The OA program tells us to “find a sponsor who has what you want and ask how he/she is achieving it.” The best way to decide if someone has what you want is to listen to the sharing in meetings, especially the meeting leader’s share as it is usually longer. Here are some question you might ask yourself:
- Does the person you are considering have enough sobriety to serve as a model for your abstinence?
- To what does the person attribute his/her serenity?
- Can you hear evidence of this person’s relationship with a Higher Power?
- Do you hear a message of experience, strength, hope and gratitude?
When you have noticed that you resonate with someone’s ideas as they share, and believe you want what they have, it is a good idea to seek out that person after a meeting and make a few calls to this person. This may further confirm what you think or may change your mind.
Some people interview potential sponsors. The idea is to see if this person who has what you want is also willing to give you what you need. Asking the person how they work with sponsees is a good way to start the conversation. Explaining what you hope your sponsor can give you in the way of time and the type of support you desire is important information to impart. The potential sponsor might have certain expectations of people they sponsor. All of this can come out in the interview.
There is another technique that has worked well for someone who really wants to work a good program but feels scared about the commitment of asking someone to sponsor or has not found someone who has what he/she wants. Ask for temporary sponsorship. This might also be a way of having a short term relationship with someone who writes “full” or “N/A” on the We Care List. It is very important to remember that this selection is not a lifetime commitment. We can “change sponsors at will.” FAQ
How do I get a sponsor?
A great starting place to find a sponsor is at a meeting in your local area. Attend as many meetings as you can to find candidates. Look for people at meetings you identify with and who have what you want. You may need to attend several meetings before you find a sponsor.
I tried to find a sponsor, but failed. Now what?
Make phone calls… lots of them. Send email. Take names, numbers, and addresses from the “we care” lists that are circulated at the meetings. Talk to people often. Sometimes a sponsor can be “full,” but will make room for you if you have spoken to them regularly. Ask someone who has not sponsored before; you may become their first sponsee. Anyone with more experience than you is a candidate. It is best, however, that your sponsor has a sponsor.
If you cannot find a permanent sponsor, ask someone to be your temporary sponsor while you look for a permanent one. Each meeting has a list of people willing to answer your newcomer questions and guide you until you find a sponsor. Ask someone at the meeting to see the “Getting Stated” list.
Telephone and/or online meetings are another resource for sponsors.
You are not alone!