by Carla H

Audio by the author

My first sponsor came up to me at the end of a meeting and offered to be my sponsor. I said, “No, thank you.” She proceeded to tell me I would be saving my own life, which made me cry. She also said, “You can fire me any time. Let’s have coffee first. See if you like me.” Something like that. So I said all right. That made it a lot easier. We had coffee and I said, “Yes, please be my sponsor.”

We worked together for a little while and she asked, “What would you go out on? Would it be alcohol or drugs?” I said it would be drugs. She said, “I’ve never done drugs. All I’ve ever done is drink. You need to find a sponsor who has done coke so that if you go out, she’ll know.” I thought, hmmm, OK. I found a woman who had done a lot of coke. She agreed to be my sponsor. We worked together for a few months.

She had cats, two of them, and we met in her apartment. So I would be unable to breathe

Both of these sponsors had cats, two of them each, and we met in their apartments. No one ever said, you can meet in a coffeehouse. You can meet in public. They never said that. I was allergic, and so I would be unable to breathe after a couple of hours with the cokehead sponsor. I told her I was not going to be able to work with her anymore.

After a couple of hours I was unable to breathe

It took me a couple of months to find my third sponsor. I asked one woman who turned me down and I was horrified. I didn’t know you could turn people down, but she did.

Then at the same meeting where I found my first sponsor, I found my third one. Eight years later, she is still my sponsor. She was sitting behind me with someone I knew a little bit from meetings. She raised her hand as available as a sponsor and I went right up to her after the meeting. I told her I’d had two sponsors before and how much time I had. She said, “OK, I’ll be your sponsor.”

She doesn’t scare me anymore

We’re still working together today. I didn’t know who she was in the beginning—I just liked her look. I liked the way she wore clothes. She had a long nose and big white teeth, and I like those things in all people. She scared me for the first three years we worked together because I thought at any moment the other shoe was going to drop. But it never did. And like I said, we’re still working together today.

She doesn’t scare me anymore. I call her every night and leave a message that I’m sober today, one thing I’m grateful for, one way I took care of myself, and if I prayed or meditated that day. I do a 10th Step. I tell her which meeting I’m going to next. And I do it for me, thank you.

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