Sponsorship Lessons

One of my sponsees told me this morning she wanted to quit Greysheet. All the planning, the phone calling, the repetitive food (she ate the exact same thing every day), was too much for her and she felt able and ready to go it without Greysheet.  I wish her all the best and I very much respect that she told me this in person when she called, on time as always, rather than just “dropping off the face of the earth” and saying nothing.

The part of this journey I shared with this sponsee has taught me important lessons about how to sponsor.  I cannot make someone want to be abstinent.  I’m not a salesperson.  I have been given this gift and I will give it away freely, so I get to keep it, but I’m not supposed to throw it at people who don’t, or only almost, want it.  This program is for those who want it.

I’m very blessed with another sponsee who is grabbing on to this program with all she’s got, and shows me that there’s nothing wrong with *me*… I can only share my experience, strength and hope, but I am only human and I can’t carry another person’s load.  For the past few months I have had this very healthy sponsoring relationship along with a very dysfunctional one and it has been invaluable for myself, learning how to support someone who truly *wants* this program (even though, as I do and I know we all have, she has her battles) as opposed to dragging along someone who’s digging in her heels at every suggestion.

Sponsorship is an incredible gift.  To have someone to guide me who has been through the same experiences, whose wisdom and guidance I can trust, is not something most people are given.  I cherish and appreciate my sponsor, and my sponsee – these are incredible, deep relationships where both sides learn things.  I do what my sponsor does because I want what she has, she’s further down the road of contented recovery than I am.  But I’ve already come some way, too.

Because I am abstinent and I follow the program of recovery outlined by GSA, I:

  • know there’s always another meal coming;
  • get to LOVE my food without pain, fear or guilt;
  • get to live a life in between meals;
  • have to look at what the food had buried, all the things that make up who I am – beautiful things and ugly things;
  • am growing! – in all conceivable ways except physically;
  • get a chance to make my life something I want to show up for;
  • can plan financially as not all my money is wasted on food/ shopping/ impulses;
  • genuinely believe my life need be second to none.
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