Sponsors are hard to find these days. 12-Step programs are changing.
I think that is because there are so many treatment programs that
do not arrange for peer support after graduation. This has altered
how peple feel about the 12th Step in general. It is the 12th
step that enourages us to carry the message of recovery to those
who are still suffering.
I am hoping
people who have some recovery under their belt will volunteer.
is difficult. It means doing things that are unfamiliar and frightening.
It means facing the unknown. To help with this dilemma, we need
I went to my first 12-Step meeting. The speaker caught my attention
when she said, "I know it will be hard, but you will have
to reach out for help if you want to get better." I remember
saying to myself "Never. I can do this on my own." I
laugh now because I was so wrong. I really did need help and I
got it by the grace of God.
later, a woman spoke at a meeting I was attending and I really
identified with what she was saying. We had similar stories of
addiction. I approached her and she asked for my phone number.
It was like she was reading my mind. We exchanged numbers and
began a new adventure together. Joan helped me and I helped her
because she said she needed to help me to maintain her own recovery.
I didn't understand this at first until I began sponsoring others.
"Carrying the message," prompts me to keep up my studies
and to get away from my tendency to isolate. It also makes me
feel good about myself and about life.”
Joan got cancer and left AA. When she came back everybody ignored
her. But she had helped save my life, so I took care of her is
hospice. Then, in 1984 she died in my arms. I still miss her and
wear the ring she gave me to symbolize our journey together. And
today I am a Wounded Healer and Enlightened Witness like her.
I carry my message to those who suffer they way Joan and I had.
someone I could trust, and someone who had experienced her own
addiction and was now in recovery. She was someone who would read
my journal and listen to my Fourth Step. She was patient, kind
and wise. She was also very spiritual which was what I needed
is a list of the qualities I found in Joan. If you are in recovery,
may you be so blessed.
experienced something similar to me. Not identical but close enough.
was a good listener.
gave me positive feed back whether I wanted it or not.
confronted me when necessary.
was sympathetic, but kept her boundaries and did not get lost
in my pain.
could practically read my mind.
never gave up on me.
mirrored back to me my inner beauty.
never judged me.
always encouraged me to process all of my pain and not stuff it
or take it out on others.
encouraged me to forgive those who had hurt me and to forgive
myself most of all.
knew when to talk and when to listen.
was willing to share her story and shortcomings.
witnessed my pain so that I could see through her what I had been
had worked the steps and helped me do the same.
had other students but always gave me special attention.
did not feel I deserved her but she was there for me anyway,
was always interested in helping others.
helped me find God but she did not ram spirituality down my throat.
angels take care of you now my friend . . .
• Preamble • Meetings
• 12 Steps
12 Promises • 12
Traditions • Links •
Prayers & Excerpts