People in our fellowship often ask this. Below is information taken from CoDA to guide us. Find more details at CoDA.org under the Outreach section.
The place to begin the search for a sponsor is often in your home group or local meetings. Some meetings offer a list of CoDA members willing to be sponsors (but many members who are eager and qualified to be sponsors are not on the list). Over a period of time we listen to these people when they share, perhaps spending some time with them after the meetings. It may take time to get to know someone well enough to consider them for a sponsor. It is important to remember that no sponsor is “perfect”, as our program teaches us that all people are “perfectly imperfect” human beings.
We may find ourselves in a group in which there are no members willing or able to sponsor. In this case we can travel to another CoDA group in the area or perhaps a regional CoDA event. Other options are to attend a phone or online meeting and try to find someone there with whom you identify.
Co-sponsoring (adapted from Sponsorship Booklet)
Co-sponsoring occurs when two CoDA members sponsor each other. Co-sponsors meet or call regularly to share what they are learning about the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. They share experience, strength, and hope equally, growing in their own way and at their own pace.
As in all sponsor relationships, the recovery goal in CoDA co-sponsorship is to have a mutually beneficial relationship. Working the Steps, changing our behavior, and growing spiritually frees us from advising, controlling, and rescuing.
Co-sponsors may choose to have another CoDA member guide them, especially through difficult situations or when they get stuck. Sometimes co-sponsorship is a good model for sponsorship when utilized in conjunction with a Step-Study Group.
Step Study Groups (adapted from The Meeting Handbook)
Step Study groups are groups of codependents working through the Twelve Steps (and often the Twelve Traditions) in a structured format, usually outside of a regular meeting. Step Study groups often have the same objectives as co-sponsors, but with more people, and members often make contact outside the group. Please see the Step Study Group section of the ORG for information and details on starting a Step Study Group. It is recommended that members do have sponsors outside of the Step Study Group, but the group work often inspires the desire to “go to all lengths” to find a sponsor.
Temporary Sponsor (adapted from Sponsorship Booklet)
One way to become comfortable with a sponsor is to investigate temporary sponsorship. Often the time period for such an arrangement is left open-ended. We might want to commit to being sponsors for a couple of months and then re-evaluate the relationship.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT: A final resource is the Outreach sponsorship workgroup. If you have tried all of the above options -or cannot- please email the workgroup at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.