My First Sponsor

Larry was sitting next to me in half measures row. I found out later he sat there because that’s where the newcomers sit. When I introduced myself as a newcomer he put his hand out in welcome. After the meeting he said, "some of us go out to breakfast why don't you come along Jeff?" I told him I would like to go but I was really busy that day. He looked right through me and said, "I know you're busy Jeff, but why don’t you come along anyways?" An unseen hand gave me a gentle shove to the breakfast.

Six or seven other men attended the breakfast. I laughed, really laughed, for the first time in years. I had the sense I was a part of something magical. I didn't know what it was, but I promised myself I would go back the next week and find out.

I kept coming back and eventually got up the courage to ask Larry to be my sponsor. I learned from Larry that the number one responsibility of the sponsor is to be available. Larry sponsored a lot of men, but he always had time for me. He made me feel like I was the most important person in his life.

We all need three things from our sponsors: love, discipline and direction. Larry supplied all three. He taught me to tell the truth by sharing his truth. I learned about his fear, his abandonment issues, and the problems of his life. When it came time for my fifth I had the courage to tell him my secrets, even the icky stuff. Today I sponsor the men I work with much the same way Larry sponsored me. I’ll always be grateful for Larry’s gentle touch. Not sure tough love would've worked on me.