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When a Sponsor Stumbles

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I found OA in 2000 after a car accident left me in severe pain and unable to work. My mother died in the same year. We had a troubled, difficult relationship, and I feel sad she died before I came into recovery and realized I loved her. At that time I was 238 pounds (108 kg) and a size 22. I don’t know how much I weigh now, but I wear sizes 10 and 12.

I had a sponsor in OA, but sadly, after four years of talking every day no matter where in the world we were, my sponsor lost her abstinence. The message she gave me was, “Our weaknesses join us together.” Her loss of abstinence proved to me that this disease is powerful, cunning, and baffling. It taught me I can have an off day, but never a day off.

We spoke daily at 7 a.m., and each day she suited up and showed up, which helped me develop a disciplined approach to my own program. One day I was in a terrible state, crying and apologizing for being such a wet lettuce. She responded, “I enjoy this.” From then on I knew it was all right to be myself, and no matter what difficult, ugly feelings I had at the time, she would be there.

As our relationship grew, I worked all Twelve Steps with her. Gradually I felt able to reveal myself. Whatever I did, she still spoke to me, even when I slipped with my food. She was a good listener and never tried to fix me or give me answers. By speaking my innermost secrets, I began to feel much better. Calmness, peace, and serenity replaced my anxiety, fear, anger, and guilt. On a daily basis, my sponsor restored me to sanity.

Today, I am grateful I found OA. I am sad about my sponsor, but through her, I have learned to “let go and let God.” This program is a miracle. I do not know how it works, but it works if I work it, thanks be to God.

— Anonymous, England

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