I came to Al‑Anon to find out how to survive my alcoholic family situation. Early in the program, I heard “Keep Coming Back,” so I did. It took time and courage, but I found the hope I was looking for.
I am sure it was mentioned many times, but one night, the meeting topic was sponsorship. That night, I heard my Higher Power and realized a Sponsor was what I needed—someone to guide me. Members shared that, to find a Sponsor, they kept coming to meetings and listening to people share, looking for someone who had what they wanted and with whom they felt comfortable. My home group was small, but there was one member whose sharing made sense to me. I could relate to her. I asked her to be my Sponsor, and she agreed.
We exchanged contact information, and she asked me to call her. Ugh, another hurdle! What if she was busy? I didn’t want to disturb her. The excuses in my head went on and on. It took time, but I finally called. After that, every call became easier. She guided me through the Steps that first time and many times since. I am blessed to still have her as my Sponsor today.
Besides helping me work the Steps, my Sponsor encouraged me to do service. It so happened that the Group Secretary in my home group was stepping down. That became my first service position and marked a turning point in my recovery. Within a short time, I became the Group Representative, and later, I moved on to Area service. When I took on the position at the Area level, it was suggested that I get a Service Sponsor. By this time, I had had the opportunity to meet many members in my District, and, again, there was one person who stood out to me. I admired all she had accomplished and asked her to be my Service Sponsor. Having someone to reach out to for guidance related to my service position was immeasurably reassuring.
Today, I have been given the opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope as a Sponsor. It is said (and I agree) that, as a Sponsor, I get back more than I give. Sponsorship helps keep my program fresh. This is what we do, why we keep coming—so that we can help each other recover and be there for the families and friends of alcoholics who seek our help.
A side note on the miracles of the program: several years after I asked that Al‑Anon member to be my Sponsor, she shared with me that, at the time I asked her, she was thinking it might be time to stop attending meetings. A Higher Power knew what both of us needed, and the timing turned out to be perfect. I am grateful for this ongoing relationship with my Sponsor 11 years later.
The skills and tools I’ve learned from being sponsored and sponsoring others help me in my current role at the World Service Office. Information about sponsorship can be found in the pamphlets Sponsorship, What It’s All About (P-31) and Service Sponsorship—Working Smarter, Not Harder (P-88), as well as the bookmark Sponsorship—Working Together to Recover (M-78), available on the Online Bookstore or at your local Literature Distribution Center.
By Anne P., International & Legal Specialist
The Forum, October 2022
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