Support for Lasting Change: Finding A Mutually Beneficial “Sponsor”

Support For Lasting Change Finding A Mutually Beneficial SponsorLess than a month and I’ll be back to Green Mountain. My return visit seems to have arrived at just the right time – when my support system seems to have totally dried up!

When I was in the program last fall, I formed a couple of friendships while there. One, in particular, I thought would be a lasting one. There is so much heartfelt work done at Green Mountain in such a safe and supportive environment that it’s easy to get close fast.

Lisa (not her real name but you know who you are so call me!) and I shared very similar issues in our food/body journey and I thought we’d be able to support each other after we returned home. I spoke to Lisa a few times and then, over the last several months, my phone messages and texts have gone unanswered.

Losing A “Sponsor”

What happened?

My guess is that Lisa has been unsuccessful and doesn’t want to talk about it or she has been doing very well and doesn’t need to talk about it.

Either way, the food/body thing was our glue, and now, after almost a year, my guess is that she no longer needs that glue (meaning me) in her life anymore.

If it’s because she’s doing well then kudos to you, my friend, all the best!! But if she’s not feeling strong or successful, then there’s no weakness in sharing with a willing support system.

My husband has jumped ship; mindful eating is annoying to him and I haven’t lost 30 pounds so he’s off the support wagon. I addressed that reality in my last blog and, while I feel strong in my conviction to continue my program, the loss of my last champion of support got me to thinking about how hard this process can be.

I mean, ultimately, it’s me who decides what I eat, how I eat it and when I exercise.

I read all of the abundantly available Green Mountain blogs, webinars and articles that drop into my inbox almost daily and for them, I am much appreciative – but they’re not a human being, an understanding compatriot. I’m wondering if I don’t need a “sponsor”, someone I can call just to talk about food.

Finding Your “Sponsor”

My friend Alycia just returned from a 30 day stint at alcohol rehab. It wasn’t a cushy spa environment; it was a serious place for seriously ill people whose lives were in crisis.

As she put it, you don’t arrive at rehab unless you’ve already determined that you’re in trouble – real trouble. She learned a lot, has been sober for several months now and religiously “works” her 12 step program.

We’re very close friends, so Alycia feels comfortable sharing with me the nuances and minutiae of dealing daily with a substance abuse issue.

She often shares how grateful she is that I allow her to monopolize our conversation with a topic that most people are finished with after the obligatory “I’m doing well, thank you.”

Alycia needs to talk about it and I’m all ears.

Hmm, got me to thinking that this could be a mutually beneficial relationship because, I too, feel compelled to not burden my friends with endless talk about food and eating and working my program. I found my sponsor!

Alycia gets to call me whenever she wants and talk about alcohol and I get to call her whenever I want and talk about food. What a wonderful gift that we have each other.

(That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, Lisa. Call me. I’m all ears.)

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