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Sponsors and Sponsees Help Forum This forum is to discuss any topics, questions or comments you have on sponsorship from How To Pick A Sponsor to When To Step Back and more.

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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What is sponsorship? It is a mutual and confidential sharing relationship between two A.A. members. Essentially, an alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuing, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety. Sponsor and sponsored meet as equals, to share: experience, strength and hope.

What is the role of a sponsor? THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF A SPONSOR IS TO HELP THE SPONSORED WORK THE TWELVE STEPS. To show by personal example how the program can lead to serenity, encourage another to attend meetings, read the Big Book and other A.A. literature, apply the tools of the program, keep in regular contact, LISTEN: to allow the member to release the burden of trouble and to help the sponsored recognize the areas where help is most needed, not for the details of crises, but for signs of self-pity, fear, resentment, negative thinking, for the things left unsaid, for things not easily talked about, for opportunities to apply A.A. principles and to explain how they may be applied. Never give advice or make decisions for the member. Refrain from imposing personal views. Provide patience, understanding, open-mindedness and flexibility, while not "killing with kindness". Avoid dwelling on personal problems, but share recovery: experience, strength and hope of personal recovery. A sponsor is someone with whom we can share about ourselves and our circumstances in detail, a friend, a confidant who has experienced alcoholism's devastating effects and yet has learned to find serenity and hope. He or she listens, shares experience, strength and hope and offers support and encouragement but no advice, just suggestions. The idea is for the sponsored to find their own answers in their own time. A sponsor does not have all the answers and if he or she thinks they do, the sponsored should find another, IMMEDIATELY.

Sponsors cannot make the program work for others. They can only be ready to help those they sponsor to help themselves. We must encourage and insist those sponsored to rely on the A.A. PROGRAM and not us. Get them interested in the Big Book starting at the table of contents and working slowly all way through it and then again. Sponsors SHOULD NOT provide any such services as those offered by a social worker, a doctor, a nurse, marriage counselor, lawyer, etc. Our task is simply to share with another, how to stay sober, PERIOD.

Sponsorship strengthens the older member's sobriety, by helping others, we help ourselves. Those sponsored should be encouraged to work with other newcomers as soon as possible by sharing experience, strength and hope, not necessary teaching or controlling. SHARING is the key. We all must realize we stay sober through reliance on the A.A. program, not on any individual member or meeting attendance.

Let us make those sponsored realize that one reason for sponsorship and one-to-one sharing is because meetings are oriented to group needs and are limited by time, we shouldn't each bring our specific problems to group meetings for discussion. Sponsorship and one-on-one sharing provide us with the opportunity to unburden ourselves in a personal and constructive way.

Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship. It allows the sponsor to focus on the A.A. principles in a new way and provides them an opportunity to practice the 12th Step.

How can we possibly, realistically expect a person who has absolutely no knowledge of A.A., someone who has been to one or just a few meetings, to reach out and pick someone to be their sponsor. For our own sobriety, for our own serenity, because it's God's will to help His children, why don't we reach out to the newcomer, and sponsor him or her, without he or she knowing what we are doing. And sometime down the road, whey we are asked to sponsor the person, we can say, "Hey, what do you think I have been doing?"

Both the sponsor and sponsored should read "Questions and answers on Sponsorship", A.A. pamphlet P-15.

"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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