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. (MORE) 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. However, many of us choose to work with just one sponsor. In either case, it’s helpful to avoid changing sponsors frequently.
A great starting place is meetings in your local area – (MORE) Attend as many meetings as you can. There may be members available to sponsor who missed one or two of the meetings you attend. You may need to attend several meetings before you find a sponsor.
Telephone and/or online meetings are another resource for sponsors – (MORE) Attendance at Step study meetings and Big Book study meetings will be helpful too. A sponsor will work with you through the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous.
Local intergroups/service boards may provide a list of members willing to sponsor – Find the Nearest Service Body.
“Abstinent sponsors came into my life, sharing with me the need to work the Twelve Steps.”
Abstinence, 2nd Edition p. 89
Eight weeks ago, I attended my first OA meeting. I’d researched OA and vaguely knew about a concept of abstinence, but that was about it. (MORE)
After a bit more reading, another meeting, and devouring the Big Book and Twelve and Twelve, I realized I urgently needed a sponsor. After all, on reading the Twelve and Twelve, it seemed I was already through Steps One through Three and needed to be getting on with Step Four. I could sense it might be insufficient to work that one alone, so I drew breath, gathered my courage, and found a sponsor.
In our first conversation, we talked a little, but before I could tell her how far along in the program I was, she asked me to read aloud the first paragraph of Step One. Then she asked which sentence resonated most with me. I pulled one out and read it back to her. She said, “Right. Go away and write about that for next time we talk.”
I wanted to say, “No, no, it’s okay. I’ve done Step One. I accept I’m powerless over food and my life is unmanageable. I need and want God’s help. Let’s look at Step Four!” I didn’t want to waste more time. Didn’t she realize I’d been immersed in the material for two weeks and was a very fast learner? I was secretly horrified that if this was the pattern, it would take me at least two weeks to do Step One!
Something held me back. I knew she had more than twenty years of abstinence, and I wanted that too. And a little voice said, “Maybe you aren’t such a fast learner. Maybe you should listen to someone vastly more experienced? Maybe not be such a know-it-all?”
I took my sponsor’s advice. I moved slowly through the paragraphs. I found there was so much to write about, and suddenly I didn’t want to rush.
Eight weeks in, and I’m still on Step One. I’m in sight of the final paragraph, but several miracles have occurred. I have experienced a beautiful abstinence without fear for the last five days. I have learned humility and patience. I have had time to meditate and reflect on the true implications of Step One.
When I first rushed through the chapter in my initial excitement, I grasped it intellectually. Now, I have come to believe it in my heart. – Lifeline