My first sponsee saved my life.

I had been in OA for a little over a year and was kind of disappointed when there was no parade when I reached one year of abstinence — I had made it! Surely, I had it all figured out. Right? Well, a month after I collected my one-year
chip, my life as I knew it began to fall apart: all the outside constants like job, love life, address were now variables at best. I held onto program and my abstinence with both hands and leaned into using my tools of meetings, phone calls, writing more than ever, but I felt like I had to get to a better place before I stood up at a meeting to volunteer as a sponsor. The pain of the uncertainty of my days was unbearable at times, and that’s when I got the call: the inspiringly
bold act of a Fellow who had reached a level of willingness, making awkward conversation before getting to the point, “Would you be willing to be my sponsor? I mean, it’s fine, no big deal — I was just wondering, because I liked your share and really identify with your story.” It’s one of the

first few times that I knew of my HP’s love and support. What a gift, to share the experience, strength and hope I’d been so freely given in my year of Overeaters Anonymous, to take another person through the Steps, to love them and accept them through the rough first few weeks of counting days off of compulsive eating.

Six years later, I’m so grateful to work with my sponsor and to serve as a sponsor, to have needs, to have something to offer another Fellow, to pick up the phone or sit down to Step work and learn from my sponsees and hear myself give suggestions that I needed to be reminded of. Ha! Thanks, OA!

— Anonymous

Published in Metro Memo – August 2011