When you’re new in recovery, one of the most important parts of staying clean and sober is showing up. Showing up may mean going to treatment (and staying) and going to 12-step step meetings. Every moment you spend in a sober environment is a moment you’re not using. Once you’ve decided to stay clean and sober a day at a time, it’s time to build a support network. Most importantly, you need to find yourself a sponsor.
What is Sponsor?
A sponsor is an essential person in recovery that a newbie can “lean on” for support. You will probably always have a sponsor in recovery because they help you learn and grow. They can guide you through the 12 steps and offer their personal experiences when you need it most. Ideally, your sponsor is a person who is willing to take your calls whenever you need them, and help you get situated in your new life in recovery.
AA.org describes a sponsor as “An alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through AA.”
They may have other important characteristics that we will explore further below.
Choosing a Sponsor
It’s highly recommended you choose a sponsor of your own gender for many reasons. Women often relate better to women, and the same is true for men. They also have more experiences in common when it comes to sex, trauma, and general life.
A sponsor should have a significant amount of time clean – usually, several years — and be available for your calls. Ideally, they will have already worked the 12 steps so that they can guide you through them.
Your first sponsor may end up being temporary. It’s always okay to switch sponsors if you find somebody else who you think you can relate to. It’s often said you should find somebody who “has what you want.” This usually means somebody who is happy and taking a positive direction in life. If they’re happy, married and holding down a job, and that’s where you want to be in life somebody, then you may want to choose them as your sponsor.
First and foremost, a sponsor helps you stay clean on a daily basis. You might as them to help you get to a meeting or call them when you feel triggered to use. If you don’t feel comfortable doing those things, you may need to find a new sponsor.
Getting Help for an Addiction
If you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, we can help. We are happy to answer any questions about our detox services and long-term treatment centers, including logistics such as insurance. Please call us at 1-888-959-3277.