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Sponsorship in Recovery

“I don’t have a program without my sponsor. The work I have done on myself with my sponsor has been the greatest thing I have ever done and maybe will ever do. From where I was to where he has helped me to get now is nothing short of a miracle.”

~ Sober Grid user.

Many people with a substance abuse problem, who are attempting to recover from addiction, are familiar with the notion of sponsorship. Most of them are seeking out good sponsors either online, AA\NA meetings, or in rehabilitation\detox centers. Sponsors can be regarded as one of the most valuable parts of the recovery process. But why is the notion of sponsorship so widely accepted and discussed? Let’s uncover some insights at what sponsorship is.

Who is a sponsor in recovery?

A sponsor is a sort of like a mentor in sobriety. Anyone who is in recovery has gone through the 12 steps him\herself and is responsible and willing to guide others in recovery can become a sponsor. There is no specific guidelines in regards to how a sponsor/sponsee relationship should work. However, for a successful recovery, communication with a sponsor should be consistent and honest.

As a sponsor is someone who can help you through challenges in your recovery, getting a sponsor in early recovery can help you avoid unforeseen circumstances and consequences.

Usually, a sponsor also has his or her own sponsor, both of them being of the same gender. This is recommended because it takes any ulterior motives out of the picture; it’s best to keep recovery about recovery and not about other things.

What will a good sponsor do?

A good sponsor will:

  1. Respect your views and will not impose her own;

  2. Share his own recovery experience, he will help you suppress or avoid relapse triggers;

  3. Be a source of recovery-related information (through her own experience) and motivation/encouragement;

  4. Help you work through a 12-step program (which is the primary function of a sponsor) and give you small reading tasks from the Big Boo — as well as ask you questions that help you to analyze your motivation for recovery;

  5. Help you understand why going to meetings is important (and may include helping you get to the meeting, introducing you to the group, and sharing his knowledge and understanding of what the meeting is);

  6. Help you get back on track after a relapse (by listening to you when you have a need to speak up, advising based on his\her own relapse experience, and encouraging you to not give up, etc.);

  7. Be honest with you (even when it comes to the truth you do not want to hear);

  8. Be available for you to call him anytime.

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