Last Updated on 31 July 2023
If someone has asked you to sponsor them, it is good to have some idea how to proceed.
A version of this was shared with me by my sponsor. Personalise it to make it yours.
Thanks for asking me to be your sponsor. I appreciate the privilege to be working with you. Please find attached the first set of questions for setting bottom lines, and the first 30 questions as part of steps 1-3. In case you don’t have the welcome guide, I attach it as well.
Have a read through the welcome guide – it will run you through the basics of the program and some things to keep in mind. In Australia, we mostly use the SLAA HOW program, which adapts the general SLAA material. The first 7 questions are designed to help you understand yourself better with respect to sex and love addiction and to help you define your bottom lines or look at them further if you have already made a start. Please do all suggested readings and write out your response to one question a day, then we will talk on the phone each day to discuss it.
In addition to this, I recommend a daily practise of meditation and prayer – even 10 minutes a day can be great. How you do this and what happens during this daily quiet time is up to you.Going over your daily gratitudes and setting your intentions for the day can be really powerful.
Write as little or as much as you want to, being as thorough and as rigorously honest as you can, but don’t worry about getting everything down or doing it perfectly. It’s about progress and not perfection. You will need to get a copy of the literature suggested in a number of questions. You can find PDFs of the AA 12 and 12, and the AA Big Book online. There are links to everything on our website – augustinerecovery.org – go to Sponsorship. But there is plenty to explore!
Also, try to make it to at least 3 meetings a week and keep plenty of phone numbers handy for outreach calls. People usually share phone numbers for outreach calls at the end of meetings. I usually text someone first before I call to introduce myself and see if they are ok with it. As you know, SLAA HOW suggests you make four calls a day – three outreach calls to other members and one call to your sponsor. Outreach calls are a good chance to share what you’re going through but it’s important to do them even on days when you aren’t feeling emotional disturbance or euphoria – they can be as simple as saying hi and asking how someone else is doing. The point is contact with another person to stay out of isolation.
Once you make it through the first 37 questions, and stay sober on your bottom lines throughout the first 3 steps, we will have a short ceremony to step you up to step 4. You will then be able to become a sponsor for another person for the first 3 steps.
The mutual commitment I ask we make is that we tell each other within 24 hours if we break a bottom line.
Remember you don’t need to get everything perfect on the first go – it’s about progress, not perfection. You will probably feel the pain of withdrawal. This is the pain of healing and facing emotions rather than medicating them, but it’s important to face them while sober. This is the only way to grow.
- First 7 Questions for setting bottom lines
- First 30 questions for Steps 1, 2 and 3
- Slip Questions (only needed if you slip in the first 30 days!)
- SLAA Basic Text (Can be purchased physically, on Kindle or Apple books)
- AA 12 steps and 12 traditions
- AA Big Book (Alt link)
Additional Tools to use while working the SLAA HOW program:
- Literature and Writing: Reading SLAA &12 step related literature, keeping a daily journal of your thoughts & feelings, or writing intentions for the day etc.
- Telephone calls: In the HOW program, we try to make 4 calls a day: one to our sponsor and three outreach calls to other SLAA members. Outreach calls are a good chance to share what you’re going through, but it’s important to do them even on days when you’re feeling well – they can be as simple as saying hi and asking how someone else is doing. The point is contact with another person to stay out of isolation.
- Meetings: We recommend that you attend a minimum of three meetings a week. It’s also recommended to choose a home group which you try to attend consistently.
- Prayer and Meditation: We recommend a daily practice of meditation and prayer. Even 5-10 minutes each morning can be powerful. How you do this is up to you.
- Service: I recommend volunteering your service at meetings. Welcoming newcomers, volunteering for service positions and chairing a meeting when you’re ready etc.