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!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The sponsor dilemma

There is not much new on the sponsor front. After discussing my dilemma with one person, I leaned toward keeping my current sponsor. After talking with another friend, I was certain I would change sponsors. I still don't know what I will do. Relationships have historically been tough for me.

Relationships have been tough and often painful. Being hurt by someone close to me is nothing new. In fact it replicates numerous relationships from my past. My history is filled with one-sided relationships and abandonment. Therefore, rather than feel empathy for my sponsor's troubles, embarrassingly my immediate reaction was all about me--an unconscious 'here we go again, another person letting me down.' It's a victim mentality I've worked hard to pulverize over the past several years.

In the past, that victim mentality led to classic black and white thinking. Either there was a relationship or there wasn't, and once you hurt me I often dealt with my disappointment by nixing the relationship. But my sponsor didn't relapse in order to get rid of me. DAH! Her relapse had nothing to do with our relationship. Relapse is actually, usually, more selfish than that. Even though I may be disappointed by her actions, her intent was not to purposefully hurt or disappoint those around her. Rather, our hurt and disappointment are her painful consequences.

My sponsor has consequences. I have a decision to make. I may yet decide to find another sponsor, but at least it won't be a knee jerk reaction triggered by old patterns of behavior. I can tolerate the gray area these days. Perhaps we won't be sponsor-sponsee, but that doesn't mean we won't remain close friends. She made a mistake. She acted like an alcoholic. There but for the grace of God go I. I know that, and I must never forget it. I am looking forward to my continued relationship with my sponsor--whatever form that relationship may take. Ahhhh, growth.

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