If you are new to the 12 steps you may be wondering how it all works. How long do you work with a sponsor? What is the process like? How do you choose that person? These question about how long to work with a sponsor is not addressed in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. The book that was written as the guide to working the 12 steps offers very little insight in this area.
This means it is up to you. Some people choose a sponsor when they come in and keep them for their entire recovery or until they pass away. Others choose a different sponsor each time they work the steps. Others change sponsors if they relocate. Some have more than one sponsor. Others work the steps once and then turn to work with newcomers. If you are new, you may be wondering how to figure out what is right for you.
How Long Do You Work With a Sponsor?
In the early days of AA, you had a sharing partner. As a newcomer, you usually were assigned someone that would take you through the steps. This most often was the person you shared your step work with. They would share their experience, strength and hope as they guided you through the work of the 12 steps.
Here are some of the quotes regarding working with others in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous:
- “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.”)
- “This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic (non-addict) could. It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic (recovered member) with another (newcomer), was vital to permanent recovery.”
- “Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in awhile isn’t enough.”
The Big Book emphasizes the importance of passing along what you have been given. The book focuses much more on giving that receiving. Millions have benefited from sponsorship. Having one person that takes you through the steps and acts as a spiritual mentor can help relieve the loneliness that often comes with alcoholism and drug addiction. If you are not sure how long to keep a sponsor, the best thing to do is to ask your higher power for guidance. “You will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle you,” according to The Promises.
One step at a time, one day at a time, you can recover. At Design For Change, we offer refuge to those seeking to win against addiction because there is freedom in recovery. There is hope. Call us today to learn more about our long-term treatment programs and recovery services creating change, one step at a time. (877) 267-3646