Step 1: Sponsorship

In the first step, we admitted that we were powerless over sexual and romantic obsession and that our lives had become unmanageable. For some women, that process is very easy. Our lives were in such a state of ruin that we felt  hopeless and helpless. Others of us needed time with this step. We held onto excuses and reservations, unwilling to admit complete defeat. Eventually, though, anyone who wants to achieve sobriety must come to a place of willingness to completely surrender. We empty ourselves of pride and delusions. We confess that on our own, we are ruinous.

If we stop there, we are miserable people indeed! What is left for us, on our own, except to die or succumb back to the behaviors that shield us from the harsh reality of our feelings? Since we cannot help ourselves, we require the help of others. Ultimately, the only one who can truly restore us to sanity is God. God works powerfully through his people. Some define GOD as Good Orderly Direction. The very most important person for those who want to recover (the one who can offer us that God-inspired direction) is a sponsor.

What is a sponsor? She is someone who has gone before us, someone who has experienced the ravaging destruction of sexual addiction/anorexia and has achieved sober absitnence from those obsessions and behaviors. She has worked the steps with a sponsor of her own and continues to practice them in her daily affairs. She is active in her recovery. She is willing to come alongside a newcomer and offer her experience, strength and hope. She guides the newcomer through the steps, as she herself was guided in the past. She is a sounding board, a confidant, an exhorter.

Where can you find a sponsor? Start by looking up local face-to-face meetings in one of the sex-related recovery groups listed in the right hand column of this site. If you cannot find a local group, try a phone group for women. (Personally, I enjoy the WANA group’s meetings.) Begin to attend regularly.

During the meetings, pay attention to the women who speak. Have they worked the steps? Do they seem to be walking the talk? Do they have more than a year of solid abstinence? Do they work with sponsors? Do you relate to their stories? Do they have something you want? Approach someone who seems to have these traits and ask her about any you’re not sure about.   Ask her if she would be willing to sponsor you. If she can’t, ask her to recommend someone. Diligently search until you find the right fit. Also, get the phone numbers of women who are in the solution instead of in the problem, and begin to call them regularly, just to “check in.” Practice asking for help.

When you do get  a sponsor, use her! Call her, be honest with her and follow her suggestions. Soon, you will see God doing for you what you could not do for yourself!

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