7 Things to Look for when Choosing a Sponsor
- They have more time than you… a lot more time. In treatment communities where patients transition through levels of care, there are a lot of people who are within their first year of recovery. There is nothing wrong with being sponsored by someone who has only a few more months than you. It might be beneficial to look for someone who has gotten past the first few years of recovery. With multiple years under their belt, a sponsor has started to experience life on life’s terms again. Most importantly, they are doing it sober.
- They have completed the 12 steps… a few times. The primary purpose of a sponsor is to assist a newcomer in taking the 12 steps. When meetings of AA started growing after the development of the 12 steps, there weren’t enough people to help the newcomer. Sponsorship was developed to solve that problem. Today, the sponsor relationship has morphed into a mentor, peer, and support system. To get the most out of recovery, it is important to complete the 12 steps. Your sponsor should have working knowledge of the 12 steps and be able to guide you through them. The 12 steps are the program of recovery outlined by AA.
- They have what you want… and you’re willing to work to get it. Since sponsors today act as role models and sober mentors, they should be people we admire. Something about the way they act, who they are, or what they have accomplished in life should inspire us. Impressed by what they have achieved, we can believe that if we stay sober and work a program like they do, we can live a similar life.
- They have a sponsor… and they still talk to them. Our sponsors do not know everything. They certainly shouldn’t act that way! It is an important example for sponsors to set that it is OK to ask for help, even with years of sobriety. Humility is an important tenet of recovery. Remaining teachable is key to a spiritual program.
- They attend meetings… and encourage you to go. Your sponsor should be active in the program of AA, regularly attending meetings and encouraging you to attend. Being in meetings means hearing the experience, strength, and hope of other recovering addicts or alcoholics.
- They work a spiritual program…. and they’re rigorously honest. Honesty is one of the core requirements for working a program of recovery. Your sponsor should be beyond lying- to themselves or others. Since the 12 step program of recovery is a path to the spiritual solution, your sponsor should have a solid sense of spirituality. They strive to dive deeper and learn more to gain a closer relationship with their higher power.
- They are someone you can trust… and you’re willing to trust them. Certain steps in the 12 step program include getting very open about some of your deepest resentments and fears in life. To best support you on your spiritual journey through the 12 steps, your sponsor should be someone you feel you can trust. Not only can you trust them, you are willing to trust them. Working with someone you don’t feel you can or are willing to trust will result in a lack of honesty on your part. Now is the time to get it all out there.
Enlightened Solutions uses 12 step philosophy as part of our holistic program for treating drug and alcohol addiction. We support our residents in finding a sponsor and taking the 12 steps while they are in treatment. Our program is open to men and women seeking recovery from addiction. There is a solution. Find it with us. 833-801-5483.