I knew that the only way to ensure I would never drink or use drugs again was to work Step 12.
The Big Book says in Chapter 7, page 89, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics”
My only experience with working Step 12, was when I had a sponsee at 3 months sober and she relapsed and I was so mad at her but really I was mad at myself for failing her.
I realized that I had done all 12 steps but I had not had a spiritual awakening. So how could I possibly carry a message of hope and faith when I haven’t had one myself?
After Renascent, I began to work the steps again, people around me kept noticing how I was able to handle stressful situations. Boom, my spiritual awakening had happened and I knew I wanted to help others.
A Renascent Alumni, whom I had known for almost a year had asked me to sponsor her and I was hesitating because I wanted to make sure I had “it” before I worked with her. In a Vision for You it states “But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.” So I wanted to make sure I worked all 12 steps before I tried to help anyone.
I starting working work with this prospect and I noticed her life was beginning to change. She admitted she wasn’t honest and had been using. However, I did not feel as if I was failing her like the last sponsee.
I had to remember Step 12 was “Tried to carry this message” Not forced it down their throats. After her relapse, we continued to work together.
When I came for an alumni meeting at Renascent, one of the women asked me to sponsor her and I was really shocked that she thought I had a message to carry.
She told me that she heard my struggles and heard how I got through them without resorting to alcohol or drugs.
I felt really surprised that people were actually listening to what I was sharing.
I was speaking at a One Year Medallion and someone afterwards approached me and asked me to sponsor them. She stated she had been watching me for the past 4 months and was sure we would be the right fit.
A few weeks ago, after I was finishing a workshop at work, one of the clients had pulled me aside and asked me if I would sponsor her…
On page 89 it states “Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”
This was exactly what I was feeling. Contact with these newcomers would make my day all that much better.
To see them get better and make progress has been so amazing. On page 94 it says “he has helped you more than you have helped him.” This is so true. It seems like when I struggle with something or have a bad morning and have a sponsee God points out exactly what I need to work on. It’s a beautiful thing to see the sponsee tree grow.
Life has never been so full and so amazing. My son has come back into my life and I have sponsees over at my home when he is sleeping. Like my sponsor said “I’m not the only single mother in recovery.” God makes all this possible. I never knew how much Step 12 could help me out but it helps me every single day. I am so proud of the women I have the privilege of working with. I love this life I have been given.
I really enjoy being of maximum helpfulness to others (Page 102). This is a feeling I want to continue to enjoy for the rest of my life and what this means if I will do Step 12 for the rest of my life and I am beyond excited about it.
The promise that is the most prominent right now is “No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.”
I am still shocked today that I am able to balance sponsses, work, meetings and being a mother. I know God will always provide for me and allow me to do what He needs me to do.
I am responsible when anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there, and for that I’m responsible.
This is an amazing fact of my life with AA.
Written by the amazing Natasha B.