Tips on Sponsoring
(Developed at an OA meeting’s workshop on sponsorship; take what you want and leave the rest!)
- Live in your own program to the best of your ability. You cannot give to others what you do not possess; live in the steps and use the tools.
- Be honest and open about your own program with those you sponsor. Share your successes and hard times; if you attempt to disguise your struggle, your sponsee will realize it.
- Realize the answers to questions and the suggestions for recovery are in the OA literature and the Big Book. You don’t have to know all the answers, only where to find them.
- Your experience is your foundation to sponsoring. Share you experiences, but remember, that was your experience, theirs may be different – and that’s okay. As long as your guidance is in accordance with program, you are fulfilling your obligation.
- Explain to a new sponsee what you are going to do; then do it. Explain that we are compulsive because we have problems coping dealing with life’s issues. Explain that the process of working the 12 steps provides us with the tools to face and enjoy life, to the extent that the need to compulsively overeat will be lifted. Explain that your sponsorship is to guide them through that process.
- Explain to a new sponsee what their responsibilities are. Agree on exactly what you will do and what they will do on things such as food plans, calling, writing, etc. Whichever path you choose, agreement between the two of you as to how to approach recovery is essential. It may be a very specific or very general agreement and the agreement may change, but begin by walking the path together.
- Listen and accept. There is no good or bad recovery. We all do the best we can. Accept and support, but always offer program, even if you believe it threatens the relationship. We never need apologize for offering recovery. That is really all we have to give.