6: Sponsorship

Sponsorship

-The message we carry is: we had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Steps, not as the result of psycho-therapy, meetings or making phone calls. If there has not been a spiritual awakening as a result of the Steps, then we go back through the Steps either looking for items missed in the previous work or

with a different sponsor. If we haven’t had a spiritual awakening, then there is no message to carry. We must continue to practice these principles in order to facilitate spiritual growth. So too must our protégés. There may come a time when they are no longer growing spiritually under our sponsorship. Since spiritual growth is necessary for continuous sobriety – and therefore continuing to live – then our protégé will necessarily need to find a new sponsor. It is not personal. It is a matter of living by continuous spiritual growth or dying in the disease.

-The only purpose of Steps 1-11 is so that we have a message to carry in Step 2. Step 12 is the entire purpose of our lives. It is why we eat, sleep, make house payments, and have a job. We are called to service. We are uniquely placed to help other sex addicts. We can make the identification with another hopeless sex addict and show them how we found sanity. If we are not actually helping someone in this moment, then we need to ask ourselves if what we are currently doing is putting us in a better position to help someone in the future. Are we in a better positionto help someone in the future if we: stay on top of our 10th Step? …keep up the regiment of prayer & meditation as described in Step 11? …keep on top of our health: exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep (We are not much use to God if we’re in the hospital or in the grave.)? Are we …staying on top of our finances: living within our means? …staying on top of our financial amends? …minding our budget? …saving for life’s trials and

low spots? …doing laundry? …bathing regularly? …brushing our teeth? We’re not very useful to God and our fellows if His other children can’t tolerate our company.

-The entire purpose of Step 12 is to keep the sponsor sober. If that has been accomplished, then the Step has been successfully practiced. Carrying the message is necessary to our continued sobriety. Sponsoring others also keeps us accountable for living the 12 Step way of life. If we have many personal responsibilities, then we may only want to take one person through the Steps at a time. If we have few personal responsibilities, then we should be sponsoring as many through the Steps as possible. In order to maintain our sobriety, we must make the effort to sponsor others.

-We carry the message not the sex addict. The best way to prevent problems is to make sure that our prospect is a real sex addict and is serious about getting sober. This is what is called qualifying. We must be sure that they too suffer from the same illness as us. Do they have the physical allergy? Do they have the mental obsession? If they do not, then they are not sex addicts of the hopeless variety. We may not be able to help them. Psychiatry and psycho-therapy may be their solution. If they are sex addicts of the hopeless variety, we need to be sure of their motivation. If they are here for any other reason than they don’t want to die, we may be wasting our time with them. We are in the business of spiritual triage. We are best able to help those who are the worst off. They, after all, have the willingness to do the work necessary to get well. Experience shows that if their motivation is the result of some external pressure, loss of a marriage, livelihood, or freedom, then their motivation will

disappear as soon as those factors begin to dissipate. By accepting a protégé that does not have this lifefearing willingness, we are wasting time, time that could be better spent carrying a potentially lifesaving message to someone who is dying. “Come back and see me when you are dying.”

-The Step only calls us to try. It does not call us to be successful. We must make an honest effort to find someone to help. Until we find another sex addict to help we may have to talk to many different types of helping and legal professionals. Remember that the 12th Step calls us to carry the message TO

another sex addict. It doesn’t say that we waited for them to show up at a meeting or drop into our lap. The best place to find willing prospects is where they are finding bottom. In their old acting-out spots, they are still “strapped to the rocket.” Catching them as they are walking out of jail or as they are being

served divorce papers is where we will find them with an attitude of the most willingness to work this program.

-In executing this Step, our primary responsibility as a sponsor is to show the prospect how we worked the Steps so as to bring about our spiritual awakening, to always tell the truth even if the protégé doesn’t like hearing it, and to continue to live the 12 Step way of life. As a sponsor we know only one

way to work the Steps that brought us to a spiritual awakening. If a protégé wants to work the Steps in a way with which we are not familiar, then we, as the sponsor, do not know how to bring about the spiritual awakening by working the Steps that way. We, as sponsors, must realize that we are dealing

with a potentially deadly disease. It is arrogant to “experiment” with the lives of our protégés. We, as sponsors, must provide the protégé with clear directions as to how we worked the Steps. If the protégé is then not following directions, then he/she is not working the same program that keeps us sober. The

willingness to work this program is God given. If the protégé is not willing to follow directions, then the only thing that can make him/her willing is more acting-out. “Go act-out until it’s not any fun anymore. Then try to stop. When you get desperate, come back to see us.”

-We are only someone’s temporary sponsor until they say the 3rd Step prayer with us. Whoever they say that prayer with is their sponsor (not temporary). Our only relationship with a protégé is that of being their sponsor. We are not their landlord, employer, bank, or personal reference. If we become any of these, then the motivation for working the Steps becomes questionable. Their motivation for doing the work should be should never be to please us. A friendship may develop or it may not. Either way, it is not necessary for the relationship to be successful. We don’t have to like our protégés, but we do

have to love them. Most especially, we are not their potential acting-out partners. If issues of attraction arise, then the sponsor/protégé relationship must end. Our only relationship should be that of showing our protégé how we worked the Steps such that it brought about a spiritual awakening.

-Our 12th Tradition points out that all the accomplishments of this program are the result of God’s Power. We as sponsors are not responsible for the sobriety of our protégés. That is God’s responsibility. We must give all credit to Him who has all Power. This is good. For if we were responsible for someone else’s sobriety, so too would we be responsible for their lack of sobriety. Conversely, when a protégé loses his/her sobriety, there are two possible reasons. Either they missed something in the Step work or we do not have what they want. When they lose their sobriety they must choose either to go back through the work to find what they missed, or find another sponsor. We must be willing to work with someone as long as they are willing to follow directions as many times as it takes. We don’t give up on them, as long as they are willing to be honest, and as long as they don’t give up on themselves. As sponsors our mission is to show our protégés how to become God-reliant through working the Program all the while being accountable to the Fellowship.

-When we sponsor someone, we must do so with the mind that we are training them how to sponsor others. We are teaching them not just how to have a spiritual experience by working the steps, but also how to teach others to do likewise. If Step Twelve is necessary for our own continuous sobriety, so too

will it be for our protégé. If we are going to be a sponsor, then we should be a good sponsor, a strong sponsor. When we make a commitment to do something for a protégé we need to follow through with it. If we’re not sure we can commit to something, then we don’t. We sponsor best by being a living

demonstration as to what it means to live the Twelve Step way of life.

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