When entering 12 step recovery programs, new members are advised to choose a sponsor with experience working the recovery steps. To ensure proper support and guidance throughout recovery, this individual MUST hold a belief in the 12 steps, while exuding a unique combination of strength, love and honesty. In this entry, we will offer a few tips to help you locate your ideal AA sponsor.
1 – Choosing someone who possesses experience, and who is currently involved in the program is vital to ensuring a positive and productive AA experience. Finding someone who is kind and thoughtful can be relatively easy at a 12 step meeting. But if this person does not possess the right types of qualities, you may not be able to enjoy the type of recovery you require.
2 – Do they walk the walk? When choosing a sponsor, it is important to select someone who practices what they preach. Once you’ve found a candidate, take some time to observe their actions and behaviors to determine whether they are a good fit.
3 – It may sound silly, but choosing a sponsor of the same gender will be extremely beneficial to your AA experience. In many cases, men are better able to understand the driving forces behind addiction in other men. The same can be said for women. Choosing a same gender sponsor can also help you avoid potential emotional issues that may surface with mixed gender sponsee / sponsor pairings. The idea here is to remove any potential distractions that may interfere with your recovery.
4 – Do not “sponsor jump”. During your initial recovery, you may find your sponsor saying things that you do not necessarily agree with or want to hear at the time. Honesty is a valuable and vital aspect of the recovery process. Jumping from one sponsor to the next simply because someone has been a little blunt does not serve your recovery at all. Conversely, it will likely hinder it. Platitudes may serve your ego, but will do little to aid your sobriety.
5 – Grab yourself a copy of the AA Big Book. Think of it as the AA bible, if you will. In this text you will find numerous accounts from people just like you, who have worked and successfully utilized the first step of the program. Additional stories, including those from members with much more program experience, are documented in detail.
If you have additional questions regarding the 12 steps or rehabilitation, our Above It All addiction specialists are available to help. Give us a call, and let us help you get back on track towards the happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle you so rightfully deserve.