Carry the message to others–through sponsorship.
Felt the strength and support from having a sponsor? And ready to give back? Or maybe you’ve heard about having a sponsor and want to learn more. No matter the situation, read on to see how sponsorship can fuel your recovery. Sponsors work one-on-one with another compulsive eater sharing what works for them, walking alongside their sponsees. They use and share OA Tools and slogans, study, work and apply the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and offer support when it’s needed. This connection—to Higher Power, to spiritual Principles and practices, and to other recovering OA members—is a crucial part to recovery.
There is no prescription on sponsorship (as a sponsor or sponsee), but here are some tips from another member to guide you:
As a sponsee, I do these things:
- Am honest with myself, my sponsor, and my Higher Power
- Call my sponsor on time daily
- Cultivate awareness of my Higher Power
- Ask for assistance from other OA members to temporarily sponsor me when my sponsor is unavailable
- Listen to and reflect on my sponsor’s feedback
- Practice being a responsible OA member in fellowship with others, by using all the Tools, having a home meeting, doing service, being kind and honest with others, and welcoming newcomers
- Sponsor another member or members as I’m sponsored
- Willingly do Step and Tradition studies to learn
- Celebrate recovery milestones
- Honor anonymity as to the sponsor’s identity – if that is requested by the sponsor.
As a sponsor, I do these things:
- Welcome my sponsee’s daily calls and emails Listen to my sponsee’s food plan and program work daily
- Gently reflect on OA Tools and spiritual Principles with my sponsee
- Share honestly, and willingly about my experience, learning, stumbles, growth, and gratitude in recovery
- Highlight areas of growth I notice in my sponsee’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery
- Encourage my sponsee to be open and willing with me and seek assistance from other OA members and trustworthy professionals as needed
- Listen for yellow and red flags in my sponsee’s recovery and talk about these openly, honestly, and willingly
- Let go and let God when I can’t be helpful to a sponsee
- Celebrate recovery
- Help the sponsee work through the Twelve Steps
- Honor the sponsee’s anonymity if that is what the sponsee requests
“I have been abstinent fifty-seven days and am currently working on Step Three. Having a sponsor has been a vital part of working my program.
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For me, being sponsored was the critical element…”in my starting the Steps. I would not be able to work the Steps without my sponsor giving me questions to work on and apply to me personally. I would not be able to open my mind without my sponsor challenging my answers or sharing theirs. Without their guidance, I would not know what or how to prioritize.
Between sponsor and sponsee there exists a unique relationship. I talk daily with my sponsor, which I do with no one else. I am completely honest with my sponsor, without fear of judgement, in a way I can be with few other people.
A sponsor is responsible for their own recovery. To help them solidify and grow their experience, they can choose to share with a sponsee their experience of successfully working and implementing the program. They are not responsible for the willingness of a sponsee. They are not responsible for making judgements or advising on a sponsee’s personal life. They are not responsible for a sponsee’s actions, nor for that sponsee’s implementation of the program.
I like it that sponsor-sponsee relationships require a great level of openness and trust and can last for long periods of time. They are two-way channels that benefit both parties, and these relationships can develop into “families” as the sponsee, in turn, becomes a sponsor.
Sponsors are a critical part of continuing to carry the OA program to the still suffering and into the future.”
— reprinted from Lifeline
Sponsorship Success Series
Sponsoring Through the Twelve Steps