Definition of Sponsor:
An alcoholic who has made some progress in recovery and shares that experience on an individual basis with another alcoholic

Synonyms of Sponsor:
Aid, assistance, guidance, support, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs. Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail. We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.

Five C’s — Confidence, Confession, Conviction, Conversion, and Continuance. … | More…

Before saying anything about anyone, I will ask myself three questions:

Is it the truth?
Is it loving?
Is it necessary?

Rarely have I spoken badly of anyone after asking myself these questions. –Manuel M. p.187 | More…

Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship

1.I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.

I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.

3.I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.

4.I cannot give you dreams or “fix you up” simply because I cannot.

5.I cannot give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.

6.I cannot take away your loneliness or your pain.

7.I cannot sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.

8.I cannot convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.

9.I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I cannot get close to you when you choose not to grow.

10.When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.

11.You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and “hang in there” with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.

12.If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world. | More…

In twelfth-step work, the fifth thing is Continuance. Continuance means our staying with prospects after they have started on the new way of living.

We must stick with them and not let them down.
We must encourage them to go to meetings regularly for fellowship and help.

They will learn that keeping sober is a lot easier in the fellowship of others who are trying to do the same thing. We must continue to help prospects by going to see them regularly or telephoning them or writing them so that they don’t get out of touch with A.A. Continuance means good sponsorship.–24Hours | More…

There may be some people who want you to be perfect. But thanks to our fellowship, to God, and the Twelve Steps, you don’t have to be one of them! I claim progress, not perfection. –Pocket Sponsor | More…

Dr. Bob led me through all of these Steps. At the moral inventory, he brought up some of my bad personality traits or character defects, such as selfishness, conceit, jealousy, carelessness, intolerance, ill-temper, sarcasm and resentments.

We went over these at great length and then he finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character taken away. When I said yes, we both knelt at his desk and prayed . . .

If I live to be a hundred, this will always stand out in my mind. I wish that every AA could have the benefit of this type of sponsorship today. — Big Book p.292 | More…

Our program won’t keep you from going to hell nor is it a ticket to heaven. But it will keep you clean and sober long enough for you to make up your mind which way you want to go.

The process of one alcoholic confiding in another has without a doubt saved my life. Nowhere else have I ever found such devotion and understanding as with AA sponsoring. –Maspeth, N.Y., May 1998/The Best Listeners | More…

Forgive yourself because your Spiritual Source already has. Who are you to argue about this? T.G.I.F.: Thank God I’m Forgiven. –Pocket Sponsor | More…

It works, is the shortest sentence in the AA Big Book and pretty much sums up what the book can do for you. But there’s a catch. Keep in mind, the program does not work. The program does not work.

Just like alcohol doesn’t get you drunk. You have to drink alcohol in order to get drunk. You have to work the program in order for it to work. It works if I work it. –Pocket Sponsor | More…

90 meetings in 90 days is not nearly enough. Tell newcomers to always catch a ride or give a ride to their daily meeting.

This way they get a meeting on the way to the meeting, a meeting during the meeting, and a meeting on the way home. That makes 270 meetings in the first 90 days! Who am I taking to a meeting tonight? –Pocket Sponsor | More…

Resentment is from the Latin, meaning to ‘feel again.’ Rather than feeling that again, think of how it could have been worse, then be grateful it isn’t.

Once you get to the grateful part, you can’t be resentful. I cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time; I can’t serve two masters. –Pocket Sponsor | More…

Our sponsors can be abundant sources of recovery information, wisdom, and loving words. Though our sponsor has given so generously and has never demanded repayment, there are things we can do to show our appreciation.

We treat our sponsor with respect. They are not trash cans designed for us to dump our garbage in. They have their times of trial, just as we do, and sometimes need our support.
They are human, have feelings, and appreciate our concern.

Maybe they would like to receive a card in the mail or a phone call expressing our love.
Whatever we do to return our sponsor’s kindness will enhance our personal recovery, not to mention the joy we’ll bring to our sponsor. –Just For Today | More…

Our sponsor can’t read minds. It’s up to us to reach out and ask for help. Whether we need help with our steps, a reality check, or just a friend, It’s our job to make the request – all we have to do is ask. -Just For Today | More…

The other day, I sent an AA friend on a job interview. He went to the wrong address and he lost the man’s name. In another office, he stated his purpose, was offered a job, and came back with one better than the job I sent him to look for. –Grapevine: Wayne, Pennsylvania, June 1984.

My sponsor taught me how to be of service with grace and gratitude. She taught me how to listen, how to be respectful, and most importantly, to mind my own business. –Grapevine: Palm Springs, California, May 2012,

Every sponsor is necessarily a leader. The stakes are huge. A human life, and usually the happiness of a whole family, hangs in the balance. What the sponsor does and says, how well he estimates the reactions of his prospects, how well he times and makes his presentation, how well he handles criticisms and how well he leads his prospect on by personal spiritual example — well, these attributes of leadership can make all the difference, often the difference between life and death. –Bill W., April 1959, The Language of the Heart

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