Q: How important is the sponsor in the success of their charge (sponsee) going through the 12 steps?
Obviously everyone is different, but isn't there a level of competence necessary for someone to be a sponsor?
A: The answer to your question is Yes and No. Yes, ideally the sponsor would have excellent recovery and never say something to hurt another person and always lead them to perfect recovery through the 12 Steps. Or at least have gone through the Steps themselves and be abstinent for a period of time.
But while it is ideal to have a sponsor in recovery – people can recover without a sponsor. The founders of AA program recovered with less than ideal sponsors. And many times an honest “partner-in-recovery” is better than available alternatives. If both partners start out with the idea that-- we are not totally sure what we are doing but let’s follow what is written and help each other – this may be the very best solution. It is important for people to be honest with each other about how much they know or do not know.
It would be fabulous if there were always tons of sponsors in recovery to choose from. However there really are several alternatives to not having enough sponsors in a given area. In addition to the possibility of using a partner-in-recovery.
- There are many hundreds of phone meetings available every day and often there are people in those meetings willing to sponsor others via long distance phone calls. Use http://www.oa.org/membersgroups/find-a-meeting/ click on Telephone meetings or Online meetings tab.
- Our Region I website has an interactive “virtual sponsorship” application to help you be matched with someone to sponsor via phone or email. http://www.oaregion1.org/current-member-services.html
- The Region One Vice Chairman, Ruth, has a list of sponsors she can email to you. (Ruth) Vchairr1@gmail.com