Sponsorship the non-How method

I think I have finally decided that while there are many aspects of the HOW Programme that I like, sponsorship, meetings(not too sure about 3) and working the steps, I do not like the imperative/must do part of the programme.

I have been around another fellowship for many years and the thought of “must do” would have you laughed/ejected from the rooms.  I am interested in working the steps a non-HOW way.

It is however nearly impossible to find meetings and sponsors that actually actively promote this. This is an attempt to get the debate started and to promote non-How 12 step recovery.  I have talked to a number of others committed like me to recovery but who don’t believe the HOW method is for us. Any others especially in South London who share my commitment but not to HOW.

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4 thoughts on “Sponsorship the non-How method

  1. Nero Post author

    Whatever method to get well we choose, we always need to remain honest, open-minded and willing to listen & change.
    This is the basic premis of the original 12 Step Fellowship, AA. It is spelled out in the appendix of their Big Book. This literature is where the HOW methodology sprang from.
    This by implication means all methods of true recovery are HOW. There is no distinction, and in SLAA as a wide Fellowship, there also is no distinction. If we keep these 3 concepts in mind, we will always get well.
    When I entered SLAA recovery 4 and a half years ago, there were very, very few available/ visible sponsors or people working an effective programme (by this I mean people who had become able to stop acting out in their own personal bottomline behaviours), so I had little choice other than to follow the HOW method of recovery.
    Despite my protestations, it actually worked, and in fact I think it only worked BECAUSE of my protestations, my rebelliousness, my feet-dragging, my mistakes, slips, steps backwards, etc… We all have our own personal footprint of recovery, so I wish you all the best.
    From a practical point of view, there are dozens of self-help books that explain how to work 12 steps that you can apply to sex & love addiction.

    May be you can follow these or one of them with at least one other person? So long as you remain honest, open-minded and willing, you can never go wrong.
    Let us know how you get on.

  2. Fergus Post author

    Thank you Nero.
    Yes I am HOW so I should be OK.
    I have been around another 12 step programme for a long time and have found great recovery there.
    I am re-doing my 12 steps in my other fellowship because of being in SLAA.
    I know I need to look more at relationships/sexuality etc as part of my step 4. Am really confident that my Slaa membership will keep me honest. To be honest until I came to slaa my step 4 would have been at best incomplete because of my lack of awareness around sex and love addiction.

    If I cannot do the 12 steps of slaa the regular way then I am not fearful of doing them the HOW way.

    As you say as long as I keep it HOW then I will get through. I intend to stay around slaa for the rest of my life.

  3. James C Post author

    I liked your reply – thanks for sharing.
    I have experienced recovery in other fellowships, worked the steps with a sponsor and sponsored others. I now find myself once again brought to my knees again by this addiction (or is it just one addiction that manifests in different ways?).
    Cunning, baffling and powerful indeed. I would really like to crack on with the steps and am intrigued by the HOW method which I’d not heard of before looking into SLAA (its a few years since I left the other fellowships).
    There are no meetings in my area and I’m wondering if it is going to be possible for me to work these steps without a sponsor? I know how good my head is at telling me that black is white, up is down and she’s the one that will fix me – and how often I will believe what I know in my heart to be arrant nonsense.
    When you said you had little choice but to work HOW – did you have a sponsor? I’m assuming that you must have had as it involves your sponsor asking you a question a day.
    I am sober just over a week from my bottom lines – I believe I’ve taken the first three steps. I think I’m ready to do my step 4, but just have this niggling doubt that I should wait for a sponsor to work with – but is that just another way to procastinate?
    Anyway I don’t need to sort it all out tonight. If you have any feedback and/or advice – I’d be glad to hear it. Thanks

  4. Nero Post author


    There is always the dichotomy/ paradox/ whatever you want to call it: recovery depends on nobody else except me but at the same time I need others to help me.

    The same is true of Sponsorship. The 12 Steps are Universal Concepts – they have always existed – centuries before AA came around. They have been called a million things before and always will. The point is that to experience recovery we need help by reflecting back with others, learning from others who have been there before us, asking for practical, common-sense help from somebody who understands us (this is what we call “Fellowship”).
    By the the same principle – love cannot exist in a vacuum, on its own. It needs another to make it exist, to make it happen. In the same way all Fellowships say we need the help of others to show us the way to recovery.

    This is a baffling, clever disease that tells us we are well when we are fatally sick. Fellowship & Sponsorship exist to tell us the truth. It is probably the single most important factor in stopping acting out, so yes – get a sponsor if you are an addict. If you can get well in sex & love things without a Sponsor I would think that you are probably not a sex & love addict at all.

    The SLAA steps require a Sponsor to show you the way to permanent sobriety, so I would take your time, certainly not even attempt a Step 4 which can be intensely painful even with the help of others, let alone in an isolated bubble.

    There are online meetings, Sponsors, telephone Sponsors all available through this site & the main U.S. website at F.W.S. Try them and try to get to your nearest meeting, wherever that may be. If you need to, start your own meeting like they did at Nottingham, Exeter, Plymouth, Sheffield, etc.

    Advertise it here on this site & ask for somebody to join you. There used to be a meeting in Leeds so it is not impossible… Whatever you choose to do, you are never alone.

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