We get sponsors here? - and introduction

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suzanne73

Posts: 1

Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:34 pm

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Post Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:38 pm

We get sponsors here? - and introduction

I have attended my one local NarAnon meeting, but there has never been more than 3 people there . . . including me, so I decided to look for more guidance from stories and experience shared here.

I'm not only new here, but new at this in general. I'm 38, and never dealt with addiction until the last few years - didn't realize what it really was til about 10 months ago. AH was using coke when we met, which he stopped as it was a deal breaker for our relationship's progression. I found out later that alcohol was also an issue, and we've managed to deal with that, too. He had completely quit drinking about 2 years ago. All this, and I didn't realize anything about the addictions as a disease . . .

Life was good til the stimulant addiction resurfaced late last year. He started using bath salts (MDPV). It was cheap and legal, and it was a fast downward spiral. In 9 months, he's been admitted to the psych ward for observation 3 times (1 time I had him involuntarily committed), he's totalled his car, he was shot twice by a guy who thought he was stealing a horse. He almost didn't live thru that, yet stopped on the way home from the hospital to buy MORE. That landed him back in the hospital 4 days later. He had blown thru outpatient therapy and lost his (very good) job, and finally agreed to go to inpatient rehab. Things were good for about a month after release til he got stressed and started using again and I made him leave - again.

Bath salts, if you aren't familiar with them, are a kind of synthetic cocaine/meth combination that gives the alertness, decreased appetite, lack of sleep, etc. of the copied drugs, but also cause horrific paranoia, hallucinations, and general break of any and all reasoning skills. I have been accused relentlessly of SO many things - affairs, money laundering, multiple identities, major drug dealing, even of being a secret agent.

Because of the severe effects of the bath salts, we have been living separately for most of the last 4 months. When he had binges, he would leave and move into a hotel for days, clearing out bank accounts, etc.

I have started "getting it" in letting him go - He's been gone for 3 weeks, I haven't seen him, have limited conversations with him, and I've not reacted to his odd comments for help/pity/justification. I have told him simply that he still has medical insurance and if he wants to get any medical help or further treatment, to let me know. As he tries to blame me for any part, I've responded with the 3 C's - I present as strong when I talk to him, and I keep my crying to after we hang up. I feel like a widow - I look around and see things or smell his clothes and fall apart, remembering the man I married, knowing he may be lost.

I want to do more with working steps for ME, as I've realized i've spent too much time on making HIM better. Is there someone who has been there and done that and can help me start sorting this out?

Also - there has been a lot of damage done in our relationship, but I know we can't get counseling until he is stable in recovery. How have others dealt with that?
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salick2

Posts: 439

Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:44 pm

Post Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:19 pm

Re: We get sponsors here? - and introduction

Suzanne,

Welcome to NarAnon - and to our online family group. I'm glad you've found a local 'face to face' homegroup. Some of our number here work the program with only the Internet option, and it works for them. I've seen recovery among our group seem to be most universally effective when the online meetings and forum activity are coupled with some form of face to face fellowship. For many, this means that attending AlAnon for face-to-face meetings is a great compliment to their recovery - is that an option for you? (Often there are more AlAnon meetings available in an area than NarAnon.)

I'm glad you asked about sponsorship - it shows you're ready to "do more with working steps for ME" as you've put it. The NarAnon program really is about us, changing ourselves, learning to accept and love our family/friends struggling with addiction, and living life based on that newfound perspective. Here we share our experience, strength, and hope - and my experience is this: I began to genuinely recover when I admitted and accepted that the source of my problems wasn't my loved ones, but rather my sick reaction to my loved ones' addictions. That came from working the program with a sponsor.

I was frustrated when I first began to inquire about a sponsor. I had the expectation that the online group would have a list of 'sponsors' to give me and I could just select one at random - deep down I was hoping that someone would respond to my inquiry and say "I'll be your sponsor, let's get started." What I found was that it didn't work that way - and for good reason. The sponsoring relationship is one that should be initiated by the person seeking sponsorship, and it shouldn't be based on someone's name appearing on a list. It should be based on you identifying someone in the fellowship who has worked their recovery in such a way that you feel 'attracted' to it - that becomes part of the motivation for you being open to their suggestions and guidance in working the steps. Its sort of based on this notion: "If you want what we've got, do what we do/did."

When I was first looking for a sponsor, here's what was suggested to me:

1) Hang around our felloship for a while. Read and post, share your experience, ask your questions, get to know us as a group and several of us as recovering people.

2) After a while (for some its a few weeks, for others it might be a month or two) ask yourself, "Who is living a recovery that I want for myself." Who seems to have what you've come to NarAnon looking for.

3) Take the initiative, and ask that person to consider sponsoring you.

4) Be open to their guidance and response. (For example, the first person I asked said no. But listening to what that person said and taking their suggestion led me to the right person for me. That initial asking was valuable in my journey, and following their suggestions - even though they said no - was also valuable.)

I know it can feel somewhat frustrating to be 'ready to go' and seem 'stuck' with picking/finding/asking a sponsor. That's how I felt. But I followed the suggestions above when they were given to me, and I'm grateful I did.

Welcome again! You don't have to do this alone...

;)
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We're glad you're here. You don't have to do this alone.
;)
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coinman_4

Posts: 2963

Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:35 pm

Location: Punxsutawney Pennsylvania

Post Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:46 pm

Re: We get sponsors here? - and introduction

Welcome, welcome welcome!

You may be relatively new at this but it sounds like you have the basics and, more importantly, the willingness to give this good try. We who have been in your shoes know this stuff works. We have felt those same emotions and, in some ways, experienced the devestation of addiction in someone we love.
You are correct in thinking that you need more than meetings but I wouldn't give up on that face to face local meeting. Anytime there is someone more than just me to relate to, it is a plus. Besides, meetings can grow and shrink very quickly. At least my homegroup does.
You're right too, he MAY be lost. But he's not until he stops breathing. there is always hope. I know. I was an active addict once and have come back from the break to a most satisfying and loving life.
But there is nothing you can do. You have said that and we will acknowledge it also, for him. You do, however, have the power to do something with yourself. You have the power to step away from the hurricane and find the peace and serenity you deserve. That is where the steps came in to help. me. they are the solution to practically all our problems. Sounds pretty crazy at first, I know. But it really works.
I couldn't work them alone and had to have a sponsor to help me. I suggest that a face to face meeting is the best place to find one as the best tend to hang out there ;) I might try expanding my search a little to surrounding towns and citys. that is what I had to do because I live in a remote, rural town. If that doesn't work, just read the posts here and ask someone. It's up to you to ask. What's the worst that can happen? they have too many sponsees and decline? Then just ask someone else. It's not personal. Long distance sponsorship takes a little more work as it has to be done online, on the phone, and through the mail but it can work.

The important thing is to keep trying, don't give up and keep coming back. No matter what!

There are also other online forums, literature and books that can help.

God bless and love,

Coinman_4
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bigbob

Posts: 672

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:31 pm

Location: Delray Beach, Florida

Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:19 am

Re: We get sponsors here? - and introduction

I also think that sponsorship via SKYPE can be a great thing.

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