Listening to: Typing of key boards at work
Watching: The PC Screen
Drinking: Coffee with Baileys
I am speaking at an Al-Anon conference this Saturday. I thought I would share with you my notes I wrote. The topic is about Sponsorship. For those who don't know Al-Aonon is a 12 step program for those who have been affected by acholosm in their lives. My father had the illness of alcoholism.
About Me: (5 Minutes max)
My Up Bringing with my Father (would only take about 2 minutes for that)
Never knowing which man was going to come out. I never knew if I was going to get the fun Dad who wanted to go camping, traveling, fishing, boating, or swimming fun Daddy. Or if I was going to the angry, disappointed, self righteous, and condemning Father who made you feel like the worst scum of the earth and struck fear in your heart.
I forgave him right before he passed and had not hard feelings towards him. I actually miss him a lot. I moved on from a lot of the hurt from before even coming to Al-Anon. Because of this I wondered if I even qualified for Al-Anon.
My rejection form Peers (would only take about 2 minutes for that)
Target form bullies because of my size.
My weirdness turned a lot of people off. Ya I am a gamer geek and artist.
Always thinking I was ugly and got into a lot of bad relationships. Luckily I currently found a husband and have a loving relatively healthy relationship and a sense of a "normal peaceful" home that I rarely experienced.
How it currently effects my adult life
Over sensitive and defensive-
I have two things happen to me when I feel attacked. I either cower or run away and feel like a deer slaughtered. Often leading to tears and rejected heart break.
The other side or like my father a whole nasty beast comes over me. I had been known to rip people verbally to shreds. Yes this little 95lb woman has cut a 6' 350 lb man to her size with harsh cutting words and loud roars of indignation.
Suspicious of people wondering "what are they saying about me? What do they think of me?
Needy and Co-dependent
Left me somewhat cynical yet always hope inside that I would find acceptance form somewhere.
My Introduction to Al-Anon and Finding a Sponsor
My first introduction to Al-Anon
Going a mission's trip that changed my life. However not in the way I expected.
My higher power put me there but not for the actual trip. I found a friend amongst those whom I thought really did care for me (as usual that feeling was exaggerated only 3 out 14 people had an issue with me at least that I know of). As I laid on the Miami Airport floor waiting for my flight home, tears streaming down my face, feeling rejected, lonely and desperate for companion ship; one of the women I had gotten to know the past year suggested going to a Friday Night meeting. She told me how accepting and none judgmental they are and what attracted me most was "The no gossip policy". So I went and my life has forever changed in the last 8-9 months.
My long process in finding a Sponsor
I love my Friday Night meetings (the lively fun group that almost always went out after words) was really what the doctor ordered. I need a very social open and well loud (I will be honest I am not quite) group that kept me positive even when we all come with the most gravest of stories. It was pretty obvious I wasn't going to get all I needed to get out in 5 minutes or less. I heard about sponsors and what they were supposed to be. When I heard the description I knew I needed one. Honestly before I even came to the meetings I knew I was gonna need one. I heard my Haiti friend refer to her relationship with hers for a long time. It sound very nice.
What I knew I needed is complex and demanding. I needed some serious one on one time to help me go through the steps with me. Help me run through the murky mire that is my brain. The life time of behaviors that I learned was not right. While a sponsor isn't supposed to "fix you" they are someone who can help you find your way. At least that was my understanding. I saw a sponsor not as perfect person but someone who will take a journey with you.
I wanted someone with experience and a positive attitude. I wanted to be able to be happy even when things go wrong. I am kind of negative and I no longer want to be that person.
Someone warm and trusting. I am pretty open about my life (sometimes too open) and it has come to slap me in the face more than once. Granted it hasn't stopped me for "over sharing". Actually I have made a conscious effort to not over share during meetings because after all I am not the only one in the room and it has actually helped me become a listener and not a talking. (Well I am still a talker but I am working on it).
I needed them to be sensitive but honest willing to take the gentle care with my damaged ego but still able to help I come to grips with things. I didn't want someone to tell me "oh just get over it but I didn't want someone to cuddle me either". Yes I am very demanding ha ha!
Yes it took me quite awhile to find someone I was looking for. I even asked one other person before I found my current sponsor but for perfectly understandable reasons could not take on a sponsee. It wasn't until 3 months later (at this point I had been in the program for 6 months) I finally asked a person I really wanted to be my sponsor in the first place. I didn't ask her before was because I felt like she might not have the time for me because of her other sponsees. Turns out she was delighted to add me on and we both agreed if it got to be too much I would with no hurt feelings look for another.
The last 3 months I have had a wonderful experience. She has been so generous with her time allowing me to talk for 2-3 hours (I think even more at times) as we go along with some reading material every Thursday. It is nice to know I have someone to help me hash through it. While she doesn't give advice she gives me her own experiences as examples. They may or may not apply but it has been awesome change for me trying to figure out my own way with some guidance. I am making my own "choices" and not being told "what to do".
So far my 9 months in Al-Anon has been life changing. I have a social life I wanted that is healthy and therapeutic. I have other people to go to when I need to without draining the only 2 people in my life for the last year. I am starting to become a more positive person then I once was.
Thank you for your time.