Working the Twelve Steps With an SA Sponsor

Finding a Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor was a bit intimidating for me at first, but I have found that it is essential to working the SA Twelve Steps.  Perhaps the only thing worse in recovery than NOT working the Steps is to attempt to work them on my own.  I know this, because I tried to do it that way.

In the beginning, I asked the first face-to-face SA member I met to be my sponsor.  But then I never called him, never took advice from him, and quickly filled myself with contempt for him.  Go figure.  My character defects were in full array!

So a month later I asked another SA member, who had over a year of sobriety, to be my sponsor.  Sure enough, I didn’t call him either.  All this time, I was “working the Steps” on my own. I read the book “Sexaholics Anonymous” (the “White Book”) all the way through.  I started writing on the Steps, and I kept a notebook of all of my writing about each Step.  

After about a month of that work, I took my partial Step One to my sponsor.  First, I had to remind him that he was my sponsor.  (Oops!)  Then he looked at my writing--about 20 pages (and I wasn’t even yet through my teens)--and he shook his head sadly.  He said, “I think you need to start over on this.  It’s way too long and detailed to be useful.” The Steps aren’t difficult, but my broken mind was very quick to misinterpret them.  I needed someone to show me the way.

Thankfully for my recovery, I became more teachable with my third sponsor.  I also learned something more about having a sponsor, and mostly about following a sponsor’s directions.

Today this is what I would look for in a sponsor:

  • Same gender
  • Long-term sobriety
  • Peace in their soul
  • An ease in their attitudes that shows up with gentle humour
  • Has worked the Twelve Steps and reaped the benefits of doing so

Then, I would ask the person if he would sponsor me. I would not just put out a call and wait for someone to call me. This time, I went directly to my sponsor, and then I started calling him frequently. Then eventually I started following his path and doing exactly what he told me to do, even when I felt it was silly or useless.

As the White Book says,"No matter how well they are explained, understood, or believed, however, the Steps mean nothing unless they are worked out in our thinking and living.  The Steps don’t work unless we work them!” I have found this to be the truth.

Grateful SA Member, Sober since 20 Feb 2014