Those who have gone through rehab and recovery are often eager to go out and help others in their sobriety. While this is a worthy task to take on, and both you and others can greatly benefit from it, it is important that you be ready before becoming a sponsor. Trying to be a sponsor too soon can put both of you in danger of relapse. Below are some points to consider before you become a sponsor.
Alcoholics Anonymous established the very effective practice of sponsorship in the 1940s, and over the years, millions of people have experienced the benefits of having a sponsor. As a general rule of thumb, sponsors should be sober themselves for a minimum of one year, but the longer you’ve been sober, the better able you will be to help others. You should be committed to the 12 steps. This means you yourself should be a regular participant at meetings, having gone through the 12 steps yourself. If you are solid in your knowledge of the steps, you will be better able to help your sponsee through them.
As a sponsor, you will be the voice for AA for your sponsee. It will be up to you in many cases to help the newcomer learn all the benefits provided by AA, to introduce them to other members, and to encourage them to participate in sober activities. Be sure you are ready for this responsibility.
Being a sponsor can be difficult and intense. As a sponsor, you will need to be available whenever your sponsee needs you, as it will be your job to encourage them in their sobriety. When they feel the temptation to drink or to use, they can call you and you will help them deal with the temptation. As you might expect through your own recovery, this could be in the middle of the night, on weekends, or during holidays, because temptation waits for no one. A sponsor must be committed to their sponsee.
Have a Sponsor
As a sponsor, you should have a sponsor yourself. Even though you are secure in your sobriety right now, relapse is always a possibility, and you need to be prepared. Also, don’t expect your sponsorship to be a two way street – you should not ask your sponsee to listen to your struggles or be there for you when you need support. You should have your own sponsor who is farther along in recovery than you, so that if you have issues, you can turn to that person for help.
The Benefits of Being a Sponsor
Being a sponsor has its benefits. It will help in your own sobriety, as you learn to be a positive role model for others. Sponsoring another person will help you feel more confident, needed, and proud of being able to help others.
If you are seriously considering becoming a sponsor, talk it over with your own sponsor. There is no one better to talk to about this than someone who is fulfilling that role themselves right now, and who already knows you and your recovery well.
Recovery is easier and more fun in a community. Whether it is going through the 12 steps, making sober friends, or choosing a sponsor, Community Rehab is here for you. We specialize in helping people experience a fulfilling sober life. Contact us today at (855) 478-1034 to learn more.