Are you new to recovery? If you are reading this and you answer this question with a solid yet resigned YES, walking into a 12-step meeting can be overwhelming and full of WTF moments.
The sights, the sounds, the smell of strong coffee, strangers engaging in recovery speak that sounds like a foreign language–it can be a lot to take in for someone looking to start a new chapter in their life.
12-step meetings can be a crucial tool in your journey towards recovery. The support, encouragement and fellowship you receive from those who are walking a similar path can empower you to the nth degree and provide you the motivation to gear down, buckle in and move forward in your recovery.
While a helping hand from others is an awesome thing, having someone specific to act as your guide in your early stages of recovery is even better. Having someone show you the ropes and guide you through the good, bad and the ugly on your recovery journey can give you confidence and power.
Who is this sensei of sobriety? Who is this guru of gratitude. This person is your sponsor, and finding a sponsor can mean the difference between growing in your recovery or being stuck and sliding backwards towards the nasty cycle of addiction.
What is a Sponsor?
Alright, you know that finding a sponsor is critical in kick starting your recovery and getting it off on the good foot–but you are probably wondering what in the hell a sponsor is and does.
Simply put, a sponsor is someone who helps those who are newbies to 12-step programs like AA and NA. Sponsors educate the newcomer on the 12 steps and traditions and can be obtained at a 12 step fellowship meeting.
In your search in finding a sponsor, they should have considerable clean and sober time. Along with their peers, sponsors are seen as another vital support system for those new in recovery.
Most sponsors will allow those who they sponsor the freedom to call them anytime and anywhere. Ultimately, sponsors are available for advice and guidance through the ups and downs of early recovery.
The best thing about getting a sponsor? All you need to do is simply ask.
Why are Sponsors so Darn Important?
So yeah, sponsors are a good thing in recovery–but why are sponsors so vital to success? Sponsors are someone that you can trust and confide in when you need to share what is happening in your recovery.
Obviously, sponsors have been where you are at right now and have worked their program of recovery to a degree that can be inspiring. If you are on shaky ground and need a hand, your sponsor is ready to reach out.
Sponsors also help you work through each of the Steps and will allow you to develop your own sense of spirituality and purpose in your program.
5 Tips in Finding a Sponsor That is Right for You
You are ready to find a sponsor for yourself. Where do you begin? Here are 5 basic tips that will help you find the sponsor that is right for you.
Your Sponsor Needs to Be Active in a 12-Step Program
Perhaps the most no duh tip of them all, but it bears repeating. Your sponsor needs to be active in a 12-Step program. Period. Your sponsor can’t believe in the 12-Steps halfheartedly; he or she needs to be intimately familiar with the 12 Steps and how each step works, and is able to communicate that to you in a language you can easily understand.
Choose Someone You Aren’t Attracted To
Again, a no duh tip, but very important to follow. Being tempted with any kind of intimate encounter while you are working on your recovery is a recipe for disaster.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a sponsor that is attractive on a platonic friendship-type of level; it simply means that if your attraction is at a deeper level and is distracting you from working your recovery, it is best to stay away from that person.
Your Sponsor Needs A Sponsor
Behind every good sponsor is a sponsor that helps them through their recovery. This is especially beneficial if you and your sponsor hit a roadblock and they are at a loss in trying to help you. They simply can turn to their sponsor.
Choose Someone That Doesn’t Sugarcoat
Working a program of recovery is all about the truth, and your sponsor shouldn’t shy away from the truth if things aren’t working in your recovery. Your sponsor should be able to gently but firmly let you know that your behaviors are dangerous and putting your recovery at risk.
Choose Someone That is Positive
The sponsor that you choose needs to be positive about their own recovery as well as yours. A sponsor that is optimistic and upbeat can help guide you through the rough spots and celebrate your small victories.
Everyone in Recovery Needs Guidance
No matter if you new in your recovery journey or have some significant clean and sober time under your belt, it is important to have solid guidance and knowledge in order to keep your recovery front and center. Through informative articles and insightful blogs, Sober Nation provides all people in the recovery community with the know how they need to stay in the game.
With new posts daily along with a comprehensive treatment directory at your fingertips, Sober Nation can be that foundation and support you need as you continue on the lifelong path to recovery.