Choosing a 12-Step Sponsor

Choosing a 12-Step Sponsor

Going to detox, treatment, and other types of therapy when you first get clean and sober is an integral part of learning to live without the use of substances. When you first get sober, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your addiction. A treatment center, however, is a sheltered place where you’re not going to be exposed to the outside world. It can be intimidating to return to your “normal life” once you’ve completed a program. This is why finding a 12-step sponsor, who acts as a mentor, is so crucial to your recovery.

Go to Meetings and Meet People!

Choosing a sponsor to mentor you in your sobriety can be intimidating. You may feel like you don’t have a lot in common with the people who have stayed sober a while. That’s normal. After all, people who have been sober for years are living an entirely different life than somebody who has been using drugs or alcohol for the past few years.

Hopefully, you’re going to be going to a lot of 12-step meetings. At these meetings, you’ll meet a lot of cool people who can answer questions and offer support to you. Take their phone numbers, and make sure to call every once in a while.

Do You Want “What They Have”?

In 12-step rooms, you’ll often hear “if you want what we have, do what we do!” This is the basic philosophy to use when choosing a sponsor.

Narrow down a list of people who could be potential sponsors. They should be the same gender as you. (Because, yes, different genders have different issues and relate to each others’ experience better!) They should have at least one year sober. And, they should be available when you need them.

Pay attention to how these people conduct their lives and the goals and milestones they reach. A sponsor is somebody who “has what you want” in life. This may mean 15 years sober, a good job and wife, or somebody with a few years sober who uses surfing and swimming to get rid of stress.

It’s really up to you to decide what you want. You can always change sponsors if you don’t feel yours is the right one for you. Most people change sponsors a few times in their recovery life.

Ask the person you’re considering to be your sponsor questions if you need to. They should be open and caring, and let you know if they have any “ground rules” for being a sponsor.

Getting Help

Do you or somebody you know have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Recovery is possible! We can help you no matter what or how much you’ve used or how many times you’ve tried to quit. Call us for more information about your options at 1-800-970-8774.

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