Today our managing editor, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Cavalcanti, writes about letting go of  her sponsor of many years and approaching long-term sobriety with a beginner’s mind.


In gratitude, harmony and support,



Everything Old Is New Again


by Cynthia Cavalcanti


During the early years of my sobriety, I went through several sponsors before I found “The One.” It’s not that the others weren’t great people––each one was wonderful in his or her own way––but the first time I heard J. share at a meeting, I realized she had something I wanted.

That was 25 years ago, and working with her has been the mainstay of my sobriety. In my home group, we have a saying: “A sober woman is a class act.” J. is the embodiment of that phrase.

In recent months, J. has been dealing with a serious health challenge. As such, she has asked her sponsees to release her as their sponsor so she can focus her energy on healing her body.

At first, I was devastated. “What will I do without her?” was my lament.

The gift of unconditional love and acceptance J. has given has shaped the person I am today. I have sought to model her example in my relationships as a sponsor, a minister, a family member, and a friend. I’m not always perfect at it, but because of J., I have learned patience, compassion, and kindness.

Because J. has been reliable, I have learned to be reliable––unreliability having been one of the character defects I deeply desired to heal. She has helped me turn self-hatred into self-love and fear into faith. I know how to give instead of taking, and I know how to receive.

I could go on and on. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, there was a moment when I realized my gratitude for J. would fill volumes were I to write it all down, so I set out to do just that.

It began as a letter of acknowledgment, thanks, and praise. Inevitably, a few trips down memory lane crept in. For one of these, I needed to reference a note J. had written in my Big Book a long, long time ago.

As I flipped the pages to find the note, my Big Book fell apart. The Big Book I purchased at an OA meeting in 1987. The Big Book I took with me to rehab in 1988. The only Big Book I’ve ever owned––the one I’ve been repairing with duct tape and a glue stick for quite some time now.

I might have wept had I not been laughing so hard!

I called J. immediately, and this is what she said: “Things fall apart so that greater things can come together.”

So I begin anew. A new day. A new Big Book. A new sponsor.

I am ready to approach sobriety like a newcomer, again. I am willing. I am teachable.

I am a sober woman today. And I am grateful for all my sponsors: the handful of men and women who held my hand during the first few years, my beloved J. who has nurtured me for a quarter century, and my as-yet-unidentified new sponsor who will guide me through the next phase of the journey.

One day at a time in Divine right time. There is only now. There is only good. And so it is.



Everything Old Is New Again

3 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again

  • April 27, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to that special – and for me elusive – relationship with a strongly impactful sponsor – not everyone gets that I am finding – and more so to your very extra special J. She sounds profoundly wise –

    Knowing for you another sponsor equally wise, and one that will treasure the wisdom you have gained over these years, and that which you bring to the table along with your newcomer mindset. What a perfect combo: wisdom and newcomer-ness all in one.

    Looking forward to hearing more – and also to following my own train of thought as I flash on my own sponsor situation …

    Thank you for the beautiful post. You are a class act Cynthia.

  • April 27, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    That’s beautiful. With Divine Indwelling there is always hope.

  • April 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Excellent story and outlook. Sometimes we need to go back to the starting line and run the race again.


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