At a 12-step meeting a newcomer seeking a sponsor was directed to a man in his seventies who’d been sober for some 35 years.
“I’m looking for a sponsor,” the newcomer told the old-timer. “I hear you’ve been sober a long time”
“I have,” the veteran replied, “over 35 years.”
“And you’ve sponsored a lot of people during that time?”
“Probably hundreds,” he replied.
“And your success rate?” the newcomer asked.
“100%,” he replied.
The newcomer was astounded. “You mean 100% of the people you’ve sponsored stayed sober.”
“No, but I have,” the old-timer replied.
This apocryphal tale, which has floated around 12-step meetings for years, illustrates the benefits of carrying the message.
I’m often let down when those I sponsor relapse. But my sponsor reminds me that I’m still sober today and for that I should be grateful. And I am.