Over the weekend I met with a CoDa friend, AT. He has agreed to be my sponsor for the CoDa 14 Day program.
This is the workbook we will use.
This week, I will start my journey on the 14 Day program 🙂 Though it is named as such, my sponsor tells me it is not strictly necessary to complete in 14 days. Well, I’m glad I won’t feel too stressed about it then? Or is this too early for me to say? >_<
Why do the 14 Day program?
During CoDA meetings, I often hear other CoDA members share about their sponsors and their Step work. Some members have also told me the benefits of having a sponsor, and how doing the 12 Steps will be extremely helpful for my recovery.
I understand that each support group (AA, OA, SLAA, Al Anon, etc) all have their different programs, the 14 Day program is for those going for CoDA meetings.
My sponsor is a first-time sponsor, just like I am a first-time sponsee!
I met him at CoDA. During one of the meetings, his sharing included outing himself to the group.
I think, like everyone else, I was quietly surprised. My gaydar definitely DID NOT detect anything prior at all. Though I must say my gaydar is pretty keen and accurate most times.
When he shared this, I cried (I mean, not like I didn’t cry during everyone else’s sharing!) He also shared that he struggled with Faith vs Sexuality (he is Christian) for a long, long time.
I could relate to these two topics really well. I used to go to church (I’m agnostic now) and also know other people (friends and acquaintances) who share this same struggle since they’re homosexuals who are being ostracised in a harshly anti-gay Christian environment here.
I’ve even had a friend kill himself a few years ago. No, he was not a struggling Christian. But I remember clearly that he told a few of us (who were going to church at the time) that he “is not evil”. This memory will stick with me for a long time to come.
Maybe it’s this affinity I have toward gay men.
Maybe it was because I knew he was going through the 14 Day program too.
Maybe I like his gentle, caring demeanour.
Or maybe… this is just my Higher Power at work, guiding me on who to “choose” as a sponsor.
Sponsorship — what is it about and its guidelines
These are useful notes on sponsorship from CoDA UK.
As a sponsee, I’ve to be aware of the following:
Before working the Steps it is important to ask ourselves if we are willing to go to any lengths to recover from Co-Dependency and if we are ready to change?
It is suggested that the Sponsee takes the initiative and responsibility for their own progress through the Steps.
It is important to be aware of becoming too dependent or enmeshed with a Sponsor or making them into our Higher Power. The Sponsor is not a counsellor and is only there to give guidance and pass on their experience and suggestions on how to work the Steps.
By becoming a Sponsee we are committing to calling our Sponsor and meeting in person to receive guidance on working through all the 12 CoDA Steps.
5. Setting/Respecting Boundaries
It is suggested to agree when is a suitable time to call to check in and an amount of time per week that works for both, to meet to work the Steps e.g once a week for an hour .
It is suggested that the Sponsee is willing to follow and be open to the suggestions of the Sponsor on how to work the Steps.
Excerpts from the page I like are:
“It is difficult to give away what we have if we aren’t working the CoDA program.”
(You should choose a sponsor who has already done the 14 Day program or the 12 Step program, whichever you’re going to do at the time.)
“It is important to remember that Sponsorship is a partnership that needs to meet the needs of both the Sponsor and Sponsee.”
I will probably revisit this topic and write an entire post dedicated to sponsorship as time goes by with my current sponsorship experience!