The nicest and most lovely thing just happened to me.
It was a busy weekend what with my workshop and such so I decided today not to push myself and just relax. So there I was spending the afternoon in one of my favorite ways: snuggled up in sweats in my recliner with a cat in my lap in front of the TV watching an old pre-code movie armed with a diet coke and a bag of popcorn, when the phone rang.
It was one of the people I love most in this world, we’ll call him S.
I met S when I was newly arrived here. I was still going to 12 Step meetings like mad back then. I had sobered up in CA meetings but all that was available to me here were AA meetings, so I checked out a few. I was dismally disappointed. I was also hassled by a few men which didn’t help matters any. When I look back, I can clearly see it was the lack of
eccentricity and creativity in the people around me that I found
disappointing. But not knowing that and not being one to give up easily, I decided to check out a gay AA meeting. Gay 12 step meetings were not at all foreign to me and I generally always enjoyed them and felt welcomed and safe.
It was there in that smoky church basement, slurping absolutely wretched coffee that I met S. He was newly sober and I had a whopping 4 1/2 years under my belt. He asked me to be his sponsor and from there we forged a friendship that has lasted 16 years.
It is very likely that my life in Virginia would have been very different, less sweet, less forgiving and a less humorous place, if it had not been for S. It is often said that sponsors are like parents in that first year of sobriety but I can’t recall ever feeling that way about S. He was always like a friend to me and then later like family. We were nearly inseparable and talked everyday. We went to meetings, shopping, dinner together. Walked through his mother’s death together. We stuck by one another through boyfriends and sickass relationships and all the joys that life has to offer too. S was a very large and important part of my early life here and am forever thankful and grateful he was there. To date S was and remains the only person I have ever sponsored that has ever stayed sober in the years I was active in 12 Step programs.
As life and change have their way with you, we had a big blow up about something that now seems ridiculous because it had little to do with what was really going on and ended up distanced for a couple of years. My life was changing drastically as was his and I don’t think either of us knew how navigate those choppy waters without sinking the ship.
We touched base again several years ago and while we do not have daily or even monthly contact, we manage to play catch up on the phone or over a lunch carefully planned into our busy days. There is not a holiday that passes that I do not think of him and I remember his anniversary and his birthday every year, even if I cannot call him to tell him I love him or wish him the best.
So, I thought today’s phone call was again one of those catchup calls. And it was and wasn’t.
S fired his sponsor in May. He and his partner moved. His father died in September. And asked me once again to be his sponsor. Though I don’t know why. He got through it beautifully and intact. And I haven’t sponsored anyone for years. When you are newly sober and you ask someone to be your sponsor, you
don’t really know what you are asking. But after you have been sober
awhile and have sponsored other people you understand what it involves and you become more selective in who
you want all up in your business.
I am honored and humbled. I am not at all sure he needs anything more than to know someone he can count on, someone like family is there for him no matter what.
And how wonderful is it that after 16 years, I can still be there for him?