Finding a sponsor

Recently a friend of mine was upset because in her words she always chooses sponsors that are horrible to her. This led me to question what a sponsor should be, and how you know you have found the right one. Should a sponsor be nurturing? Or provide tough love? Perhaps a mixture of the two?

The term sponsor in AA terms arose around the time hospitals in America began to accept alcoholic patients on the understanding that a recovering member agreed to sponsor them. The sponsor was expected to visit a few times a week, be there when the patient was discharged, and then take them to AA meetings and introduce them to other members in recovery. These days, a sponsor is generally someone that is further along the recovery journey; someone that is where we want to be. They are on hand to help the person to work the 12 steps and integrate them into their own lives. A sponsor is not there to judge when the person makes a mistake (which they inevitably will do!), but to support them through the mistake and suggest ways the person could help themselves not to make the same one twice.

There is no clear definition of what a person should look for in a sponsor because different people have different needs. Sometimes you may plan looking for a sponsor and sometimes it happens naturally. However, there are a few things to look for in a sponsor:

• Someone that has been in recovery longer than us

• Someone that has a sponsor themselves

• Someone that is available for phone calls and one-to-one meetings

• Someone that lives the solution and not the problem

• Someone that emphasises the steps and traditions of the programme.

If you think there is anything that should be added to this list, get in touch! Comment below and let us know your sponsor stories both good and bad…

Sponsors, as well as the twelve steps programme, are an essential part of the AA addiction recovery treatment.

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