Newcomer tip #8: Finding a Sponsor
This is a blog series that will be focusing on one tip every few days for newcomers. These tips are not a replacement for going to meetings and working the 12 steps. They are to be used in addition to meetings and steps. The first few months of sobriety are hard. These are some ways to help get you through it.
The last blog was about the importance of developing some discipline in our lives. We need to have a daily agenda and routine and stick to it. Today’s newcomer tip is about finding a sponsor.
Pleases Note: I’m going to be discussing sponsorship from the 12 step fellowship perspective. There are other types of recovery but I don’t have experience with them and I can’t share knowledge that I don’t have. If someone reading this blog has experience with other type of recovery programs and sponsorship, please share about it in the comments section below.
*AA has a Sponsorship Pamphlet. I encourage you to read it.
What is a Sponsor?
- 12 Steps- A sponsor is someone who will bring you through the 12 steps. Therefore it is vital to find a sponsor who has been through the 12 steps themselves. All 12 steps! They should continue to practice the 12 steps in their daily lives.
- Literature/Meetings/Questions- A sponsor is someone who introduces you to the recovery literature, the different types of meetings, which meetings you should attend (some are better than others), and answers your questions. They have knowledge about the fellowship. 12 step meetings can seem foreign at first. There’s a lot of jargon. It can be intimidating at first. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what your sponsor is there for.
- Fellowship- Your sponsor can introduce you around. Help get you connected to some healthy people in recovery. I get my sponsees involved in service work and attendance at A2WG events so they can meet a variety of women in recovery.
How Do You Find a Sponsor
What NOT to Look For
First of all, don’t look for someone you have a lot in common with. Remember, drinking and using for an extended period of time can warped you physically, mentally and spiritually. If someone has a lot in common with you, chances are they might still be sick.
They say to find a sponsor that has what you want. When I was newly sober I didn’t want what was best for me. What I wanted was a husband, money and (maybe) a job. I figured that enough money and enough love would fix me. Here’s a heads up, there is never enough of anything when you are spiritually sick.
You need someone who is going to help get you connected to a Higher Power. That is accomplished through working the 12 steps
What You DO Want to Look For
So if you aren’t looking for someone who has what you want, what are you looking for? Someone who has what you need. I won’t beat around the bush on this one. I already wrote newcomer tip #5: Getting Higher Powered which says it all, but let me reiterate. You need someone who is going to help get you connected to a Higher Power. That is accomplished through working the 12 steps (see #1 under “What is a Sponsor” above).
Questions to Ask
- Have you worked all 12 steps?
- Will we be working the steps immediately and rapidly?
- Do you have a sponsor?
- Do you have time to sponsor me?
- What are your expectations of me as a Sponsee (whatever they are, do them)
- (If answers 1-4 are “yes”) When can we get started!!!
What Happens if You Choose the Wrong Person
Find someone else. You are on a life or death mission! This is about your recovery and your spiritual journey, not their ego. If they are spiritually fit they will wish you well. If they aren’t… well, you didn’t want them for a sponsor anyway.
I have extensive experience with sponsorship so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. The only silly question is the one not asked. If you have any experiences you’d like to share, please share those too. The next tip in this series is about being of service to insure your sobriety. You don’t want to miss that article!
Peace, Love & Sobriety,
*A2WG is not affiliated with AA