While it is important for someone who is working on their sobriety to stay honest, having a sponsor to hold them accountable makes a huge difference. We cannot walk this journey alone. Guidance is necessary, especially from someone who has found success in recovery and can show us the way. There are many benefits to having a sponsor in your program, and eventually, you can carry the message by becoming a sponsor yourself. Sponsorship is a powerful pillar of sobriety and is essential in maintaining your new lifestyle. It is a way to give back to the community that helped you obtain a sober lifestyle. If you are just starting your sobriety journey, you may have questions about sponsorship and how to find a sponsor to work with. Every person has their own journey, but this article will help shed some light on sponsorship, being a sponsor, and the importance of working with others in your recovery.
What Is A Sponsor?
When you first enter a 12-step program
, you may attend meetings and hear others speak passionately about the importance of finding a sponsor. The 12-steps are the fundamental elements to be successful in recovery, and we cannot work through them on our own. A sponsor is someone who has completed all twelve steps and has had a spiritual experience. Just like you, they were once a newcomer in recovery. Employing the guidance and suggestions from their own sponsor, their obsession with alcohol and other substances was removed as a result of taking the twelve steps. If we were able to successfully stay sober on our own, we wouldn’t require Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or any other proven 12-step program. Your sponsor can teach you what they have learned about the steps, show you exactly how to do them so that you can discover the same freedom from your addiction.
The twelve steps may sound simple, but it is the duty of your sponsor to ensure you understand each one and its importance. Learning from a member of your program who once had the same struggles, fears, and questions as you may have is an incredible experience. A professional athlete needs to be coached and needs to train in order to strengthen their game. Sponsorship is very similar, and essential in any program. Addiction is a deadly disease. Luckily, a sponsor—who has recovered using this proven method—can share the steps of survival.
How Do I Find a Sponsor?
There are many ways to find a sponsor in a 12-step program. One important thing to remember is to move quickly. Addiction catches up with us fast and our best defense is taking the steps with a sponsor. Beginning the work as soon as possible will allow you to start adding the essential tools to your toolkit that will save your life and restore you to sanity. Meetings are a great place to find a sponsor for many reasons. Listen to the speakers: those who lead the meeting and those who are called upon to share. Pay attention to the ones who say they have completed the steps, and take note of what they speak about. Does anything strike a chord with you? Do they have something you want? Have they overcome similar struggles, or worse ones, and found a new sense of serenity and freedom?
It is ideal to choose a sponsor that identifies as the same gender as you. They will be able to identify with the way you think or feel and may relate to your specific obstacles. At many meetings, the secretary will ask anyone who has taken all twelve steps and is willing to sponsor to raise their hand or stand up. In other meetings, there may be a designated sponsorship representative who can connect you with a willing sponsor. However, do not be afraid to approach someone that you resonated with. Tell them you are looking for a sponsor, and ask if they are accepting new sponsees. Ask any questions you may have. Although you can choose who your sponsor will be, if you are desperate to be successful in recovery, you need to start the process as soon as possible. Accept the help that is offered and begin taking the steps. Rely on your sponsor to guide you; lean on them when you need support or are unsure of something. The role of the sponsor is to show you how they have recovered. Allow them to do exactly that and learn all that you can from them, so that you may discover a new way of life in the same way.
Becoming a Sponsor
Once you have completed the twelve steps and have received the green light from your sponsor, you will get to have the fulfilling experience of being a sponsor yourself. Now, you can pass on the torch of knowledge and experience to those who are in early recovery!
Sponsors are like mentors, sharing their experiences and knowledge, and keeping us accountable in recovery. Sponsors can help guide us along our individual journeys by helping us through the 12-steps of our recovery program. You can find a sponsor by seeking one out during your meetings. Look for a sponsor who seems to resonate with you and your experience. You might even be approached during a meeting by a sponsor willing to help! Stay ready for recovery and healing with a willingness to accept help. Safety Net Recovery of Atlanta believes that accepting help is crucial to success in recovery. We invite alumni of our program to stay in touch and share their experiences with new members of the recovery community! Alumni and sponsors can share their strength and hope with those who are in early recovery. For more information, call us at (770) 432-9774.