The Tool of Sponsorship
To help us achieve and maintain abstinence: "the action of refraining from compulsive eating," OA, our program of recovery, encourages us to use its "tools of recovery" regularly. As compulsive eaters, we have found that we cannot abstain from compulsive eating unless we use some, or all, of these tools.One of our program's tools is sponsorship.
"Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one [compulsive overeater] talks with another [compulsive overeater], sharing experience strength, and hope." (Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book p. xxii, 4th Edition)
What is a Sponsor?
As stated in Tradition Five, carrying the message of recovery "to the compulsive overeater who still suffers" is every OA group's "primary purpose." A sponsor is an OA member who shares this message - and her or his own program of recovery - on an ongoing, individual basis with another member called a sponsoree or a sponsee.
"To keep our program, we have to give it away." Through sponsorship, the meaning of this statement becomes clear. It is in the sharing of our experience, strength and hope that we renew and reaffirm our own recovery. We realize that the greatest benefit - and the greatest joy - is reaching out . . . "doing together what we could never do alone."
Serving as a sponsor reinforces our physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with others and with our Higher Power. Sponsoring stops us isolating and teaches us how to be supportive of other human beings seeking recovery.
Sponsoring keeps us in touch with what brought us to the program and can also remind us where we might return. As we give back what we've been given, we strengthen our group and the Fellowship as a whole. OA needs sponsors, and sponsoring is a privilege to be shared by as many as possible.
As sponsors we listen, support, and understand. A sponsor/sponsee relationship, as it deepens in honesty, may evolve into a lasting friendship. It is important to know, however, that a sponsor's role is not one of therapist, doctor, lawyer or other professional.
Be honest. Be clear about your expectations. Be accepting and not judgmental. Seek help from your own sponsor and from other members. No sponsor is perfect. Sponsoring is a rewarding experience that will benefit both the sponsee's recovery and your own.
Seek help from your Higher Power in your decision to sponsor and remember...
"I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. No longer is there a sense of hopelessness, no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams." (Rozanne's Prayer)
Overeaters Anonymous publishes a brochure entitled, "A Guide for Sponsors: Why, When and How to be an OA Sponsor." Provided in it are topics such as:
- The benefits of sponsoring?
- At what point do I become a sponsor and how?
- What comes first, abstinence or sponsorship?
- Can I be taught how to sponsor?
- Is there only ONE way to sponsor?
- What is CO-SPONSORING?
- How much contact should I have with my sponsee?
- How do I help the sponsee work the steps?
- May I sponsor more than one person?
- What if I need to say NO? How do I decline sponsorship?
- What if my sponsee desires to have multiple sponsors, or decides to change sponsors?
- What if my sponsee has a slip (relapse)? What if I
have a slip (relapse)?
To order this brochure, click here.
How Do I Become a Sponsor in 12step4coes?
If you would like to be a sponsor for other members of 12step4coes, please email us with the following details:
Your Name: You may use a nickname, your real name or both, as preferred.
Your Contact Details: Please include an e-mail address, and any instant messengers with the correct identification you would like to use. Providing phone numbers is entirely at your discretion. You can always give them more discretely, after initial contact is made with your sponsee.
The Type(s) of Sponsorship you offer: Temporary Sponsor, Step Sponsor or a Buddy to another COE.
Provide a Short Biography: Please provide whatever details you think may be helpful to a potential sponsee. You may wish to include a brief account of your story, how you may or may not sponsor, what you can bring to sponsorship, the frequency with which you are able to connect with a potential sponsee, and any other information you think might help a prospective sponsee in their search for a sponsor.
Trust your HP and work the program while sponsoring.