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Healing Connections

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Sponsoring is working one-on-one with another compulsive eater to uncover and release whatever separates us from a loving Higher Power of our understanding. We use and share about OA Tools and slogans, study and apply the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA in our lives, and reach out to each other on a daily basis to share our learning and stay connected. This connection—to Higher Power, to spiritual Principles and practices, and to other recovering OA members—is a healing balm for me in recovery.

I’ve heard about and experienced a connection with Higher Power and other people just this week when someone at a meeting said that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety or abstinence, it’s connection. I pray that Higher Power shows me how to be sponsored and sponsor lovingly, caringly, and honestly. Here are the things that have worked for me as a sponsee and sponsor.

As a sponsee, I do these things:

  • Am honest with myself, my sponsor, and Higher Power
  • Call my sponsor on time daily
  • Cultivate awareness of HP
  • Ask for assistance from other OA members to temporarily sponsor me when my sponsor is unavailable
  • Listen to and reflect on my sponsor’s feedback
  • Practice being a responsible OA member in fellowship with others, by using all the Tools, having a home meeting, doing service, being kind and honest with others, and warmly welcoming newcomers
  • Sponsor another member or members as I’m sponsored
  • Willingly do Step and Tradition studies to learn
  • Celebrate recovery milestones

As a sponsor, I do these things:

  • Welcome my sponsee’s daily calls and emails
  • Listen to my sponsee’s food plan and program work daily
  • Gently reflect on OA Tools and spiritual Principles with my sponsee
  • Share honestly, and willingly about my experience, learning, stumbles, growth, and gratitude in recovery
  • Highlight areas of growth I notice in my sponsee’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery
  • Encourage my sponsee to be open and willing with me and seek assistance from other OA members and trustworthy professionals as needed
  • Listen for yellow and red flags in my sponsee’s recovery and talk about these openly, honestly, and willingly
  • Let go and let God when I can’t be helpful to a sponsee
  • Celebrate recovery

— Alyson H.

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