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Al-Anon Sponsorship Info

What is Sponsorship?
"A Sponsor is someone with whom a member can discuss personal problems or questions; someone who willingly shares the experience, strength, and hope of the Al-Anon program." Sponsorship, What Itís All About (Al-Anon Pamphlet #p-31)

In short, a sponsor is the way that the Al-Anon program becomes personalized. If the newcomer goes to meetings, reads the literature, uses the fellowship, there is a certain limitation that is inherent. When a person takes the step of becoming vulnerable with another person in the program, there is a depth that evolves that is virtually indescribable. The program comes to life in a way that it simply couldn't without that intimate, personal, human connection.
What is a Sponsor for?
A sponsor is a fellow member who practices the program in such a way as to attract others to themselves. Typically, the sponsor guides the newcomer through the steps and other nuances of the program. Getting a sponsor may seem like a monumental task; but there is no way around the simplicity: just ask someone. Using a sponsor can seem odd for some of us at first, since it involves reaching out and opening up to someone. Most of us have become accustomed to "going it alone", and we all have deep trust issues. Here are a few guidelines about getting and working with a sponsor:
  • Call your sponsor - regularly. Try to work out a time that is convenient for you both.
  • Try to go to the same meetings as your sponsor. This will put you in contact with your sponsor and the program fellowship at the same time.
  • Read what the Al-Anon literature has to say about sponsorship.
  • Be honest, direct, and compassionate with your sponsor. Remember that your sponsor is only a human being, and is prone to mistakes. If you can communicate your feelings, what is working and what's not, etc. it will help both of you.
  • Try to work on tasks or objective assignments. Open-ended discussions and talking are essential, but a pre-defined program of working the steps will take you on a journey that is very likely to produce that which we all desire: Serenity and Spiritual Connection.
  • Develop regular meetings with your sponsor in person - once per week is great; once a month when things are stable is good, too. Make these informal gatherings part of your regular schedule.
Am I Ready to be a Sponsor?
Typically, a sponsor has been around the program for a while, and has worked trough the steps with someone. A good length of time is about a year. This gives the program time to sink in. There's something magical about having worked the program through all four seasons. If you're on the verge of becoming a sponsor, consider the rewards: there's no sense of accomplishment like seeing the lights come on in someone who has never before known personal connection, fellowship, or direction. By all accounts, sponsorship helps the sponsor as much as, or more than, the person who is being sponsored.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.