Finding your first sponsor may be intimidating. After long-term substance use, you might find it difficult to trust yourself and others. Putting your trust into someone you do not know can feel strange. However, sponsorship is an essential key to lasting sobriety; going through this journey alone can prove more challenging. You are not the first person to feel intimidated to approach asking someone to become your sponsor. Therefore, there are many effective ways of easing your stresses and finding the right person to sponsor you.
Never underestimate the power of presence. While it might not seem appropriate to be attending meetings during a pandemic, this is no excuse not to seek help. While in-person might be your preferred way, you can get just as much out of video and online meetings.
The most prominent place to find a 12-Step program sponsor is at a meeting. These groups encourage you to attend multiple meetings throughout the week and participate in any book studies or step studies offered. Meetings provide you the opportunity to get the most out of early recovery and help you pay attention to the others. Remember, a good sponsor should be someone who takes their recovery seriously.
Seek Out Similarities
It is easy in early recovery to feel as though your situation is unique. This is so common that there is a term for when you find yourself in this situation, “terminal uniqueness.” Terminal uniqueness is when your situation feels unlike anybody who has come before you and will come after you. You might think that you are the anomaly in the room. However, this is not true. If these feelings resonate with you, there is good news. Your disorder and circumstances are not signaling you out or separating you from the pack.
When you accept that you have a problem with addiction, you open yourself to listening to and receiving others’ stories. Further, when you take the time to listen to others speak at meetings, you will find that you and the others are more alike than you expected. Listening to others provides you the opportunity to find someone who speaks to your situation. It can also help you find someone who inspires you to want to charge ahead in your recovery. Finding such a person is an excellent place to start when seeking a sponsor.
Participate in Meetings
Participation can be challenging if you are naturally shy or intimidated by social environments. However, participation and asking for help can go a long way to finding the right sponsor for you. People cannot read your mind, so participation is a great way to let others know that you are serious about your recovery. Often, when you participate in meetings, you will find that men and women alike who hold on to their recovery might approach you to know more about you. It is because you have put yourself out there and have shown that you are curious and eager to get a handle on your addiction.
You can also benefit from participating in activities outside of the meetings. Some in early recovery only attend meetings and go back into seclusion after each one. While going to meetings is great, you can get so much more when you keep communication lines open. It can include participating in other meetings and events outside of the initial support meeting or finding a person or a group of people to continue the conversation afterward. The more you give, the more you get back. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 42.3% of 12-Step participants that benefited from the program were more likely to be active in the program. If you find it challenging to approach someone to ask them to be your sponsor, participation is a great way to let them come to you.
What to Look For When Choosing a Sponsor
Once you become comfortable approaching people from the meetings, you will want to consider some things about the person before you ultimately choose. Remember, this is about your recovery, and that is always the priority. Avoid choosing someone that you think you might develop a romantic relationship with or are too attracted to. Such a distraction will pull you aware of what matters – sobriety.
You will also want to find a person who has the time to sponsor you. If they are already sponsoring other people, it might be a sign that they are a great sponsor. Many old-timers will say to look for someone that “has what you want,” like a healthy relationship, financial security, etc. It is great to share common ground. However, it is okay if your only common ground is managing addiction and sobriety. This way, you not only focus on what matters, but you stand to teach each other new things when you talk about your own experiences.
Finding a sponsor is essential to recovery because it forms a partnership between people in different recovery stages. When you find the right sponsor, you will attain knowledge, enlightenment, and empowerment you never thought possible. In turn, you will then be ready to give your gift of recovery to another. Remember, you can only keep what you have by giving it away. If you find it difficult to get out or find a sponsor, it is time to ask for help. We here at True Recovery offer 24/7 admissions, so there is never a wrong time to reach out. We also provide one of the best Telehealth services in Southern California that offer a wide array of treatment services so that you never feel like you are not getting the most out of your recovery. Our goal is to provide you the best services so that you can manage your sobriety long after treatment. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.