I chose the topic of sponsorship, because I recently started working with a newcomer. It’s been about two years since I’ve worked with a sponsee. I am very grateful to be able to share with her what was given to me!
I read somewhere the acronym for S.P.O.N.S.O.R. is Sober, Practical, Noble, Spiritual, Open-minded, Respectful. The A.A. Pamphlet on Sponsorship states that “sponsorship is Twelfth Step work, but it is also continuing responsibility for helping a newcomer adjust to a way of life without alcohol.”
At first I thought there is no way that I am going to have time to sponsor this woman! My sponsor has been encouraging me to talk to newcomers and get their phone numbers. I’m so grateful that I have been doing that, and that I called this woman that I had met at my home group. The next thing I know, I was setting up a time to meet with her for coffee. I know that it wasn’t me doing this- my Higher Power was helping me! I truly believe that God puts people in my life for a reason.
I’ve been sharing with her what my sponsor has shared with me. I’ve suggested the readings in the Big Book that I read every day and several prayers that were suggested to me. She calls me every morning at around the same time. We’ve been meeting every week for an hour. We started reading from the Big Book- from the very beginning, and I read to her which is how my sponsor does it.
In the sponsorship line that I am in, there are sets of “homework” questions that we answer. So I’ve already had her do the first set of questions. We’ve been going so far to one meeting a week together. Hopefully there will be others that we can go together. She is still in outpatient treatment and prior to that was away at rehab.
At first I kept worrying about how am I going to help her. I realize that it’s not just me- it’s the entire program of A.A. that helps our sponsees, and of course their Higher Power. All I can do is share my experience, strength and hope. I pray for her every day, but I know that I can’t keep her sober.
Working with other alcoholics has helped me so much in the past with my own sobriety. I have to say that with my last sponsee though, I did end up relapsing. I have written an amends letter to her, and I will eventually be making a face-to-face amends to her. At that time I was not as far with my amends nor was I as thorough. I know that I have to keep doing the foot-work and not rest on my laurels!
I am grateful for sponsorship- both ways- for being sponsored and for being able to sponsor. My sobriety will be strengthened when I give it away. So dear sober sisters, I would like to hear how sponsorship has strengthened your sobriety, any challenges you have faced during sponsorship, how you sponsor other women, or anything else that is on your mind.