A Checklist to Use When Choosing a Sponsor
06/21/19: Addiction Recovery
Once you go through a rehabilitation program, you’ll more than likely be eager to get back into the real world and start your life over on the right track. It’s important to know that there are steps you need to take if you want to have success with your newfound sobriety. One thing you need to do is find a sponsor to help you with your journey. When you go to 12-step programs, sponsorship is viewed as being one of the fundamental parts of the program. It’s crucial to be selective when choosing a sponsor though because they are someone you need to be able to rely on when things get tough. The following guide serves as a checklist you can use when choosing the right sponsor for you.
They Should Want to be a Sponsor
The first thing you need to do is figure out who wants to be a sponsor and who doesn’t. Just because someone has been in a program for a long time doesn’t mean they want to be a sponsor. Being a sponsor is a huge commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are some people who have very busy lives and cannot commit to providing you with the commitment that sponsorship requires. Be sure to find out who the sponsors are in the group that you are attending. Knowing who is available to be a sponsor will make it easier to narrow down who you want to ask to be your sponsor.
Choose a Sponsor with a Similar Schedule
You need to get to know someone before asking them if they would be your sponsor. Choosing a sponsor with a similar schedule to yours is important. There will be times when issues will arise throughout your day and you need to be able to contact your sponsor and ask them for advice during those times. If you are someone who works at night, you more than likely need to find a sponsor who is okay with you calling them throughout the night.
Many addicts don’t realize that sponsors often have numerous people that they are sponsoring. Because of this fact, you need to find a sponsor who doesn’t already have a lot of people that they are sponsoring. This is because everyone has a limited amount of time a day available. If they have a lot of sponsees, there is a good chance that the time they can dedicate to you will be limited. Try to find a sponsor who is only sponsoring a few people currently.
A History of Sobriety
Many people make the mistake of assuming that because someone is older and in a recovery program that they have been sober for a long time. This isn’t always the case. There are many people in recovery groups who are older and have only been sober a very limited amount of time. You want to be sure to choose someone who has been clean for many years because they will have gone through many trials and tribulations that someone who has only been sober a few months may not have gone through yet. They can use their life experience to help guide you when times get tough.
Feel Comfortable Talking to Your Sponsor
You need to be able to talk to your sponsor openly and honestly. Many people choose sponsors that are the same sex as them because they feel comfortable talking about personal things that may have to do with their bodies or their personal life. You should feel like you can talk to the person without being judged or ridiculed, as well. Feeling comfortable with your sponsor betters your chances of actually asking them for help when you need it.
You Want Someone to Hold You Accountable
While it’s nice to be surrounded by people who always find the benefit of the doubt and constantly lift you up, that isn’t always the best option when it comes to maintaining your sobriety. You want someone as a sponsor who will tell you like it is and genuinely help you be the best version of yourself that you can be. You want to choose someone who can be firm while still being loving. You shouldn’t choose someone that you feel you can walk all over or who will believe lies if you tell them to them. You need accountability to better your chances of sobriety for the long term.
Choose a Sponsor Who Has a Sponsor
Everyone in recovery needs someone to talk to when things get tough. Even sponsors need to have sponsors so that they can talk about their issues too. Addiction is an ongoing disease that can relapse at any time. If your sponsor feels too secure in their sobriety, they may not be able to provide you with the best advice or look at things from an objective point of view. You want to work with someone who doesn’t feel like they have everything figured out and no longer needs to have a sponsor in order to maintain their sobriety. Everyone needs help every now and then and working with someone who is humble enough to admit they need help too is important when choosing a sponsor.
It’s important to know that just because you ask someone to be your sponsor doesn’t mean that they will be. Someone can choose to decline your request to be their sponsor without providing you with a reason why they don’t feel comfortable in the position. You want to have a sponsor who genuinely cares about you and wants to be your sponsor. If someone turns you down just ask the next person you feel would be a good fit. You should continue to look until you find someone who will challenge you and support you at the same time so that you can maintain your sobriety and are able to live the life you deserve to live.
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