Right now, as I think of sponsorship, I think of all the things I have done wrong. Times when I was not understanding enough and times when I was too understanding and enabling. Sponsors I chose for ulterior motives and the ones I didn’t challenge when they wandered away. I search my mind for the ingredients that were in the mix when things went well and the dominant component was willingness, mine and theirs. Whether I was sponsor or sponsee, willingness overrode ability, determination and love. We had to come to the table willing, this was never something we were able to cook up or construct. Nor is it something I can always hold onto, sometimes willingness evaporates or slips away like sand in a clenched fist. The permanence and impermanence of sponsorship awes and frightens me. Like a guidewire twisted from many strands none of which reaches from end to end I worry about the unraveling but depend on the strength.
Expectations are incubating resentments
THREE TOYS FLOATING
I bat the ducks across the surface of my bath.
Soaking is supposed to calm me,
I assure you, my impatience is no help to this process.
These yellow, tub-bound misfits, grinning at me
Don’t fill me with the joy of living either.
I have blown bubbles until I’m blue
I smell like a French elevator from the bath oil.
My hair is stiff with conditioner
My face packed with mud.
“Do the right thing.” Said my sponsor
She is such a pain.
Here I am, bubble bath to my arm pits
And not a hint of peace
Her question rings,
“What do you want?”
But isn’t it obvious, if I knew that
What would I be doing
Wrinkling in this swilling vat?
I would be out doing my thing.
Whatever, that thing is.
How I’m going to figure myself out I don’t know
And, She, is no help (you know who She is, She is the sponsor lady)
So what do I want?
World peace, a clue, maybe just a hint
But I know part of it
I know more than I admit.
I want Sobriety and Happiness,
Dignity and Respect
Enough time to do these things
“Well” says she, those things are easy
Work the steps, then the traditions,
Practice them, do service
And take the advice you give your own sponsees”
I stick out my tongue in her general direction.
You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault