What is Sponsorship?
Ideally, having a sponsor is an integral part of recovery from sex and love addiction. Working closely with someone to identify your bottom lines and your accessory behaviors can be very helpful to working the Twelve Steps. A sponsor is someone who has found sobriety from their addictive behaviors and gives us individual support and guidance in applying the S.L.A.A. Twelve Step program of recovery to our lives.
Sponsorship as a Tool
“Sponsorship is among the most important tools for continued recovery in S.L.A.A., along with regular attendance at meetings and working the Twelve Steps. Sponsorship offers us a powerful tool for gaining clarity about our addiction. We find support and guidance in dealing with our addictive patterns, and begin to realize new options for living in recovery.”
What is a Sponsor?
“A sponsor is a person who gives us individual support and guidance in applying the S.L.A.A. Twelve Step Program of recovery to our lives. A sponsor is neither a parent, a therapist, nor a confessor. Accordingly, a sponsor is a person with whom we have no ulterior motive, whom we do not pay, and from whom we seek neither absolution nor judgment. Our sponsor is, in fact, a fellow addict. As such, a sponsor does not counsel from a pretense of higher moral ground. Sponsors are not “perfect” people working “perfect” programs. Sponsors are human, too, with struggles and confusion, just as anyone else in the Fellowship. Indeed, seeing the imperfections in our sponsors helps relieve us of our own compulsion to be perfect.”
The Beginning of the Sponsor/Sponsee Relationship
“Recovery rarely is accomplished in isolation. When we incorporate the experience of others into our lives, we begin to experience a broader view of life and recovery. With our S.L.A.A. sponsor, we learn to become honest and open, asking for love, support, and guidance in our lives. Through the patience and understanding of our sponsor, our fears of condemnation and shame slowly fade. Gradually we become more able to be vulnerable and open with our sponsor. This increase in trust allows us to more fully benefit from another's help.”
(The quotes above are excerpted with permission from “Sponsorship A Return from Isolation” 1990, The Augustine Fellowship, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc.)
We encourage you read the more complete explanation of sponsorship by purchasing the pamphlet “Sponsorship A Return from Isolation” at your local meeting or through the F.W.S. store at http://store.slaafws.org/prod/PAM-005.html.
Finding a Sponsor
There are many ways to find a sponsor. You may attend S.L.A.A. face-to-face meetings, workshops, retreats, and conferences, both in and outside of your area, as well as S.L.A.A. telephone, skype and online meetings. See more suggestions in “How To Find A Sponsor” at https://slaafws.org/how-to-find-a-sponsor.
Choosing a Sponsor
A prospective Sponsor should be sober, have clear bottom lines, have gone through withdrawal, be working the steps, be available, and ideally have their own sponsor. Questions to ask a potential sponsor are described at https://slaafws.org/questions-to-ask-a-potential-sponsor.
Temporary Sponsors, Co-Sponsors and Recovery Partners
While you are looking for a sponsor, we would suggest you ask someone to be your Temporary Sponsor, Co-Sponsor or Recovery Partner. Co-Sponsors are two people who have worked the Steps in S.L.A.A. or another program. Co-sponsors who have worked the Steps in another program may start co-sponsoring each other very early in their time in S.L.A.A.
A Recovery Partner is someone with whom you check in on a regular basis. Being accountable to someone can be very beneficial to your recovery. It can also be helpful to make an agreement with someone in the program to check in often, even daily if possible. Share with that person what areas of recovery are important to you; willingness to be honest is key. Your Recovery Partner may be a member of S.L.A.A. or another friend in recovery. It is recommended that you do not ask a romantic partner or someone to whom you may be attracted to be your Recovery Partner. These tools can be valuable additions to sponsorship or a great help while you are looking for a sponsor.
What if there are no meetings in my area?
For suggestions about what to do when there are no meetings in your area, try starting your own meeting, or see the other suggestions in “Beginning Recovery in Places Where No Meetings Exist” at https://slaafws.org/no-meetings.
The pamphlet, “Sponsorship: A Return from Isolation” may be purchased at your local meeting or through the F.W.S. store at http://store.slaafws.org/prod/PAM-005.html.
The Sponsorship Topics TeleSeminar Series (2011-2012) is available as a 3 CD set ($11.35) or MP3 download ($7.00) at http://store.slaafws.org/prod/AU12-SPON01.html. One selection in the series entitled Sponsorship Self-Care is free and available at: http://store.slaafws.org/prod/AU12D-SPON01-M11.html. This is a great resource to those interested in challenges of sponsorship.
Conference Sponsorship Committee (CSPC)
(This document has been approved by the Conference Sponsorship Committee 2015)