As the fellowship grows, we find that meetings may come and go frequently. Members with more "time" than you available to sponsor you locally may be minimal, or even non-existent. You could be in an institution, prison, or hospital where you can't even attend a meeting - let alone have and work with a sponsor as most other 12 Step groups do.
In studying the history of the 12 Step fellowships, we discovered that a lack of sponsorship is not an excuse not to work a program. In fact, some oldtimers in other fellowships used to joke that "having a sponsor isn't even a Step" while pointing out that even the Steps themselves are "suggested only".
The original founder of the first 12 Step program, Alcoholics Anonymous, was Bill Wilson. Bill Wilson only had eight months sober when he felt the need to reach out to help another alcoholic in order to maintain his own sobriety. He came to Dr. Bob's house and nursed him through his first few days of sobriety. When Dr. Bob had only four months sobriety - they both started doing hospital outreach to "carry the message" to alcoholics in the hospital wards to build what is now the AA fellowship. This means that Bill Wilson himself, did not even have a sponsor when he first started AA - from which all other 12 Step groups have sprouted from.
There was once a study done of alcoholics who went overseas during the war and were not only unable to attend meetings, they were not able to stay in touch with any sponsors whatsoever. When compared to alcoholics back home in the states who had meetings and sponsors - surprisingly they found the men in the service actually had higher sobriety rates. The reason turned out to be because the service men relied heavily upon their program, the Big Book, and the God of their understanding without the distractions of personalities that sometimes can be a part of meetings and groups of people.
This is not to say that a sponsor is not helpful. The news has informed us of some lucky people who have actually fallen out of airplanes and survived. However, if asked if I had to fall out of a plane with or without a parachute - I obviously would prefer the extra chance a parachute gives me at surviving the fall. Sponsorship is much like this.
The question of gender of sponsors should also be addressed here. Our members consist of not only men and women, but also gays, bisexuals, transgenders, transsexuals, and cross-dressers. If you have been involved in sex work for any length of time - then you know that predators can just as easily be female as they can be male as well as victims of abuse can be male as well as female.
When choosing a sponsor - if your sponsor has recovery, no matter what sex or sexuality they are, then whether they are male or female is not the issue. The only issue is if they can, and are, and will, effectively assist you in your recovery.
Nor should you limit yourself to only a sponsor "exactly like you". Many of us are quite unique - and if we waited until we found someone exactly "like us" with more time then us to be our sponsor - we might have a very long wait. The point of sponsorship is not whether or not you identify with them as people - but whether or not they can help you in teaching you the program, and assisting you in your recovery.
Nor should you get caught up in taking your sponsor's inventory. There is NO ONE in this fellowship, or any other, that is perfect, and has perfect recovery, and a perfect life. If you wait for that as a sponsor - you'll have a very long wait indeed. None of us are "well", "cured" or "graduated". We are all here by the nature of the fact we need and are seeking recovery. All you need to do to judge the effectiveness and appropriateness of your sponsor is whether or not you are getting better. If not, get another sponsor. If you are, then it's working and don't mess with it. Even if it turns out to be wrong - sometimes our best learning is done by making mistakes. Who knows - maybe you're put in their life to help them. Sponsorship is a two way street of giving and taking recovery.
Nor should distance be a factor at this time. When Bill Wilson started AA, the fellowship grew all over the world while he was in one place. The same with Jimmy Kinnon and Narcotics Anonymous. He was in California, and the fellowship grew to have meetings worldwide with him serving as phone sponsor for many years to recovering addicts without even a recovery text for many years. Any world wide fellowship - has started and grew from phone or mail sponsorship and support.
If you are coming to SWA - think of yourself as drowning in the ocean and your sponsor as a life jacket. It doesn't matter what color it is, what brand it is, or how long the rope is to drag you to shore. The only thing that matters is that you survive and grab onto what you have to in order to get to shore.
If you need a sponsor, see if you have a local meeting by you to attend and seek one out. If you have no meeting by you, or if they don't have anyone suitable for you, then please contact us. We maintain a phone list of people who may be local to you to check out as sponsors. If not, we have people here at WSO that can serve as interim sponsors for you until you can find a local one that works for you. If you are in a location that does not have a meeting, but would like to offer sponsorship, please have us put you on the phone list so we can refer newcomers to you. You can go to coffee and just talk - you don't have to wait for a "formal" meeting in order to start connecting and working a Program. A meeting is not the Program. Like the parachute - it helps - but not having a meeting is also no excuse not to work a Program.
A meeting is where two or more are gathered or connected to each other seeking recovery. Whether it's in a church, a meeting hall, a coffee shop, a living room, an online chat, or even a phone call - it's still a meeting.
Sex Workers Anonymous
3333 S. Jones Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146