How My Faith Was Restored In Sponsorship

While sponsoring someone through the 12 Steps in a recovery program can be quite rewarding in a number of ways, watching one after another relapse, die, or disappear before completing them isn’t. Up until recently, out of the 60+ individuals that I’ve sponsored, not one has ever made it through the entire Big Book 12-Step process. But thankfully, I can say now one of them finally did surpass all of those odds and finish the process with me, of which I am eternally grateful because it restored my faith in sponsorship.

Sadly though, most of those I’ve sponsored prior to him always gave up at the 3rd Step or during their work on the 4th. With the 3rd, it’s all about turning one’s will over to the care of a Higher Power, which often trips a sponsees up, especially when they’ve been running on self-will for so long. So many seems to have issues when the talk of God arises, usually because of the religion that was presented to them as a kid growing up or views immensely pressed upon them from another some time later in life. As with the 4th Step, that’s entirely about facing oneself and taking a hard look at how all their resentments, anger, and misery in life stems back to the very person they see in the mirror every single day. This often proves to be extremely difficult for most, especially when plenty of painful things have happened throughout their lives they want to continue blaming another for.

There is one other area I have also found to be problematic for a sponsee as well and that comes during their work on the 8th and 9th Steps. It’s here labor begins to be put forward to repairing the damage they caused others over the years, which can be overly fearful for someone who created a lot of it from their addiction-fueled behaviors.

So as the years would pass, one by one, with me remaining clean and sober, I’d sponsor person after person, hoping with each that they would be the first to make it through the entire 164 pages of 12 Step work. But none would. And as I lost each of them during the 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th or some other part of the 12 Step work, I would grow more and more frustrated, asking myself why bother sponsoring someone at all. Which is why I’m so grateful to be writing today’s entry, because one of those sponsees actually defied those odds and completed the 12 Steps with me in a year’s worth of very hard work.

While I would love to mention this man’s name and give him the well-earned praise he truly deserves, I must respect the principle of anonymity in recovery and just say thanks in this way. It is because of this man’s hard work that my faith has been restored and rejuvenated in the sponsorship process. And it is because of this man’s hard work why I will continue doing my absolute best to sponsor one individual after another to find their way through the 12 Steps of recovery. Thank you God for bringing this man into my life and giving me a clear reminder as to why sponsorship is so important in recovery from addiction…

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson