"No longer is there a sense of hopelessness; no longer
must we each depend on our own unsteady willpower."
Sponsors are OA members who are living the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of their ability. They are willing to share their recovery with other members of the Fellowship and are committed to abstinence.
We ask a sponsor to help us through our program of recovery on all three levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. By working with other members of OA and sharing their experience, strength and hope, sponsors continually renew and reaffirm their own recovery. Sponsors share their program up to the level of their own experience.
Ours is a program of attraction: find a sponsor who has what you want, and ask that person how he or she is achieving it. A member may work with more than one sponsor and may change sponsors at will.
"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and each other is the bright spot of our lives ... "Working With Others" Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Chapter 7 page 89.
The sponsor guidelines below may be helpful for sponsors, or those interested in sponsoring. They can be read to sponsees or printed and given out.
My Promise To You
1. As your sponsor, I will try to help you understand your disease and show you a way to freedom.
2. I will try to help you find a God you have always wanted, but eluded you, one with love, understanding, compassion, but most of all love.
3. With the help of God, I will try to help you grow to be better you than you have been before.
4. If it be God’s will, I will be there for you to help you through the loneliness and pain.
5. I will not judge you for your actions or your perceived wrongdoings. I will listen to the burdens you carry in hope that they may lighten by sharing them with another person.
6. I will try to share with you my dreams so that you may find your own in hope that someday your realities will surpass your most vivid dreams.
7. I cannot sense your world for you, evaluate your goals, or tell you what is best for you, but I can share your experiences with you.
8. I will share with you how I have grown, in good times and bad, so you may grow to become the person of your choosing.
9. If you ever stop allowing God’s love to flow through me to you, then it is you that needs to walk away from me, because I can no longer guide you in the direction you need to go.
10. As you grow, I will grow too, because it is through sharing that we grow together.
11. My love and help to you is unconditional. I will be with you and hang in there with you as long as you need me.
12. If you are not interested in what I have and want to stay in the Hell you know, you will do it alone. I must help that person who wants a Heaven they have never known, for if I stop giving, I fear I may lose what I have been given... God’s Gift of Recovery.
This piece of literature is locally produced, it is not OA approved literature. The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and do not represent OA as a whole.
When am I ready to sponsor?
Sponsoring can begin at any time. Simply sponsor up to the level of your experience, sharing as much recovery as you have. It may be helpful to discuss sponsoring with your own sponsor first, then begin sponsoring when you both feel it's right. Ask your group to introduce you as a new sponsor, or identify yourself as one. We have found that sponsors are most effective when refraining from compulsive eating. Many of us believe clarity of mind comes with abstinence. Having a sponsor is the best way to learn to be a sponsor; we learn by example. We also learn to sponsor by doing it. (This is from OA World Service.)
Sponsor Suggestions- Ways To Sponsor:
Temporary Sponsor: Offer to take on a new sponsoree until they find a sponsor. Give a suggested time period such as two weeks to give them support until they find a sponsor, or another temporary sponsor.
Vacation Sponsor: Be a sponsor while another sponsor is on vacation. It gives you a chance to offer support to someone, reach out and do service, give away what you have, but not make a full time commitment if you are unable to at that time.
Newcomer Sponsor: Sponsor newcomers - they often leave meetings confused and need guidance. Newcomers have so many questions, and even a temporary sponsor for a short time is better than no sponsor at all.
Online Sponsor: Offer to sponsor online. It can help keep you and a sponsoree connected, and you are both using the tool of writing. It is done at a convenient time and makes it possible for those to sponsor who are not able to by telephone.
Read "My Promise To You" to a new sponsoree to help explain how sponsoring works.
(These are suggestions from OA members and do not represent OA as a whole)
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