It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Addiction & Recovery Message Board


Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-29-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 370
tiredpoet HB User
May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

Hi there. I hope I am not intruding on this board, but I really need some insight. We are trying to help a friend who exhibits traits of borderline personality disorder so much so that he could be a textbook case, and he is getting increasingly unstable. Compounding this is his substance abuse (alcohol and marijuana); he drinks and smokes pot daily. His mother is a recovering alcoholic currently in AA, and she feels that if he would go to a meeting and stop drinking all would be well. She does not believe there is any other effective treatment option for drinking except for AA, because this is what helped her (though she never tried any other treatment.) She also ignores or dismisses the marijuana addiction.
She will not consult anyone except her Al-Anon sponsor about this. She refuses to speak to any therapists, crisis teams, etc, and will only approach the situation from the standpoint of a recovering alcoholic who now has an alcoholic son. The issue is that her Al-Anon sponsor tells her what to do (i.e. explicit directives: "You have to take this measure in exactly this way." The advice is always based on how to deal with someone who drinks, which at times are things that would actually make matters worse when dealing with someone with BPD.)
His BPD is hurting and causing problems for SO many people, and her insistence on approaching it as if he's an alcoholic only is impeding any other attempt to get him to seek treatment. She views her AA and Al-Anon sponsors as experts and WILL NOT listen to anyone outside of these groups. And her Al-Anon sponsor seems to be happy playing the role of "expert." One day, when told by her other son that the advice from her Al-Anon sponsor would be harmful to someone with BPD and even against the advice of the psychiatrist we all had consulted, she said, "Well, my Al-Anon sponsor is going to get mad at me."
Are Al-Anon sponsors supposed to give directives and advice and get upset if you don't follow them? I was under the impression that AA and Al-Anon were for support and shared experiences and that direct advice should not be given. The sponsor is aware that other behaviors besides drinking are present and that most everyone feels he has BPD, and she agrees he is likely suffering from mental illness, but she still continues to give advice and say what "needs to" or "has to" be done. I feel this sponsor is taking on a role other than what Al-Anon is intended for, and by viewing her sponsor as an "expert" who knows how to deal with the situation, it is making any attempts the rest of us make to address both the BPD and substance abuse futile.

I feel AA is wonderful and helps many people (including one of my very best friends), but I also know that this person has an underlying psychiatric issue and also needs to deal with that, not just stop drinking. I feel he will be much more likely fail the program (or any substance abuse program) unless he also deals with being borderline. His mother disagrees and says that he has a genetic propensity to alcoholism because of her and if he could just stop drinking he'd change. Are we correct in thinking her sponsor may be overstepping some boundaries?

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 04-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
rosequartz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 10,311
rosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB Userrosequartz HB User
Re: May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I don't know anything about sponsors, but I wanted to tell you I think you are right on target with your thinking. The alcohol abuse is just a symptom of BPD. Alcohol abuse isn't the problem.....the BPD is the problem. Even if this person never touched another drop of alcohol in their life, they would still have BPD......it wouldn't solve the problem.

 
Old 04-29-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
Facilitator
(male)
 
Phoenix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,852
Blog Entries: 33
Phoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB UserPhoenix HB User
Re: May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

Hello T,

Those with BPD do have a propensity towards substance abuse.

The psychiatrist is the most credible person to take stock in.

In order to become a sponsor, one does not require certification.

Respectfully,

Phoenix

Last edited by Phoenix; 04-29-2008 at 12:27 PM.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 370
tiredpoet HB User
Re: May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

Thank you for your responses, I appreciate them very much. I think his mother's heart is in the right place but she's just not realizing that this is a different situation than what she went through when she stopped drinking.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 10:25 AM   #5
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 28
sohard HB User
Re: May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

I think I'm mixed up - if your friend is an alcoholic and attends AA, why does she have an Al - Anon sponsor?

 
Old 05-01-2008, 07:10 AM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 370
tiredpoet HB User
Re: May I ask a question about Al-Anon sponsors?

lol...you're not mixed up, my post was so long it was probably hard to follow! My friend is not attending any treatment or support groups. His mother is the one who attends AA and she has an Al-Anon sponsor giving her advice about her son.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
A new question... skimps46 Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 23 09-11-2008 11:02 PM
Yet another question... skimps46 Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 7 05-19-2008 09:13 AM
La and Al's Accutane Support Group allibear Acne 40 02-25-2006 10:35 AM
BPPV specialty question... firechick Inner Ear Disorders 10 04-18-2005 12:43 PM
Shore, another question...drug tests this time trowftd3 Pain Management 7 02-28-2005 09:19 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Hydrocodone
Lortab
Methadone
Oxycontin
Percocet
  Tylenol
Ultram Valium
Vicodin
Xanax




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Phoenix (150), katlin09 (109), reachout (98), Wendy88 (36), second go (36), oxygirl (34), corissa3 (32), Tysmom1 (24), icehouse3z (24), bolter (21)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1164), MSJayhawk (997), Apollo123 (896), Titchou (832), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (745), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:22 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!