- Share Experience
In early recovery, many people are still uncertain about if they are truly an alcoholic or addict. A sponsor is key because their job is to ‘qualify’ you. While this sounds strange, qualifying is all about looking through your past and reviewing your drinking or using. A sponsor will help you see how addiction has impacted your life and help you see your powerlessness over substances. Often times a sponsor will share some of their own past experience with addiction in order to help you relate and feel like you are not alone.
- Share Strength & Hope
Sometimes we get depressed or down on ourselves, we feel weak or like failures. Sponsors are people who have been through the same types of feelings and can help you out of these moods. The sponsor has overcome his addiction and can provide hope that things will improve if we just don’t drink or use.
- Lend a Sympathetic Ear
When things head south, the sponsor is there to hear our stories. Perhaps they comfort us or maybe they tell us to stop pitying ourselves. Sponsors can be a confidant, someone you can tell you deepest thoughts and feelings to without fear of judgement.
- Hold You Accountable
A good sponsor will notice if you start slacking off or isolating from others. They will remind you the work that is required for long-term sobriety.
- Provide Sober Resources
My first sponsor was great about providing me all sorts of resources for my sobriety; meeting recommendations, recovery literature, speaker tapes, his favorite prayers, etc.
- Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes we need a little friendly push to pursue things unfamiliar to us. Sponsors will nudge you to get a service position, volunteer, speak up in meetings, and many other helpful things that may be intimidating to a newcomer.
- Source of Motivation
We all need a little cheering on every now and then. Sponsors are great sources of motivation. A good sponsor will help keep you moving forward in your recovery.
- Help You Avoid the Pitfalls of Relapse
There are a handful of unofficial suggestions to keep new people from relapsing. Some include don’t get into a romance in early sobriety and don’t make any huge life changes (quitting a job or buying a house). A sponsor can help you see why certain ideas you may have would not benefit your recovery.
- Possibility to Develop Lifelong Friend
In many cases the relationship between a sponsorship develops into a strong friendship. My sponsor is almost 30 years older than me and a homosexual male, we could not be more different. However, our relationship has blossomed into a lifelong friendship I could have never anticipated.
- Most Importantly, Help You Work Through the 12 Steps
The core of AA and NA, the 12 steps are designed to be worked with a sponsor. It is important that you pick a sponsor who has worked the 12 steps and can help you along the way. A good sponsorship provide guidance.
Original Article re-printed here with permission from AddictionLand.com
Red Rock Recovery Center is a Colorado state licensed substance abuse extended care treatment program designed to help you or your loved one recover from the struggles associated with alcoholism and drug addiction. Located in Denver, Colorado we offer a safe haven for those afflicted by the ravages of untreated addiction. Our program is based on a compassionate 12-step model that applies behavioral as well as life skill therapies, which will enable our clients to heal and recover.
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