A sponsor is an important part of the recovery process who takes you through the steps and helps you navigate life with a focus on recovery. Finding the right sponsor is important to do early on so you can begin step work. If you don’t find the right sponsor immediately, do not fret. You will find the right one in time. Trust the process!
- Listen for someone to share what you want in your recovery: “If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it- then you are ready to take certain steps,” The Big Book reads in the chapter used at the beginning of AA meetings “How It Works”. People choose sponsors for different reasons. One of the primary reasons people choose a sponsor is because that sober individual has what they want. A sponsor might have the material life you desire. A sponsor might have the spiritual life you desire. When they share at meetings, which is important for them to do, you are always inspired by what they have to say. You’ve heard their story and you witness the kind of person they are today and the program of recovery that they work. However they’ve done it, whatever they’ve done to get it, you want to feel and be the same way that they are.
- Ask them how long they have been sober and how many sponsors they have had: It is better to work with someone who has at least a year of sobriety. People can sponsor as soon as they have completed taking the twelve steps. However, sponsoring someone while only having a small amount of experience in sobriety can be a detriment to the other person. You should look for someone with a year or more of recovery who has demonstrated significant changes in their life. You should also find out how many people they have sponsored. Being a sponsor and working with someone emotionally is a big responsibility. Every sponsor needs their first sponsee and sometimes they are great at it off the bat. If they’ve had very sponsees, or they have had many sponsees who didn’t finish the steps and aren’t sober, you might want to consider another sponsor. It isn’t a personal comment on who they are as a person, but what they might be offering in their recovery.
- Ask them how they take a sponsee through the steps: There is a very simple way to go through the twelve steps which has been outlined in The Big Book and AA meetings since the beginning of AA. Each twelve step program does the steps a little bit differently, for example, they might have workbooks. AA does not have a workbook, the only book to do the steps from is The Big Book. If a sponsor has worksheets, paperwork, and extensive “homework” assignments they might be taking too much personal liberty in the twelve steps. While it might be effective, you might miss the point. Look for a sponsor who does the steps by the book and offers only intuitive adjustment for assignments you might need to help you understand the steps more deeply.
- Meet with them a few times: A sponsor is someone to whom you will be talking regularly, doing the steps with, asking about how to live sober, and sharing some intimate stuff with during your fourth step. It’s important to meet a few times in order to get a feel for whether it is the right fit and ultimately if it is someone you can trust to guide you through your sobriety.
Design For Change helps patients find the right sponsor and start working the twelve steps. Each patient completes their step work before they graduate treatment, giving them a solid foundation of twelve step, therapeutic, and holistic wellbeing. We witness miraculous change every day in our treatment programs because of the hoep and freedom in recovery. For information on our programs, call us today at (877) 267-3646.