I heard a fifth step of a fellow I sponsor today. It is one of the joys of sponsoring to be trusted and to trust. I sit in meetings and listen to people who are still in a lot of pain. They don't have a sponsor and are trying to recover from the affects of someone else's drinking by going to meetings. There are no musts in Al-Anon, so a person doesn't have to have a sponsor to work any step. But I believe that it certainly helps.
I asked someone to sponsor me within three weeks of being in Al-Anon. I found a person who has a sponsor and who shared his experience to guide me through the steps. Having a sponsor has helped bring a whole new dimension to the program and to myself. I know that I would not be where I am today without my sponsor. I stay in touch with him just about every day. I care how he is doing, and our relationship is important. We are friends.
Mary Christine had a wonderful post today on sponsoring. She writes: "In my relationship with my sponsor, we talk as old friends. There are times when I ask her for help or her opinion. Other times, she has asked me for mine. She has been my sponsor since I was sober 10 years, so it is now 17 years. She is now aging - as if I'm not! She is not quite the person she used to be. But she is my beloved sponsor, and always will be.......And then there are others... the relationship never moves beyond the take and take. Or the give and give."
I spend a lot of time with those I sponsor. I make myself available. It is all part of the commitment. I have to say that I don't hear from many that I sponsor unless there is something wrong. I give them a call and occasionally get together for lunch. But sometimes I simply wish that they would call me and ask how I am doing. None of us is without moments of fear and doubt and loneliness. So I guess what I am saying here is to realize that each of us likes to hear a caring voice. Stay in touch with those who have touched you. Recovery is about reciprocating and giving back what has so freely been given to you.