Sponsors. There are some days in AA where I really, truly wish that it wasn’t necessary to have one.
I shared on this site before that my sponsor and I sit at very different sides of the light spectrum. Actually, it would be difficult to find someone that I have less in common with, frankly.
There are some days that I really appreciate her perspective. It’s always a far cry from what I would think for myself. And, I often find myself saying that it’s that different perspective that I need. I don’t know if it’s what actually keeps me sober, but, it makes me think.
Today, and this whole weekend really, I didn’t care about thinking. I was was just pissed. My sponsor didn’t come to my rehab graduation, she didn’t call me to congratulate me, she didn’t text me either. She wasn’t in the dark about this. We’d been talking about it for weeks, and she knew how much it meant to me. I knew that she couldn’t attend the actual ceremony, because of her job, and I understood that completely. Frankly, she’s a weirdo. And, to say we’re not that close in a personal way is the understatement of the century. So, it was just as well that I had my time with my fellow rehabbers. But, I was really bothered that she hadn’t even acknowledged me at all.
At first, I thought my ego was getting the best of me, a big AA no-no. But, the more I examined myself and my motivation for being upset, the more I felt I was justified. Your sponsor isn’t supposed to be your best friend. Your sponsor is supposed to take you through the steps, be there for you when you’re in a rough spot, and celebrate your milestones in recovery. And, graduating from rehab, well, that’s a fuckin’ milestone if I ever saw one.
When I met her for our usual Sunday meeting today, I debated not saying anything. I didn’t want to hear her justifications for missing my milestone. And, I didn’t really feel like ruffling her feathers. But, as I sat alone at the table in Starbucks, waiting for her to get her coffee, I remembered what my graduation meant. If I’ve learned anything at all in treatment, it’s that I have to say what I’m feeling. It doesn’t benefit me to swallow that pain, and, it certainly doesn’t benefit my sponsor. After all, we’re working on my 4th Step, which is all about facing your resentments. And, here it was, resentment.
I told my sponsor that I was disappointed in her. I told her that I thought that I had deserved at least a call or text message to acknowledge this event in my sobriety. I told her that she could have come to the AA meeting I secretary, which was in the evening after my graduation. She gave me some reasons for her not contacting me, some of which I understood, some, I thought were just excuses. But, I felt better for having told her that I was hurt.
So, maybe it didn’t resolve itself perfectly, but, it was better than carrying it around with me the whole week. And, while it made me seriously question if she’s the right sponsor for me, it also made me think about exactly what I need and want out of sponsorship. And, at the end of the day, she’s been a really great resource for taking me through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. And, that’s really what I need. I have a back up crew: Lars, Pete from rehab, my home group, the facilitators at my rehab center. There are people that are going to keep me sober. People in recovery that I can count on, always. And, once I get through the 12 Steps with my current sponsor, I’m going to find a new one. But, for now, it is what it is.
Today, I was open and honest about my resentment. And, the world didn’t end. Go figure.