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Sponsorship

"In A.A., sponsor and sponsored meet as equals, just as Bill and Dr. Bob did. Essentially, the process of sponsorship is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A"

"Alcoholics recovered in A.A. want to share what they have

learned with other alcoholics. We know from experience that

our own sobriety is greatly strengthened when we give it away!"

At FFG, we have created a sponsorship form so that anyone

new or struggling to get a sponsor can get matched up by one of our sponsorship coordinators. The form is also for those willing to be a sponsor. If you need a sponsor, you will be contacted shortly after filling out the form. Please specify any questions or concerns in the appropriate fields.

The following is exerts from the pamphlet "Q&A on Sponsorship" 

"How does sponsorship help the newcomer?

It assures the newcomer that there is at least one person who understands

the situation fully and cares — one person to turn to without embarrassment

when doubts, questions or problems linked to alcoholism arise. Sponsorship

gives the newcomer an understanding, sympathetic friend when one is

needed most. Sponsorship also provides the bridge enabling the new person to meet other alcoholics — in a home group and in other groups visited.

How should a sponsor be chosen?

The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible, and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request. An old A.A. saying suggests, “Stick with the winners.” It’s only reasonable to seek a sharing of experience with a member who seems to be using the A.A. program successfully in everyday life. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a year or more away from the last drink — and should seem to be enjoying sobriety.

Should sponsor and newcomer be as much alike as possible?

Often, a newcomer feels most at ease with a sponsor of similar background and interests. However, many A.A.s say they were greatly helped by sponsors totally unlike themselves. Maybe that’s because their attention was then focused on the most important things that any sponsor and newcomer have in common: alcoholism and recovery in A.A. A.A. experience does suggest that it is best for men to sponsor men, women to sponsor women. This custom usually helps our members stay focused on the A.A. program. Some gay men and lesbians feel an opposite-sex sponsor is more appropriate for similar reasons.

Must the newcomer agree with everything the sponsor says?

No. If the sponsor’s ideas sound strange or unclear, the newcomer had better speak up and ask questions. Theirs is supposed to be an easy, open relationship, in which both parties talk freely and honestly with each other. The A.A. program is simple, but it didn’t seem that way to many of us at first. Often, we learned by asking questions, at closed meetings or — most especially — in conversations with our sponsors.

What if the sponsor is unavailable when needed?

It is the whole A.A. program — not the individual’s sponsor — that maintains the newcomer’s sobriety. Sponsorship is just the best way we know of introducing a newcomer to the program and helping them continue in A.A. So we have many recourses when we are unable to contact our sponsors. We can telephone other members; go to an A.A. meeting; phone or visit the nearest A.A. office or clubroom for sober alcoholics; or read A.A. books or pamphlets or our magazine, the A.A. Grapevine, to find answers for almost any problem troubling us at the moment.

May a newcomer change sponsors?

We are always free to select another sponsor with whom we feel more comfortable, particularly if we believe this member will be more helpful to our growth in A.A."

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