39: Sponsorship – What Is It, Why Do We Need It, and How Does It Work? (Sort Of)

7/12/20 What is sponsorship in a 12 step program? Why do we need someone to sponsor us? How does one find a sponsor? How does one be a sponsor? What rules govern sponsorship? What does program literature say about sponsorship? We address some of the basics of sponsorship in this episode.

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Transcript:

yep we’ll find out later today when I try to do all this

oh my goodness I guess if we got little clamps we could clamp our mics on here and then we could just be sitting here with our mics and our faces and our headphones on yapping at each other

weird so I thought of this and I don’t know I don’t know what you’re thinking on this it’s like right now we’re a once a week podcast and I was like well maybe you know I mean there’s old still plenty of topics to talk about but if we ever decided to do it a little different like next year we get together on Sunday and we could record seven episodes like one for each just for today they’d all be like 25 minutes or something and then we could just put them out once each day but then we’d be in everyday podcast and then how do you get back off of that unless you don’t maybe we just find different books that have different everyday spiritual readings there’s a ton of math there oh yeah there’s one for men and specific a brown so we would still do our regular one on Sunday plus the daily one well no I was just thinking instead of recording like three hours on Sunday we’d still record three hours it would just be seven 25-minute or 720 minutes recordings instead of doing one long recording for Sunday like oh man if we ran out yeah I wouldn’t that guy wouldn’t listen wouldn’t like those much I I don’t I feel like this is me and this isn’t just with recovery there’s anything I feel like like recently I’ve been looking into all right Marxism everybody keeps throwing around Marxism Marxism I’m like all right well I’m gonna [ _ ] figure out what is Marxism like I’d have a general idea but I want to learn about what does Marxism what dangerous about it what I can hear in a twenty five or thirty minute podcast is so surfacy and so not informative enough like someone’s seven general takeaways which really don’t seem helpful to what I want to know and then if I listen to four different twenty minutes because I have listened to fourth they all seem to say something a little bit different so then I’m like oh [ _ ] I need like a really the person to kind of explain better you know I mean like I need a deeper understanding of this rather than just this cursory this is this idea sounds great it’ll be great yeah so anyway well that’s just me and we’re doing a different subject so I think a lot of people struggle with the people have these twenty and thirty minute commutes and they like nice little convenient pocket-sized things it’s just from what I’ve read it seems like the majority of people like that thirty minute or less roundabout version of a podcast not that we need to cater to anybody you know we do what we do other people do that that’s fine but I also thought about the idea that like like at some point we do run out of topics don’t we like do we I don’t know yeah I’m still trying to figure this out I thought there was a billion and now I’m like no we’re like only 40 episodes in and I’m kind of like what are we gonna do next time we don’t have a person in their life will happen they could there’s all this racial stuff I’ve been trying to think of where to go with any of that I like for somebody to come along and talk about it yeah that’s what I’m thinking too and who who could we have or who could would be good and then you know I just listened to a podcast yesterday it was offered for free somebody sent it to me from Social Work and I was gonna forward it to you and I forgot to in the email but it’s a hey white therapist and it’s got some more to the title but that caught my attention I was like what but it was all about like white privilege how we address that from the therapy chair and interesting [ __ ] it just really is to me it’s something I guess that I’m always thinking I don’t know the answers to so ever more but I don’t know who’s in recovery that could point out like no I was gonna say some names and so I’m not gonna throw out some names like that gotcha if that’s recording talk about that later

I’m like I said I’m just not familiar with anybody that’s really on top of the information and has looked at 12-step meetings or groups from that lens yeah that also has credibility I guess is one of them and and yeah so I was thinking of it too and I thought I don’t necessarily care if they’re pro or anti or have a opinion about it specifically like whether programs are racist or systemically racist or any of that stuff just what is their experience as a person that you know is a minority in let’s say an area like this or the one person I was thinking of they get to meetings in this area but then they go to meetings outside of this area up in Wilmington also where it’s the opposite you know what I mean where it’s they’re not the minority there which is why they go there because that feels more comfortable but they still participate and go to meetings down here too and is that different and what is you know see I and I totally want a cherry pick who we put on here because I want them to have the insight that I’m looking for and I just feel like most of the people that I’ve encountered are very and look this could be my own ignorance to never truly asking them to dig deeper maybe they have a lot of thoughts about it and I’ve just never asked right but I just it seems like they go with the flow so well that they’re like a lot of people are blind to this on both sides I think there’s there’s definitely people of color who are is blind to some of this as white people are or at least not as informed and not don’t know how to haven’t been educated with some other ways to look at it right that may or may not be true and so I’m like I don’t want to get some Ione here that’s not aware of some of that like I want that aware I want somebody to come on here and teach me some [ _ ] about what I’m not seeing basically and so I feel like if they’re not seeing it either that’s not gonna be yeah well and I worry sometimes as being two white males like am I gonna say something unintentionally that’s offensive or unintentionally that’s you know that I don’t even know because and then have to feel like I’m supposed to because this is where I’ll get myself into trouble I’m not gonna sit here and apologize for something that wasn’t my intention you know what I mean if I didn’t intentionally I will yeah and I mean it’s like do we really have to be held accountable for things we don’t even know is that really a thing I mean I like to say when I apologize for things I mean it sincerely and if I caused harm and someone I mean I’d say that if I caused harm in a way that okay if I unintentionally caused harm that’s one thing if what I said is taken and then made out to be something else I’m not okay with that the podcast I was just talking about I talked a lot about how the difference it talked a lot about why white people struggle with the conversation and with seeing a lot of it and because it got so deep into it I was loving it he talked about it really didn’t get that deep but it’s a starter conversation that got to a lot of stuff and it talked about white privilege and racism our systems and people take personal offense to it as if we’re calling them white privileged or racist it’s not a personal thing it’s a system that exists already like we’re just a part of it right but we were blind to it but we want to take it prime not racist I don’t have forever right but it’s not that it’s a system and so I get some of that well then he dug into the intent versus impact like there’s two different things and a lot of us don’t intend to be racist which is why we take such personal offence when people say that we are racist or white privilege right but it doesn’t matter what the intent is it’s the impact that’s very much like a a talks about we walked around with all these great intentions when we were you know using but nobody judged us by our intentions they judged us by the impact of the actions had on everybody right but there’s some so if you take it out of race context and put it into political context this is what goes on in our politics – all the time it’s like when I say something it now is subject to the worst possible interpretation becomes my intention behind what I just said you know what I mean and that’s not fair well it’s like an argument I’ll get in with my wife you know what I mean I say something and then she says well you just that you’re just saying you don’t want to listen to me because I said something that wasn’t that that isn’t what I said you know what I mean but she heard it that way so now I’m supposed to apologize for that and I will say no that’s not that isn’t what I meant that wasn’t what I was saying you’re hearing it that way but that’s not what I was trying to say let me try to explain that a different way I guess that’s the argument that I tend to find myself in and I would say that if somebody got hurt by something I said it doesn’t matter what my intent was they were hurt by it and I’m sorry that they’re hurt by it period I don’t it doesn’t change my intent my intent wasn’t to hurt them and so I’m gonna follow through with intending to not hurt them and I’m gonna apologize for them being hurt might not apologize for what I said but I definitely will apologize for the fact that they’re hurt by like that’s not my goal I don’t need to explain it to them so I don’t need to explain them out of being hurt I guess hmm like I’m sorry you’re hurt I think that’s dangerous [ _ ] though when we start allowing everything we say to be subject to the worst possible intention I just think it’s a dangerous habit as a society that we get into that that everything we say is judged by the worst possible interpret a meaning I don’t know that it’s necessarily judged by the worst possible interpretation I just think that other people have other experiences and what you’re saying is pulling that out of them if if my father always said some critical thing to me in a shitty way but he you know masked it with some passive aggressiveness and then you say something that similarly brings that out of me or reminds me of that exact trauma that I’ve been through like that wasn’t your intention that hurt me that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be hurt by it it’s not that I interpreted it in the worst way possible it’s just reflecting some of my experience and pulling that out and I just because you don’t have that experience with your father saying that specific thing to you you can’t understand why I’m hurt by it but it doesn’t matter if you understand that or not I am you know I don’t think that around and say okay so as a and this is you know my play on that is as a person who was sexually abused there are situations or things that come up in whatever people say or share conversations or whatever that will remind me of that sexual abuse and I might be hurt or put in an uncomfortable position I don’t feel like that person owes me an apology that they harmed me in some way because I took a feeling out of something that they said or or what they said somehow brought up you know something from my past that makes me feel bad I don’t feel like that’s their responsibility to me so let’s not put it in terms of they harmed me but were you harmed when it got brought back up was that harming to you like it hurt you right well then there we go with harm so is having an uncomfortable feeling being harmed I would say no I would say then me having a bad feeling it’s not harm that’s another area where words get a little tricky nowadays nowadays you can be assaulted by words and assaulted by feelings and we’re crossing this line where words have as much impact as physical assault and you know what I mean it’s like wait a minute well if you read the nerves you’re a guy who loves science if you read the neuroscience about it like in the body keeps the score revisited trauma is stored in the body just like it’s happening right now it never leaves and so anytime that it’s brought back up in a PTSD kind of way anytime there’s something that reminds you of it you’re reliving the pain just like it’s happening right this second sure and that I would agree with that but where I would go is okay so whose responsibility is that is that your responsibility as the person with pstp TSD to know how to manage that or is it mine as a totally oblivious individual walking around the earth that anything that I say at any time could trigger someone’s PTSD you know what I mean like the individuals have to take and and it wouldn’t be bad for me to say hey excuse me I don’t like if we talk about this because it brings up trauma from my past okay no problem we can stay away from that but to immediately put me into some category as you know maybe you’ve you know whatever some kind of inappropriate or some kind of wrong because I said something that triggered a feeling is and this is where the talk is interesting because it’s like there are gonna be people on an extreme version of this and have encountered this on Twitter where you know I was apparently mansplaining something to it was somebody really on the extreme side who held me at fault for saying something that I was truly trying to be helpful with right my intention was never to hurt them and I followed through with the intention that never hurt them oh I’m sorry I did not mean that I appreciate you explaining that to me thank you right thank you again and they they kept I was like okay that’s gonna exist people are gonna do that but I think what you’re talking about is is there a way to avoid those people ultimately those those few on the extreme doing that and I don’t think there is but I don’t think that needs to make me this is the regression to the mean right like you’re seeing people out here on this extreme and so in order to counteract that and bring about an average or a mean in the middle you’ve got to move out here and worry about whose responsibility it is instead of hey I’m Billy and I give a [ _ ] about you I’m sorry that that was where that’s where you want to be one and it roped some of this back around towards addiction you might see some of this with addiction and I guess this is where I go with that is yes like I believe addiction is caused by a lot of trauma abuse you know all those things but I don’t think you can then say okay well then it’s it’s just okay if you’re an addict didn’t run around and cause a bunch of harm like no you had all this trauma and us and we should give you some know what the word would be empathy leeway some whatever but at some point you got to take responsibility for that [ _ ] like yes you were victimized as a kid and that’s terrible and we can talk and deal with that but that doesn’t excuse like shitty behavior you know whatever the shitty behavior is in this case we’re talking about addiction maybe in the other extreme it’s talking about you know insulting people calling everybody a racist saying everybody’s ignorant belittling and you know I think you’re bringing up a great point with addiction and and this is what our program teaches us and this is what the law says to the intention of addicts is never to harm other people the intention is always moving through it to try to find a way to cope with the [ _ ] negative and hateful self-centered belief systems they’ve established from the trauma they’ve experienced as children right so their intention is never to harm others or to harm society or to steal or to end up in prison it’s just to find a way to cope with life when it’s really painful right but that doesn’t make them worse not responsible for the impact they’re still responsible for the impact no matter their intention but my point is there are levels to that [ _ ] and the Attic to you know let’s see maybe just to use myself as an example like I maintain a job and I use and I did some illegal [ _ ] I drink and drove and risk people’s lives and that’s not to minimize I’m not trying to minimize my responsibility of my addiction but that to me is far different than someone that’s out armed robbing people with a gun in the city or beaten the [ _ ] out of people to steal their wallet like the level of harm is is different you know what I mean like there are degrees of harm that we caused in our lives and so from a social perspective I would say we need to lighten up on certain drug crimes while is not ignoring others like so if if you’re out you know whatever you get caught with possession a weed or you know I mean possession of heroin for that matter do we really need to lock you in jail yeah maybe not but if you’re out armed robbing old ladies or you know beating up people in the street to steal their purse or their wallet that’s [ _ ] violence man that’s that’s that’s a next step in that progression that requires a little more accountability and a little more consequence and I think those ideas is this levels of that stuff applies to like racism and sexism and things like that there are people that are unintentionally racist and unintentionally sexist chauvinistic whatever and it doesn’t excuse that it doesn’t make it okay it’s not like oh it doesn’t matter but you also can’t hold that person to the same level of accountability as like a white supremacist or a outwardly racist person like those are different degrees of harm that you’re causing in those behaviors I agree with that I don’t I mean I think that’s how the legal system works like the the crimes that are more minor you have a year sentence and the crimes that are more major it’s a life sentence you know I mean like there’s a law large variety and I think you’re responsible for the law whether you’re know the law or not so you could be unintentionally breaking the law and you’re still guilty and I guess that just goes back to what I’m not saying that nobody everybody should be accountable at the level of their accountability right okay you committed a small crime you’re still accountable you committed a crime I think we need to look at in that particular instance how we address the crimes like just throw them in a Cell for years isn’t really helping maybe we should try some real rehabilitation like therapy and you know dealing with some of the traumas that cause people to do these types of things might help some people but going back to the original thing of people taking what we said in a different way yeah I don’t think we should say Oh Billie you’re just as bad as a KKK member because you unintentionally said that but I I do think we’re responsible for what we said even if we don’t realize it’s harmful but I think that’s kind of what happens when you start lumping people into this racist category you know what I mean if I say Europe Jason is a racist I talked to him on a regular basis and he’s a racist people have a pretty God’s a distinct understanding of what that means right you know what I mean and they don’t parse it out to be like what level of racist like you might as well be in the Klan if I say I’ve heard you talk about things in your races people are gonna think you’re like [ _ ] than the Klan you know what I mean like that’s just where that language where we start using these words to say you know well you’re a racist then that puts you in a category of things it isn’t that sounds pretty extreme so what this guy talked about from the podcast was racist aren’t bothered by the fact that you call them racist because they already know they are and they believe that they’re aren’t bothered by it the people who are bothered by it are people who aren’t trying to be racist and they’re unintentionally there and we have yet to find a way to break through with conversation for them to understand that this isn’t a personal attack on who they are they’ve just been grown in a society where this is the systems that act and they’ve been a part of it and not seen it because it’s just part of their everyday life and so when you call someone a racist and they’re highly offended chances are they’re not trying to be right that’s the whole point of it like people who are racist aren’t offended by that they’re like yeah [ _ ] people hate him yeah but I would say that my understanding of the definition of racist doesn’t that I’m not bad a lot of people don’t think they are and that’s where so that gets into Marxist ideology which is like the the oppressors can’t even possibly understand what it’s like to be the oppressed so I am NOT even allowed to have an opinion about those things I just have to take the insult and I’m not allowed to have any say against it because I’m the oppressor so I don’t understand what it’s like they understand it from my perspectives but I can’t understand it from their perspective and I don’t think that’s a fair conversation to have it automatically puts me you know in a space of if I don’t agree I’m a racist and as long as I agree you’re gonna call me a racist so I think it’s super interesting that all these ideals I feel like are things you’ve said to me before about other topics and believe in but in this instance you’re having like some pushback to it a little bit like you you express frequently to me and you’re a great reminder to me of what I need to know which is I can’t ever think I know what’s right for other people because they have different experiences and I can’t possibly have ever had their culmination of experiences and know how to react to that from where they are and that’s like a big thing in therapy too like all in you know my social work education it’s all like every person is unique I can’t possibly I might have gone through something similar but I’ve never gone through exactly what they have and so I can never really like deny them whatever it is they’re experiencing it’s real for them whether I believe it or not and so I feel like you remind me of that all the time and I love it’s one of my favorite things that you’re behind me I’ve honestly I need that reminder constantly and yet here you almost don’t you want to push back against it a little bit like whoa because I don’t want to deny their experience I don’t want to like it’s not I’m not trying to deny how that makes them feel the difference is now they get to call me a name or make a judgment or categorization about me based off of how they feel I’m not trying to take away like I don’t even necessarily disagree that there’s not systemic racism and we can’t sort of figure out oh okay I see how that works I see how that is but if I’m like if I’m not even aware that I’m participating in it but I’m aware of that that makes me a racist like like now I there’s a judgement I feel like the difference is there is now a judgement being placed on me if I said those people can feel however they want and it you know it’s not up to me to fix it but they’re [ _ ] idiots so who really cares that’s different you know what I mean now I am indirectly dismissing their point of view or making it less than or making it something else so when are people calling you names I guesses but like if I’m if I’m approached by people and they say hey we’re noticing this behavior of yours in your daily life right this is how we see it from our side my goal hopefully is to just be open to hearing that information and to evaluate it kind of like if anybody called me out on a six-step thing right Oh am I doing that damn is that really what it’s like for other people around me that’s rough I don’t think they’re gonna call me a name over that they might but I guess if they do I’m not really gonna think much about it because it’s I mean anybody could call me a name that doesn’t mean that I’ve been that like if I’m really trying to live my best and listen to what these people are telling me and at least take it into consideration what name you’re gonna call me all right okay I’m sorry you feel that way like I don’t think I am true except for some of this now we’re talking about changing public policies and changing laws based off some of this stuff it’s just in conversation it’s one thing but it’s not when we’re talking about changing public policies or public practices or laws you know based off that then it gets a little more I think the important thing or at least one of the important things that that podcast talked about was like what’s it called I said I’ll shoot you an email with it you have to sign up but it’s just one of the things where you’ll probably get emails the rest of your life for dumb [ _ ] after you sign up but I just want to subscribe yeah then they send me to white people that did it too and it was like well what gives us the right to you know have this conversation and all that and it was just the point of we as the oppressive it’s I guess he got into this – something you brought before like we can’t have white pride or any of that and the fact is we can’t once the words have been taken by bad people it’s like you can’t put a swastika anywhere that wasn’t a terrible thing to begin with but it doesn’t matter anymore right like it’s over we just can’t it is what it is that doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of who we are like yeah I’m cool I’m awake I’m proud of that I guess I don’t know whatever I don’t really feel like these particular pride about it but I just I mean who I am but I guess what he was getting at was we can’t really know what the right thing to do is and if we as a people all want to heal and grow together we need to listen to people who have experiences when I haven’t I don’t know what it’s like on a daily basis to have my skin color come in to every [ _ ] thing I do right are people gonna look at me weird because I’m writing a check yes here’s what it here’s what it almost feels like I guess I’ll try to analogize it cuz I like to do that with everything so if like I work for an oil company right working office do a lot of things let’s say that my company unbeknownst to me were dumping thousands of gallons of [ _ ] oil out into the creek Outback or whatever Oh dumping it out into the ground but I don’t really know it I work there you know what I mean maybe if I really did a bunch of background investigation and started doing a bunch of stuff I might have been able to figure it out but I didn’t and then we find out oh [ _ ] the grounds all polluted your company’s responsible so then I’m responsible for that now like um that’s my fault in some way like I’m not saying I shouldn’t you know hey I get it you know that was terrible we shouldn’t do those things we can change that we can do some things to fix that I’m all on board with the fixing of things but then to say well you’re the [ _ ] that polluted the [ _ ] Creek it’s like well not really so I would say this if you stay at the company when the company doesn’t really make changes you kind of own some responsibility there right if you decide after it all comes out that had happened and the company’s still kind of like hey sorry but they don’t really give a [ _ ] and you know this and you still continue to work there yeah that kind of puts you in the category of being a little responsible like I’ll just stay here even though seems to care if people came to you along the way like residents of that nearby that Creek and said hey man they’re [ _ ] polluting out here it’s not cool when you just ignored it the whole time and never even bothered to look into it or take it seriously you’re borderlining on responsibility now like there’s some things that we’ve done I think where we just ignore it or we’re in a position to do something about it and we don’t care that kind of yeah like we want to position of you know I guess okay so if there’s like I don’t know likes us take racist policies in our community for example I’m in Cecil County I wouldn’t deny that they’re here you know what I mean I’m sure they are maybe I’m not aware of them but what really power do I have to do anything about it you know what I mean like what and I guess that’s where activism comes in like if so does that mean if you’re not out actively campaigning against change then you must support the system as it is it’s kind of like the old the whole all it takes for evil to win is for good men to sit by and do nothing right like we don’t if we want to be good men if you if white people were 10% of population and we knew that we got [ _ ] over tax time every year right and we spoke up about it and we’re like you’re [ _ ] us over every year right but there’s only 10% of us nine out of ten people are benefiting from the fact that we get [ _ ] over okay real quick nine out of ten people are benefiting from the fact that we get [ _ ] over so our one in ten voice will never out vote them by itself will never be able to change it so if some of those nine don’t say you know what it’s [ _ ] up how we’re treating and white people over there we better do something about this if they don’t stand up and change it who does nobody we can just get [ _ ] over forever like we have to have allies on the other side or the minority can never out vote the majority it’s impossible and if the majority is benefiting why are they gonna change it unless they care and so that’s where it’s our response well and I think giggles I think though like I agree with most of that I would say look at it different again if we get this out of specific subjects of race let’s look at like something like child child abuse sexual child abuse for example Oh God everybody you ever talk to says the [ _ ] punishments are too short and it’s insane that these people are ever let out of jail but yet nothing changes on that front so does that mean everyone is complicit in child sexual abuse because obviously it’s rainbows rampant in this [ _ ] community and it’s rampant all over the place and yet average sentences or something like ridiculous like six months or something for like a child sexual assault it’s [ __ ] ridiculous so is the whole are we all complicit in that does that make all of us sexual abusers because we don’t do something to change that I mean that’s one that transcends race or gender or any if you think it’s wrong then why aren’t you doing nothing about it as my question

doo-doo-doo-doo-doo doo-doo-doo-doo doo-doo-doo-doo longest break ever

it’s such a long break

oh well it’s good stuff

my turn

yeah I guess that’s where they’re doing outside meetings it goes back to that water there’s water back there like a pond part of that Creek Jen calls it a pond I think it’s part of it Creek but maybe no yeah and I guess she says you can fish back there I guess that’s a part of that it’s probably yeah I don’t know not that much cuz there’s an industrial park just on the other side of it that’s right yeah blue ball road triumphant us trailer park I know I always think it says Trump and I’m like

man um so I don’t want there Jim won’t talk to me about this stuff she gets so [ _ ] good so we don’t want to get into any of the sponsorship what is the sponsor who needs a sponsor I got the old sponsorship guide oh yeah we could talk about all that stuff I just I’m like down it’s gonna take too long there’s so much in it [ _ ] it we’ll just jump into and go mmm I wish I could pull up the old and the new together do you have the new Mike and vine I can send it to you or share it with you I have your Gmail delay what’s your Gmail beat Turk 0-5 at gmail.com

yeah the new one right yeah so it’s broken down the same way isn’t it and you’re like who what this is the new one yeah who is a sponsor what does the sponsor do okay what spots he do how do we get a sponsor yes it’s got similar yeah that’s the one I read this morning okay you ready so I will go through like the old one and the new one together and see all right so here we are we’re back we’re gonna go from here so in na there was a pamphlet called sponsorship and then at some point in time they decided to rewrite that and so I have the old version Billy has the new version and we’re gonna kind of go through it and see what we can gather if we like the changes if we think the informations spot-on and so this one starts out talking about you know based on the collective experiences answers some of the most commonly asked questions it’s got essential information but it’s not meant to be comprehensive sponsorship is the heart of na is the heart of the any way of recovery from addiction wine addicts helping another sponsorships a two-way street helping both the newcomer and the old-timer alike which is an interesting statement we kind of talked to Billy before all this started and if you listen to the Youtube version of this you probably heard a lot of it that sponsorship seems to always be referred to as for the newcomer and that statement kind of forces that it’s a two-way street it helps the newcomer and the old-timer what about the old-timer and the older timer really they don’t ever mention that so what’s up with that do they not think we need sponsors um I don’t know it’s always been explained to me that I should always have a sponsor I mean that’s been the general rule of thumb that I understood from my predecessors and I did find a little passage in the AAA pamphlet about sponsorship that says you know it doesn’t say specifically that anyone needs a sponsor but it does say in there that you know members with long amounts of time for continued recovery should maintain a sponsor relationship so that is maybe more subtly in there than I think it should be yeah what is their they definitely I mean when they said you know if you don’t have a sponsor your sponsored by an idiot like that never says unless you’re an old-timer when you’re a [ _ ] genius like that’s what unresponsive I’m crazy yeah I think I always need a sponsor so the old version starts off with what is a sponsor sponsor is a recovering addict in the program of Narcotics Anonymous obviously whatever program you’re in I guess someone we can trust to share our life experiences with both good and bad a person to whom we can go with our problems that may be too personal to share with the group it is suggested that a sponsor be someone who has practice and working in 12 steps and is involved in the program primarily a sponsor is a guide through the 12 steps of recovery so that is probably where you got your information that they are primarily a guide through the 12 steps and that’s what I like to say that was the pamphlet that was around when I first got it I think 2004 I think is when the new one came out so yeah and this one’s I mean it’s similar it’s just and I hate to say it’s a little more wishy-washy that’s always seems it’s like not as sort of clear-cut and direct it says sponsorship is a personal and private relationship that can mean different things to different people for the purpose of this pamphlet and na sponsor is a member of Narcotics Anonymous living our program of recovery who is willing to build a special supportive one-on-one a ship with us most members think of a sponsor first and foremost as someone who can help us work to 12 steps of na and sometimes the 12 traditions and concepts they sponsor is not necessarily a friend but maybe someone in whom we can confide we can share things with our sponsor that we might not be comfortable sharing with sharing at meetings so again it just seems a little less pointed right but I generally group the information I think it’s somebody we confide in somebody we take stuff to that we might not be able to share at the group level and definitely you know primarily someone who guides us through the 12 steps i I buy into all that yeah and it’s funny because I used to feel like that was my only responsibility and the truth is if I look back on it I think in my benefits from a sponsor and my benefits with sponsee have mostly been like the biggest benefits have come in the dealing with life on life’s terms stuff hmm and learning how to apply these principles I mean so much of it is how do I figure out what my values are in this new situation in my life whether it’s at my job or with my wife or with my kids and how do I apply this stuff in my life and it’s not always about how do I not get high or you know the obvious [ _ ] it’s about all right I want to be loving caring and supportive of my kid but they’re doing this really [ _ ] stupid thing over here and I don’t know how to navigate this and maybe what would you like those are the areas that sponsorship has helped me out the most I just had a really interesting interaction with a guy on Instagram a couple weeks back where he was like sponsoring the steps and all that and I just you know like his comment sure whatever [ _ ] sponsoring stuffs I don’t care and then he he like asked me to go deeper like he dug for more information I’m like do you really [ _ ] want this buddy like I don’t I don’t that’s not what I want to do with my day but he did he wanted it so I you know just gave him what I knew which is you know sponsors a guy reading from a later page in the instruction manual right you can look back and say hey when you’re doing those four screws in the bottom of that chair or in step 4 yeah that [ _ ] really matters that you get that right because on step 22 I found out I had the leg up side down when I [ _ ] did it and it didn’t work out cuz the hole was in the wrong place and it’s just like one of those things it’s just a guy reading from a later page that has been through some [ _ ] and I’m like this is how I see it being beneficial alright it’s not that they’re better than me or anything and it was interesting I still don’t think he bought in right here but I was like I don’t know and that gets into that yeah I mean for me it’s like the heart of the like power greater than me or power outside of me like I need someone else to help me do this [ _ ] and a sponsor somebody who typically you would hope that you respect their opinion that you admire you know their insights right and so that’s one of the things I heard when I got here was how do you find a sponsor well find somebody that has what you want right and and they’ve always displayed that from where I’m from in different ways hey it could be somebody who’s spiritually acts in a nicer way to the people around them or it could be a guy who you know dresses in a nice suit with alligator skin shoes in a fancy ass car like whatever it is you want go to that person and ask them how they got it that’s how you use exactly what I look for the person who’s got what you want yeah so the next section in this one is who needs a sponsor and I don’t think that’s in the new person is it is there any section like that who needs a sponsor yeah see they took that out they didn’t hurt people’s feelings no okay well first line is this is interesting as [ _ ] it is our experience that most addicts need a sponsor what most who all all [ _ ] not most weird I don’t know so that’s what they say is our experience most addicts need a sponsor at times we all find ourselves on shaky ground confused and emotional pain and in need of a helping hand since we rarely trusted others we attempted to go it alone in life this became one of our problems we are people who have never learned how to live this is where our sponsor comes in our sponsors help by sharing their experience strength and hope to sum it up anyone who may have the desire to stay clean and begin to recover should have a sponsor whoa so they say most but then they come around to the if you want any chance of [ _ ] recovery [ _ ] you better get a sponsor I think it’s like most things we in the program we try to use this suggestive language that these are suggestions and all that but most people will tell you this is what you [ _ ] need to do right you can take it as a suggestion or you can go get high I’ve never actually looked this up and which is a shame because I have Google in my hands right to second but they said that suggestion one of the definitions of that is a subtle command so it’s like yeah yeah so you don’t have that section what about how do I get a sponsor is that in there no no they don’t have the how do I get a sponsor oh yes we do I’m sorry okay that is down here later it’s not next though there’s some other things further what do you got what is this what does a spawn see do yeah what does the sponsor do interesting so okay let’s just go with the how do I get a sponsor section says listening is the key to finding a sponsor interesting the most obvious place to look for a sponsor is at a meetings talk share and listen to members get plenty of phone numbers and use them when you find someone with who you can talk openly and relate simply ask that person to be your sponsor chances are the answer will be yes sometimes the person may be unable to sponsor you keep on trying remember that when one door closes another will open another cliche continue to attend meetings listen and soon you will find a sponsor it’ll magically happen what do you think about that the key is listening I’m gonna screen through what this one says it’s way too long but yeah I’d like that a lot I mean again what I know now of my sponsor sponsee relationships being on both ends is they generally work better with people that I communicate well with and we get along that we have similar similarities similar similarities yeah we have life similar yeah I was gonna let it go that we have like similarities in life you know what I mean like it’s I have more experience with you know having a more professional career and raising a family and you know being in a long-term monogamous relationship you know those are areas that I have experience with there are gonna be things that I don’t have as much experience with you know what I mean I’ve always been pretty stable I think we bought our house when I had like two years clean you know I’ve been just financially stable and had you know a lot of stability in my life I haven’t had a lot of trauma and think since I’ve been clean so you might not have as easy time or as much to offer experience-wise if say somebody wanted you to sponsor them and they switch jobs twice a year for the most part or you know weren’t married and gotten new relationships every year every other year like you wouldn’t have as much experience to say oh well this is you know how that worked for me right like it would be hard for me to be really empathetic or have good advice for someone who’s like dating in recovery yes I never really did that you know what I mean like I met my wife now I had a couple months clean and I knew her before I got clean even so you know we had already known each other and so I’ve never really done a lot of dating in recovery with people in or out of the program right I had I’ve only had a few jobs I went from the job that I had the whole time I was using to the job that I’m at now that’s been you know pretty much it’s a few minor things there job applications and resumes aren’t gonna be your forte that’s not gotcha so the next section when this is what length of clean time should a sponsor have which I think is interesting like I don’t think that’s addressed in the other one at all on a doubt no this one says it just varies from person to person maybe a member with years of clean time or maybe only a few months clean time and experience well depends on the availability of sponsors in your area that’s for absolute sure just speaking about differences of areas we had somebody talking to us on Instagram who is like what you talk about lives in an area where there is only a and it has zero presence whatsoever and I’m I’m just still baffled and shocked by this that we don’t have because there no acceptance of drug addicts in that area or is it just that any program never got start I don’t understand like it’s 2020 we got drug addicts like what the [ _ ] and when we were up in New England it’s just reminded me of this I forgot about this up there they would have a thing that they called flat book meetings where you would go in and do the step working guide they would do it like in the meeting during the meeting and that was how they work steps it was almost like almost like group sponsorship which is something that might come up if we have enough time right but it was this idea of of the group actually sponsoring someone through the steps because what we were told was up there there was this huge influx of you know young people new people because of the opioid epidemic and they didn’t have enough experienced members to sponsor all these people that you know they just didn’t have enough experienced members to handle the load so they were doing it as a group that’s a creative like way to tackle that problem I feel like Baltimore and Dundalk and and maybe like Glen Burnie like those areas could use that kind of method like they need to do something what they’re doing ain’t really don’t seem to be working right so this talks about the availability in your area this is interesting and they would never put this in literature today it says the quality of clean time is more important than the quantity of clean but don’t judge your neighbors choose someone that has a firm grasp on the twelfth suggested steps of recovery of Na are they’re not suggested steps with the [ _ ] the twelve suggested steps oh yeah true someone has a firm grasp of the 12 steps seems reasonably happy and has the willingness to help other recovering addicts we call people like this winners and it is a good idea to find your sponsor among these recovering addicts whatever you [ _ ] go there’s a definition of winners I didn’t even know it had one yeah so if you’re reasonably happy apparently if you struggle with depression you’re not a [ _ ] winner and if you don’t have the willingness to help people you’re not a winner [ _ ] sure the sponsor be a friend our experience is showing a good sponsor relationship need not be based on friendships but trust is vital I’m looking for sponsors considered experiences and life quality a clean time availability to us and willingness to help yeah it didn’t help at all that’s [ _ ] useless should my sponsor be a man or a woman does it talk about this in there in this one yes this is interesting this is definitely I mean this is I think from 1983 as well so this was a whole different world when they were writing this I don’t want anybody to be confused by this next sentence I read because this says it is strongly suggested we find a sponsor of the same sex experience has shown us that members of the same sex better understand certain issues such as sexuality family or identity problems relationship problems etc we are emotionally unstable and it is easy to form emotional bonds with members of the opposite sex this detract from our program and could spell disaster especially for the newcomer woo you will not find that in 2020 that is for daggone sure is actually one of the points I wanted to bring up how do you feel about sponsorship at this point as it men with the men when they’re with the women still so yeah I don’t think that and I will say in in fairness I didn’t think that was a concept that was practiced in a a but apparently it is it’s in their their pamphlet I read 15 questions about sponsorship or whatever they make the same strong recommendations on similar characteristics they do also address though that you know a homosexual person may get a sponsor of the same sex well their address or similar yeah they say it right in there for similar reasons as to what it outlined with the emotional thing and and that’s my opinion is you get into a lot of intimacy and emotional vulnerability and you know those things and if you couple that with someone where and they talk about I think specifically like you shouldn’t get someone that you haven’t physical attraction hmm that that maybe is a criteria that can push it into a dangerous area but then I don’t know if the aren’t shallow as [ _ ] maybe look so I did this is interesting for the LGBTQ community for sure in this day and age like how do you navigate this how do you find the right sponsor what if you’re interested in all you know parties that are around like how do you eliminate that from being a concern on your list like that gets tricky and and even trickier when okay maybe the sponsee might be homosexual but the sponsor is of the same sex but I think and then it’s just it’s really really tricky like I don’t know what’s right and the other topic I wanted to bring up around that with you to see your thoughts on is how does that work in other fellowships like okay and na there’s a wealth of people and we’re here about drugs so maybe I could help a woman with her you know addiction issue but what about in places like sex and love addicts Anonymous where it’s all about that sex and love and dependency relationship type stuff like how do you work that out how do you get a sponsor that maybe and there’s not as many sponsors available so you’re stuck with what’s around and it’s like that gets tricky so is this like a hard rule or is this just uh if you can yeah not I don’t even pretend to know I know for me personally like I wouldn’t sponsor women I just wouldn’t now I’ve had a sponsor that he may even currently sponsor women but he has and and does sponsor women if they would ask he’s done it I don’t you know mostly because I it’s not an area I want to go you know what I mean for myself or for them right you know am i limiting myself for my experience I don’t know maybe but it’s like I gotta balance these out risk reward you know sort of thing and at this point sort of my wife has had a lot of men ask her to sponsor them because she’s been around so long and she really does have a great grasp and summation and understanding of the program and she always tells them no because there’s not a shortage of men and you know what I mean there’s not a shortage of quality men to ask in our area if there was she said she might change her mind but there’s not you know there’s plenty of men out there to ask so you know we happen to be lucky enough to be in a position where you can do that fairly easily right and and I’ve been it at meetings of other programs where you know there’s seven people there every week and that’s what you got for the area and one has any kind of freedom from whatever the manifestation is in that program and it’s like what do I do here I’m stuck with this one thing does it mention that at all in the newer pamphlet I would be surprised doesn’t mention what about about the you know I couldn’t find it in there no oh man so there’s just wide open about that now they don’t have any opinion anymore here’s another question I was actually gonna bring up I’m surprised this addresses so many of these should we have more than one sponsor what’s your opinion on this I mean in like na I would say no I think you should only have one if you’re in different fellowships I don’t know maybe I mean you know it would depend it would kind of be one of those things where I my approach would be personally to talk to the individual depends on the fellowship what they’re doing there how they’re using each of us you know and I mean like I wouldn’t want to feel like I was being put in some whatever you call it like conflicting situation with someone when I ask you and then I’m gonna ask them and see what you guys you know pit you against each other pair your answer yeah like I wouldn’t like that um but if it was an area like say like the sex and love anonymous or maybe food or gambling like I don’t have that experience I mean right yes addiction is similar but there’s different things that come along with that that I can’t pretend to understand and so I was like completely I don’t I just being raised the na way right like this is the right way it was one sponsor you got one sponsor right which is exactly what this pamphlet is about to say it says should we have more than one sponsor first sentence we think not right and so I was all in that so when I explored some of these other programs I was like damn I need to find a sponsor who is also in all these other programs that I go to and na and then they could just be my sponsor for everything all at once one person right and the more I evaluated this the more it was like you know what why can’t I have a [ _ ] Jedi Council of sponsors right yeah like what what is a sponsor to me and so in working steps out of a book called the general path through the 12 steps it talks about having guides plural right and that’s why I consider my sponsor kind of a guide in life right and in my program and so why can’t I have a few guides and the one thing I’ve come up with I think you need to have an opposite number right because then you can have you guys can vote it doesn’t come out as a stalemate ever so and it was interesting now this goes back the new one doesn’t have this in there and I believe the new the newer AAA one that I read says it should be one person but in this old one from 1944 I think it was it talks about co-sponsorship in here and you may find co-sponsorship beneficial like wow co-sponsorship that’s [ _ ] incredible well that ties into the whole you know sponsorship by a group I didn’t then we were talking about this says our experience has shown that it’s easier to receive direction from one individual we find it easier to trust in one person rather than many one sponsor we can build a relationship yeah I don’t know about that I don’t know about the confining yourself to then you’re only getting one take on things right what if the one sponsor I got doesn’t know the information I need to hear I mean obviously we trust it God will make sure that happens but I don’t believe yeah and I mean I have been in that situation so I had probably you know my sponsor was you know my closest friend and person I was closest with in recovery and when he kind of left and and relapsed like I wasn’t sure I wanted to stick around and go into na really for a while you know just like that was that relationship was probably the biggest part of why I came for a few years and yeah yeah and when he was not there it was like well [ _ ] and so yeah it’s dangerous only having one person yeah I agree I think have as many guides as there are now obviously we run into the danger of you know cherry-picking the responses we get like we oh I got 12 guides and you know I’ll ask the one who I know cheats on his girl if I can cheat or mine so let’s see I encourage people to do that anyway most of the time and that falls back on like my when I say sponsor like my sponsors you know responsibility is to guide me through the steps not be my marriage counsel or social worker financial adviser or all those things right I can get that information from other people and I can use him as a resource for those things but my sponsors primary job is to work with me through the steps at least that’s been my perspective up till now and then to look at his life experience and see what areas he may have something to offer because my sponsors haven’t always you know there have been they’re human beings too they’re not perfect people they don’t have everything and their life figured out right I mean no yes it’s very true I mean in this this says how do we use a sponsor that’s the next section in here how do we use a sponsor communication is the key in this relationship when we have questions about any part of our program we can look to our sponsor but it is our responsibility to get in touch with them during these times here’s that hole they need to reach out to us whether it be by telephone or in person we share our problems good or bad we try to share our experiences on a daily basis oh [ _ ] I’ve definitely been doing it wrong I don’t know if I want anybody called me on a daily basis either oh my god here it goes to Billy day or night whenever we feel the need we contact our sponsor it is important that we yeah I don’t I don’t know it’s important that we be honest with our sponsor listen with an open mind to suggestions and are willing to try a way other than our own remember we need never be alone bro I don’t I don’t think I can talk to people on a daily basis all the time hmm did they talk about how to use the sponsor in that well they have two sections what does a sponsor do and what does a sponsee do a reason sponsee part let’s read what does a sponsee do one suggestion is to have regular contact with our sponsor in addition to phoning our sponsor we can arrange to meet up at meetings some sponsors will tell us how often they expect us to contact them while others don’t set those kind of requirements if we cannot find a sponsor who lives close to us we can look to technology or mail to keep in touch regardless of how we communicate with our sponsor it is important that we be honest and that we listen with an open mind now here comes one of their cool quotes they do this thing where they quote some I rely on my sponsor to give me general direction and a new perspective if nothing else she’s an important sounding board sometimes all it takes is saying something out loud to someone else for me to see things differently and then there’s a little bit more we may worry that we are burden that we are a burden to our sponsor and hesitate to contact them or we may believe our sponsor will want something in return from us but the truth is our sponsors benefit as much as we do from the relationship in our program we believe that we can only keep what we have by giving it away by using our sponsor we are actually helping them to stay clean and recover hmm yeah so I kind of group that maybe maybe the whole way this works is that people with like 18 months to four years sponsor knew were members and they have the availability in their lives and then when you get old and crotchety and you know don’t have time anymore you just sponsor people who don’t need as much from you I don’t I can’t imagine somebody calling me every day I really can’t like that way bro when the truth is it’s it’s difficult to try to sponsor someone who’s brand-new in recovery I mean I found for me personally a lot of time yeah I’m just so far removed from that stuff and I try and it’s like let me try to think back on to the struggles of what that felt like you know what I mean it’s like trying to parent a teenager right and remember what it was like to be a teenager and it’s you know just like we talked about like how like I can vaguely remember how daunting it was to ask someone to be my sponsor figure out how is gonna go to meetings everyday but now it’s almost like a joke like I almost laugh at it like I can’t really feel that feeling anymore right at the time that was like anxiety you know driving [ _ ] like oh my god there he is am I gonna do it today I don’t know I might have to wait I don’t know if I can do it today man maybe I’ll see him tomorrow yeah we’ll just wait till tomorrow tomorrow be a better day and blow it out like that much anxiety over that thing right and uh you know it’s hard to [ _ ] remember how weird that is the next section in here is how to be a sponsor you said that’s in yours too this section is extremely [ _ ] long I’m not a B that’s in the AAA one it doesn’t say how to be a sponsor there I thought what’s the role with a sponsor Oh or what does a sponsor do that’s what it says it’s important step to become a sponsor should not be taken lightly believe it ever possible consult our own sponsor before agreeing the sponsor someone else hey I’ve done that my oh in order to arrive at this you might wish to explore our motives are we considering sponsorship to look good amongst the fellowship I should have read this I was obviously doing it wrong or to help the attitude still suffers remember we only keep what we have by giving it away am I ready to become a sponsor am I willing to share my experience rather than hope am I willing to make a commitment after we decide to where do we go realize that our own recovery comes first basic purpose of sponsorship is to help the addict through the 12 steps increasingly obvious to us that the best way to do this is by example sponsorship is an extension of our own personal program recovery one of the most difficult aspects of sponsorship is drawing the line between caring and enabling we feel it as enabling them when we work their program for them it doesn’t help addicts if spot if their sponsors are overprotective sometimes tough love is essential we suggest you keep in mind as a responsibility is our responsibility to carry the message not to addict we are not reformers preachers of the gospel welfare workers part-time social workers marriage counselors moneylenders employment counselors or parole officers it is important to remember that we are also suffering addicts may come a time when you were unable to relate to the person you sponsor at this time you may direct them to someone who may help damn let’s talk about fire people yeah we need not feel guilty if we responds if someone we sponsor relapses we are all responsible for our own recovery there will be times when we won’t have the answers it is our responsibility to seek these answers answers out with the people we sponsor we are not God well then that addresses a whole lot of stuff so you I believe don’t believe in firing people I know we’ve had this discussion so much I don’t know if so I would say I don’t generally fire people because they don’t do work or don’t call the way they described it there it was almost like if we have a real differences of opinion or I mean that’s the way I took it out of that I wanna say we can no longer relate ya relate where it’s like if you’re talking about applying principles in a way that I don’t really understand or I’m explaining them to you in a way that you don’t understand I don’t know that my help is gonna be that beneficial or have some values in your life that are completely different from mine you know and we can’t relate on that you know like I would say if I knew someone was probably overly I say overly I shouldn’t use the word overly if I knew someone was Christian or involved with a church or very much involved in an organized religion I probably wouldn’t be a good fit for them I don’t know that I would fire them though I don’t know I can’t imagine you don’t think you’d be a good fit for yeah yeah I don’t see how anything I don’t think anything that someone living or attempting to live a spiritual path I don’t see how that’s ever gonna be contrary to a religion are you gonna also buy into their concept of God and how to be saved and go to heaven no but I don’t think anything you say is gonna be offensive to what they say like yeah hey let’s treat people well okay sounds great that’s what Jesus said to like I don’t know maybe I’m wrong well I would be honest you know what they’re I would try to keep my opinion to myself but honesty without confusion again I don’t know if if I would fire them but I would definitely put that disclaimer and I say that because I did sponsor a guy that was religious and we just it was weird you know it was pretty weird and so the times when I’ve difficult I was fired by a sponsor in a different program at one point and I was highly offended by it because I didn’t like it and he was supposed to help me a bla bla bla bla and my therapist at the time was like look even as a therapist if I feel that the person is no longer growing in our relationship together I’m gonna push him to somebody else she’s like I’m not doing him any good to let here let them sit here and be stagnant with me I’m just co-signing that it’s okay to be there yeah my wife has said that a very similar thing too you know she said a very similar thing I would say so even if I have a sponsee maybe we don’t not get along or not have a huge difference of opinion like you were referring to but if they don’t call me and we don’t work steps together we’re not relating so we obviously having trouble relating somehow so maybe I do need to tell them like hey and I’ll say you know self-centered ly a lot of when I had that conversation it’s because I don’t want to have to show up at their anniversary and either make up [ _ ] or say the truth which is hey you haven’t done anything for the last year so I like to preemptively have that conversation like you’re not working steps and I don’t really feel like your sponsor what should we do about this like this address this together yeah I don’t know how do you feel about that do you I’m second-guessing myself so I don’t I mean do you show up and give people their medallion and just say kind things I mean I say the truth I don’t think I would say anything that’s not the truth I wouldn’t I don’t make [ _ ] up or blow smoke up their ass okay it’s just hard because I don’t have yeah benda and it is awkward yeah well I try to say the truth too but I’ve said it’s so hard to say hey I really have high hopes that you get more involved in step work this next year it’s like supposed to be a celebration and I feel like a downer when I’m like coming in at the end like yeah you got clean time but let’s hope you actually do some work in the future because you know like that just feels like such a shitty thing to do and I don’t want to but I also don’t want to be fake and be like oh it’s so great this is one of those like judgments and I make it – but is is doing work does that only count as formally writing on steps or is there work we can do in other areas and you know again whatever that depends – like what are people doing in their lives I would say there’s work that can be done all over for me at least I believe that but generally if I’m not making the conscious regular effort to write about my life probably not going in you know walking up the down escalator direction like usually I’m getting a little stagnant and it might be slower sometimes and others depending on how much work I’m doing but I got to do some kind of self-reflection or I’m not know maybe you’re only working on outside [ _ ] necessarily I mean for me it is don’t get me wrong like on spiritual condition yes for my spiritual condition it’s not good yeah make lots of money and like take nice vacations that year News right but yeah for my spiritual situation yeah and it’s it is it there is a weird thing with and sponsorship plays into this of like is the guy that comes around for 20 plus years and hasn’t really worked the steps you know but has what on the outside what appear is a good life like is that person really working the program or not you know I don’t know there’s been a lot of time where I’ve said no you know where I felt pretty wholeheartedly no but then I’ve seen plenty of people come in and work the steps and not stick around and go get high so you know is the guy that sticks around for 20 years and doesn’t work any steps and slowly makes whatever incremental maybe if any improvements in their life you know I don’t know yeah that’s a judgment that you know I at times have made that I feel less privileged to make now well the old sponsorship pamphlet says they are not generally happy so they are not one of the way malady stuff right yeah they’re not winners I guess they’re losers it doesn’t say that so one of the things in that conversation with the gentleman on Instagram I think his name was Drew or something like that he was talking about not writing a step for some other flawed individual to read like that was his initial reaction to the post that I kind of was like that’s not how I see it right but okay and so not writing a step for some other flawed individual to read and it just made me wonder like do people even know how this generally works because my sponsor has never once read my step like we go over it together I read what the [ _ ] I wrote nobody else ever reads it I’ve never once handed my step to a sponsor and they read it like that’s not only that who do they got that’s not flawed in their life we’re pissed counselors priests all those [ _ ] be more flog to that’s a good point and I never did get down to like hey who’s your guide and so that’s kind of for the people who aren’t in the fellowship that’s I look at this even in the fellowship as my sponsor as a guide in life it’s like a mentor kind of thing all right it’s that situation and I think anything we go into in life people find a mentor right if you’re an artist you probably found an art teacher in your college that you really like that became your mentor or if you’re you know a business person and went into business you aspire to be like this one business person that teaches courses on how to successfully run businesses and they’ve opened up a lot of businesses or you know I know my therapist friends all have you know people they aspire to be they love brené Brown they love yalom because he’s great with group work they love you know all these different names it’s like we all have these kind of mentor guide figures in our life it’s not a strange concept we just call them a sponsor in a 12-step recovery community and they happen to know about recovery not business or art or therapy yeah not only that I mean for me my sponsors have never been like gurus or whatever they’ve never been like the end-all be-all of the direction of my life they’ve just been people that I’ve been able to go to and talk to about maybe issues I have going on someone that I can share with someone that I can relate with maybe they have some insights and some guidance or some things I could try but it’s not been like a case where it’s like I just go ask what I should do they tell me what I should do and I just go do that you know it’s they’ve just been another like helping hand along the way of this process for me and I usually try to explain this to people like in sponsorship like I am just guiding someone along their path you know what I mean like recovery is their path it’s not I’m not leading them on my path because my path might not be for them you know I’m helping them just stay on their path and sort of keep them from going way off course and shooting off the mountain but the road they go on is theirs and with that I feel like two things happen one I don’t really get to necessarily take credit for their successes because they’re the ones doing all the work all I’m doing 90% of the time is showing up and listening and trying to be compassionate and it does help me a lot and too I don’t have to take responsibility for their failures you know what I mean if I have a sponsee that comes in doesn’t do what they need to do you know doesn’t put the work into change and then goes out and relapses I mean I feel bad for them but I don’t feel responsible for them you know I don’t if they don’t do the work it’s not my responsibility to make them do it you know right so they reap the benefits of their action they get there all the praise and reward but they also get all the responsibility too see I take that same idea into sharing a meeting and like when it’s when it’s a great great [ _ ] meeting I don’t take any credit for it I’m like oh you know I prayed that was God speaking through me thank God you know it’s all him and that way when I bomb hey [ _ ] it God suck tonight take any credit for that so that’s I don’t know that’s interesting though I I guess I’m just a little blown away that people aren’t familiar with the idea of having a guide or mentor in their life like who doesn’t have that and if you don’t maybe that’s something to evaluate honestly like I’ve tried to look for outside of you know na I’ve tried to look in to having a mentor type person in the rest of my life too at different times and it’s harder than you realize to reach out to people and have him sign up for this this position right because people are busy and it’s not it’s very interesting it’s almost like in medieval times like this is how trades worked right like you wanted to become a Smith and so you apprenticed underneath somebody and you learned from them until you honed your craft and you got better and I just I think that’s how like every trade should kind of work and we should all do that in our business oh you’re a teacher find a teacher that [ _ ] you really respect the way they do things and learn from them they’re you’re a doctor do the same thing and in recovery do the same thing find somebody that you really respect how they live their life and try to emulate that right and if you’re new in recovery or a family member like understand like all that sponsor is is to help them in this recovery program part of their life you know what I mean that sponsor can’t necessarily help them find a job or help them get an apartment or you know maybe they do maybe they don’t but that’s you know that’s not really what their primary role with their primary role is just to kind of help them find their way through this you know whatever the recovery program is whether it’s na or AAA or you know one of the other programs like the sponsor really that should be their lane you know what I mean like their Lane is probably best suited to that program not all aspects of the person’s life you know so you’re just getting out of treatment or you have a loved one that’s getting out of treatment you know your sponsor isn’t the one you should be expecting to come pick you up and take you to meetings and give you money when you need it and take you out to eat and make sure you get a job it’s not a sponsorship in a financial way or in those kind of ways so and I think the interesting other side of that is if you are a family member or somebody you know that struggles with a family member that struggles with addiction that you can go get a sponsor yourself and find out how to be good at that right you want to know how to be a good supportive family member that’s not an enabler but still loves and supports somebody in the best way there’s places to go for that there’s obviously Alan on and on and on or the big two that stick out to me I know there is some sort of fellowship or program for for family members or people loved ones of people who you know struggle with sex addiction I know that’s out there I don’t know the exact name of it or where it’s located I have heard of it before though does exist and there’s also local community groups we have Maryland coalition of families nearby us that you know has people that have information about how to support these loved ones who are struggling and so if you want you know to find mentorship or how to be a better person like that that’s out there too and I think that’s hugely useful and beneficial for everybody yeah and interestingly enough in that one AAA pamphlet I read I think it was 15 questions about sponsorship they talked specifically about that the sponsors role is to talk to family or part of that role is to talk to family members and reach out to the family members if it’s applicable and explain what the program is and what’s going on and maybe some resources for the family you know connected to these other programs al-anon orality and let him know what other resources are out there for them but also what’s involved with the program itself I’ve heard all kinds of funny stories about people telling their families you know all kinds of [ _ ] oh the program tells me you know I got to pay these dues so mom you need to give me 20 bucks a week because I got to pay 20 bucks a week to be a part of the fellowship or you know I need to go out to these events and we’re gonna be out till 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning at least two or three days a week you know [ _ ] like that that isn’t really true you know just stories they make up so interesting I’ve never heard that in Narcotics Anonymous I’ve never heard that presented that way but I was definitely at one point in time before I ever got here I was getting money for my parents to go to bowling and [ _ ] with all y’all crazy addicts and I was definitely just using that to get high with so as a sponsor I’ve never of heard of that I’ve never heard of a sponsor like I’ve never felt as a sponsor my responsibility should go be to talk to a spouse or a family member the one that I sponsored I think it’s interesting in a just the different dynamics of all the different people are sponsored like it’s never the same there’s no to sponsorship relationships I’ve had with spawn sees that has been the same like over time they’ve all been just a little different or a lot different right some people I do end up meeting their families and I go to you know family surprise birthday parties and [ _ ] like that like that has happened I know some people’s children right some people I know because I see them at the meeting and we go over steps together and I don’t ever get introduced to their families and like none of that’s wrong I don’t think it’s all just how the the bond forms depending you know I’ve definitely got the know people’s families over the years I guess I was more specifically the way they were at least in the AAA one it’s like for a brand new person coming to seek them out like you would go yeah you would then go hey let me go meet your spouse and your families that I can tell them what we’re doing and what’s going on with this program and you know maybe some resources for them is like a like a early I don’t call it intervention but like a early step you know in the recovery process it is interesting for sure yet I’ve only ever met family members like say over time you build a relationship they know you’ve been friends for a while so they might invite you to a thing or a party or you know yeah that’s definitely I’ve never I’ve never sought out anybody’s family like when they first asked me to sponsor them it’s not like hey take these two pamphlets write about it and then give me your family’s phone numbers so I can call him and tell him about you so as a sponsor have you ever been asked to go to court for someone or write letters for people for court no I don’t think I have I did ask a guy to show up in court for me one time and he did not and I was highly disappointed because he was a pretty good buddy of mine and he was like I don’t show up in court for anybody hurt my feelings yeah would you I think so ever definitely depend on situation this situation I mean if we if they were you know somebody that really established a relationship with me and I felt I could vouch for I would do my best I mean if there’s somebody who you know asked me to sponsor them and then eight months later I heard from again and they wanted me to go to court for my I don’t know that I’d have much to say in the court what have you done yes but it was it was almost the mix of those two things so it was someone who came in had some court stuff was around for several months like kept in contact with me on a regular basis I think we even did some step work at one point and then he had some court coming up and it was less than a year but it was several months and we had actually gotten pretty close in that time and then it’s like it almost felt like right after court and he got out of whatever he needed to get out of he didn’t see stop coming around on his stuff called and then he invited me to his wedding I think a year or so later which was weird because I hadn’t really talked to a much ever since then right but at the time I think he was still he was still you know abstinent or clean but I don’t think he was working any kind of program and it didn’t it felt a little bit like being used I don’t know if that was his real intention or not but that’s what it felt like it felt like oh I get it your lawyer told you to come the meetings and get involved and so he did and he did all the stuff and like I said I didn’t feel like the effort that he put in was disingenuous but as soon as he got the outcome that he wanted he stopped doing any work stopped doing anything I’ve seen so many people you know when they finished their 18 months probation or whatever it is that they need to see through and I don’t I don’t think that they were insincere like you said I don’t think they were just insincere on purpose the whole time but I think that oversight leaves and they’re like wow I could do one to celebrate that or whatever it might be you know I don’t have to go through all these hoops anymore and there’s a freedom in that and unfortunately it’s actually not a freedom right it just doesn’t lead to that kind of freedom what do you think about sponsoring people who are who have more time than you how weird is that would you ask somebody with less time than you to sponsor you I’ve seen it happen I think I would I know if someone who has I wouldn’t necessarily care about the amount of time though think you go yeah I don’t think so but I’ve never done it like I don’t and right no one with more time than me has ever asked me to sponsor them so when I’ve seen it it’s been close it’s like you know one had twenty-four one had 22 or something and they were real close it was only like a year apart but it just I don’t know I’ve always thought I I struggle enough to ask anybody to guide me right like I’m already got an ego problem where it’s like oh my god I gotta think this person knows something I don’t right like it’s that possible and so I just can’t imagine it asking somebody would last time I would hurt my feelings I think I really or younger I think younger would [ _ ] bother me too I really do I think it’s got to be somebody younger would probably bother me more than last time you think so yeah yeah I think wow I don’t know it’s definitely interesting would you ever consider a female sponsor for yourself I know you say you avoid the sponsoring women no I mean again if that might change if I was in a different area or I had a limited access to men that could sponsor me but right now I would say no I don’t I don’t think it would be healthy why well this is where we get into the sexist [ _ ] that I’m gonna probably get in trouble for but I wish I hear there are different experiences that men have that women have I personally believe just in my understanding whatever is ignorant and uneducated as it might be that I have a tendency of in my nature to focus on certain aspects of living that I think are predominantly male being a provider being a you know the main you know breadwinner of my household being responsible for like the security whatever you want to call it aspect of our household like there are certain aspects of my relationship with my wife and then she’s way better at other aspects of like the emotional support for our kids and it’s not that I can’t learn to be one or the other but the things that I struggle with in those areas tend to be different than the things that she struggles with in those areas and while I will 1000% I keep saying 1000% but [ _ ] exist anyway I agree with that right but so if you struggle in some areas that may be generally speaking you know not to stereotype any one individual but generally speaking maybe women are better at those areas more didn’t it make sense to have a woman sponsor to help you get better in those areas that you struggle in like another man according to that thinking is gonna also struggle in those areas and so how is he gonna help you with it well it’s an application of principles like it’s not you know like and this is a given this is where I get myself in trouble I think it’s there are certain things in my nature that are not gonna change you know what I mean I can change the it’s almost like we talked about with the defects I can change my actions but I can’t change the thinking or the feelings behind that you know I learned to recognize and identify hey this is what you’re doing hey let’s try this instead I think that you know that’s where another male perspective is going to help more hmm so are there some thoughts and you can change in some you can’t is that where you believe that some things some of you’re thinking you can change but some thinking just is never gonna go anywhere you can only change the actions or you can’t change any thinking um I mean well I think through repetitive action you change thinking because of what’s that neuroscience like we’re through if you keep doing the same action eventually your cognitive part changes too right I think again the difference being I can talk to my wife like I and I respect my wife and her recovery to the hilt I don’t think it’s you know it’s not a matter of less or better or anything like that if anything she’s got the best recovery of anybody that I know you know what I mean right she has whatever more recovery than anybody that I know I will order two bills you know what I mean so there isn’t anyone that I think understands them deeper so I don’t think some man is in a way better it’s not a better sense it’s just to help me apply them in my life in a way that I can find incredibly useful on a daily basis because her and I have conversations and I’m just like what you know what I mean like I just my brain doesn’t seem to work in the same way that hers does on certain maybe it can learn them I’m really try and they’re certain like say there’s certain aspects of this thing that she’s really great at that I just miss every time and I keep talking to her about it they keep trying to learn it so what other thoughts is there anything else about sponsorship do you feel like we haven’t no we did a lot of the pamphlets I’m gonna call them brochures if we’re trying to sell [ _ ] or something but I know we touch them a lot of pamphlets is there any personal sponsorship kind of information that you feel like we’ve neglected or missed or anything that pops up now well only that it’s like every other relationship and you’ll get out of it what you put into it and if you have a sponsor that you don’t call that much or you don’t use that much or you don’t see that much and you don’t maintain that relationship you probably won’t find it all that beneficial and it may seem weird like why do I even need a sponsor but if you have a relationship with someone that you admire and respect and you keep in touch with that person you know you keep in regular contact you know that is gonna make that relationship really worthwhile and beneficial I had a sponsor explained to me early on like one of the reasons that consistent contact is is sort of needed is that I don’t ever know when shit’s gonna hit the fan you know what I mean I don’t ever know when things are gonna go completely sideways so if I’m not in a regular communication with my sponsor mean I’ve had you know friends or whatever find out either their wife was cheating or they were cheating and got caught by their wife and now they’re getting thrown out and their whole family’s [ _ ] disrupted and all this other stuff well if you have a sponsor that you haven’t talked to in four months and they have no idea what the [ _ ] going on in your life and all of a sudden you know you’re thrown out because you’re cheating or your wife’s cheating and your life is in disarray how likely are you to want to call this person hey I know I haven’t talked to you in months and you probably didn’t know but I was having this affair and you know what I mean like that’s just gonna it’s probably gonna be more awkward than it is beneficial and how prepared are they without knowing any of that and having it dropped in their lap to give you any useful guidance like it’s gonna be more of a shock situation of like oh my [ _ ] god right like they’re gonna be so floored by it they won’t be in a place where they’re ready like and and not that you know look I’ve sponsor guys that you know cheat whatever you want to call it we can dress it up with some other words but you know that step outside their relationship and knowing that gives me when the time comes because it’s probably gonna they’re probably gonna get caught it’s just you know it happens I’m ready for that like I’m ready to say hey okay well this is what’s been going on we were kind of prepared that this was gonna happen someday we’ve had that conversation over at either alright this will probably end up this way if we don’t stop right so it’s just not as jarring of an experience for all parties involved and you’re right you’re more likely to just call in general if you haven’t talked to him why would you bother then right I would say for me I definitely you know don’t I sponsored probably for the wrong reason like we address that pamphlet like don’t do it for that reason it’s not my responsibility if people stay clean or not but I do care it’s gonna hurt I’ve had some spawn C’s die that [ _ ] sucks right it’s it’s not a fun thing to deal with good reason for me to stay in touch with my sponsor so that when those kind of feelings come I have people to call I do subscribe to having one particular sponsor in name but I use lots of people that I value and respect I say Lots when I mean Lots I mean like five or less but I use them all as people I can go to with my [ _ ] I don’t just rely on this one sponsor for everything in my life I have a lot of guides right and I I like to get all their opinions on things and sometimes guides are people I really really respect and mentored sometimes it’s just people do you know that I care about right they don’t always I don’t always think of them like oh my god you’re the most spiritual person I know guide me in this situation it’s just like well what’s your input what do you got I don’t know I’m willing to take anything yeah there was one more thing I thought of and I lost it that quick did you have something to interject er no I mean like say I’ve found sponsorship relationships have been probably the greatest areas of growth for me personal growth and otherwise on things to do and things not to do I’ve had a couple sponsors that aren’t around anymore and have relapsed and being close with those people’s helped me to learn to like hey what happened to them why did that how did they get in that situation and how [ _ ] I avoid that ya know because for most of them it didn’t end up well or for the ones you know I kept in touch with it didn’t end up well right and so I I don’t know I guess whatever I had wasn’t all that important it’s just you know I think it’s important that we seek out people in our life that can help us and and we look to people that inspire us or show us you know something that we’re looking for in our life and we go and I asked him and talked to him about how to get to that place because that’s what I’m looking for is to improve and to get to a place where I see somebody else is trying to get to as well right they don’t have to be oh that’s the exact point I was getting to for a long time it was that they had to be like above me honestly and I felt like it was an above me situation you’re my sponsor you’re way up there on that mountain right I don’t look at it that way as much anymore there’s still a tiny little bit but not as much it’s it’s a lot more like hey man you’re just another person that’s like at the place I’m at where we’re trying to seek out this better thing and you can help point my [ _ ] out right that I can’t see cuz I’m too close to it so you don’t have to necessarily be above me to help me you can be right where I’m at living the same kind of life and you can still see my [ _ ] better than I can right yeah and that’s just it I mean I think that’s important like I don’t look at it as a buffer but like we’re all equal here and I’m not any better I don’t want that responsibility I mean it’s just like saying you know I work in the oil business so I can probably tell you a ton of [ __ ] about HVAC and oil stuff that you don’t know and that doesn’t mean that I’m better than you because I know about this particular thing you know any like I just have information in this particular area that because of what I do or how I’ve lived the last 20 years of my life so you know what I mean it’s in recoveries the same way it’s like I just I have this information because I’ve lived this way for a while and I’ve had some experiences that I can share with others the very last thing and I won’t try tie this up too much we talked about it a little bit but was this idea of group sponsorship and that like you’re and it was in the and a a pamphlet they talked about it was having like your your home group or your group be responsible for helping newcomers or new people with sponsorship and by that I mean like somebody that’s brand new maybe either coming out of treatment or never been to a meeting before that your group have some sort of plan if you want to call it of action or process for for dealing with that I know in this area we tend to say hey who’s new and they say they’re new and we say oh great here’s a phone list with some you know meeting lists with some phone numbers on it or whatever and then you hand that to the person and say how nice to see you and walk away but this was more of a like your group should have an action plan for that kind of thing maybe you talked to them about what the program is what a sponsor is you know coming to more meetings make sure they have a way to get the meetings and making sure that there connected with the program and I thought thinking of that as like group sponsorship was kind of a neat neat idea it definitely is and some of the ideas they had in there of like you know sponsors people who are available for sponsorship raising their hands having newcomer type meetings that are based on you know the first few steps or just new principles like this is something a lot of other programs I’ve seen do we don’t do it quite so much in na which is interesting but I’ve seen in some other places like debtors anonymous where it’s like they take 15 minutes and address the newcomer or al-anon has some meetings where it’s just newcomer meetings and they only have experienced members kind of answer questions and in a crosstalk type format what we would refer to as crosstalk and you know just having these kind of things some of it is stuff we do already but it’s interesting to think that it’s more of our responsibility I’ve always looked at and I think it says it in our group pamphlet that you know sponsorship is the responsibility of the group in some way shape or form I’ve always my groups have always looked at that as we need to help you find a sponsor if you’re struggling with that right we need to push you towards it and we’ll ask in group Constance hey have you found one yet like if not we’re planning on having one for you by next month if you don’t so you know it’s kind of pushy but at the same time I think it’s useful personally I think it is kind of the group should help us along with that interesting so I think we’ve thoroughly beaten sponsorship for today I say that and then we’ll have a long list of people’s ideas that are way better than what we thought of that we’ll talk about next week supposedly next week we’re going to talk to a guy from smart recovery so that’s exciting that’ll be more I don’t know a whole lot about that and he’s kind of got some not so into the a programs sort of yeah I know I don’t want to do too much of that but I’m a little excited to talk about that and so we’ll look forward to that and we’ll see you guys next week everybody stay safe out there

Oh

people don’t really have sponsors anymore they just sponsor people what have you been around a while you don’t have a sponsor anymore and there’s very little mention and of course in our new one there’s a little bit of mention too but there’s very little mention of a sponsor being like a guide through the steps I did find that I didn’t see a whole lot of that well so in our basic text it constantly in the how it works chapter where it says you know like the different steps it lays a mat has a little readings on them a lot of those mentioned sponsor yeah and something you do with them in that step you know what I mean but it never specifically says that I did get a pull a couple of readings out where’s the wand where it says it’s up to the group

well he is is kind of posh everybody [ __ ] the whole program tell him the whole time or something these sponsors it’s over

yeah just it was interesting it was [ __ ] fascinating

30-some pages there little pamphlet is really Wow yeah that’s not sponsorship for newcomers is also the responsibility of the group that is from our basic text and what can I do section yeah and see I never really heard that or I mean I’m sure I probably read it and it’s one of those things I glazed over and didn’t even [ _ ] understand but in reading it in the aa1 they describe it more as like when a new person first comes in and has no idea what they’re doing like your your group should like I guess have a the way I’m gonna paraphrase it is have like a collective sponsorship approach to that person like someone should be going up to that person you know whether then they say whether it’s a greeter whether you have your groups big enough to have a hospitality committee whether you have a chance you know for them to introduce themselves or they have a thing to say anybody looking for a sponsor in a razor hand like different stuff like that like your group should have this approach you know what I’ll say in its format for how to sponsor people that are new so I guess they get a individual and then they talk about service sponsors – hmm which a service fonts are the way I understood it is someone who’s like actively engaged in a different aspect of the service structure that will go out and try to talk to people about that level of service that’s weird – I guess recruit people I mean I guess that’s what you’re doing so the way home groups I’ve been in have at least tried to do it and you know thanks this thing where I don’t like other people telling me what to do so I generally choose room groups where I got the most seniority so that I can sort of get away but like we’ll we’ll have that in our readings that you know anybody with a year more clean for the sake of sponsorship raise your hand we’ll have greeters but then in our group conscience we’ll talk to the members who just joined in it’s their first group constants like hey do you have a sponsor yet well this is how our program works like you get a sponsor you know and not to scare you but try to find one by next group conscience because if you don’t then we’ll help you find one yeah I’ll say here psyche it’s got what procedures can a group set up to sponsor new members and it’s got a whole section on different [ _ ] that you can do yeah I mean it’s all and it’s like wow that’s all and I’ve just never like say they’re only that we’ve done or we’ve had at different times I get my home group but I’ve never like thought of it in the aspect of sponsorship like yeah that’s I guess that’s kind of true there’s a whole laundry list of you may have all crazy should a sponsor lend money you know yes always how much you get alright look they got a whole section what does a sponsor do and not do oh they have a guide for what you don’t have thing and a half sponsor does everything possible within the limits of personal experience and knowledge to help the newcomer get sober and stay sober through the AAA program

encourages and helps the newcomer to attend a variety of AAA meetings to get a number of viewpoints and interpretations of the AAA program says if it’s like weird it’s not you know I want to give you [ __ ] someone else’s perspective I’m trying to give you mine

introduces the newcomer to others that’s one of the [ __ ] key bullet points in there what a sponsor does I’ll buy that if you’re pounding around what response are going to meet and say introducing you an old-timer oh it does have goes over the meaning of the 12 steps and emphasizes their importance that’s to be number one let me fix their literature form real quick impresses upon the newcomer the importance of all our traditions

explains the program to relatives of the alcoholic if this appears to be useful and tells them about al-anon family groups and Alateen see those fellowships are all much more intertwined like we don’t we would never tell you about well I’m not saying we wouldn’t tell anybody about nar-anon but that’s not we’re not linked together they’re like a separate [ __ ] thing Yeah right never takes the newcomers inventory except when asked ha

the sponsor underscores the fact that it is that it is the a a recovery program not the sponsors personality or position that is important thus the newcomer learns to rely on the AAA program

hmm is available to the newcomer when the ladder has special problems yeah does that at all cause you [ _ ] like that about special problems but it’s so much emphasis on like new comer stuff yeah it’s it’s really interesting I’m actually a little nervous about putting that out into the wild but [ _ ] it we hear – I don’t know I just don’t think people are gonna be better off not having sponsors that is definitely not my belief okay I guess it does say this okay so here’s a little bit of it says is it ever too late to get a sponsor no an AAA who has been in or around the fellowship for many years often finds that getting a sponsor talking frankly and listening can make the whole program open up as it never did before most days feel that sponsorship is a vital part of their ongoing growth and progress in recovery including persons who have long-term sobriety I still find it weird that they call themselves a I don’t like it movie nas night you can do anything today haze yeah it’s weird

yes it’s probably the easiest thing to say though

so it doesn’t least say in there we should you can do it so why did they change the old and new sponsorship pamphlets I mean there’s subtle differences that I don’t think they’re hugely different but ones like this is a guide to walk you through the steps you know it’s like a spat there’s a lot of things I mean I think that was more yes you know I mean I don’t know for sure what the history that was or why there was the new and the old one but it just and I’d like to say I was so as being like stuck in what it was when I got here I hated the new one and when I first read it when it first came out like I this is [ _ ] somebody told me like if you look at that pamphlet in particular and then you look at the sponsorship book those were both written around the same time really and that’s why they have that so they found that that throwing in those quotes in the middle of it you know what I’m talking about mmm that is all through the sponsorship book like that where it says a couple lines and then it has like a quote in there right and it has a couple more paragraphs than another quote from a member you know and it’s like that is is like a writing style I think that they deemed like oh this is you know new and people find this beneficial with these [ _ ] quotes in there and but those two were right around the same time and they’re written right in that same format and I’ve heard some rumors is based on nothing other than just rumery numbers though so and it’s sort of what I was going through with Drew but I don’t even know if it’s true at all internet gossip beats stuff is it that’s around the time when the fellowship was getting into this place where they’re like oh we got to be like they don’t know if you ever heard all this stuff but the conspiracy theory sort of thing is that AAA cranks out all this new literature all the time for sales so that’s how they generate money because if you just have the same [ _ ] out there all the time you can’t sell it but if you make new stuff you can sell it to all the old members plus the new members so you just keep you know this revenue and that our literature is the biggest source of revenue you know for any of these fellowships yeah so that’s why they say AAA cranks out you know all this new literature all the time they have a constant committee of people that are working to make new literature so na you know started to sort of want to go that way like the the world board or whatever wanted to kind of go that direction and if you look for a time we did rewrite a bunch of pamphlets they wrote they rewrote like for young addicts by young addicts that used to be something else and then there was the you know I forget what it was called like the money in the NA structure that one was rewritten to be something else and they changed the look of them they made them almost more like the AAA ones with the glassy thing and like a picture on the front and that they were doing all these things for revenue sales and in that time they were actually you know outsourcing some of this writing that they were actually hiring professional writers to write some of this stuff not actually Rakow you know it wasn’t like the old days where this was all supposed to be written by advection [ _ ] like that that this was stuff that was you know sourced out the writers who would then write it and then submit it back for review and input but the review and input periods were real sure and it wasn’t getting a lot of feedback and people were pissed off nobody wanted to participate because it was you know not written by addicts and that that’s why like the sponsorship book is such a bust because it just didn’t get the support of the fellowship that it needed so they’ve gotten back away from that now they aren’t doing that anymore but that was what they tried to do during that period so that’s all just internet conversation and people that hate the world board like eight world services I get feeling like things are weird and we do things for no reason as good as a living clean book is I don’t want to buy any more literature like people don’t read the [ _ ] basic text why do we need more like why don’t you just try to find a way to get him to read all ready go that would be helpful so I guess that’s my standpoint but people have I think there’s people who’ve read living clean that have never read the basic text so I guess if they’re picking up literature that’s good like I don’t in to so many of these places where I want to stand for something and I’m just finding that like that’s sort of how I feel and so hair becomes the other problem it’s like when you hear about what like say the Liberals in California like laws and rules and things they want you start to realize like there’s a broad range of thoughts and ideas on how we should handle or fix things and I think some of that [ _ ] [ _ ] is bananas you know what I mean like some of it’s [ _ ] crazy and I don’t so but now you look at me like what do you mean – well it’s had the most recent thing that I heard and and apparently it was something that they voted on in their Congress their state charter or state constitution whatever it is they want to take the language out of that that says you cannot discriminate for age sex creed whatever they want to take that language out because they want to make it like actively okay to discriminate if the outcomes of your situation are not racially diverse so for example if your employment you know situation or employment is probably not the best one let’s look at like colleges and universities so a view and they saw this said was either Harvard or Yale so at Harvard I think it was and there was a lawsuit that they had too many Asian people coming in too many Asians were qualifying because their scores their test scores and stuff are so much higher than everyone else’s so behind the scenes sort of Harvard made a law and said oh well we’re gonna increase the scores for Asian people because we got to try to reduce the amount of Asians coming in so we’re gonna hold the Asian people to a higher standard and that is against the law that’s discrimination even though it’s like a reverse discrimination is still discrimination and so when you’re taking federal funding you can’t do that against the law but that’s what they’re doing so they actually filed a lawsuit so they want more so California’s like oh well we’ll just make programs that allow our institutions and stuff to do that because we want to be able to discriminate when we think the outcomes are not what we want them to be and so they want to be able to discriminate a case like that they want to be able to legally discriminate against Asian people and say well if you’re Asian you got to be at this score but if you’re black you gotta be at that score and if you’re white you can be at this score and all three of you you know can get into this school at different scores and I mean that’s just one quick version of that but that can manifest in different ways in different places once you take out like we don’t discriminate as a law right I was like I don’t know if I agree with that [ _ ] like that again like most things that the state does it sounds good when they first do it just like when they want to check your emails and [ _ ] and listen to your phone calls because we’re worried about terrorism but then it’s like wait a minute I think it’s like almost the same argument that people not quite the same argument but similar to the whole affirmative action like why should somebody get special treatment based on a race or ethnicity or whatever you want so my opinion is they shouldn’t yeah that we won’t understand why they were there at least for that because you have a you could make the argument that there has been historic policies of discrimination against a specific group of people like that’s pretty it’s pretty obvious like there’s there’s [ __ ] documented proof like that’s you can make that argument even though I still don’t necessarily agree with it I think you just do away with asking questions about race or anything else and you just look at scores and criteria and all that stuff and you don’t really judge like why don’t we even eat this well they’ve done that’s what the studies show that they still base it on race even when you don’t put race on the application you go by name oh that sounds like a black dude so we won’t call him back even though he’s got the same or better qualifications than this guy John that over here that sounds like he’s a white dude for like employment like because I’ve heard some stuff that like the SATs are racially bias and that was pretty interesting because I never really thought about it and then they started explaining different questions and they’re like if you live in this community you would interpret this question this way but if you’re in this other community but it’s offered that that way I’m like huh I could see that

certain cultures in California you can’t give an IQ test to someone who’s black it’s illegal to a minor in school yeah I think I did yeah I was pretty when it’s been it likely like you said that sometimes these laws do turn around and aren’t useful there are some instances and that’s where they were talking about a time when it wasn’t useful but for the grand purpose of the fact that it was so often used against people it’s like do it and see that’s where I’m like huh I don’t know and I don’t so I’m not married or educated enough let’s say on the California changing it’s morphing but I just think immediately I’m like that sounds a little bit [ _ ] extreme like we’re gonna allow discrimination when it suits for racial equality of outcome or you know any equality of outcome like that sounds kind of scary you know and maybe it sounds scary to me cuz I’m a white male and now all the sudden I can be discriminating or anybody can be really but I don’t know why you would need to do that though I don’t know why you would need to take the language out when you could just say hey these are you know when you’re operating within proportions okay we’ve got whatever 20 ethnicities each one of those is allowed to take up 5% of our proportion of total people students say right incoming freshmen students there’s these 20 ethnicities that we recognize in the world I don’t have any [ _ ] billion but whatever each one can have no more than this max of 5% like you can’t ever have more than 5% of any one ethnicity or 10% or whatever it is we choose right and so then you just go by the top so if the the you take the top 10 percent of Asian scores it doesn’t matter who [ __ ] you know that the next 10% of Asians from 11 through 20 percent might have outscored all boy white people right but it doesn’t matter because we’ve taken your 10 percent of Asian people period so I think when you do it in proportion that makes sense why do you need to get rid of the whole discriminate I guess that’s still discrimination but well yeah if you set up a policy that said we only take 10% of Asian people but it wouldn’t just be Asian it would be any people it’s not like oh we only take 10% of Asian people because we want to limit our Asian people it’s well then you’re good with numbers for all those though and you’re gonna say alright we take 10% of Asians we take whatever 30% of whites we know they’re super relaxed we take it would be the same for everybody I mean it would just be 10% for any ethnicity doesn’t matter who it is or if you make it 25% hey we’ll never have more than 25% Asians whites blacks anybody that’s always gonna be less than this number for equally across the board it wouldn’t be like oh there’s more white people in the world so we’ll have a higher white proportion of incoming freshmen it would just be even like you can’t exceed this number no matter what ethnicity you are

so like if you’re a college you would say you can only take 10% of 10 different ethnicities you couldn’t have more than that of any one ethnicity so I guess you would make the number higher than today well yeah yeah you pick out which ones you wanna record well what they have to be fair or where they have to represent the population in the community no they don’t have to represent the population in the community it’s just got to be no any one ethnicity cannot have more than this percentage of our incoming class period so if you recognize six ethnicities and you say hey no one of these can be more than 25% of incoming freshmen and then it’s equal for everybody nobody can have more than 25% not everybody’s gonna be the exact same amount and it’s not it might not look like the population outside but then you’re not allowing you know 60% of white people in because they scored higher than everybody else or any thing like that if you’re just hey your capped at 30 I think you can make an argument that that’s still discrimination that would be work because you could say well these permanent isset II you know I can score higher than someone of a different ethnicity and still not get in work right that’s all right I mean now you’re just opening that up to across the board yeah it’s a little more representative it’s a little more diverse I mean the alternative is what we usually do which is just like white people nobody else

yeah so we normally meditate off-camera but we decided we’d open that up to whoever watches on YouTube so feel free to meditate with us or were we doing ten minutes yeah or skip forward ten minutes and we’ll be talking again or actually we’ll probably be getting coffee maybe skip forward twelve minutes so we’ll have coffees

Sunday mornings are the absolute toughest for quieting my brain thank you so a couple things like thought about [ __ ] one gen has no recollection ever of the furniture now she will not take credit board or she’s had all the pictures looking to be able to give me credit board that’s fine

my street

the news whatever

my dad’s pretty person my mom’s kind of racist and then we moved up to Rising Sun in the eighties which was very racist and so I grew up spent from the age of like 11 you know until it was an adult in everyone

that was the culture of the community so anyway I always think that information is by learning and thinking about things and you know but we’ve got more access to information than we’ve ever had before and it doesn’t feel like we’re getting any smarter or all of one opinion we’re just separating further well that’s and part of that I think is a problem with the Internet so Jenna died we’re talking about Facebook the other day and why do you need to get off of it and I’ve heard some people saying some things recently so nowadays maybe I [ _ ] qualify for that with this podcast is that people can just start write some article like they are some kind of educated in something and it’ll get published somewhere as if they got a [ _ ] clue as to what they’re talking about and half the time the information is either incredibly biased incredibly slanted or taken completely out of context a guy described a thing it’s like he took a there was a section from a black leader talking about something and he took 40 seconds of this and threw it out there recently I was 40 seconds of this speech that he gave and it was speaking out against the current protests that are going on or that’s what it looked that’s what the article said it was right and then someone said wait a minute this is wrong this isn’t even what this is and when they expanded it out it was a four-hour speech that he had given back in like 2017 about some things that we’re going on during the Obama stray [ _ ] but they were able to whittle down and pull out this 40 seconds that they could make it look like it was something completely different than what it was and that [ _ ] is happening constantly you know what I mean I’m gonna make three sentences of what you said and make it something I’m gonna take something that somebody said four years ago and present it again now as if it’s a brand new idea you know so there’s a trove of information but there’s a lot of misinformation which is almost why I go back to you almost got to get back to reading [ _ ] books and published literature is like a point of authority you know there’s a lot of published people too that aren’t necessarily just because published doesn’t mean it’s true either I guess is what I’m trying to get at like there’s a whole lot of people on Twitter that are writers there’s a whole writing community and I’m on the very outskirts of that I’m not familiar with a whole lot of writers just like there’s a running community and we have our recovery community the recovery community and the writing community definitely overlapped for sure and like I mean it’s not like famous not that famous people know more than we do anyway but it’s not famous people writing books it’s just you know like you or I wrote a book and that were part of the writing community and we have a book out there and we talk about our book and the article I read recently was said that democracy only works when the truth is out there and when you know the entire government and and the news agencies are no longer trusted to provide that truth in a non slanted or biased way democracy no longer works people vote for what they think is true it’s kind of like if everybody could truly see the real truth about whatever Donald Trump has done right I think less people would be for him personally I think that maybe I’m wrong maybe more people would be for him I don’t know but I don’t think he’s done what people think he’s done but because their only source of information slants it and biases it in a way that makes him look like he’s the best president that ever existed which is crazy to me but democracy doesn’t work if you don’t have the real information and I tend to think it’s a little bit the other way whereas we have different things that we think are important and we have different values that we put on like what is the role of the government what are they supposed to be doing you know what I mean what are what is you know sure the government what our government should be doing is staying out of business so therefore an assistant opinion online but so therefore we don’t need all these regulations on all these industries these regulations on all these industries are just [ _ ] up you know the businesses and screwing up capital and things would be cheaper and better for everybody if we didn’t have all these environmental regulations and I believe there are people that believe that [ _ ] they think that corporations are businesses left to their own device will make ethically sound choices that’s just or maybe they’re naive in lying to themselves to say that but that’s what they’ll say you know what I mean that we don’t need environmental regulations we don’t need the [ _ ] Securities and Exchange Commission’s in there regulating these industries you know they they should regulate themselves they can do all that for themselves why do we have government getting involved in that stuff and so that’s the [ _ ] and they think that stuff is important more so than all the social stuff you know I don’t agree with you know what I mean like I think social aspects are better I think the government should be regulating industries but this is the same like the priorities are different and what you know so the people that like him I think generally tend to be those kind of people I think you know it’s all about business and economy and and you know that [ _ ] I just I don’t like I feel like we’re we’re I live in a world of half capitalist that wholeheartedly believe in capitalism until we need to [ _ ] bail people out like that that’s the point of capitalism let a veil yeah that’s the only way that these over rich people ever have it go against them is if they fail and twice now and in just recent history we’ve bailed them out and I’m like well that just ruined [ _ ] capitalism the little guy never has a [ _ ] chance as soon as I create something cool some rich ayahs company can steal that design while I’m still small do something real similar and make it worldwide and now I look like the imposter and patent it whatever because they have the tools to do that I could never compete or you understand the legal means can I produce [ _ ] [ _ ] yeah and you know there’s a lot of and there’s a lot of that that I agree with you all right I think that we shouldn’t have like these corporations should not be these autonomous entities like they are I don’t even think you should be able to have [ _ ] corporation it’s like you every company needs to have people that are in charge that are accountable for the losses and gains and legal activities of that company you know right now we have all this sort of corporate protections and corporate you know back doors where a [ _ ] Board of Directors and these CEOs can make these decisions and do all this stuff and there’s no accountability for that legal or financially to any of those individuals I can take all your money make a terrible investment lose it all on this feel like I’m sorry you know it’s [ _ ] crazy I did order some stuff by the way but so the microphones themselves are on backorder so I don’t know how long it’ll be until we actually are using any of this stuff but I did email I’m gonna ask him like hey do you have any [ _ ] clue when these microphones will be in I just get the feeling now I’m gonna have to buy a whole nother computer to actually record on which might not be the worst thing it’d just be more money oh do we wanna at some point rerecord I know you talked about rerecord and the voices ad I was thinking about rerecord and the outro not so much the intro intro I like but you had talked about I think recording that yeah so maybe we could do that at some point on if you would do that today or not or what you got going on I don’t really have [ _ ] going on

and then there so we’re gonna talk about the analogy for a quick second mentioned autumn who decided as a sponsorship episode or mentioned it hit a couple of things from seven-step and then get into sponsorship hopefully well I keep trying to make this like that’s sped up but so two weeks ago when I was editing you sounded way louder than me not wait louder but a little bit last week I signed it way louder than you and I don’t know how to like I move forward when I’m talking I can’t I don’t know not to figure this out the try to sit back ready to get started that’s been recording that’s alright though at least when I find the beginning I’ll know where to hear from there I would you thought you farted at first so quiet to always like oh my god I wanna call for work so there’s a chance I could get a [ __ ] phone call I’ll just turn it to completely silent

alright welcome back to recovery sort of I think I start with alright or so every goddamn we got otherwise how I lead a sentence I maybe I should just say welcome back to recovery sort of I have no idea but I’m Jason I’m a guy in long-term recovery and I’m Billy I’m also a person aiding long-term abstinence based recovery oh man now we’re doing some season I’m gonna make mine like five minutes long-term abstinence based 12-step modality recovery like I don’t know so we’re gonna get into the sponsorship today at some point but first we’re gonna you know recap some of the things from last week some people had things to say and and talked about stuff like we always do I do want to say that I went ahead and I just I couldn’t help myself I bought my [ _ ] rubber ducky for the voices of rubber duckie race I cannot explain why this is so funny I have no idea I wrote the concept just seems hilarious and so I encourage everyone if they’re interested to count on the voices of Hope in Cecil County website and it was a weird process I’m not gonna lie it was it like I just did it through PayPal it was like just said donate five dollars through PayPal I guess they get my PayPal information from that and they can pay me back through that I don’t know yeah seemed a little sketchy I was like but uh I do trust the people doing that that they’ll do the right thing so yeah I don’t know why the rubber duckie race and I wanted to say actually I went and downloaded the Jimmy’s Chicken Shack song that high that we listened to I put that on my workout routine you know music my workout music so I put that in there fits in good it’s got a yeah you know sweet I like what he talks about in there too I mean he obviously not that he’s talked about getting high but he’s talking about what that does for us right it’s like what did you say make light of the weight right like it kind of relieves some tension oh no make light of the way time off from hell you know I’m like yes that’s exactly why I used to get away from all that [ _ ] self hate if you’re looking for a good workout song you can add that to their rotation there you go or if you just want to relive 1999 either way I like it so we did get a message from Stephanie I hadn’t heard from her for a couple weeks she had some stuff going on in her life but she really a pre she aided the furniture analogy and I I definitely I mean I’ve already used it when I shared a meeting I thought it was kind of [ _ ] brilliant too I actually shared what a sponsee on the phone the other day too I’m like yeah this is act like this one’s mind for sure they’re useful but now you know thank you for giving us that dude that was really good I I do think it’s so awesome that you have a not God perspective on a lot of this I think most people don’t get to hear that it’s why a lot of people tend to think that the anonymous programs are very religious like is because we don’t hear a lot of you know this is what people who don’t believe in God how they do it and so it’s great that you’re putting this stuff out there for people thank you and it’s funny we were just talking about this before so I originally heard my wife had used this furniture analogy in a different context and so I told her that I kind of stole it and set it on the podcast and then she’s like I don’t remember saying that she said if I said it I don’t remember so I don’t care so I was gonna come and give her credit and now she said I don’t even remember saying it so maybe she didn’t say it I’m sure I heard it somewhere nothing that I say is unique it’s all just regurgitated from something else some other input in my life absolutely absolutely so Billy was at the meeting I shared Wednesday and I gave him credit for it at that meeting but I definitely told him if he’s not at the next meeting I shared that I’ll be using it like this mine for sure and so before we get too far off track here we had some comments about uh oh my god why does this do this this stupid phone doesn’t go where I wanted to go we had some comments back to the seven-step from people so here’s a comment on we’ll start with Twitter Andrea said oh man when I first did this that my sponsor told me this one is a good example of how we keep the steps with us keep them in your pocket like you do your cigarettes and pull one out when you need it and I’m so well aware of my character defects one of these is definitely saying things I don’t always need to say often I successfully peruse and answer these two questions before I speak does it need to be said does it need to be said by me and if I have to answer either than I hold back do I do it perfectly every time Lord no and I think that’s interesting like the whole we know we talk about a tool box I guess that’s maybe more of a masculine thing that we we refer to our principals as like and I guess she’s saying that you know four six and seven we start to get these tools these spiritual principles to apply but you know she’s saying keep them in your pocket like like a cigarette and pull it out when you need it that’s the kind of interesting analogy and you know I do love the idea of asking ourself does it need to be said and doesn’t need to be said by me before we say it one of the first things I learned when I got here was that honesty without compassion is abuse and I thought that was an interesting saying you have any more to add to that no just again recently my wife and I had we’re in a conversation about something similar of like do I need to be the one to say certain things to certain people we were talking it more about it from an advocacy point of view and some of the work that she does and and I just explained to her like my principle in my life that I try to go by now is like if I’m not really intimately or emotionally connected with you I don’t need to get that emotionally invested in what you’re saying mmm that is just you know I don’t need to start trying to correct you or fix you or give you my opinion on stuff you know and that for me is a skill because I spend most of my life trying to correct and fix everyone right because I think everyone should think like me I just learning like you know what if we’re not really like emotionally connected in that way you think whatever you want to think and go on about your day and it’s not my job to fix you and I found it brings me a lot of peace I don’t know what it does for them maybe nothing if they have a lot of bad ideas but it saves me you know a lot of anxiety right I think this podcast has done a lot of that for me has helped me to practice just I don’t have the answers for everybody even though I think I do right I think my way it’s definitely the best but I just to understand kind of like what you said like I just need to do it for me let it be right for me and let others have their opinion I don’t know where everybody’s coming from right I don’t know exactly what they went through in their experience to get here or what they need to move forward so Mike brought up the book dropped the rock and then Tracy added there’s a set a follow-up to that drop the rock the ripple effect and everybody loved one you know you said the drop the rock was about crack so that seems to be a familiar thing with step six so if you’re doing step six a whole lot of people suggest drop the rock and you know if you’re doing step one also drop the rock and stop smoking crack mr. t bear said recognize your character defects don’t go away you need a higher power to help keep them under control what do you think about that they don’t go away I kind of agree with that I think they come back like we I think we talked about that yeah we did actually and so and it’s funny because I was just going over a step with someone else different step but we were talking about there’s tools in the toolbox and the way that I sort of used that exact analogy was to say when we come into program we have a lot of bad tools for coping with life you know what I mean we have anger resentment fear you know judgment and whatever you want to call it sarcasm you know those those are the tools that we have and then we come in and we work these steps and we learn these new principles and if we aren’t constantly using those new tools and they aren’t on top of the toolbox you know they’ll start to sink to the bottom and if you’ve ever used the toolbox on a regular basis I do a lot of physical labor it’s like that weird saw that you don’t use very much gets all the way to the bottom and then when you need it you got to dig through all your other [ _ ] to get to it yeah that’s the way these tools work as well if I’m not constantly working on patience and tolerance and acceptance and surrender and love and those things they start to sink down to the bottom and that resentment anger fear stuff sinks you know rises to the top and those are the ones that come out eat more easily so yeah I don’t know that they ever go away it’s just the more that I try to practice the spiritual principles in place of them the more likely I am to use those spiritual principles when [ _ ] hits the fan I like that too I was sitting here thinking that for me like I came in here with one tool and that was the angry hammer right and then I got here and it’s like I started doing some some different odd you know construction work and the hammer I still just used a hammer for every you’re gonna put a screw in a bucket hit with a hammer right you need to unscrew something at will just [ _ ] pull it out a hammer like and now it’s almost like if I’m not conscious on a daily basis I’m not even doing construction work anymore I’m doing like surgery on people Here I am I’m still using the [ _ ] angry hammer somedays right like what the [ _ ] are you doing dude it’s not a doctor’s tool okay so yeah I’m with you recovery hours said that she found this quote in the 12 and 12 the chief activator of our defects has been self centered fear primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded and that’s an that’s a pretty good quote primary primarily fear that we would lose something we already possess or would fail to get something we demanded that’s pretty much the story of my life is that I’m terrified I’m not gonna get what I want or I’m not gonna have enough those are like my biggest fears I think on a regular basis when I look at it yeah and I remember my sponsor telling me that you know the first time through the steps you know my first sponsor was that yeah fear was at the basis of all my character defects hmm so then Liz said you worked the first five steps then let six and seven work you as you proceed through the rest of the steps what does that mean to you the first I guess I had another sponsor tell me something in a similar but in a different way that said the steps will come and get you and that’s you know if I work the first five steps and then I just continue to live in my character defects like slowly my awareness of the my responsibility for things is coming up and slowly the the pain of the pain that comes along with the awareness of the harm that I’m causing to other people you know either pushes me to use or pushes me to do something different I think that’s a line in the basic text in six I think it says you know our character defects can back us into a corner that you cannot come out of clean and I think that’s sort of a similar thing it’s like if I don’t do something about it the problem will fix itself one way or another it’s an interesting concept how I’ve heard people refer to as the road narrows the longer we stay here or something along those lines and basically like when we get here and we’re free from all the awful terrible behaviors we did while using it’s like I can do almost anything and I can feel pretty okay with it it doesn’t really bother me but the longer I stay and the more recovery work I put in like certain behaviors just start to feel not so good over time like it and I don’t know what that is is that growing up is that you know more of a spiritual connection like for some reason over time I start to be less okay with things that I used to be fine with you know maybe I just don’t like the way I lie to women to sleep with them anymore or maybe you know and it comes in like little stages but I get closer no matter it’s almost like despite me try and like recovery happens in spite of myself at some points in time even though I got to do a little work but the changes happened whether I asked for it not so yeah alcoholic dad I still probably the worst [ _ ] name on Twitter it sounds awful even though it’s great that he’s in recovery he talked about step six be in the center and backbone of the program the separator fulcrum or pivot step seven humility we recognize our faults we ask on a daily basis for assistance in removing the faulty behaviors and attitudes learned or acquired we lose fear through courage to ask for help and I thought of that whole idea of you know the center backbone and and pivot point was a very interesting and you know thought like that’s the kind of place where our recovery turns from running to escape something to more guided towards something that’s what I took out of that and I was like huh I might actually believe that [ _ ] I don’t know what do you think yeah or or like that so for me I like to think of it as the pivot point to where I start so when I first come into recovery and I do the first couple of steps and I stopped using you know I’m proud to do a lot of things for for myself in essence I [ _ ] stopped stealing I might take a bath might get a job take responsibility for my life you know and things start to get better for me but they don’t necessarily improve for the lives of people around me other than I’m late stop stealing from my family and stuff but I mean and when I get to six and seven and I begin to work on my defects and become a new person then the lives around the the lives of the people around me start to become impacted and the lives of those people can start to get better you know because now I’m becoming a more healthy and productive human being and so I guess maybe when I say you know six and seven I stop running away from a certain thing and start moving towards a spiritual direction right and I kind of still believe that but sort of more in line with what you’re saying up until like six and seven I’m still the focus of my problem right it’s still completely self-centered recovering and then six and seven and moving further really leads me into seeing how hey this is really just not all about me like yeah I’m in here in this recovery but I’m also trying to center around treat how I treat others and I’m noticing that more yeah and it’s the first steps towards that like it’s like you said it’s like the awareness like hey maybe my actions do in impact people around me hey maybe what I’m doing does have like that ripple effect and then you get into eight where you got to make your well nine is where you make your amends but you know you get into eight and nine where you start making it amends and you really feel the full force of this hopefully full impact and it’s like gradual steps towards that process of awareness of how we affect the world around us hmm so interesting Sandra said six and seven the balancing steps helped me to be able to truly and without reluctance take eight and nine they remind me every day that I’m a work in progress and when my defects are running riot I can stop and ask for help any thoughts on any of that oh no I mean that all sounds pretty good I I just keep thinking and it’s just took my thought right away and I thought it in alcoholics dad comment it’s like it’s it was so important for me anyway to realize my assets and stuff in six and seven as well that I have these assets that I’m not all bad that I am NOT all these defects you know yes maybe they’re a big part of my life but there were still some good parts of me you know that were worth saving or keeping or nurturing you know that I wasn’t just a total piece of [ _ ] that’s so funny because I remember the first time through for me and I know there’s a section in 4 and in 6 and it’s like yeah it’s one little section there’s like eight sections of how [ _ ] awful I am and this one little section you know and it I just couldn’t feel it I was like now I’m writing this [ _ ] but I don’t believe none of it I’m a piece of [ _ ] that’s terrible well see and I that’s all I ever felt like was a piece of [ _ ] you know what I mean and I needed that encouragement or that realization like you know you’re not all bad you’re not I just couldn’t internalize it no matter how much I’ve wanted to it’s like I could kind of see it in my life like hey you’re nice to people right that’s cool I just could not really truly feel it internally or believe it and so I was like moving over to Facebook Kevin said the issues are like tissues they keep popping up Oh Michael my buddy Michael it’s between six and eight that was his a take on step seven it’s between six and eight

Bob said get ready for God to open your eyes to a new way of seeing perceiving and processing things that’s interesting a new way of seeing proceeding and processing things sometimes I’ve read it I’m like yeah that’s cool and then later I’m like cool my buddy Pat said his prayers changed he wasn’t able to on his own so he started to humbly ask for help and I dug into that a little bit and he said up until then he had been telling God what he needed or wanted or saying I hope this is the right thing for me to do but humility patience and turning his thought and actions over finally evolved into the equation and he got to this stage and started seeing the depth of his powerlessness and so I love Pat he’s always got some real humble stuff to say and then Brian who’s a very he is more of a religious type said the seven-step to him is is a prayer something along this lines of Lord I’m a sinner please forgive me for my sins lead me away from temptations and save me from all the evils of this world and so that’s a different take on that idea and then Christi had said something or other and I can’t find that right this second so it was it was nice I will find it before we get done so did you want to start talking about sponsorship today oh and I did want to thank autumn autumn was the one who mentioned us I don’t know maybe a month ago at this point that we had not yet done a sponsor for sponsorship episode and it kind of I’ve wanted to go back I went back and looked at our episodes I’m like yeah we did what’s she talking about and apparently we have it so that’s why we’re here to do sponsorship today so yeah in preparation for doing an episode on sponsorship like most times I go and research some literature outside of just the fellowship that I’ve always been to and always read the literature of and and looked at some outside information and was very enlightened and you know kind of like wow my eyes were opened on a few things hold that for one second so Christi said step 7 on the third go-around was her greatest spiritual awakening finally realizing she couldn’t do it alone and I just think that’s interesting that it was on our third go-around like it takes us like we get to these different layers and these different understandings of things as we go and I also wanted to comment on what you just said that I am so highly impressed that you like check out other fellowships and programs literature before we do this because I’m like how does rebut the [ _ ] I know from my program I don’t even think about it well that’s what I’ve realized is and I don’t think it’s a bad thing but I came to Narcotics Anonymous I found exactly what I needed at the time in my life and it’s worked very very well for me you know and I mean it it has there’s nothing about it that I feel like has led me astray or or sent my life in a wrong direction or done any harm for me at all so I stuck around and I didn’t really feel a need to do much research you know what I mean literally because as a member of Narcotics Anonymous or a person that sponsors someone in Narcotics Anonymous it’s not really that important that I know what’s going on in other fellowships it’s really only important that I understand how this fellowship works and how we kind of do things and how I apply this in my life to be frank I never worked a a step so I couldn’t tell you how to be an a a sponsor I don’t [ _ ] know you know what I mean like I have a general idea but I don’t really know so yeah so it’s been interesting to do that to look outside of for different information and just um and I think you had said it and it’s it’s I realize this a couple of weeks it to go to it’s like it’s not that like Narcotics Anonymous doesn’t have the market on all the good information there’s tons of other good information it can be useful and that I can take and apply in my life still and then if you go out and find it and bring it back to LA you sound like a [ _ ] guru oh yeah yeah well you got to make sure you don’t mention where you heard it from yeah you just made any Curacao come after you for violating traditions but in any case so I’d like to start out kind of for for people that aren’t familiar with 12-step programs or any of that like us a sponsor what is a sponsor what do we get them for what is this thing I think the general idea is I looked up the definition of spa so one this is a merriam-webster of course the one is one who presents a candidate for baptism or confirmation and undertakes responsibility for the person’s religious education or spiritual welfare so the second part of that I kind of agree with that we undertake a little bit of responsibility as sponsors for the person’s spiritual welfare the next one was one who assumes responsibility for some other person or thing and I think there’s a little bit of that in there we’re not really responsible for what our spawn sees do but it’s interesting we take a little bit of responsibility for their recovery I think and then of course the the you know one I wanted when I got here was a person or organization that pays for me wanted somehow to pay for you know I thought it’s gonna be like a walkathon when I first got here before I got sponsored like back then it was like oh hey you get somebody to sponsor you and they give you you know $3.00 per mile you walk and I was like maybe they’ll give me like three dollars every day I stay clean or something Bank I’m taking that you found a different definition and of course now I can’t find it now I thought I had it up here but I didn’t but in any case it was it was like someone that you step in and you take like an active role in supporting them through this process right is the general definition you know if we if we picture you know a sponsorship of a whatever golf tournament or something companies might give money they might give food or drinks and then they can sponsor at different levels you know depending on what their commitment is and this is similar like we’re stepping in to tell someone hey I will help you through this process in what I can or I don’t know that we’re telling them usually the way sponsorship works at least what I’m familiar with is that that person would come and ask you to be their sponsor now I do understand that to be a little different in some places or some programs some areas they’re a little more active and going out to people and doing things like saying hey do you have a sponsor no all right well I’ll be your temporary sponsor until you find one me personally I’ve never done that I don’t know that I agree with that um for reasons we could get into but I know that is the thing that happens at places and there are people that will do that and I don’t know that it’s wrong I just have reasons why I wouldn’t do it I definitely I didn’t do that right but I did it on the low when I was newer and one in spot C’s I would just go talk to the newcomer a lot after the meeting and maybe pick him up for a couple meetings and I was basically just biding my time till he asked me but yeah yeah I was trying to recruit I mean for me it’s always been a matter of you know and maybe this is judgment or whatever but to be in this process and to do it honestly takes a lot of commitment and a lot of work you know what I mean and if you’re not even willing to asked me for help you know are you really gonna be really to do the hot are you gonna be willing to do the hard work when it comes to the harp like that’s that’s just a tiny bit of humility it really takes almost and I know it feels monumental so when I was new and recovering on and asking some guy to sponsor me like that felt so enormous you know and I mean like it felt so awkward and so uncomfortable but that getting through that having the courage to step through that was important to begin this process because what I found was that doesn’t stop you know none of this stuff becomes comfortable and as we get later into steps and doing like an eighth step or doing a you know fifth step with it another human being or you know or ninth step I should say you know going over my eighth step with a sponsor and then going out to people and making amends like none of that [ _ ] is easy or comfortable at least not for me and so if I can’t even begin the baby step of admitting that I need some help or asking someone to help me and none of those guys that I you know recruited stayed clean it just I think it was all about me still at that point in time you know we just talked about that my program had not really pivoted or I hadn’t gotten what I needed internally to be more open to other things and it was still like hey if I can get some spawn C’s that’ll make me important enough to matter I still felt like I didn’t matter and I wasn’t nobody and and I don’t know you know that took for me a long time in this process to really get to a point where I was better internally and didn’t have to seek outside things to make myself feel better but that was I think part of the reason I did that like oh yeah if I sponsor like five or six guys I’m really gonna you know matter now at least somebody but yeah so a sponsor from what I understand it is a person that’s gonna help especially early in recovery but throughout recovery but especially earlier in recovery they’re a person that’s going to help us sort of get through some of the beginnings of like the weirdness and awkwardness that is a life of abstinence yeah and so I think it’s really interesting I’ve had this discussion I think a lot of different people have different ideas of what sponsors do or what their job is or any of that I mean obviously in our literature in in the NA in the NA they talk about we’re not therapists or you know marriage counselors or bankers like we’re not there to provide those kind of things only just to provide our experience strength and hope when we can and it’s appropriate I’ve heard some people say hey my sponsor is only a guide through the steps nothing more like I don’t ever hang out with him I don’t go to meetings with him I call him up when I’m finished a step or when I need guidance on a step and that’s it that’s what we do then I’ve heard other people who through the step process become great friends with their sponsor and you know they have a different relationship and then I’ve heard people who believe that it’s more than just you know guiding through the steps it’s also to be there for phone calls to help him guide him through any life challenge and and so what I mean do you have a particular belief on which one is right or I think for a long time I was pretty married to the idea that a sponsor was primarily a guide step that guy through the 12 steps right and I used to actually say that quote out of our literature and I did find something similar in the AAA literature that says you know they’re not professional therapists or bankers they have a similar line in their sponsorship information and Aust aren’t professional therapists but yeah so what we have in this program is our experience with the program so I have my experience with Narcotics Anonymous and that’s what I have to offer and share with someone that I sponsor um you know maybe I have some personal marriage experience maybe I don’t maybe I’m good at marriage maybe I’m not maybe my situation is different than theirs who knows but that’s not what they’re that’s not what my primary role is my primary role is to help them with this process of recovery in whatever fellowship again being a person that has been around I have experienced some things in the fellowship as far as our service structure how groups work you know what what things will help you stay connected to the groups those kind of things I have never personally felt like a spawn spawn sibility to be like a taxi service or to be a moneylender or any of those things I’ve never been great at getting phone calls at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning not because I wouldn’t talk to someone but I for the most part of my life probably wouldn’t even a got up now I my phone is next to me but like a few years ago I never used to put my phone next to my bed it stayed like in the living room on a charger when I went to bed so I didn’t carry it with me all the time and it wasn’t a direct you know slight either way it just I just that’s where it was when I charged it up at night so if people call me at 2:00 in the morning I probably wouldn’t get that call um but that being said I have answered those calls and now if somebody called me I would probably talk even though I’d say I don’t know I’m gonna test that out this week yeah this is really an emergency but I think each individual’s efforts there are kind of on them to decide what how much they want to put into that relationship and so I found it interesting when you mention like there’s levels of sponsorship that companies can buy into I’d never even considered that like I’ve definitely heard of that concept you know hey do you want to be a platinum level or a bronze level sponsor and I was thinking about it I’m like what’s what’s below bronze like that’s probably where I’m at today like plastic level like it cuz I I’ve had to tell the last couple guys that asked me I’m like hey listen I am NOT gonna be able to go to like two meetings a week with you and hang out right we’re not gonna go get dinner like my life is full I have five kids I got school I’m you know doing a whole lot of stuff right now what I got for you is if you want to call and check in once a week and we can talk about how your week was and not that I couldn’t answer another call if something popped up right during their week but look this is generally what I got I call each week we could talk for half an hour about what’s going on and I’ll get you within two weeks when you’re ready to do a step like that’s what I really have to offer if that’s not what’s good for you and a sponsor then then we’re probably not gonna work out right and that’s I think ties into that seventh step humility knowing that I can’t be everything to everyone at this point and I want to give them the the you know information ahead of time to say hey look maybe this isn’t what I’m looking for like early on I definitely need a sponsor that was gonna hang out all the time like that was just a requirement now really I mean it’s cool to hang out sometimes but I know I don’t have time for the primaries I get it yeah and that’s funny because I’ve done the same thing you know now my life has actually turning a corner on that but a few years back I mean if people would ask me to sponsor one of the first things I would tell them was like look you know I have a wife and three kids and I’m really active with my family and stuff you know so again I’m not the guy that’s available for phone calls every day and and can take calls you know in the middle of the night like as long as you’re okay with that you know I can guide you through the steps that’s what I think a sponsors job is the same thing like I don’t have that and let them make the decision because it is important you know people are looking for different things I mean I’ve I’ve never been a sponsor that’s overly pushy I tell most people I’ll meet yet whatever your level of need is if you ask me to sponsor you and you never call me I’m probably not gonna lose any sleep over that you know what I mean like I’m not gonna start you know calling you and find out where you’re at hey what are you doing are you going to meetings what’s going on like I mean I don’t know if that’s right or wrong I know people will do that stuff I know I’ve heard sponsor stories of them going and dragging people out of crack houses and you know going and dragging people out the meetings and screaming drop the rock all right if I ain’t seen you in a while and we’ve been in pretty close contact I might give you a call I’ll say hey I’m going out to this meeting you want to go or shoot a text or something like that but I’m not like an overbearing person I’ve heard of people giving advice like job advice and telling you got to go get a job and you got to work anywhere I don’t know what you gotta do for you and your personal situation you know what I mean it’s not I don’t feel like it’s my place to make that decision but some people need those things you know they need that sort of I’m gonna call it dictator in their life to tell them like you need to get up at this time you need to take a shower you need to go to work you need you know you need to do these things sponsor Tator yeah when I came in I didn’t need that you know what I mean that’s not what I needed those weren’t things that I lacked in my life I maintained a job all through my using my entire using life other than when I was in jail right but you know I maintained a job I maintained a place to live I paid bills like I was responsible in some areas of my life so I had a few life skills that I brought to the table so I didn’t need someone to tell me how to do those things I would say for me I don’t overly reach out to spawn seas I kind of let them establish a relationship between us like you establish what’s comfortable for you how often you call but once they’ve established that they do call at some regular interval whether that’s every two weeks or you know twice a week or whatever it might be if that falls off I do tend to reach out then it’s kind of like hey you know you’ve it’s almost like you earned that right right and I hate to say it that way but it’s kind of like you know you’ve done the the effort to put into this and now I feel like it’s definitely because there’s so many people don’t ask and don’t ever do anything and that’s if I just spent all my time calling them back I’d still be on the phone we’d never be able to record right there’s a lot of people all right let’s hit our break for for the voices add and then we’ll come right back

so have you ever uploaded anything to YouTube I don’t know if you can upload two videos or not for the sake of extracting audio it’s easier if this doesn’t become like a three hour recording so I’m wondering if I can stop it and then have two sections but put them in the same YouTube video

what’s it take a long time to extract the audio it’s just such a large file size sometimes it doesn’t want to go all the way through like you know spit it back out it’ll get like 55% through and then like nope can you combine two videos thing if it is will pause

I guess it could be two sections if not wouldn’t hurt anything this one says you can it says click on the upload button and select the upload icon select multiple videos files by using the ctrl key on your keyboard and then click open well that would be to upload more than one at once right yeah but then would they be one video on YouTube oh I see yes doesn’t matter though could have part 1 and part 2

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