Our natural inclination as alcoholics and addicts is usually to act on self-will. Once we have reached the program, however, it should hopefully start to become clear that our very best thinking often leads us in jails, institutions, or dead. Luckily for us, we do not have to go through the program alone. Sponsorship provides us with a guide through our new life in recovery.
The qualification of a sponsor is usually someone who has at least a year of continuous sobriety and has been through the twelve steps with a sponsor of their own. It is customary for males to stick with male sponsors, and females to stick with females. A sponsor is someone who guides us through our new life in recovery.
They are typically someone we will call on a daily basis to check in with, or if we encounter a problem in which we need help with. As our decision making in early sobriety is often quite suspect, this provides an invaluable resource.
“We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 73-74
A sponsor is also who we read the book Alcoholics Anonymous (aka the “Big Book”) with, while simultaneously going through the twelve steps. The twelve steps are what replace our alcohol/addiction problem with a spiritual solution, and absolutely vital to recovery. We cannot, however, complete them without the help of someone who has been through the process before us. This is why sponsorship is so vital to obtaining long-term sobriety in recovery.
So how do we find a sponsor? This requires some action on the newcomer’s part. We find our sponsors by attending meetings and paying close attention to those who share. An easy way to identify a potential sponsor is simply by listening for someone who has what you want to obtain from recovery. Another sign of a potential sponsor is if we identify strongly with what they share in the meeting.
Once we have identified someone we would potentially like to sponsor us, we approach the person and ask if they would be willing to be a temporary sponsor for us. Having our prospective sponsor as a temporary sponsor allows us a chance to see if we feel comfortable with the match or not. It is important to note that if the match does not feel right, there will be no hard feelings in finding a new sponsor.
Having a mentor to guide us through early sobriety and help us to achieve long-term sobriety ultimately becomes one of the true rewards of the fellowship. While the prospect of trusting a stranger with intimate details of our lives may seem crazy, the benefit of receiving advice from an impartial party we grow to trust is invaluable. Once we have completed the steps ourselves and achieve long-term sobriety, we then get to experience the blessing of helping another alcoholic/addict freely, just as was done for us.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.