Thursday, March 22, 2007

Over Cups of Joe

I and Wanda sat in the Waffle House late last night drinking cups of coffee and smoking after the late Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. She was trying to urge me to overcome my fears of the phone and to get a sponsor.

“Having a sponsor is the cornerstone of A.A.” She told me, very persuading.
I realize I have a hard time grasping the spiritual and religious aspects of A.A., but I do so enjoy the social aspects and the close camaraderie of the program. I guess I will just always have to take the good with the bad.
“I know,” I replied. “I realize how important it is. I just won’t call though. I have such terrible phobias surrounding the phone and will only talk to someone if I implicitly trust them and feel comfortable with them.”

I would have liked Wanda to be my sponsor, but a male-female sponsorship is a big taboo and no-no within A.A. Getting sober is tough and hard enough without adding the complications that can arise when dealing with the opposite sex.

“Have you talked to Phillip?” Wanda then asked me. “He is great at being a temporary sponsor and finding newcomers more long term sponsors.”

Phillip is kind of the patriarch at our local A.A. meetings. He has decades of sobriety and is there at every meeting and chairs many meetings as well.

“I don’t like Phillip,” I said, honestly, thinking of one incident when he ran off a newcomer when the newcomer revealed he had problems with drugs as well. “He is just too stodgy and set in his ways. I want someone that is not old enough to be my grandfather. His ‘singular of purpose’ mantra he so touts irks me.”

Wanda laughed and said she understood.

“He can be a stick in the mud sometimes, can’t he?” She said as she smiled warmly. “He means well though.”

“You took the words right out of mouth,” I replied, smiling in return.

Wanda paid for our cups of coffee and we stepped out into the parking lot to head home.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night at a meeting, right?” She asked.

“I’ll be there. I promise,” I replied as I got in my car.

Wanda told me goodbye and I drove on home feeling calm and collected. I realize I have a hard time grasping the spiritual and religious aspects of A.A., but I do so enjoy the social aspects and the close camaraderie of the program. I guess I will just always have to take the good with the bad.

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veronneca said...

Hi Andrew, i came across your blog this morning and i spend all day reading your past entries. I must tell you how your stories have touched me. I may not understand exactly how you felt & what you've been thru but your stories have inspired me greatly. I am sure many others find you an inspiration. Keep writing... and hang on in there. I LOVE YOUR BLOGS!

austere said...

Good morning. Wanda seems right, you will find someone who is rooted and sensible.

I thought of you this morning when my home comp acted up again, just tawdy RAM, can you believe that?

kathleen said...

Surely there is someone that goes to the meetings that is more to your liking that is not of the opposite sex. Being able to talk openly when you need to is important. Your father wouldn't be a good mentor for you? Or do you think he might have too much on his plate already?

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad you have a friend in Wanda. How many people attend the meetings you go to? I hope Wanda can find a good match for you. You're very likeable, you know. I understand about needing a sponsor you can relate to. I hope you find him.

I'm off to start my busy day. I hope you have a great one.

amanda said...

During a short stint in AA I chose someone whom I didn't like too much, but I knew would make a perfect sponsor. She did. She was great.

The only problem was me. I do not respond well to spiritual/religious solutions for what I perceive to be emotional/mental issues...

Andrew said...


I wish you lived close and I could have helped. Thanks for thinking of me.


Dad does watch after me. He is like a bloodhound on the scent as far as my drinking goes! LOL He can sniff it out and knows when something is wrong. I need to find someone in the program though. I just have to get over my anxiety about it. This will be a big topic of discussion the next time I see my therapist.


I depends on the meeting. Some are real small and other are really huge. We have several separate groups over at the A.A. meeting hall that share the same building. I go to most of them though so my chances of finding a good sponsor are high. Have a great day today and I hope to read about it tonight.


I agree with you. I have the hardest time with the spiritual and religious aspect of the program. I just don't believe in all that claptrap. That has been one of my hardest obstacles about attending A.A. meetings. Take care and thanks for the comment.


tiffanie said...

I believe Wanda is meeting a real purpose in your life right now. I also believe AA works like magic. She is giving you good direction.

Andrew said...


Thank you for the kind comment. I appreciated it very much and thanks for reading and enjoying my daily ramblings.


I believe so to. I have met some of the most wonderful, outgoing, and happy people in A.A. They have been a true inspiration.


Katie W. said...

I hate to say it but to me not being allowed a sponsor of teh opposite sex is very backwards thinking if it is for the reason given. what happens if a person is gay... in that case a sponsor of the opposite sex would definitely be appropriate.
Believe it or not some people find making friends with the same sex very hard and can be just friends with a member of the opposite sex. It all sounds very Victorian.

Rich said...

Take what you like and leave the rest. Just keep going you're worth it.

Proxima said...

I agree with Katie on the whole taboo about opposite-sexed sponsors. If a sexual relationship starts between A.A. members then a sexual relationship starts regardless of their "title".

Everyone is different and they need to treat you like adults, not children. The majority of my friends happen to be men and anyone who tries to seperate me from them on account of my sex, often finds themselves painful impaled on my pointy spikes.

Take care!

Cherylynn said...

I hate to be this guy but I just can't not say something here. Singleness of purpose is very important and talked about at length in the traditions. If aa is going to die it will be destroyed from the inside. It happened to the Washingtonian Group a long time ago. Please read up on it if you want to understand more. But I don't want to die and I really need a pure message and I am sure a lot of other people do too. I don't mean to sound harsh at all though. Just sharing my experience. I wish you all the luck in your sobriety.
Also - I have a man sponsor and am 6 years sober and doing just fine. We respect the relationship that we have and would never even dream of tarnishing that in any way. he helps me live sober and that's it.