The individuals you spent the most time with when abusing alcohol and other substances are not necessarily the people you will interact with throughout your recovery. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of people who seem to be just like you when you arrive at our clinic. And somewhere along the way, you will find out that most people with a substance dependence need a friend and guide to walk next to them. The thing about recovery is - it’s repair. And at some point, everyone needs repair. No one sails through life without grief and loss. And yes, addiction and alcoholism come with grief and loss. A sponsor is an idea from the 12 step communities and it is a good one. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting a battle with cancer or are thick in the middle of a co-occuring battle with meth and schizophrenia. When you decide to fight the battle, you will need to link arms with someone who has been there, done that and is still in mental or physical repair from that harrowing experience.
What is a sponsor?
In the AA or NA communities, a sponsor is someone who has successfully recovered from drug or alcohol addiction and is ready to support a newly recovering person during the early stages of recovery.
What is an AA sponsor? The assistance and direction of an AA sponsor is helpful while following a 12-Step program, which was developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it will help ensure your full recovery. He or she has participated actively in the 12 Steps community for more than a year, has been directed by a sponsor, and is of the same gender. A sponsor is similar to a trustworthy friend, a wise mentor, and a protector on the road to recovery. While assisting you in comprehending the 12 Steps, he or she nonetheless respects your opinions and beliefs.
Your best chance when looking for a sponsor is to locate someone who embodies the calm and character that you are seeking in your own recovery.
Why is sponsorship beneficial in recovery?
It’s irritating and scary, threatening even, to do something new. Why do it alone? People often say, “I might mess up.” Or, “I messed up so many times.” Good now we are getting somewhere. No one does “it” perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and in hindsight it’s really convenient to look back and see how differently one could do this or that. But we are here in the present, not back there, so giddy up and let's go. No one is getting wise by bullying or lashing themselves about failures or missed possibilities. Sponsorship, or traveling with someone a few steps ahead of you in life, is wise. That’s it. There are no rules or code. Our Clinic sees individuals in Celebrate Recovery and the Anonymous communities find freedom and quality of life by sharing the journey and refusing to hide or isolate.
Finding a sponsor may be more difficult if meetings are not physically attended. Therefore, the individual may need to be more direct in their aim. It can be as easy as “I need help. Can I call you to learn more about your experience, strength and hope? Right now, I just need to know it’s possible.”
What does a sponsor not do?
A sponsor shouldn't and cannot do the following things:
- Since they are neither therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists, sponsors shouldn't practice those professions.
- The obligation (or perceived obligation) to prevent another person from taking drugs or drinking alcohol cannot be assumed by a sponsor.
- An individual in recovery shouldn't be taken advantage of by a sponsor.
Finding a sponsor that best suits you may take some time, or you may know right away that they are "the one". Having someone you trust with all your shame and guilt will, in turn, open the door for you to become honest with them and in other areas of your life. The recovery process works better by doing what is suggested rather than trying to run the show yourself. Since you have probably already tried on your own devices to stay sober, letting someone else show what they do in recovery to maintain sobriety will be one of the best decisions that you could make for yourself and for your future, one day at a time. If you are in need of assistance during your journey through recovery, do not hesitate to contact us. Text or call (949) 200-7929. To help us get to know you better, you may also complete this short assessment and verify your insurance. Repair starts when you share life with others. While we are all responsible to face and heal our own trauma or illnesses and that is no one’s job but ours, a mentor, sponsor or friend will help depending on the recovery path you choose. Choose wisely, you deserve a fresh start today.