sort Of)

When is it the right time to get a new sponsor? Are there certain signs that let us know? Do we change whenever we hear something we don’t like? Do we wait until well after the expiration date and let it die on it’s own? We have on Jason to talk with us about figuring out when it’s the right time to change sponsors and how to go about making the switch to a new sponsor. We explore if there are any reasons you have to get a new sponsor, or if it’s all a choice. We also look at what you might be looking for in a new sponsor and if it’s different than what we looked for in our original sponsors coming into recovery. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.

Episodes we mention: Grief, Robb Kelly, Sponsorship, Clarity Statement

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

all right welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason doing not anything today drug wise i’m billy i’m a person in long term recovery and we got as if this won’t be confusing because you’re listening another jason on the show today welcome jason thank you so uh our topic today is going to be changing sponsors when to change sponsors how you know it’s time you need to change sponsors something along them lines um but before we get into all that i did want to throw out some thank yous um julie sarah i appreciate we appreciate your continued support yes thank you thank you it was also brought to you by julie and sarah so be nice to them um dan reached out and he said that the aaa literature is so hard for him to understand too but he was enjoying the way that we described things so rock on dan because the oust is amazing um autumn reached out she said she really appreciated the grief episode she was just talking about how you know she’s been through some grieving kind of times and and could really relate to the fact that it seems like after a few weeks it fades off of everybody else’s mind even though you’re still going through that grief um julie also reached out she appreciated the grief episode a lot of feedback on the grief episode she said that usually in her experience you go through life you feel this grief you feel it the way you feel it you process it the best way you know how but nobody ever [ _ ] talks about it and you have no clue if it’s anything like other’s experience if you can relate into it if if you’re doing it right if you’re feeling like nothing and she really appreciated that caroline was able to come on and like share that because it’s kind of a personal thing that we don’t talk about and she felt like okay maybe i am doing this right or you know i’ve been doing this in a way that that makes sense somebody just by the letter c on youtube thanked us for our continued content they said that everybody kind of starts stuff and then fades off and and they really appreciated that we were doing it especially because we’re addicts and we never give up we just keep [ _ ] go until it goes off the rails how did addicts give up on recovery podcasts right you’re not real addicts giving up and maybe they’re just not getting the instant gratification um and and one of the things that i noticed the clarity statement episode is like

that seems to be our exposure to the world it’s the clarity statement so maybe we’ll go back and make a better clarity statement episode i have to go back and listen to it that episode i have no idea i know i would have bashed it i want to hear it now i hate the clarity statement so right i think we did i’m pretty sure we tore it up oh so hopefully people buy into that i bet all the people looking it up there are people looking to reinforce the clips they’re looking for some argument for it you’re wrong [ _ ] that clarity statement all right so anyway back to our regularly scheduled idea for an episode today so we have jason on um and the topic is changing sponsors so obviously if you can take a little hint he has changed sponsors at some point in his recovery but i’m gonna let him share a couple minutes of his experience and why you know that qualifies him to be in here to talk about changing sponsors hey uh so it was something i struggled with it was like uh it was like letting my wife know that i was have wanted to have an affair on her or something you know what i mean i had such a great relationship with my sponsor are we going to say who my sponsor was you can say whatever you want so jason was my sponsor and jason moved away hour away and uh and he when he told me he said uh you know i’m moving away you know you’re welcome to find another sponsor if you feel like that’s something i was like no way i had such a good relationship with with him and um you know we had been through a couple steps together and uh i was in love you know what i mean like i love my sponsor i truly felt like my sponsor was the greatest sponsor in n a how we always say then the pandemic hit you know what i mean so like before we were still getting together um at least once a once or twice a month i would come up to his neck of the woods or he would come down and that was still filling my cup you know what i mean before he moved away we were getting together a minimum once a week to go out and then once a week to our home group yeah so like from twice a week to twice a month which i was still content with you know what i mean but then the pandemic hit and then i wasn’t getting that and like the camaraderie you know n a for me is like not just the meetings it’s also the fellowship and like i enjoy fellowshipping with men you know what i mean like i like going out with a group of men and like traveling and going to dinner and going to a cool meeting that we never hit and um we we were big on that you know what i mean but when the pandemic hit it stopped you know what i mean ah i was just la i felt like there was a a piece of my program was missing you know what i mean like here i was struggling to find recovery because recovery was shut down zoom wasn’t doing it for me i know that’s a broken record but it really wasn’t i didn’t enjoy it it didn’t do what i was looking for you know what i mean so um you know prayer i prayed on it for a long time you know what i mean like i thought about it for a few months and i really did prey on it and i thought about a guy who back even when i was completely content with my sponsor man that he every time i heard him share he really did something for me i was like man if i ever had to change sponsors i think i would choose that guy you know what i mean it was kind of like a a little reservation i had about sponsorship but um i really started praying and i was thinking about doing it and then i went to a meeting away and boom there he was and he just delivered this message to me that i thought like it was god showing me a sign you know what i mean like i had to make a decision you know my recovery is my responsibility if i’m not getting what i need out of a certain relationship then it’s time to change that’s what my thought was right and i had to do it it was the hardest thing that i’ve done in recovery no no i and i still have an amazing relationship with my old sponsor and um probably still closer with him than i am with my new sponsor just because of you know the time it hasn’t been an extremely long time i don’t know six months maybe something like that yeah and um you know i’m being patient obviously uh you know we need to do things to bond over you know i mean preferably some steps you know what i mean and that’s not where we’re at yet you know i know that there’s gonna be some bonding that comes along with that uh like last weekend me and my new sponsor went on an amazing trip for the weekend it was like a whitewater rafting trip and we spent a ton of time together lots of god moments throughout the weekend and um the relationship is growing you know what i mean and uh i am happy with it do i have second thoughts sometimes yeah like i still think about this isn’t working for me i want to go back to jay you know what i mean because i love how he thinks you know what i mean like he thinks about things differently than that i do you know what i mean like thinks outside of the box like i could be thinking about a subject in recovery and just have my opinion and then i i i run it over with him and he just brings something like wow i never would think about it like that you know what i mean and uh i appreciate that and i still get that out of our relationship now and now that he’s not my sponsor we’re going out once a month again now i feel like i’m getting used hey but you know i realized today that like he’s there for me no matter what whether we call him my sponsor you know we’re friends still we still reach out to each other he’s somebody that i thoroughly respect in the program you know what i mean and when i bounce things off of him he gives me an honest answer and i don’t have to call him my sponsor you know what i mean i i do like having a sponsor close by you know what i mean like i like running into my sponsor at a meeting that something wasn’t planned and we get to go hang out you know right that’s interesting so i i and i think that’s part of the exploration i don’t know if we talked about this in the sponsorship episode we did a sponsorship episode and i don’t even remember if it was it might have sucked at this point i have no idea but just the idea of i think everybody has a different need to be filled by a sponsor right because i remember my first sponsor when i first first got here we went to meetings every [ _ ] night together and honestly you can we can talk all that n a says you call your sponsor and reach out for help that dude called me every goddamn day and told me what meet we were going to and what time he was picking me up and i would have never caught him that’s the truth like i’d never even stayed clean there’s no way and i needed that and i remember the first time i sat in a meeting and a guy shared about how he you know he had a sponsor like that early on in his time and then for whatever reason later on it was time to change and the sponsor he found was not that and he shared specifically about how it was different and he just worked steps with his sponsor that was it like they would they would call him like once every couple weeks and then he would work steps with him and they never hung out they were not like any kind of people that would even really get along hanging out and i remember sitting in that meeting like oh [ _ ] that’s an option too like i’ve never even thought that was something like what does that do like the the concept at that point in time in my recovery was well out of my realm of understanding and now i see that like people need sponsors for different reasons and they need different things out of the relationship and definitely early on there’s no way i could have had a sponsor that i didn’t see regularly because i i’m not a at that point i was not calling nobody yeah and i would say my understanding of a sponsor went back to the original sponsorship pamphlet so there’s a newer one now it’s been out i [ _ ] things probably been out for 10 years now so i’m really gonna but there’s an older one that had a line in there that my first sponsor told me and it’s what i tell most of my sponsors the sponsees now it says your sponsor is not your marriage counselor social worker financial advisor or taxi driver their guide through the 12 steps of narcotics anonymous right on top of that my wife tends to talk about her description of you know the the four-legged table in recovery like you build your recovery on four legs one of those is god one of those is your step work one of those is your sponsor and the other one is the fellowship and that you know your fellowship leg is different than your sponsorship leg they shouldn’t be the same person because if they’re the same person and that person uses then you lose two of your legs right away so that you should have a fellowship leg and a sponsorship leg that are independent of each other that’s interesting i’ve had both relationships throughout time as i’ve been clean um so i don’t i don’t know that one’s better than the other or or i mean i guess if you want to use the god thing god gives you what you want or i don’t know when you had the sponsor that wasn’t the buddy

did you not have a buddy at that point in time in your life or did you still have like a a recovery hangout buddy so i mean that time is probably now like or and my previous sponsor at the end of that relationship because he just stopped going to meetings and [ _ ] right so yes i’ve always had friends in recovery but i had the experience that we’re talking about where my sponsor was also my best friend and we [ _ ] hung out all the time i mean all the time and he went through some bad stuff in his life at the same time i was going through some bad stuff in my life and he basically relapsed and was unavailable and i was [ _ ] i was [ _ ] a you know this is how i looked at it and they had nothing to offer me and there wasn’t anybody that i wanted to talk to n a at that time not outside of that relationship with him but he had been my best closest friend plus my sponsor for eight years nine years you know and so when he relapsed i was like i didn’t really have anyone else i was close to to talk about and this is the time we were going through a pretty big tragedy in our lives we found out you know my daughters were being molested and at the same time he’s going so it’s not something that you can just openly talk to [ _ ] anybody about or that i was willing to openly talk to people about or even openly talk about in meetings there was a lot of guilt and shame and embarrassment and anger and resentment all those things that would you would want a person that you trust in a one-on-one relationship with and he wasn’t available so i feel like the whole point of this episode was to establish when to change sponsors and now it just seems like the answer is whenever you feel you need to and we should just shut up are we done talking is that it thanks for tuning in right great week have a good week everybody no uh i mean so yeah i guess i guess maybe we start at the complete answer and then go into the details maybe the complete answer for when to change sponsors is whenever you feel like you’re not getting what you need like and i don’t know that that doesn’t hold true even if you’re not really on the up and up so to speak like i mean even the person who’s got seven days clean that’s like oh my sponsor’s not doing [ _ ] for me and and you know this individual is like on that path to using again in three days i mean does does that change the fact that you just change sponsors when you need to change sponsors like yeah so three of the times that i changed sponsors were almost by default like my first sponsor was now my first sponsor was probably the one that was the hardest because i was the closest with him i had worked through steps one through six or seven i can’t remember now but we had done the fifth step and done all that and then he was making his way out and it was [ _ ] painfully obvious to me and everyone else around that he was making his way out of n a and was doing all kinds of crazy [ _ ] going to strip clubs and i mean just this you know one step away from using wasn’t going to meetings wasn’t really doing recovery stuff but i was like clinging on because i love the guy i mean i love the guy he’d been my sponsor for four or five years we had been through a bunch of steps we were really close and i didn’t want to see him go um but eventually it just i i needed to move on you know just because i needed someone i saw someone that i saw at meeting someone i saw living this way of life and he wasn’t doing that anymore so i made a change jason do you consider the other time you were here to be recovery like what do you consider that not really no no i think i was just here i mean at the time i probably did right um but i think i just uh fellowshipped more than i used to program you know what i mean like i was just about having fun and meeting people and you know i wanted to be clean i just uh you know i wasn’t taking suggestions i wasn’t uh i was just trying to be happy you know what i mean right and my idea of happy now uh is way different than when i initially came around and eventually relapsed you know what i mean i wasn’t taking suggestions i wanted the pretty girl and the nice clothes and the nice house and stuff like that those were my goals you know what i mean what do you think about changing sponsors then so um initially i came around and um i relapsed and jay and i had a conversation about you know he pretty much wanted it to be my idea he he gave me this if you want to see if somebody else has the answers that i’m not giving you uh i would invite you to explore those opportunities i don’t remember saying that yeah it was something like that he he was like lobbing it up there for like it’s my idea that i want to change sponsor but really it was his idea and i crack up because my wife says that a lot she’ll talk to people that she sponsors that don’t call her or she hasn’t talked to in a long time and say hey you know maybe someone my [ _ ] ego is too big to think well i know i could help you you’re just not doing your part yeah and i never want to give them that out like that is such a it’s such a kind and humble thing to do to try to give them that out you know i’m [ _ ] gonna make you do it you got it twisted mine’s from ego too i’m going the rob kelly route if i know it’s his fault and he finds another sponsor i still got 100 percent successful yeah right yeah there you go but i i i bit debate i’m like yeah i’m gonna get me a new sponsor it didn’t work yeah it didn’t work at all right okay just curious i didn’t know how that went well and and this i think goes back a little bit to something i hadn’t ever thought a ton about until fairly recently which you and i talked about is like there’s the fellowship and then there’s the program and those are two different things and really the program the way i’ve come to understand it is the 12 steps everything else is fellowship meetings hanging out activities all that [ _ ] is fellowship and my sponsor is my key to my program not necessarily my fellowship so and that’s a fairly like say i never it’s just something i never thought much about to me it was always just all-encompassing like my program was my fellowship the steps my service work and and they were all sort of connected and i don’t know that they are as much anymore and that comes from just being a person now who has a bunch of balls that i’m trying to juggle up in the air i was going somewhere else kids and activities and you know a job and you know i can’t neglect those things but i can’t neglect my recovery and how do i balance all that out you know i can’t go to five meetings a week i can’t go to every n a activity i can’t show up at everybody’s anniversary so interestingly enough caroline a couple weeks ago on that grief episode that everybody was talking about enjoying mentioned the idea that sponsors are like therapists and i [ _ ] tightened up and cringed when she said it i was like don’t tell me i just spent all that time in school and we’re the same um but to a point that she made like in therapy no well some people do come in and just dump their [ _ ] in meeting one but a lot of times it takes months of that hour a week getting to know each other right we gotta build rapport you have to trust me before you’re willing to let me in and tell me some of that [ _ ] that you’ve never told anybody in the same vein of sponsorship i think not regularly hanging out with your sponsor or spending time around them like if i just linked up with my sponsor to to go over step work like i’m not gonna have that built up trust and faith in their character as an individual and that they’re gonna trust i mean that they’re gonna hold my stuff safe right so like i i get what you’re saying i do think the sponsor is more of like the guy through the program and not so much the fellowship aspect but without the fellowship and how do you put your your stock in them to tell them that [ _ ] i have come to understand that my trust in this process of recovery is not in the people it’s in the process and the program so that sponsor is i don’t say a placeholder i don’t mean it that way because obviously i got to make some judgments when i get a sponsor i want to do some thoughtful investigation before i just pick any old person to be my sponsor but my trust is in the program and doing my part not in the necessarily in the individual because all the guys that i’ve had as my sponsors and trus that guy that i trusted with my fifth step and then he went and used i didn’t know he was gonna go use when i [ _ ] told him my whole fifth step you know what i mean that was the farthest you know at that point in my mind he was [ _ ] clean the rest of his life you know like and he was always gonna be here and more time than me and and at that moment that’s what he was the thing i was thinking though uh is what you and what you said about your sponsor is just this he is just there to guide you through the 12 steps and he’s not your financial advisor and he’s not your therapist i think that’s the biggest crock of [ _ ] that i’ve heard and they didn’t change the pamphlet so maybe you’re right maybe that’s my sponsor he was my therapist i told him what was going on in my love life and uh i think it’s just i think it’s just a kind of an excuse for you so we don’t have sponsors asking us for money and i honestly don’t know the rides everywhere yeah i don’t know that it said financial advisor i think it said banker yeah right so yeah i think it was money oh yeah financial advisor might be okay so banker yeah i remember when i had like six months clean i pulled up to his house in a brand new truck and he’s like you should have talked about this before you did that yeah i was like what do you mean he’s like uh it says don’t make no uh major purchases or something i don’t know where it says that but i don’t know i probably made that [ _ ] up but i got a sponsor now that’s like job hopping and career changing and i kind of i don’t slight him for it like i’m not mad at him or anything but i do think when i see this kind of stuff that he does on facebook i’m like damn it kind of would have been nice if we had talked about like your motivations for that and why are you doing that and and look after talking to him seemed like his motivations were totally 100 in the right place but like why not run that by somebody and see if they have any thoughts on it before yes and as a sponsor i’m always like i’m the [ _ ] i am only interested in what you want to do about your problem and how i can help you know what i mean you want to go create a bunch of chaos in your life if you talk to me first we can try to work through it but if not once you make the chaos there’s no point of me just judging you and pointing out all your [ _ ] shortcomings it’s how do we get through that and learn and grow from it you know i mean it’s just a different way of looking at it it’s interesting though because to jason’s point i kind of i’m kind of with you like i i get that my only real job requirement so to speak as a sponsor is to help people through the 12 steps but my goal has always been to help them live a better life than what they were and if i am a few pages further in the book on how to eat nutritiously or how to manage my money and budget like why wouldn’t i also share that information with them if they seem to be struggling right if i used to struggle with sleeping with every woman i encountered and they’re sleeping around and they don’t want to anymore why wouldn’t i also like that just seems natural and i would say for me the the point isn’t necessarily that i won’t get advice from other people on things it’s that i can’t necessarily think that my sponsor is going to have all the answers to all my problems all the time that first sponsor that i love so much and great guy and i don’t everything that he gave me to build the foundation of our recovery on was great he’s a [ _ ] womanizer and he ran around cheated on his wife and [ _ ] all the time and i knew that so there’s levels of like dishonesty and and lying and manipulation there that you know so i didn’t go to him for [ _ ] marriage advice that’s for sure you know he wasn’t my relationship person but i don’t it wasn’t like he gave me bad information just he wasn’t the only source of information for everything i mean have that you want it i can’t be better than everyone at everything all the time you know

i can’t have all the information about this one yeah i think it just shows that different people need different things and there’s no cookie cutter 100 scenario you know what i mean what i need to have a sponsor is completely different than what someone else needs or even a sponsor needs yeah and there are those people that are like the like you said pick people up and call them and drag them out to meetings and you need to do this and you need and i don’t i mean as a like say that’s the opposite of me but i don’t think there’s a wrong i think like said people need that i mean we all come in here with different skill sets and abilities and backgrounds and upbringings and you know so has anybody here ever changed the sponsor when there was not any external major change in the relationship no i i don’t i don’t think i have no i i kind of think i have but i also didn’t at the same time like i had every intention of changing my sponsor i had been through the 12 steps twice with them and i just felt it was time to get some new perspective in my life and i was going to do that before i moved but then i moved an hour away and i made the commitment to finish out the 12 with them and then i switched but there was still there was the move right so i can’t say i did it without the major change but i i had i was going to and i’ve had i think two guys that i’ve sponsored through all 12 steps switch i don’t know if that counts as a major but that’s because at the end of the steps i’m like all right do you want to get a new sponsor like now’s the time i you know if you want to switch whoa well i mean not that i fire them but i’m just like hey we went through the steps now if you know i’ll go through them again with you if you want and and one of them has stayed with me and now he doesn’t know he’s dangling a shiny necklace like you want a new sponsor yeah i think that i’m building such a relationship with the sponsor that i just wanted to last longer you know what i mean i’m looking for i don’t know if that makes sense but like i was looking for a friend you know what i mean i was looking for somebody with a lot of clean time that knew the program that i could lean on but do i need that person to be my sponsor can i just have a friend that i do that and that’s what i have now you know that’s how it ended up right my first time in i tried to get a girlfriend that had that i figured it was best of both worlds did you ask a woman to sponsor you i did before i got clean yeah she had big breasts no alternative motors there right complete alternative motives uh she gave me her boyfriend’s phone number i was so depressed it’s like i’m using tonight that’s good damn it that didn’t work the way i thought it was right yeah yeah i know i was all giving myself credit for like being ballsy and going and talking to her it did not work but it’s weird like my needs as a sponsee have flip-flopped over the years so early on like i definitely had to have a sponsor that i saw regularly like that i saw at meetings that i hung out with you know that i did stuff with now it’s the opposite of that and i actually learned that skill how to do that well from a guy that i sponsored that lived up here and moved to florida and he moved to florida and that [ _ ] guy called me and kept more in touch with me than anybody i sponsored up here at all i talked to him more we did step work over [ _ ] zoom before that was even cool this was like four or five years ago you know and and we were doing space-time you know we would do our step work that way and we went down to florida and visited him and he would visit when he came up and it just like it was like wow he really put the [ __ ] work in to make that work and so as i you know gotten a point where most recently i had the same sponsor for quite a few years he kind of stopped coming to meetings i don’t know if we’ve talked about i know we’ve talked about it on here but he pretty much just kind of got busy with life and he went through a divorce and he moved and just kind of stopped doing recovery i think he’s still clean but he definitely doesn’t do any program fellowship stuff you know when i started looking for a new sponsor i realized you know that it it takes work and so now my sponsor doesn’t live right in this area but i put in the effort to like call them make time to meet up with them you know shoot them a text every you know week or two if i don’t talk to them and it i try to put that effort in to maintain that relationship this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at www.voicesofhopemaryland.org and consider donating to our calls

is there a certain time when you have to change your sponsor or is it always a choice and i think the first thing that pops up in my mind when i ask that is if they use right yeah if they use do you have to change them

yeah i would say yeah i think so yeah yeah that’s interesting and so i i’m not disagreeing i think if somebody presented this question to me i’m probably suggesting they change sponsors but i’m thinking about it and going to some other fellowships right and these other fellowships the goal is usually not complete abstinence at all right the goal is a progressively better life right whether that’s progressively longer times between acting out behavior for sex addicts or whether that’s like increasingly better boundaries in your allen program like the goal is not really complete abstinence and nor is relapse looked at as any complete failure of your program it’s like okay hey you were on a good stretch there you know you slipped up once let’s get you back in tune they don’t celebrate clean time as you know voraciously it’s not as big of a deal in fact a lot of the the sex addict programs not that there aren’t the select few individuals that do get clean from their acting out behaviors and stay that way for years but most of them it’s like hey you know i put a good six months together life’s been really good yeah i did have this slip but like now i’m back in i got two more good months like it’s just not as structured the way na is i guess is what i’m trying to say and for them i don’t think they would think twice about keeping their sponsor if the guy acted out it would be like okay so true but in fairness it seems like those are more and i i’m guessing because i don’t know but that those are more programs where there are things that you kind of need to do i mean like food you need to eat so if you’re a food addict you know you have to try to man and that’s way hard like i don’t know how i could take prescription medication and still try to be in you know an abstinence-based recovery program like i know some people can manage that [ _ ] not me man i gotta be off of everything because i abused the [ _ ] out of anything yeah that’s my worst nightmare and yeah that’s mine too is that i’ll get like one of them back injuries or some long-term sustaining injury that i gotta take some sort of pain management for [ _ ] dude that’s a i would be so scared of death that that would happen but you know like food or sex i mean i guess you could abstain from sex for the rest of your life yeah but that sounds [ _ ] terrible gambling uh yeah i don’t care interpersonal relationships i guess that’s what al anon deals with well and i and i learned more from the sex thing when we talk to people from the different essay and saa like to me the sex addiction is always just about the physical act of sex and apparently there’s a lot more to it than just that so yeah that’s a little different so and this might not be popular with uh everybody but my opinion would be the person who’s able to find a healthy relationship and continue to interact with a behavior or substance that they do want to continue with in their life and not completely eliminate i say they have done more work and gotten way healthier than the person who just never goes near the substance to begin with i mean they’ve done the work to be able to do it some and not have that same reaction to it i don’t have any experience with a lot of the fellowships you just need i’m programmed complete abstinence my experience is in n a right i’m all about if my sponsor uses i’m getting a name yeah i would agree yeah i just don’t have any experience with those other ones and it all seems yeah they all made it used twice for exactly that reason they used yeah so let’s get a new sponsor so and i think i think this looks different i mean if your sponsor you know [ _ ] shoots meth or something and he goes on you know three month bender yeah you might not be able to have him sponsor you during that three months at least if your sponsor goes out and decides he has a drink on vacation and says you know that’s just not the life i want to live i did i had three drinks while i was in cancun whatever you know with the wife we came home i don’t want to do that i’m just going to start my clean time over i don’t necessarily think that he’s lost any information or recovery i don’t know well that’s i mean that gets back to the idea of most of life like if you’re looking for hard rules i don’t know that you’re gonna find any hard rules on stuff like i mean because i would think that now like if my sponsor now went to cancun and and had a drink i don’t know that i would if it came back and went right back to what he was doing before me like holy [ _ ] i can’t believe i did that but my experience has been the ones that have used they haven’t stuck around or come back right how you gonna feel at your anniversary though when your sponsor’s picking up his 90-day key tag and sponsoring you with 21 years right so how does that look yeah that was one of the things that that we just talked about earlier before we started was like i’ve always thought your sponsor has to have more time than you you know it’s got to be somebody that has more time than you and recently i mean i had two issues in our area the first being there’s not that many people that have more time than me at least that are not actively working a program or recovery in our area here in cecil county and i you know haven’t reached out far beyond this little geographic area to build relationships i know a handful of people outside of this area um so it was hard to find someone just that had more time than me but then people that like have a lot of time and are actively engaged in a program a recovery and by that i mean have a you know home group that they go to regularly go to like events or at least participate in n a [ __ ] that sponsor people that you know are active in their recovery program like those are things that i was looking for in this area there’s not a lot of them like there was it was a very short list of people that i got to pick from i thought the sponsor with less time than you was weird until i ran into it with my sponsor and his sponsor previously and he had like two less years but i i still had this concept and i think i still do

that your sponsor has to be further along spiritually than you or something like that recovery wise like there’s some measurement that that they’ve got to have more of than you do even if they’ve got less time and i don’t really truly believe that but it’s still the idea in my head yeah i don’t agree with either one of that really for for well i think once you get so far along in recovery 10 15 years if you meet somebody with that same time you still have a lot to offer each other i know when uh when you were shopping for a sponsor like i was like why don’t you have this guy be your sponsor and you were like eh we’re too close in time but you got like 17 years clean right and he’s got 18. what’s the difference you still have a lot to offer each other and i was i didn’t understand at the time and i i still feel the same way i think that once you get 15 20 years clean you meet somebody like used to if i didn’t know who’s who sponsor i i would totally believe that he is your sponsor or vice versa because you guys have a lot of clean time and both have a lot of different views and things to offer each other so i think it could work either way yeah and see as a sponsor i’m definitely looking for the person that is spiritually on i feel like in a different place than me i don’t know further is a bad way to look at it i believe because now i picked my sponsor that i have now based on he does a lot of things that i don’t do or wasn’t doing i’m getting better at them now but he’s like with 30 plus years clean he’s very enthusiastic about the program still going to four or five meetings a week sponsors a [ _ ] ton of guys does a bunch of sponsor family ship stuff like oh he’s totally not recovering just really engaged you know what i mean like like right now he’s fully immersed in n a if you go over to harford county like everybody knows who he is they see him around he’s not the guy that [ _ ] only shows up at his home group and nobody knows who the [ _ ] you’re talking about i hope i’m that way at 30 years yeah and so that is very like that was very appealing and attractive to me to be like that is someone who is in a different spiritual place with their program than i am because i was to the point where i’m like i’m good it’s like a maintenance thing i show up at my home group once a week i might hit an event here and there just to say hi to some old friends but i’m good now you’re describing me stop and so yeah that’s me that’s i’m that and so i looked for something different than that yeah yeah and i think it goes along when i said that he thinks about things so much different than i do you know what i mean why would you want a sponsor that thinks just like you how’s that going to bring something new to the table right well i mean and that i think that’s why and that’s where my brain struggles sometimes to wrap its head around it because we say we want we want to pick a sponsor that has what we want right and i guess that doesn’t necessarily state we can’t also already have that too like we could pick a sponsor at the same level that we’re like yeah those things in him are attractive i also have those things in him right like that’s why i always think of this like they need to be on this other level or something like it’s if they don’t have what i want or if i already have what they have why why would they be a good sponsor don’t they have to be somewhere further along for me to the table i think just something different yeah something different for sure and see i’ve had a sponsor that was like a buddhist and then my sponsor before this one was a very christian like jesus christian he which was difficult you know and and again well i mean i picked them because it was just different like i knew that was an area that i was lacking that i struggled in a faith and belief and a higher power right he seemed to be very locked in with his you know i i don’t think it helped i’m just i’m not in a bad way you know like i don’t think you got closer to jesus because he was your sponsor no that’s what you picked not at all no i didn’t pick him to get again when i i think i said this to jason earlier i don’t pick them because i want to necessarily be like them i pick them because i want to be open-minded and i want to explore new ideas and see if you know like if i just have my ideas my ideas in and of themselves are inherently not good for me but if i can measure them and balance them against other ideas i can see if they’re really good or really not so good i mean with time clean you do start to develop some level of you know ability to think for yourself and have rational thought and not be a complete [ _ ] idiot you know so i just can’t necessarily trust all my ideas i still need is this a sure fact for everyone with clean time so you just made me think about like why did i pick jay as my sponsor and then i as i sat here listen to you and i sat here and thought about it like i didn’t pick him i i um i asked the guy to sponsor me i was like 30 days out of treatment and i asked the guy to sponsor me and um he told me no he’s like he said i got a business and i got a boat and i just bought no bull and uh he’s like i got a ton of mike that’s who what wow and he was like i got a ton of sponsees and he said uh i just don’t have time for you i’ll be doing the injustice he says go point go ask that guy over there and um like i had seen jay a few times but i never spoken to him and like it would be great for if i could sit here and tell you oh i picked him because you know he was honest and you know he had all these great characteristics he was a great dad and all but these are just things that i found out later initially i picked him because some guy told me no now i truly believe in my heart that was god putting somebody in my life and doing for me what i couldn’t do for myself you know i truly believe that but it’d be a lie if i told you you know i picked him because of his great you know characteristics because i didn’t those were things i learned later on down the road you know i’m glad mike redeemed himself with the have a lot of spawn seasons yeah yeah the business in the boat i was like whoa damn dude i like my weekends man [ _ ] off and he’s a good guy he was being honest you know yeah so is there any other reason besides using that you would think is a necessity like there’s there’s a rule where if a sponsor does this you you need to move on neglects you maybe like they don’t [ _ ] answer your calls for a certain amount of time or something or i mean i haven’t had this experience but i’ve heard horror stories of sleeping with each other’s wives or sponsors sleeping with sponsors wives or vice versa make me tell this story

i mean i would say there’s some interpersonal boundaries there that like you know all right uh podcast world so i got a sponsor so i don’t really

so i got a sponsor when i first got here i i still i was clean i was working steps i was hitting a lot of [ _ ] ton of meetings i just wanted to feel better still though and i was still acting from a place of instant gratification i i still lived in a place which i did for a long time after this too of uh the jokingly flirting with pretty much every woman as like a possible in to sleeping with them um and same behavior around my sponsor’s wife uh and then one day she called me out of the blue and was like hey you know he he goes to work at this time at night stopped down a little after that and and i was uh i convinced myself i was going there because i couldn’t hurt her feelings on the phone i was just going to go and in person explain why i couldn’t even though i wanted to and that is definitely not what happened when i got there uh and we slept together and it and it came out like six months later and then you know hurt people hurt people my sponsor shared my fourth step with my current girlfriend and tried to sleep on her and maybe did i don’t know at this point i have no idea but it was a disaster um you know and and one of those things that i i hoped i would never do again and and it was a learning experience i guess i don’t know it’s pretty cruddy you know i mean did you honestly feel like like yeah i think i want to keep that guy oh no we were definitely done as a sponsor yeah that’s a reason to change sponsors i mean look we were we were hitting meetings together every night we were working together every day like on the same little crew at work uh i mean he he did have the you know like recovery i guess to pull me up at work and tell me he found out like i was thought that was kind of it hurt but it was like kind of nice that he was able to do that and then like three days later he took a [ _ ] in my rubbermaid lunchbox oh you’re even and i still couldn’t blame him for that right right okay i get it so yeah i mean yeah i would i would say and yeah i was going to ask if either you guys had been fired because that’s i guess one of those times i was fired i’m assuming like as a sponsor

i have i’ve not been fired as a sponsor you can find this fancy yeah jack cut me loose did he yeah that stinks if i wasn’t high i would probably would have hurt my feelings

i got fired in a different program because i told the guy that my plan was i wasn’t ever going to interact with this one female again and uh when the moment came i didn’t find myself capable of doing that and he was like you lied to me i can’t sponsor you anymore and i was like bro i didn’t lie i told you what i want to be my truth i just didn’t feel capable when it happened and he was like nope patty’s like ooh yeah i had a therapy session about that and my therapist kind of sided with them really not really she didn’t really side with them but she helped me to see some other perspective and i’m still i think i’m still bitter so if you’re changing sponsors like so i’ve always failed an obligation to let my previous sponsor know that i was getting a new sponsor but this last time i i didn’t i mean the guy hasn’t been to [ _ ] meetings in like two years well there you go there’s there’s a behavior that you gotta fire your sponsor over if he doesn’t tell his last sponsor that he’s leaving him i gotta let you go billy that’s funny the proper etiquette for getting the new sponsor cause i go like everything i say and do with sponsees is 100 what my sponsor did with me you know what i mean so my sponsor was like let your sponsor know before you get a new sponsor like look i’m gonna get a new sponsor and then i see guys that do the opposite they’re like shopping for sponsors ask someone to sponsor them before they let their sponsor know and uh i told a guy that i was like man i think you’re doing that backwards he was like well you don’t quit a job before you find a new one and i kind of understand his point yeah you know he says no but right to defend myself in this case so my sponsor didn’t come to my last anniversary he hasn’t been to a meeting in two plus years he’s missed other sponsy brothers anniversary like he’s actively [ _ ] left the responsibility it’s not like he’s at another meeting that i might run into him next week and be like oh by the way and i probably would if i ran into him at a meeting i’d be like hey great to see you by the way i gotta but i’m not gonna [ _ ] track him down like he’s i mean i could it wouldn’t be a big deal but so i got that from talking with someone else who had a similar situation and said they went through the efforts to track down their old so i kept calling and all that stuff and finally their old sponsor said look would you just leave me alone i don’t want to do that anymore that’s why i’m not coming to meetings and not doing any of that [ _ ] please just leave me alone and i thought ow i don’t want to hear that she deserves why not just say that though don’t you deserve that i feel he should just tell you in the beginning before he abandoned you right hey get a new sponsor because i’m not programming anymore yeah yeah and it’s weird i i mean i don’t know again not in in this case of what i know i don’t know that it was an active like one day he woke up and said i’m not doing n a anymore it was like he went through his divorce and then he moved kinda out to a fairly rural area that’s outside of it would take them and this is an excuse because you could still do it but it would take him like a half hour 45 minutes one way to get to a meeting even on the closest nights to get out to where our home group was would have been like an hour from where he was and and again you could do those things but i think it’s just a natural progression of well now i’m way out here and it’s not so convenient and now i’m dating people that aren’t in recovery and you know it’s and so it just slowly happened over time because he still sponsored me and we went over step work at a time where he wasn’t really actively going to meetings but i could tell it was you know going south so i’ll give you a little reprieve for that but i i still think there’s like shoot a text message leave a voicemail like you don’t even have to talk to him direct because you’re right he’s kind of gone i get it but you know but my other sponsor i’ve always felt like it was an obligation to tell them you know to let them know yeah how to just respect or whatever yeah it depends on your respect level i don’t think the order matters now if they use and aren’t around are you supposed to track them down like if they’re getting high no i’m not gonna go find him no that speaks for itself yeah yeah i would agree with that but i don’t i don’t give a [ _ ] about like i don’t care if you tell your sponsor hey i’m i’m gonna switch sponsors i need to let you go i love you and then get the sponsor or if you get the sponsor to make sure that they can and then tell like i don’t think it matters so what i did was i talked to my new sponsor i just said are you a valuable available for sponsorship and then we had that conversation and then um i said well i want to have a conversation with my sponsor before we make the commit i was still in the middle of writing step 11 when i talked to my new sponsor and i was like hey i’m pretty sure i’m going to get you to sponsor me i’m just going to finish up these 12 first so in the same idea of that should you talk about you’re thinking about getting a new sponsor with your current sponsor like should would it be a helpful and useful tool to say hey uh sponse i don’t know i’ve been feeling like this isn’t working out so well anymore or you know maybe when i finished at 12 i was thinking maybe i’d like get some other direction what do you what do you think about that is that useful uh i think it definitely could be depending on your sponsor’s attitude with things you know what i mean if you got a good sponsor i think it’s definitely valid you know well it’s like any healthy relationship i mean it’s just like a breakup relationship like do you ride it till the [ _ ] things fall over crashes into the right a flaming polished [ __ ] that’s somebody you don’t want to talk to anyway why am i going to share extra information with you and most of the time that sponsees have have fired me it’s never been like oh my god i don’t know where that came from it’s been like somebody that wasn’t really calling me or using me anyway yeah and i’ve had the awkward thing of guys not telling me that i wasn’t their sponsor anymore and then hearing through rumor that they got a new sponsor that’s always awkward but you know usually you were close to huh anybody you were actually like close to and working with uh somewhat hmm i’ll tell you here later

but uh yeah it’s you know as being fired as a sponsor you usually can kind of tell that it’s not really working so well i’m picturing being in the middle of writing step 10 and you go to your sponsor and you’re like hey man you know i’m in the middle of 10 i was just thinking maybe when i finish up these 12 i’ll you know get some new perspective from somebody else so and so or whatever and they’re like yeah you’re fired that’d be hard to deal with [ _ ] i don’t know i think if you’re spot if you think you can’t tell your sponsor right if you think you can’t tell your sponsor already you might want to reevaluate if you have the best sponsor yeah if you’ve got sponsors working on [ _ ] then he should be okay with that i mean and that’s exactly my attitude of saying that to people when they complete 12 like hey maybe you’re looking for some new perspective or looking for somebody that’s got something different to offer like now’s a good time that you’re starting back at the beginning now would be a great time and there’s my ego i’m like i’ve grown the whole time i was sponsoring you i have new [ _ ] for you yeah i think so and and so you talked about the whole sponsor for life idea jason and i was thinking the same thing originally in my life i was like i’ll get one guy he’ll continue to grow and stay ahead of me and i’ll continue to grow and learn from him and that is not my experience whatsoever no yeah people grow and that is in the literature doesn’t say people grow at different rates and different yeah something something that says you know and that’s definitely true well and i don’t i think this is kind of universal for people’s recovery but we go through periods of like in intense or more you know viable growth and then we go through periods where we kind of sit with that growth and see what it feels like until we learn what else pops up that isn’t growth yet right and so i mean if you you’re in a period of working your 12 steps your sponsor’s kind of in a period of like taking back kicking back not working as hard on steps just learning himself some more that doesn’t mesh up at the end of those 12 right like that ends up where you feel like i don’t want to say healthier than your sponsor but in a place where they can’t really help you much yeah so i was just sitting here thinking what’s funny is i have definitely had times in my recovery where it probably would have been a major benefit if my sponsors would have fired me as a sponsee said hey you know i don’t think i’m really doing you a service i think you should find another sponsor or whatever nice way you say that i’ve never fired a sponsee ever i and only because i got that from one of my previous sponsors said i’m here to help people when they want to get help if they don’t want to do nothing that’s on them if they want to work i’m here to help them and you know i don’t fire sponsees so i’ve always hung on to that because it’s easy it’s lazy and it doesn’t require me to make any awkward conversation so it’s perfect fits i did yeah yeah i a guy asked me to sponsor him and then like a few months later um he then he told me he was on maintenance and i said uh i was not the guy for him um i said you know there are guys got there’s somebody out there for you but i’m not him did you work any steps with him or anything uh we didn’t go over any steps but i had him working the first step and what was the theory i don’t want to dig in too much um my program is a program of complete abstinence i thought that he could truly benefit somebody from somebody who come from maintenance background somebody i’ve never been on maintenance um i don’t have a lot of experience with it i thought he could truly benefit from somebody who come from maintenance to clean you know what i mean and i can definitely see that i don’t have that experience either but i would have hoped they would talk to me about that before they asked me to sponsor yeah because then we could have that conversation and say i was kind of hurt a little bit that he waited so long to tell me so but that’s sad because it just points out the shame that people have coming in on maintenance yeah yeah well we tell them not to talk in our home group so how do you all feel welcome and open to talk about it they’re not listening yet maybe maybe so i did he like did you talk to him and he his plan was to stay on that for the rest of his life or um we talked about it i i actually like like referred a few guys i like talk to this guy about it i know he’s got some experience with being on the program and detoxing proper it’s not a lot of those people i don’t know a lot of those people but there’s a handful of them that i know that actually was on maintenance and literally detoxed the way the doctor said and lived a clean life with n.a so i pushed a few of those guys in his direction you know what i mean so i tried to help him the best i could i sponsored a guy that was on suboxone at one point who i said and this was dude early on in the suboxone [ _ ] like i didn’t even understand what it was at this point and i was like oh he said my doctor gave me suboxone as opposed to help but not use and i was like oh i’ve never heard of it i was like well how long do you you know use it for or whatever like i don’t know how it works and he’s like i don’t know i’ll ask my doctor the next time i go and so we were hitting meetings and [ _ ] and he went back to his doctor and he came back he’s like my doctor said you don’t come off of this you just stay on it for life and i was like uh what like i never heard of this [ _ ] at the time this was i don’t know 2006 seven something like that eight maybe i know i’m shocked so i don’t i mean now i would probably work steps with some ice bucks and i don’t know [ _ ] at this point yeah but i mean i’d want to have i’d have that honest conversation say i don’t have that experience i don’t know much about it all i can tell you is from an abstinence-based perspective because that’s how i live and that’s well i’m just looking back at even before like changing my mind about that i probably would have held a pretty strict we can’t work steps till you’re clean or whatever by na’s definition but i can still sponsor you and we can do other [ _ ] like you can read on pamphlets and write about do that too like i know it says the first page the step guide once we become absent from all drugs then we begin the work steps let me and and this is i don’t think it’s breaking anonymity because i’m not saying any names except i’ve sponsored some people on [ _ ] psych meds that they might as well have been high as [ _ ] because you know what i mean the the lack of emote so i don’t know if i want to even say this now now we want to hear there is an emotional disconnect that happens people that are on certain psych meds that when you do step work with someone who’s not on medication and someone that is it’s a clear like it’s it’s obvious as you know i’ve done a lot of first steps with a lot of people and a lot of first couple steps with a lot of people very few 12 steps with anybody yeah very few 12 steps i think three three wow um how many first steps would you say i know i’m interrupting but how many first guys a hundred like literally a hundred probably a hundred yeah holy [ _ ] but wow three percent success rate i mean so again but that goes back to these are people that i would never in a [ _ ] million years tell them they needed to come off their psych meds that they go to their psychiatrist for i don’t i’m not a doctor i don’t know your mental illness i don’t want to be responsible for any of that [ __ ] but they’re in the program and they’re clean and i i mean i don’t think they’re not i just you know they’re definitely on a medication that hinders their ability to have that spiritual emotional connection that i experience through the 12 steps and so i don’t know i don’t know

we all have different reasons different things we’re looking for in a sponsor like say to say that i necessarily go out and look for a sponsor that has like at this point in my life i and maybe i’m wrong but i look for more spiritual things am i looking for material things from a sponsor i don’t really care if they’re married and have kids and have a house and all that [ _ ] where those were things that were really important early in my recovery like i wanted a sponsor that was you know married and had a family and knew how to do those things because that’s where i was at in my life now that’s not so important to me to have in a sponsor how old were you what when i got cleaned yeah 26. and you were you wanted like marriage and like that was the last [ _ ] thing i wanted my sponsor i wanted a sponsor like slept with a lot of women i’ve always wanted a bunch of a nice car so that was my life using that no not the nice car but i just slept around and had no long-lasting relationships and you know that was my whole life so when i came in i was like all i wanted to do was like my [ _ ] settle down and get married and have a family and be a [ _ ] normal person i mean not be the train wreck that i was i wanted them to be like clean and and share really good too but i didn’t necessarily care if they were like had a great family life well i think by default your first sponsor is always someone that shares really good because that’s like that’s what makes them appealing right wow listen to them well i think you’re just getting somebody for me i was just getting somebody i didn’t know i didn’t shop i didn’t really put a whole lot of thought into it and see that’s what’s interesting when billy said like he was thinking through getting his most recent sponsor and all these factors and i think it ties into what you just said about what we’re looking for in our sponsor originally is also kind of what motivates us to change sponsors right and so to tie that stuff together i do think what we want changes over time right the healthier we get the longer we’re here we’re looking for something else if our sponsor no longer has fits that bill if he hasn’t grown in that direction not to say that he hasn’t grown but if he hasn’t grown in that direction that we’re looking for now or that we’re interested in yeah i guess it is maybe time to you know reevaluate that situation but you mentioned thinking a lot about the factors around your sponsor and i tend to not that there isn’t some background thought on like does this fit is the situation good and that kind of stuff but i think i’m more guided by feel which i guess is like a a universal power higher power kind of deal like i think i’m like guided to the vibe and and i can think oh well there’s just as many reasons this won’t work as it will but if that vibe is telling me that’s where i need to be or that’s where i not i don’t need to be like i i didn’t leave my last sponsor because i thought he was a bad guy or you know wasn’t there for me i left because the vibe felt like this just isn’t right anymore and so i don’t think as much and my last sponsor or my current sponsor i totally picked for all intellectual reasons we didn’t really have a great relationship we knew each other because we’ve both been around a long time and had seen each other at meetings and heard each other share but we weren’t right we weren’t really friends we didn’t even know each other that well and i was like hey will you be my sponsor he said yeah and then we’ve built that relationship from there and now we get along really well but it was i guess there wasn’t really much feel that went to it it’s like here’s a guy that’s doing a bunch of things that i want i see his and i’m getting to that point in my life so my kids are older now i have a lot more free time i can get to more meetings i can be more engaging in my program five ten years ago i just i had three kids that were young and sports and [ __ ] going on i didn’t feel like i had that level of time but now i do and you know for those intellectual reasons i picked him and it’s great we get along great but i’ve put in effort he puts in effort we meet in the middle and you know pre-pandemic i was sponsoring like nine dudes or something like that and i had this little list keep track you know don’t forget nobody i’m down to i think two maybe i’m not even sure i’m sure about one not very many new people ever asked me to sponsor them because i tell them oh i’m not the guy that’s going to be your babysitter i’m really i’m not that guy if that’s what you need that’s fine but that’s not me i think i’m scared to take own sponsors now not that i wouldn’t take one like nobody’s asking which is i’m thankful for but i i feel like i’m in a place where i’m so unsure of my

attachment to 12-step i don’t know like it i say therapy’s done wrecked your brain it has no well look here’s the crazy thing i say that i’m not so sure and yet i just signed up to get voted in for a year-long commitment that starts in august so i mean obviously i’m at least for another year this is off this topic completely but there’s nothing wrong with questioning i question my commitment my reasoning for being in narcotics anonymous for a long time i question if it’s the place i can be of the most value and service that’s what i question i i i don’t know that it’s any longer the place where i can be the most helpful to the most people

so i’m not sure but i like again i’m stuck for at least uh 14 months i wish i could say mine’s the whole other selfish reason like this is the place where i feel like i get the most out of it

that’s funny i grow the most spiritually being here i feel like so well see i’ve been taking the nna i shouldn’t say here the lessening of sponsees through the pandemic i was like oh that’s a sign they have to move on for me because it’s my time to do something else see and i’ve maintained this about the same amount i usually sponsor about five to six guys at any one time they trickle in and out and stop calling for a while and disappear new ones fill in it’s usually about the same amount so what is the ultimate idea of when you change sponsors is it just when you feel like it like it i struggle with knowing when the chain sponsors you know i mean like i said i i haven’t been hauled over for a few months in my head and prayed on her for a long time i think that’s the important thing to figure out is like being aware is important being aware to realize that you need a new sponsor i struggled with it hopefully you have some peers or some people that you respect their recovery talk to them about it like most things me making decisions by myself usually isn’t the best i usually should seek out some advice from other people maybe if it’s not directly my sponsor because that could be [ __ ] awkward i’m gonna have some people that i can you know bounce some ideas off of share some stuff because sometimes it might just be me sometimes it may be i need to recommit to that relationships and other times it might be yes it’s definitely time to move on you know so yeah let me ask you a question when i told you that i wanted a new sponsor how did that grab you

uh it always hurts it always feels right like a punch in there was it was it getting out of left field did you not see it coming i didn’t totally see it coming but it also wasn’t a complete shock i guess is where i was at with it right it was kind of did you feel like we had grown apart a little bit with the move i felt like our physical contact had ended i don’t feel like the growing apart was n a stuff if there was any growing apart i think uh i think i did recognize that that we had some different values outside of i guess they’re not that always was the case and i never had a problem with that it was but i felt like and partly from my experience through the pandemic of having to go through this place where i was kind of frustrated with some some of the world to get to a place on the other side of that i felt like that made it difficult for people who had other beliefs around me and and i don’t know what that experience was like for them i just tried to imagine what it was like for them um so i i don’t know but yeah it of course it there’s always a sting to it right and that’s that ego piece of like who the [ _ ] could do this better than i can right um and then there’s the judgment of the new sponsor like don’t even tell me who it is oh see for me it’s always the i’m not good enough and i and i thought and i thought i was totally i was like yeah yeah you know i’m in pretty good place with that and then you said something earlier in this uh in this episode and i was gonna ask you a question i’m gonna ask you after because i don’t want you to have to say it on here um but i was like damn that’s kind of a resentful question that’s not nice so i it’s interesting like all of these all these things that you’re saying is like all the entire reason why i struggled because like these are all feelings that were inevitable that i did not want him to experience you know what i mean like he was my sponsor you know what i mean like i cared about him i didn’t want him to feel like you know and no sort of way and it’d be my fault you know what i mean which is probably my self-centered [ _ ] again but well and i think i think a lot of that goes back to our society’s view of the world right that that pain is bad and that it’s wrong and we don’t want to avoid it at all costs and like i don’t think that’s the case i think right i think it’s it’s very human to think man i don’t want somebody to feel these negative emotions but at the same time like that’s my [ _ ] to deal with right don’t hold your program up over things that i need to learn to adapt to like that’s stuff i need in my life and now i think like i i i can totally grow further with two people than i can with one person you know what i mean when i remember when i first got clean i wanted to be the guy with one clean date you know what i mean i thought that was so cool and i wanted to keep one sponsor forever and i wanted to have one home group forever like raised on sports that was my goal you know what i mean and obviously i got a new clean day new sponsor and uh i do still have the same home group but there was another reason that um i thought about changing to home groups too because uh we had an old home group member and like i remember every time we would go out she would have friends like we would always she would always know a lot of people i’m like man a ton of you know a ton of people she was like had a lot of different home groups you know what i mean i think it helps you because you know there’s that bond with a home group member you know what i mean i see old home group members it doesn’t matter where what part of town and if they we used to be home crew members like i make it a point to go say hi to him you know i think you’ve had more relationships that way staying at one home group than you would if you’d have been in 12. true our home group has turned over a lot of times yeah the turnover in dundalk live resentments yeah yeah i mean if you looked at our home group but pre-pandemic it’s completely different i think we maybe have three or four people that are still the same we’ve changed venues we change formats like everything’s different a lot of people that stop by that home group just passing through yeah a whole lot yeah but we did have a point of time do you remember we took a group photo and then um we looked at like i think it’s still like my cover photo on my facebook page and i remember looking at it like a year later and we mean you talking about like i can’t believe that there’s only one person in this picture that’s not still there yeah so we did have like very small turnover for a while yeah yeah it’s a it’s a tricky one i but you said more than one person i’m like should you have two sponsors two sponsors better than one sponsor yeah i mean i’m not saying that but i just know that i can get further with two people than i can with one well from an outside perspective i just think like maybe your relationship you guys the two of you that relationship is better served as a friendship versus a sponsorship really i mean to me sponsorship relationship puts a little bit of a weird different expectation which is why i couldn’t ask the guy he was talking about twist on things you know i think that puts it that puts a relationship in a different category and having the best friend sponsor relationship for me having that experience was not good it wasn’t overly helpful yeah i you feel i i get the like standoff vibe from you like there’s been a few things you said they’re like man i would not want him to be my sponsor that’s not what i’m looking for and you know obviously nothing against your program or whatever but there’s been three or four things i would not want my sponsor to do that you know what i mean like i said i like the camaraderie between another guy and hanging out and being friends and all the stuff that it says that sponsorship is not those are all the things that i really yearn for right well the new one’s different the new sponsorship pamphlet changed and it doesn’t say that but it’s one of those it’s just like the and and i try to let go of some of that [ _ ] but it’s like the old sit down and shut up and stick the cotton in your take it out of your ears and shove it in your mouth and all that [ _ ] like we don’t say that [ _ ] to people anymore some people still try to hang on to that old hard-ass way of thinking and i don’t know that it’s necessarily helpful yeah it gets stuck in you you know and some of the other things that was surprising that now me and him have you know separate past for a while now some of his views have changed like it’s kind of surprising and like hey these are the views that made me like you do i still like you yeah just kidding yeah it’s uh so it’s interesting i guess you know we we go as best we can we try to get in tune for me my idea of recovery is that we try to get in tune with our our mind body and spirit we try to align those three and we try to use them to reach this place of like inner truth that speaks to us with what we need to do in life and then we follow that guide and it is going to be confusing of do i change or not at times but i think when the time is right we’ll we’re we are going to know right that part of us that just knows is going to know and we’re going to have to do something about it and even when it’s difficult and even when it hurts feelings we we just got to do what’s right for our recovery because to stay with somebody that is not helping you further your recovery is dangerous i truly believe that yeah and i would just like to say sponsorship like that anyone that’s ever sponsored me and given freely of their time of their life taken their energy and devoted it to me and my well-being just for the sake of being a nice person deserves a certain level of like respect and appreciation no matter what you know so if we do need to get rid of sponsors or change sponsors that gratitude and respect and and admiration should still be there in that process of letting them go that’s like the idea of uh writing your your divorce paperwork up on your wedding day right like the idea of like make these decisions when you’re happy that you’re going to commit to doing it this way instead of when you have this resentment about something your sponsor said about how you cheated on your wife or something all right so uh get yourself a good goddamn sponsor if you’re not in a 12-step program get yourself a guide right a spiritual guide

in your life just somebody to help you man somebody that’s got some stuff that you want and that can help you further your life and give you suggestions for how they got there and uh beyond that everybody take care and we’ll see you next week

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