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What is Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is one person helping another by sharing their experience, strength, and hope.
Sponsorship is never having to be alone again.

Do I need a sponsor?

Now that you are in Gamblers Anonymous and have heard someone say that sponsors are vital, you are probably wondering what they are talking about. You may have also heard that it is a program which is simple and yet difficult. So, will a sponsor complicate or simplify your program? Let’s take it one step at a time.

Who picks the sponsor?

First, you do the selecting of a sponsor based on several important points. You may be concerned about age, type of gambling he or she did, how much clean-time he or she has, and perhaps most important, that you can communicate with them.

Sponsors fall into two groups – nice members and the other kind. Both can do the job, each in their own way. Your option is to select someone in whom you have trust, as you will be confiding to him or her matters which you may not wish to disclose in therapy. To your sponsor you will bring all problems – large or small, to the best of you ability. It is advisable, whenever possible, that the sponsor be the same gender.

He or she won’t give you answers, but offer you alternative thoughts or options which will enable you to make good decisions.

What if the person you select turns you down?

This could happen if they are sponsoring a number of new people at the present time, felt that someone else in the program could do a better job for you or perhaps relate to you more comfortably. If the person you ask to become your sponsor should turn down your request, it is not personal! Just ask someone else with whom you feel you can relate.

Always remember – pick a member who can help you – not just because he or she is a nice person.

What does a sponsor do?

  • Helps the sponsee work the twelve steps.
  • Shares his/her own experiences, strengths and hopes by being the living example.
  • Provides guidance, encouragement and motivation.
  • Explains the program, basic terminology, introduces the sponsee to new members.
  • Gets us to our next meeting and monitors our recovery.
  • Helps us stay on the right path.

What should I look for in a permanent sponsor?

  • Look for someone who walks the walk and talks the talk.
  • Look for someone who has a sponsor.
  • Look for someone who is working the steps.
  • Look for someone who is positive and living in the solution instead of the problem.
  • Gets us to our next meeting and monitors our recovery.
  • Look for someone who is available for phone calls and meetings.

What do I do if I want to change sponsors?

For whatever the reason, may it be personality conflict, outgrowing your sponsor, your sponsor doesn’t have enough time to meet with you, it is your responsibility to get together with your sponsor and inform them of the reasons you have decided to change. This can be a growing experience for both of you.

What if I can’t reach my sponsor when I need them?

Carry a telephone list around with you.

Telephone someone else in the program. Most people will be only to glad to help.

Talk to your sponsor as soon as you are able but remember that sponsors have a life too.


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