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Humbled by Sponsoring

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I first became a sponsor in 2008 as part of working the OA program of recovery. I started sponsoring after experiencing seventy days of back-to-back abstinence, working the first three Steps, following the OA-HOW structured meeting format, and soaking up lots of love and physical, emotional, and spiritual healing like a dry sponge.

I came to OA obese and full of ideas that led to a lack of direction in my life. Without understanding of HP, myself, and others; without a spiritual backbone; and without an understanding of the flow of standing up in life to grow and change with grace, I was lost physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and financially.

Sponsoring has shown me that sponsees are on their own paths. It’s been important for me to talk with other OA members about questions, challenges, and joys in sponsoring so I get perspective, clarity, and suggestions for my sponsoring of others. In the OA-HOW structured meeting format, this is easy to do while respecting anonymity because we avoid sharing the names of those we sponsor with others.

When reflecting on the time, experience, and gifts sponsors have shared with me, I see that I’ll never be able to repay the freely given love I’ve received from sponsors in OA.

I’ve learned that emotionally, physically, and spiritually, sponsees are both strong and vulnerable, just like me. I’ve learned it’s a privilege to assist others. I’ve learned I’m not always the best person to help a sponsee in specific ways with specific concerns. I’ve learned I must stay in shape spiritually to be of service to HP and others.

Sponsorship has humbled me by repeatedly showing my powerlessness over other people. It’s helped me witness the undying desire for life, learning, honesty, and growth in all compulsive overeaters and see how they are humble, able, and willing enough to acknowledge their disease of food addiction and work toward physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth. When sponsees don’t follow the OA program, it reminds me of my own powerlessness and the heartbreak the disease of compulsive overeating can cause for myself and those around me.

Thank you, HP and OA, for the chance to recover and sponsor other compulsive overeaters and food addicts. HP, please help me sponsor as you will today. Thank you, sponsees for your willingness to recover and your trust. May I earn it.

— Alyson H., Rome, New York USA

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