DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SPONSORSHIP: WHEN TO SAY NO!


I CANNOT SPONSOR YOU

BOB:

"We shared too much history for him to pay any attention to my directions." ---Quote from Big Book, pg 97

But you will not find that quote in your book. I had looked through my 4th Edition page-by-page, then 3rd, then 2nd Edition for this quote, found it on page 97 at bottom. Under the printed matter, there it was in faded blue ink.

I recall the happening. A quasi friend, who had been a daily bar customer (one of many!) of mine for five years, found his way to the AA room, and asked me to be his sponsor. I just couldn't do it, and told him so.

I could not tell him the reason though: I had been his bartender/entertainer for too long, and knew everything about him. Hundreds of times in our past I had agreed with his words, when I knew he was full of craparoni, and I could not now own up to that. It was then I asked my sponsor about it, and he, knowing both of us, said to me what I quoted above. We just knew each other too well--we shared too much history. It would have almost been like sponsoring a brother, a fairly well-known setup for disaster.

LOIS 1968:

This quite attractive lady, mid-thirties, and (ahem) quite well-proportioned, was also a daily customer, in the beginning drank very little. She was always scouting for young guys, and depended on me to guide her to ones which probably would not hurt her. I would point out a guy, she'd move to sit next to him, and minutes later, they would leave.

She always saw that I got a BIG tip. Lois owned a dress shop a few doors down from the (unnamed) bar. After about an hour the man would return, she would not. 'He' always needed a quick one. Every guy would ask me questions like, "Where did you find HER?" or "What time does she come into the bar tomorrow?" or "Wow! Phewww! AMEN!"

Some nights when we were alone at the closing of the bar, she would give me a good hug, and a better kiss, but never suggested more. I have often wondered (pictured?) what went on in that dress shop, and why I was never invited. She told me once, she "respected" me...Oh SHIT YEAH! But she always behaved like a "lady" and ALWAYS tipped more then the cost of her drinks. And she LOVED violin playing. Well, in a fashion, I suppose I 'respected' her also!

Lois finally settled down and married a real nice man, They asked me to play at their wedding in a church. I did. It WAS nice. (And I had introduced them at the bar!) Marriage lasted several...months. So I felt I was a failure at "Matchmaking"...(Although MANY of the people I introduced to one another are still together 40 years later!)

Lois found her way into AA, and asked me to sponsor her, and just could not understand why it would not work. And I could not understand it either! Dammmm rules!

May her wonderful soul rest in peace. She was good. I loved her.

I have SO many stories of real people-of-the-night who I got to know so well...maybe that's why I cannot get to bed on time--ever. I'll blog some more eventually. Some are REALLY good, Oh my yessss.

REALLY, In LOVE and service,
Sincerely,
Steve E.

17 comments:

clean and crazy said...

I am glad i woke back up to read a bit, I was having a using dream and this one was of my real past, old flames if you will and i woke up scared. I think I can go to sleep now, knowing this too shall pass and I am grateful I am not the only one who runs into the past from time to time, I appreciate your thoughts and thanks for the book title, haven't had time to look it up though what with all this computer training and garden spots. have a good night

Just Be Real said...

Stevie, Lois sounded truly like a beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story from your archives of wonderful memories. I am too sure you have plenty in there to share in the future. Blessings.

Shadow said...

it's sad when one cannot 'bend' the mind of another to 'get it'. but, that's where the letting go comes in i suppose...

pat said...

Happy Wednesday Steve.

Prayer Girl said...

Happy Wednesday Mr. Steve.

I love the Lois story.

Prayer Girl

Kristin H. said...

I love reading these stories. More please!

Ed G. said...

I look forward to hearing more and more and more...

My Lois was named Diane... Never found the program...

Syd said...

Whew, for a moment when I read Lois, I was thinking of Lois Wilson. Glad that was clarified. I can see the reasons for not sponsoring these two people. I don't sponsor those who can't tell me that they are ready to get honest. I'll go to any length but they have to walk along with me.

mile191 said...

Great stuff here. Hey, you know I am back, thanks for the support and love in my direction, all the time. You are my amazing friend. I blew kisses to you and prayergirl as we flew over what I think is home for you. I am doing pretty well. Really behind in school, but had to take the time to say hello and thanks for the support. Hugs to you. Missed you. ♥ mile....hey, notice in my pictures that the shirt that is green, in front of margaritaville...[sober], has a bird on it...the bird has a word on it....HOPE. I bought it for my trip, and stayed true to ME. Thank you Steve.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

You have GREAT stories (IMHO)...

Here's a secret I've learned... when I'm supposed to work with someone, nothing can stop it...when I'm not nothing I do will make it happen....

Lack of power that was my dilemma, against my best thinking and vehement opinions some people keep coming back to me...and in spite of my best ideas my best judgment and experience (LOL)...people move away...

The truth is I'm an anomaly in many of the opinions and ideas of the fellowship:

I was sponsored through the steps and continue to receive sponsoring from my husband's sponsor, I'm also receiving direction from another of his sponsees now.

I have received and accepted hard truth and direction from my husband.

I sponsored in my first year, the sponsees who chose to take the direction I suggested are still sober and working good programs.

While I would like to say that close personal experience should negate my ability to work with someone, if I'm honest with them (which is my first directed course of action) about my feelings and my experience, they get to walk away, or choose to continue participating. I'm not in the decision making business, I'm well aware that my decisions have a habit of sucking.

Most of the time, the fact that my sponsor has told me to tell that person the truth to GET honest about ME, negates my ever having to make the decision. When I tell the truth the decision is made for me.

I'm instructed to pray, lay out the truth, my experience, and the foundation rules that I live by... The ultimate decision, is up to God.

I had no idea when this started that I could be sponsored the whole time I was "looking for just the right sponsor" LOL ...what an experience I have been, I am, I'm in...with you all!

Sometimes I'd rather be doing anything than telling the truth about my experience... but somehow it's always been for good ends... :)

Love ya Steve-a-roni!!!

Cat said...

Have a great day Steve!

Indigo said...

Like layers of an onion. The more you speak and tell us of yourself, one more layer is peeled away. A delightful experience. Today's the 22nd. Just another 3days to my 5th Anniversary. I think I'm more suprised than anyone to have made it this far. (Hugs)Indigo

Lou said...

I would like to sit with you with a cup of coffee and hear the stories that will NEVER make it on the blog;)

Mary Christine said...

Steve, you had me looking at page 97 of my 2nd edition...

And then wondering about Lois Wilson...

Still scratching my head.

Prayer Girl said...

Just wanted you to know I just gave you an award. You can see it on my blog.

Love Ya,
PG

A. Miles said...

I like what Jess said and have found it true in my life:
"when I'm supposed to work with someone, nothing can stop it...when I'm not nothing I do will make it happen...."

vicariousrising said...

A sponsor needs to be a little uncomfortable, I think. Not so much your buddy but a guide.

Poor Lois probably thought you were rejecting her. Didn't the men with men, women with women work? Oh well. Some still seek an easier softer way.