I have had quite a lot of drama lately with a sponsee. Without going into his story too much, just let's say that he is having some boundary issues. And the main issue is that he isn't respecting his boundaries. He makes a boundary, decides to toss it out and then cries foul when he gets a big plate of crap tossed back in his face from people that he is trying to control. He doesn't like the crap but can't seem to stop the behavior that leads to it being heaved his way.
And when the crap gets heaved at him, he decides to call me and moan on and on about how dreadful his life is, how sad and broken he is, how disrespected he is, and so on. I listen, make a few suggestions, get told that my suggestions aren't going to work because he is special and feels more deeply than most; that he is bipolar and that's a problem; that he doesn't want to be brainwashed by the program (he was in AA and NA but found those programs to be too restricting); and that he needs to follow his feelings wherever they take him.
So the other day after a particularly disturbing phone call where he said that he thought he might need to go to a psych ward, I told him that might not be a bad idea. I reminded him that I wasn't a therapist, guru, spiritual wizard, or Higher Power--instead, I am simply a person who has worked the steps and am willing to share with him how I did it, what happened as I worked the steps, and how I'm doing now.
I have decided that I don't want to be a part of the drama of sponsees. I am willing to listen but I also want to see some willingness on his part to do what is suggested. The Al-Anon books are pretty clear on the need for willingness in working the steps. And the Big Book of AA provides all anyone would need instructively on working the steps (even for Al-Anon although it isn't CAL for us).
I told him to call me when he was ready to get to work on the steps again. I know that I've got to set my own boundaries with this sponsee. I need a boundary in which I maintain my balance and not do for others what they and the God of their understanding can do for them. I want to be of service but not a crutch or substitute for someone's HP.