Sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous
My first exposure to Alcoholics Anonymous was through a detox/treatment center. I was somewhat shaky, and my thoughts were jumbled. I remember how the members expressed the thoughts and emotions that they felt while drinking. They shared the pain, isolation, and shame that come with addiction. They expressed gratitude for a life free of addiction. They had not only recovered from their addiction; they had also recreated their lives. I wanted that, too.
The next step was to find out how they did it.
I really had no understanding of sponsorship at the time, but I scoped out the rooms for someone who seemed to really have it together. I was told that a sponsor would help me work the steps as they are outlined in the “The Big Book” (a nickname for the basic AA text).
When I found someone whose story resonated with me, it took a lot of courage that day to utter the words, “Would you be my sponsor?” I felt I was somehow going to inconvenience this person, and I had a strong fear of rejection. To my surprise, I was greeted with a warm smile. The person asked me some questions about myself and my willingness to follow instructions. To my relief, they agreed to be my sponsor.
I was scared, but I was hopeful.
My new sponsor was now my guide to a new life. As long as I remained honest, open-minded, and willing, I would soon find myself freed of the relentless obsession to drink. My sponsor took me through the book, answered questions, and asked me questions. I was walked through the steps. Some steps were hard. The inventory and amends steps can turn people away, but I was desperate. I did what I was told to do, and every time I walked away with new truths and new ways for living. My sponsor and the people in AA are why I am alive today.
As they say in the Big Book, “Recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxii).
I thank my Higher Power for the gifts that were so graciously and generously given to me through sponsorship and through Alcoholics Anonymous.
~ A Grateful Alcoholic
Alcoholics Anonymous.(4th ed.) (2001). New York City, NY: Alcoholics World Services, Inc.
Share This Post: