Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I just found out my AA sponsor relapsed about 3 weeks ago. Apparently I am the last to know. I haven't been to my usual AA meetings for about 3 weeks, mostly because of my running schedule, but she could have called, don't you think? I don't like being the last to know. I don't like that she didn't call when she was having trouble. Sometimes sponsees can help sponsors, too. It's been that way for us in the past. I'm not sure why it wasn't this time. So I'm hurt.

But my being hurt is a small issue. The bigger issue is she relapsed. I think she had 16-17 years of sobriety. Not someone you'd expect to relapse, but that's the nature of alcoholism, I guess. Now what do I do? Suddenly, I don't feel all that safe. My sponsor is my safety net. But can I call a woman who just convinced herself it was okay to drink when I feel like drinking? Can I ask a woman about moral decisions when she's been deceiving everyone around her for quite some time? What do I do? Can I keep this woman as my sponsor? I don't know.

I don't know what to do. I told her I'd have to think about it--whether or not I want her to continue sponsoring me. I really don't want to start over with another sponsor, but do I still trust this sponsor? Do I believe she is currently seeing life clearly enough to give advice? And will I feel that advice is valid now that I know of her deception and ultimate relapse? I don't know.

I guess that's what I have to decide. Can I trust, and will I feel safe going to her for help? Or will I worry about her state of mind and question her wisdom? This is tough. Why did she have to go and relapse? And why am I so surprised? I mean, this is alcoholism at it's finest. She's just behaved exactly like an alcoholic. Perhaps I need to just forgive and move forward. But with whom do I move forward--her or someone new?


BPD in OKC said...

That's really a tough situation. I'm sorry that you're going through it. I know that it's got to be a really hard decision to make.

I did go to AA meetings in the past, but I never got a sponsor (I probably should have, but never did), so I am not sure what it's like to have a situation like that, but I think your sponsor would understand you switching to someone new if that's what you choose. I don't think she'll be mad.

I've been sober about a year, and I struggle with it almost every day, so I can't imagine how she made it 16-17 years being sober. Because of that, I know that she has to be really strong, but she's also human and she made a mistake. I think she probably has enough wisdom on the situation to be a great sponsor, and I think this mistake may only make her a better sponsor. That being said, I still totally understand having a trust issue with her now. Someone has to have your full trust for you to put your life in her hands.

I think what I'd do if I was in your situation is take a little time to think about it. Don't rush to a decision (unless you feel like you're about to relapse too, and by all means, take care of yourself however you need to right then). Maybe make a pros & cons list for a new sponsor and for staying with her. Maybe talk to someone else after an AA meeting that you trust and get another opinion.

I hope something in my rambling helped. Know that you have the full support of your blog readers... Take care of yourself first and foremost

etta said...

BPD in OKC: Nice to hear from you. Thanks so much for some good advice. I like the pros and cons list. I've used that technique in the past. I have been talking with others in the program and plan to do more of that.
Stay sober. I couldn't have done it without AA and my sponsor. I hope you find AA or something else to make sober life easier for you. It only gets better!