What Your OA Sponsor Can Do for You
Sponsors can do a lot for those struggling with an addiction, whether it’s the first Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meeting or the 50th. For those who have just started to attend OA meetings, the confusion and frustration that often comes early in the program can be mitigated by choosing a sponsor early on.
What a Sponsor Does for Your OA Program
Sponsors are a great source of support when you are starting out in OA. They can answer your questions and provide a listening ear when you have issues with staying on track. If there are conflicts between the over eating treatment principles you learn at a private treatment center and the principles of OA, you can discuss it with your sponsor. As you work to move forward in your treatment program, they can help you out when you feel tempted to binge. Here are a few more things that your OA sponsor can do for you:
- You can call your sponsor for support after a binge or before.
- You can work the steps with your sponsor’s guidance.
- You can meet with your sponsor regularly and/or attend OA meetings together.
- You can discuss problems you are having with avoiding binge eating and the issues that make you want to binge, including fights with your spouse, problems at work, trauma or self-esteem issues.
- You can ask questions about the 12-step process.
- You can ask for insight and guidance from your sponsor.
- You can ask for suggestions on how best to handle the frustrations that come with overeating issues.
- You can expect that your sponsor will keep your confidence and tell no one about the things you tell him or her.
- You can expect your sponsor to let you know when you are making choices that put your treatment in jeopardy or when you are risking a binge eating relapse.
What to Look for in a Sponsor
If you know no one in OA, how do you know who will make a good sponsor? You can’t know how you will interact with a stranger, even if they have been in OA for years. Sponsors are always considered “temporary” in OA, so you are welcome to let go of a sponsor if the relationship isn’t working out and find one who is more compatible with you. You should look for someone who is:
- On the path to overcoming overeating urges and has been for several years.
- Living a life free of major problems that may test his or her ability to stay focused on their own overeating issues or yours.
- Honest with you.
- Active in OA and OA meetings.
- Someone you can relate to and feel comfortable talking to.
- Is not someone you are remotely interested in romantically.
What do you think are important qualities to look for in a sponsor?