Accountability Buddies, sometimes called Awareness Buddies or Accountability Partners, are two members who help each other find and maintain recovery. Every pairing is different: some want to text each other their daily food plan, some meet once a week by phone to read a Tenth Step, some meet for coffee and discuss a recovery book they’re reading together, and others meet by Zoom and give support where needed (e.g., one person needs help committing their daily food plan, while their partner wants help with not eating after dinner). How, when, where, and what is covered is up to each pair to decide. The most important thing is that you’re establishing an important, confidential, and ongoing relationship with another person who has compulsive food behaviors—someone you can call on when times are tough.
We’ve offered the workshop several times, and the complete version is the June 28, 2021 recording. The others just include panelist shares and Q&A.
June 28, 2021 (28 min): Full Workshop Recording. Buddies Karolina (focus on gratitudes), Kay (focus on 10th Steps), and Elizabeth (focus on bookending and food).
April 3, 2022 (21 min): Buddies Valerie (focus on Steps), Danny (focus on food), Jeanine (focus on trigger items) and Marlene (focus on meditation).
August 14, 2022 (28 min): Buddies Dawn (focus on quick daily text check-ins and weekly chat), Judy (Buddy #1 started with daily food, became a recovery circle book club, Buddy #2 focus on exercise goal, Buddy #3 focus on bookending), Marta (focus on stating commitments through daily email), and Scarlet (Buddy #1 focus on 30 meetings in 30 days, Buddy #2 focus on daily food, Buddy #3 focus on support when feeling weak).
March 26, 2023 (22min): Buddies Leila (multiple buddies, daily check-in by WhatsApp), Alice (knew each other in OA before pandemic, later became daily gratitude texting buddies), Eric (texts that he’s done eating for the day and bookending before and after restaurants) and Esther (boundaries about accountability buddy relationship).
Accountability Buddies in Secular Overeaters (tips handout, pdf)
The Life of an Accountability Relationship, first person account by Anonymous, Upstate New York, 2022. Check the SecularOvereaters Stories section.
Sponsor Survey Key Takeaways (from the April 2021 Secular Sponsor Survey, 111 respondants)
Workshops are held several times a year. Check the What’s New page for updates.
First think about: your program needs; your preferred mode of communication; how much time you can set aside for a new commitment; what time of day and time zone will work for you.
Where to look: take contact info during meetings; post an ad in the meeting chat or on the SO Facebook page or in one of our Google groups. (See below for examples of ads.)
Discuss with potential buddy: mode of contact; frequency, time, and length of meeting; how you’ll parse your meeting for equal sharing; to what extent you’ll allow outside issues; whether and how to provide feedback.
Above all: Agree to Anonymity and confidentiality!!!
With Zoom meetings, it’s pretty easy to post a message in the Chat (or in one of the Google groups or on the SO Facebook page, Other Secular Resouces) with an announcement that you’re looking for an accountability buddy. Here are some samples: