Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Carry the Message - Not the Mess

A woman sponsoring a former client who was discharged for using drugs was warned about taking this person into her home. She didn't react well.

"Don't tell me who I can take into my home," she exclaimed. Then she went on to explain that she was a good judge of character and so on.

However several days later she was heard at a 12-step meeting lamenting about how this same person had disappeared with her valuables and electronics. She didn't seem happy.

She isn't the first who's had a bad experience sponsoring someone. And this isn't anything against sponsorship. After all, it’s vitally important.

But the reality is that some sponsors, in my opinion, suspend good judgment at times. After all, when a person's discharged from a recovery program for using drugs logic would dictate caution. That didn’t happen in this woman’s case.

Some of the best information I’ve heard about sponsors is that they should help sponsees understand the steps and interpret the book. And that’s where they should stop.

But over the years I’ve heard of sponsors giving advice about employment, health and medication, marriage, school and so forth.

In many case their intentions are good, but just because they know about recovery doesn't mean they know everything. Sometimes authority seduces us to believe we have more answers than we really do.

And sometimes our good intentions lead us to being ripped off.

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