SITE: LIFELINE (Al-Anon newsletter, CONN)
It’s a confidential relationship between 2 ‘regular’ Al-Anon members (no experts), who benefit from sharing their Experience, Strength & Hope. It’s focused on Al-Anon Principles, which are the 12-Steps & Traditions of AA.
The private information exchanged encourages acceptance, compassion & understanding. Making a commitment to this special relationship OR letting go of – a specific sponsor or of a sponsee – is a matter of personal choice, on either side. It’s legitimate & appropriate to end a S-S relationship any time it’s not working.
New-commers may not always know who to ask, & it may take a few tries to get the right combination. This is normal is real-life as well.
Usually the Sponsor is a long-time member with good ‘Al-Anon sobriety’ who helps a newcomer navigate the early stages of Recovery, which can be very painful & confusing.
However, 2 long-timers can be very helpful to each other in dealing with both old & new issues as they surface. Age does not matter, but it’s suggested that it’s best to be woman-to-woman & man-to-man, although straight-woman-gay-man can work very well.
The standard format it that a sponsee calls their sponsor at an agreed time of day, generally for 15min. 4-5 times a week, more if it’s an emergency. ‘Older’ members can call each other as needed. The sponsor can listen to their pain & frustration, but the goal is to help the sponsee learn to think with mental clarity & develop emotional ‘sobriety’, using Al-Anon tools.