It wasn’t enough to admit powerlessness, realize that alcohol was not the greater power that was to restore anything, nor turning my will over to God, I needed the help freely given to me by my savoir Stewart L. He knew more about me than I’d consciously let him know. A man dedicated to service, Stewart has helped hundreds of men and witnessed even more slip back into alcoholism, and die. Being a Big Book scholar, he’s a sponsor I really look up to.
Stewart remembers our first conversation considerably better than I. He often uses is it to humiliate me at meetings. I was extremely drunk when I called the Night Owl line. Stewart called me back and asked if I wanted to go to a meeting. I explained that couldn’t because I needed a new Big Book. I’d used it as a coaster for my whiskey bottle and had spilled alcohol all over it. I couldn’t imagine bring a Big Book reeking of whiskey to an A.A. meeting.
Merely four days sober, he brought me to my first A.A. meeting at my home group Mar League. I was so much suffering wet-brain that I could not remember anyone’s name, yet everyone remembered mine. Aaron S., who maintains the phone list, had just brought a new stack. I remember having once had that service commitment. Quickly grabbing up one, I looked for my name on it:
Cell: (XXX) 555-3467
Sobriety Date: 08/22/2005
Tears welled up in my eyes for those lost years of sobriety and service I yearned for. Quickly wiping them away I took a seat in the front row. There were many touching poignant things said by fellow A.A.s before Britney T. asked me to speak. It is a great honor to be one of a handful of people chosen to speak in a room filled with over a hundred. I choked up when spoke and almost lost it completely, yet I don’t remember what I said. I remember saying that Chapter 3, ‘More About Alcoholism’, was just what I needed to hear. I thanked one lady for coining a phrase I now use often: ‘drinking at people’. I laughed out load when she said, “I’d drink at my father just to get back at him, and he’s dead.” Like that will make him turn over in his grave. People thanked me that night and the next week for what I said. I kept me coming back.
The following nights Stewart took me to a half-a-dozen meetings, and I found another half-dozen within walking distance of my apartment, all different locations, sometimes with the same people. That was spooky because it was messing with my memory. I couldn’t recall if this was someone I just met a few meetings ago or from two years ago. Again, they all remembered where and when they met me, yet I didn’t. This wet brain has finally subsided enough to where I feel somewhat normal.
Stewart and I spoke much of the Big Book, working the program of 12 steps; what his part would be. Before my last sobriety date of February 1st, 2008, Stewart told me he couldn’t be my sponsor because he felt he was doing most of the work. He said if he feels he’s doing more work than I, he wouldn’t sponsor me, and at that time it was true. I vowed never to ask him again. Well, he must’ve witnessed my sincerity to become sober because he asked me for permission to sponsor. I took it as an honor and agreed. I highly respect this man.
Now lately I’ve found him a little short tempered with me. Maybe he sees that I’m not all that serious, but I don’t dare ask him for fear he’ll through in the towel. He often has a habit of spreading himself too thin and he has been lately. Chocking it up to that, I’ve doubled my efforts in my studies of the Big Book and 12x12. That seems to have sufficed for now.
However, in my weekly men’s meeting, Problems & Solutions, or as Michael M. would call it, tears and cheers, the subject of finding a new sponsor was brought up. One of my counselors at treatment said it’s okay to have more than one sponsor (up to three) and I’m considering finding a second one. But like girlfriends, I imaging letting one sponsor know of the other may cause your life to become complicated. There’s also the hierarchy approach: letting the latter of the two sponsors know of the other, but not visa versa. This is a nasty sneaky thing to do with women, but is it of sponsors? All’s fair in love and war, but sobriety and serenity? For now I’m shopping for my second sponsor in a group Stewart does not attend, just to cover my bases.