After the initial revelation of finding ourselves on a path to recovery, we have to get into action. Our first course of action is to find a sponsor: someone capable of leading us on the path toward taking responsibility for our actions. In the world outside of recovery, sponsors are those who vouch for you or who act as your benefactor. In recovery, however, a sponsor’s role is quite different. Their role isn’t to vouch for you but rather to guide you through the 12 steps. In more apt terms, your sponsor is more like a mentor.
When looking for someone to sponsor you, look for:
- An individual of the same sex. Yes, you can have a sponsor of the opposite sex, but it’s more beneficial to you and has less potential for complications if sponsorship is gender specific.
- Someone who has what you want. I’m not talking cars, finances or partner, but someone whose spiritual life and sense of self is something you can strive toward or which you admire.
- An individual whom you can trust. If there’s any reluctance, look to someone else.
- Find someone whose actions reflect his or her words. A sponsor who functions under the guise of “do as I say, not as I do,” is not the one for you.
- Someone whose recovery inspires you.
When you have finally found someone with whom you are willing to do the work:
- Call them, even when you don’t need anything. If you don’t have that relationship developed, you won’t call them when things are tough.
- Be consistent. Remember the lengths you would take to use? Apply that same sense of urgency to your recovery.
- If you think you made the wrong choice, realize it’s ok to move on. It’s your recovery, not theirs.
Your sponsor (is):
- A guide
- Tough when necessary
- Works a program
Your sponsor is not:
- An ATM
- Your therapist
- Your parent
- Your best friend
- A guru
- Your lawyer
- Your higher power
If you are looking for a sponsor, keep this in mind: Finding the “right”sponsor may take time. If you are having issues beyond the reach of the 12 steps, your sponsor should ultimately ask that you seek professional help. They are morally obligated to do so. Remember, the basic tenants of sponsorship is to take you through the steps.