Sponsorship is an informal, voluntary relationship in which a more experienced member helps guide a newcomer through recovery. Members can also co-sponsor each other to work the steps together.
ITAA is a young fellowship, and we don’t have very many members sponsoring yet. You may soon be able to help with this! But for the moment, if you are not able to find a sponsor in ITAA, you are encouraged to go to meetings for another fellowship – AA, UA, NA, OA, SLAA, ACA, CoDA, etc. – to search for a sponsor. If you do not identify as a member of the fellowship meeting you wish to attend, be sure that you go to an “open” meeting. Open meetings are open to participants who do not qualify for the meeting’s particular addiction. At the meeting, you can ask for other members’ phone numbers, and over a phone call, you may explain your situation and ask if the other member knows anybody who could be a good fit to sponsor you. The 12 Step fellowships make up a larger spiritual family and people are generally very friendly and welcoming. Working with sponsors from other programs allows us to draw on decades of experience in overcoming the disease of addiction.
Within ITAA, if you find yourself resonating with another ITAA members’ recovery, you may consider reaching out directly to them over a phone call to ask whether they would be open to sponsoring you (or being a co-sponsor or recovery partner). As an additional resource, you may also attend stepwork meetings or co-sponsorship meetings, some of which can be found on the meetings schedule. Other stepwork meetings may be found (and added) here.
If you are considering sponsoring, it can be helpful to reach out to other ITAA members who sponsor to ask for their advice and experience with sponsoring. You may also reach out to sponsors in other programs for guidance. This AA Pamphlet on sponsorship is a great resource on understanding how sponsorship works.
In a sponsorship relationship, it is a good idea to set a regular schedule for calls, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, or daily. We may also set other expectations around the relationship and call format as needed. It is commonly suggested to maintain appropriate boundaries in our choice of sponsor/sponsee in order to avoid the possibility of sexual attraction interfering with our spiritual growth.