Saturday, July 14, 2007


I realized this wasn't going to work the moment I heard him speak. His voice was like fingernails rasping across a chalkboard. I would have to talk to this person often on the phone. I hate to be so petty, but it was the truth. I hated that voice. Our avenue for our meeting was also suspect being a burger joint due to his request. McDonald's. Gross. I imagined many meetings here at this scourge of culinary crassness over my preferred coffee and omelet at the Waffle House.

"I know this great guy," Wanda had said on the phone. "I think he would be a great sponsor for you. Meet us for lunch."

He was near my age. He had gotten sober at twenty-five. Can you imagine? I didn't know my ass from a hole in the wall at twenty-five, let alone having the soundness of mind to get sober at such an early age. Drinking and getting drunk was cool then. All my friends got drunk and stoned. I would have been a social pariah by abstaining.

"How long have you been sober?" He asked me over fries and ketchup, spilling some on his shirt.

"I don't keep count these days," I said, long ago having quit practicing the chip system of A.A. "It's been awhile."

I could tell he didn't like my answer at all. It was just a major hurdle for me to show up for this so I didn't care. I just wanted to go home, curl up in the chair on my porch, and read chapter twenty of my book. I was doing this for my dear friend, Wanda. I have not had my mind much on Alcoholics Anonymous anyway.

"So what did you think?" Wanda asked as we walked out to our cars in the parking lot.

"He was cool," I replied out of niceness and respect. The guy did take the time out of his life to meet me and I owed Wanda this much.

"Do you think you can see him as your sponsor?"

I just knew she was going to ask this awkward question. It is the story of my social anxiety riddled life. They always ask the hard questions.

"I am not ready for a new sponsor, yet," I replied. "I am still getting over Tim."

It came out sounding as if me and Tim were lovers and I was recovering from a terrible and tumultuous breakup. I cringed at my own words. It was weak and I could see the disappointment in Wanda's face.

"Think it over," she said, crawling into her old Ford Crown Victoria as I stood in the parking lot. "Give it some time. I think you two would be great."

I had never been so glad to get in my car and drive home. The whole ordeal was nerve wracking, but I muddled through. Bless Wanda's heart, but this one just wasn't going to work.


Eric Valentine said...

Andrew, you know you have to level with Wanda and the guy. Don't hang about and make things more difficult for yourself. Lots of luck. :)

Mustafa ┼×enalp said...

What a nice blog you have!

Thom said...

hey... this is a great blog.. yeah, a strangers opinion aint really significant... but seriously, i love reading your stuff :)
do tc.. :)

STACY'S TRIP said...

I love you and read you every day. I come from the sister group NA but have respect and am very thankful for AA as well. I have recently moved from CA to Missouri and fuond the blog thing to be meditative/informative/creative/etc all these things. I know what it's like when you fire/relieve/lose your sponsor as I don't have one right now being that we just moved. (And i think my sponsor relapsed) Anyway, I want to have you tell me how to do the ADs on your blog. I saw you tried to help someone else and they didn't understand. I really want to do this. I work from home now and think I can figure it out. Your blog rocks!

mago said...

25? Jausa ...
I'd think the question is "what do you need?" Please Wanda? Do you need a sponsor - and by the way: What for? I simply do not know about his function in this AA-setting and "Chip-System". Would you have to have a very personal thing with this man?
Well he's seemingly of an other kind of type, exact business man, book-keeper ... unforgiving maybe.

Andrew said...


A sponsor is A.A.'s version of a mentor. They guide you in A.A. and through the 12 steps (God, doesn't this sound like a cult? lol). I would hope it would grow to be a personal relationship as it takes a lot of trust in this arrangement in the program.


Cheryl said...

Is the A.A. meeting that you go to very large? Have you ever met anyone that you thought you might have a connection with? I know you respect and like Wanda. I wonder why she was so sure you and Tim would be great together. I think you're being too hard on youself for your reaction. We can be our own worst enemies, as you know.

I think you're crazy just like me said...

You would know what feels off... and the people in the program can take it or lump it.

My sister is in aa and na and she has two thoughts, a)sponsers have to be like the friend who can tell you that you "Buddy, you smell like shit and you pick your nose, it's kind of affecting those around you" and b)you need to open yourself up to trusting.

I hope you can find a good frined and trust that they can help guide and support you.

justLacey said...

There is nothing wrong with you choosing someone that you are compatible and comfortable with. It just won't work if you don't. At least someone you like and respect. Hang in there, the right person will come along. Be honest with Wanda though, there is nothing bad about what you thought.


Only you know yourself the best.
If it doesn't feel right, than you're exactly right not to proceed.
You're very intuitive.

Rae said...

Andrew ... I took a sponsor at the urging of a good recovery friend and it did not work out at all. Good that you are following your hunches. I do think having a sponsor is important though. I know it can feel tumultous trying to find one though.

Good luck

nengaku said...

I agree, getting a good sponsor is critical in your recovery. But it's not like marriage. You can just say "this isn't working out" and start looking for another one if you want. I do think a good sponsor will comfort you when you are afflicted and afflict you when you are comfortable.
Keep looking, keep writing, and "keep coming back....."