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Key to Accountability

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It took me thirty years to get a sponsor—really. That’s how hardheaded and faithless I am. But when I finally did surrender to having a sponsor, it made all the difference. I finally was accountable; but more than that, I had a guide, a friend, and a sounding board. My recovery grew exponentially, so much so that I even took a sponsor in another fellowship.

I worked with one OA sponsor for near a dozen years, and I’m grateful that I have one today. I don’t know how people “do life” without a sponsor. How do they process the detritus of everyday living? How do they get suggestions on how to handle life’s inevitable problems? Beats me.

As far as honesty in program goes, I know that in early recovery, when I was newly abstinent and sharing with my sponsor on a daily basis, my pen would hesitate sometimes. I’d think, “Do I really want to tell her that? Do I want to be that honest?” Then the next thought would follow immediately, “Do you want to get well?” and my pen would move over the page and I would share it.

About my abstinence, which has included many foods that others avoid, my longtime sponsor would generously say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The bottom line for her was that I had long-term abstinence and that’s what mattered, not whether or not I ate bacon or cheese.

If I could counsel a newcomer about sponsorship, I would say, “For God’s sake, don’t do what I did! Don’t wait thirty years or even one year to get a sponsor!” Recovery awaits! Don’t delay it.

I speak from experience: I almost missed recovery, which is the single best thing that has ever happened to me. For me, a sponsor was the key to that inestimable gift.

— Christina

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