[list_settings.list_name]: SPONSORSHIP IN CoDA

From: "[list_settings.list_name]" <codalist@codependents.org>
Date: March 13th 2011

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                                                  SPONSORSHIP IN CoDA

 Sponsorship in CoDA is essentially different from sponsorship in other 12 step groups because of the nature of the disease of codependence
 To be effective, CoDA sponsorship depends on the development of healthy boundaries on control issues such as advice-giving, care-taking, and rescuing
 Giving feedback as sponsors, we can develop skills to be honest without advising, lecturing, or being verbally abusive

 Sponsorship is a tool of recovery that helps the process of healing
  It is not a requirement
 It is a 3 way relationship between the sponsee, sponsor, and God
 The relationship affirms and supports the sponsee
 It provides for the sponsee's needs for guidance, safety, and trust
 This relationship is a good place to learn about personal boundaries
 It is the newcomer's responsibility to choose a sponsor
 The sponsor listens to the sponsees story and guides the sponsee through the 12 steps
 It is important to have someone who will point out codependent behavior -when asked - and who can share their own experience, strength, and hope in recovery

 The requirements of sponsorship are determined by the 2 people based on personal preference
 It is OK to choose a different sponsor
 We do this directly, honestly, and gently
 (For characteristics of a CoDA sponsor, see pg 8 in the Sponsorship Booklet, and pgs 8 & 9 in the Sponsorship: What's in It for Me? booklet which is CoDA's newest piece of literature
) Meeting to discuss how we will work together - stating our boundaries, limitations, expectations, wants and needs - is the best method for us to begin this relationship
 Flexibility is important and talking through conflict (examining my part) allows for change in recovery

 The sponsorship relationship can provide only temporary peace of mind
 For most, true progress in recovery depends upon working the 12 steps
 Giving specific direction is something not covered by our sponsorship commitment
 How can any of us know - let alone choose -  what's best for another? We understand this to be God's job
 Connecting first with our Higher Power is most important
 We become willing to put aside the belief that we are responsible for another's well being, or that someone else is responsible for ours
 In the process we can learn to be accepting, forgiving, and patient
 Most of us find new ways to give and receive love

 Sponsors are not therapists, but can suggest seeking professional help
 Sponsors listen without offering solutions for sponsees' problems
 To be a sponsor, it is recommended we be attending meetings and working the Steps ourselves for at least 6 months
 It is strongly recommended we have sponsors of our own
 Sponsoring deepens understanding of the Steps and Traditions
 "It teaches me about myself, my triggers, and my insecurities
 It helps me see my own spiritual growth and keeps me honest about my shortcomings

 Sponsorship is a two-way street of commitment, hard work, sharing, vulnerability, integrity, flexibility, and boundary setting
 It is also about humility and the willingness to learn from another person's experience

 (This document is compiled from the following CoDA approved literature: Sponsorship Booklet, Newcomers Handbook, Sponsorship: What's in It for Me? booklet, and Sponsorship pamphlet

If you have a general question about CoDA (as opposed to the specific content of this email), please email outreach@coda org

For questions in Spanish, please email espanol@coda org

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