When I first came to OA, I resisted the Tool of sponsorship for a long time. I found it difficult to pick up the phone and talk to people, let alone ask someone to be my sponsor. I soon found that sitting in a meeting room and sharing were not enough. I needed to develop one-on-one contact with OA members to receive direction and guidance.
As my recovery grew, I realized the gifts and promises of the program lay in the Steps. To work the Steps, I needed someone who could guide me through them, know my story, and walk beside me on my recovery journey. This I found in a sponsor.
Over the twelve years I have been in OA, I have had many different sponsors. As I have grown in recovery, I have moved on to new sponsors when the time felt right or a change of circumstance required it. A sponsor is not forever.
I have had only one sponsor at a time, but I know my sponsor cannot be every- thing all the time. I continue to call other members to share a food plan, do a mini Step Four or a tricky Step Ten, or hear how to work Step Eleven.
Waiting for the perfect sponsor held me back in getting a sponsor because no perfect OA person exists, thank goodness. I realize this is important because, like me, my sponsor is a human being who needs to work the Steps. OA has no stars or VIPs, and this helps me resist putting my sponsors on a pedestal and being disappointed if they cannot be there for me.
To keep my recovery, I must give it away, and if I have one day of abstinence, I have something to give to another. By sponsoring others I have been able to learn more about the Steps and recovery, and on those occasions when I am spiraling into self- obsession, it is a sponsee’s call that gets me out of my head.
We all have something to give. I will not wait to be asked; I will ask someone who I think may need a sponsor. I need a sponsor, and I need to sponsor others to walk the journey of recovery.
Reprinted from Lifeline magazine