When we first begin to attend A.A. meetings, we may feel confused and sick and apprehensive. Although people at meetings respond to our questions willingly, that alone isn’t enough. Many other questions occur to us between meetings; we find that we need constant, close support as we begin learning how to “live sober.”
So we select an A.A. member with whom we can feel comfortable, someone with whom we can talk freely and confidentially, and we ask that person to be our “sponsor.”
What does A.A. mean by sponsorship? To join some organizations, you must have a sponsor — a person who vouches for you, presents you as being suitable for membership. This is definitely not the case with A.A. Anyone who has a desire to stop drinking is welcome to join us!
Essentially, the process of sponsorship is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A.
The sponsor is there to offer guidance and support to the “sponsee.” The sponsor is not only a person to guide the member working the Steps and Traditions of A.A., but to also be there to listen. Being able to rely on a sympathetic ear can be particularly important when the individual feels on the verge of relapse.
Click on the pamphlet to the right for more information about how to chose a sponsor, guidelines for sponsors, frequently asked questions about sponsorship, and more.