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Sponsorship Gone Wrong


Need A New SponsorCompleting the twelfth step of Alcoholics Anonymous signifies that one has a working knowledge of all twelve steps, hopefully applying them daily, and an able Sponsor—a fellow alcoholic in the program who mentors other alcoholics, helping them work through and understand the twelve steps, just as their Sponsors had done with them.

Up until now, I have had two Sponsors throughout my nearly six months of sobriety.  I chose my initial Sponsor on impulse because the sober living I was at told me to find one in the first two weeks I was there, and he was the first guy I saw at a meeting who I thought was grounded.  All in all, it didn’t work out for various reasons, so I chose to move on to someone else.

Weeks later I met my current Sponsor through a friend’s Sponsor, and I felt like he had what I wanted.  He explained to me that he had and still does deal with a great deal of anger, which I too deal with and have been doing so for a long time.  I chose him not only based on that fact that but also that he seemed like an alright guy who knew the program from cover to cover.

Throughout our time together, we have read the Big Book, worked through up to step eight, and have had enjoyable experiences going bowling and seeing movies at the theater.  Recently, however, he has been a liability more than a helping hand.  Most importantly, I have ceased viewing him as a trustworthy friend.  He has broken my confidentiality with countless other AA’s in the program, people whom we both know, which has angered me greatly and dissipated my trust in him to the point of incertitude.

I come from a pretty wealthy family and have expressed that many times to my Sponsor as he asked me questions while working the steps about my background and what it was like for me growing up.  I told him that I was greatly spoiled as a child and still am a little bit, but he took that information and, without my knowledge, articulated those words to various friends of his, telling me, “You’re known as Richie Rich by some people at 26th and Broadway” (26th and Broadway is a meeting that I attend quite often).

Knowing that he spoke of my financial situation to not just his Sponsor—which I have no problem with—but other people as well is not okay in my book.  My personal family finances are something that should not be the subject of idle chatter.  It is for my Sponsor’s and his Sponsor’s ears only.  I now feel judged by everyone at 26th and Broadway; that they are calling me names behind my back.  I am supposed to feel safe at a meeting and I don’t anymore.  Not that one at least.

The main reason that I am ending it with my current Sponsor is that he expressed to me, throughout our five months of working together, he has seen no change in me at all.  That statement offended me and hurt deeply—down to my very core—because I know it is totally untrue, as I have seen a 180 degree shift in my behavior and how I carry myself as a functioning person in society who is sober.  I asked him why he thought this and he had no legitimate answer for me.  Everyone I have talked to has seen a huge transformation from when I first stepped into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and got sober.

All of this has brought me to the conclusion that I need to change Sponsors.  It saddens me to let him go, but what he said and did was not right and I should not have to put up with it.  It is time to shop for a new Sponsor.


By Matthew B

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