The later the call, the more ominous and less familiar is the pleading ringtone.
Hello is this Joe? Yes it is, and I go by Joseph. This is Jeff the voice on the other end continued you don’t know me, as we have never met; I hope it was not too late to call? I’m with Stuart; and He said you would know what to do, I replied that depends, what’s up? Jeff said I met this fellow in a recent meeting and he was so enthusiastic and positive about his recovery, I wanted to pitch in and help as he needed a place to stay. He was recently discharged out of a local mental hospital and was looking for work in the construction field. I had offered him my couch until he could get on his feet and I encouraged him to go to meetings, most of the time he declined and his behavior rapidly went down hill, I thought we could talk it all out, You know Joe, I really did not know what to do, I replied I go by Joseph, are you getting close to asking a question? Again Jeff went on, we walked in and the apt was trashed, he tried to commit suicide, there were blood and human feces all over the place, and I am really upset. I feel like I have been defecated on, both figuratively and literally, I have resentment the size of Texas, He continued, we called the police and they have a warrant issued, as being a danger to him and others. Jeff confided, that his guest was upset because of having no Job and the fear of economic insecurity got the best of him, a few hours after the incident a contractor called; there is work for us all on an extended basis. I am just so angry, (Here it comes) what do I do about that Joe? I go by Joseph, was my reply A.A. is not a hot bed of mental health and mental illness requires professional help. The point is your sponsee, hold on, Jeff quipped, I wasn’t his sponsor, I recanted, sure you are, if not by formal agreement surely by offering a sanctuary and directing a way out. I continued, The refusal to go to meetings was the exit call and the all most important question to have asked is he taking his meds? I emphasized That answer will usually flesh it all out. Having a resentment of the ill and infirmed was a futile exercise in grandiosity, how dare you be ill on my hotel bill, as it still remains all about me. Jeff, the next time you’re overcome with good intention calls to your sponsor before any intervention.
A sponsor may get a swollen foot from kicking butt, but he or she is not a therapist psychiatrist, psychologists (unless they happen to be psychiatrists, psychologists or therapists, but even then, they don’t act in that capacity with their sponsees). It isn’t a sponsor’s function to provide therapy to a sponsee. There is no treatment plan other than working the Twelve Steps. All sponsors can do is share their experience, strength and hope concerning their own recovery. They are not our therapists, and we are not their patients.
See you on the radio
(And I still go by) Joseph