Helping Other Women Is the Foundation of My Recovery

It is difficult to describe in words the feeling of gratitude to God for me to be a sponsor. It is a great honor, responsibility, and joy. I want this process of transmitting the message of recovery from one woman to another to never stop. I believe that sponsorship is the most effective recovery tool in the SA Program. The AA literature says, “Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be.” (AA 97)

The women I‘ve led through the Steps live in different cities and countries, with different religious views and cultures, and have different ages and marital status. But we are united by God’s love in the Fellowship and a great desire for purity, sobriety, and happiness.

My sponsees become mirrors of a magnifying glass that help me to see and recognize in myself what I would never have known and seen without sponsorship. These can be not only my deeply hidden deadly defects, codependency, or forms of lust, but also qualities like long-suffering, compassion, mercy, sacrifice, wisdom, maturity, and humility.

Our wrong attitudes and actions are revealed in the Step work. In the Fourth Step resentment inventory, I added two more columns which were for writing a negative attitude and a positive attitude. In describing traumatic events and people from my past, it was very important for me not to remain in negative feelings and attitudes, but to write out positive attitudes for each event. Such detailed work turned out to be effective for me on the path of recovery. It led to accepting events with humility and long-awaited peace of mind. I offer my sponsees these two additional columns as a strategy from my personal experience to getting out of negative memories. I was pleased to hear from my sponsees that such an addition in dealing with grievances helps them not to plunge into self-pity and self-flagellation.

I often remind my SA sisters and myself that recovery does not depend on people, it depends only on the relationship with God. Pay attention to the positive. Sobriety based on the negative has not given us anything. It was “uncomfortable, dangerous and short-lived.” (SA 145) Positive sobriety and recovery is comfortable, safe, and long-term!

Olga S., Alchevsk, Ukraine

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