Tips for Finding the Perfect Sponsor
Many of us addicted to alcohol and drugs struggle to cope with life when we get our of treatment and into “real life.” Many of us feel overwhelmed. This is because living life on life’s terms without our drugs and alcohol takes some practice and experience. We lack these skills because we have been dealing with abusing drugs. When this happens it is best to have someone guide you through these tough times that have experienced it before and have come out on the other side.
After you come out of inpatient treatment and start going to outside meetings and outside therapy, you will most likely want to start the 12-step program as soon as possible. You will hear the word sponsor many times and maybe at a loss as to the exact meaning. However, as you begin to attend more and more meetings, the idea of having a sponsor will make more and more sense. Eventually, you will have to choose a sponsor so you can continue your path to a successful recovery. Although it may take some time, finding the right sponsor can make the difference in getting the best out of your recovery because, in order to share your thoughts and feelings with someone, you have to be comfortable and trust them.
Finding a sponsor is somewhat like dating. You meet people and learn about them and if they don’t mesh well if you don’t click, you move on to the next. And you can try out more than one at a time. This is your journey and so whatever feels right to you.
How Do I Find the Perfect Sponsor for Me?
As said above this is your journey and these are just guidelines, tips to finding a sponsor that is right for you. When you know you’ll know.
- Describe your perfect sponsor
Make a list in a notepad or just in your head, of the qualities that would describe your perfect sponsor. It is suggested that the sponsor be the same sex so there is no romantic stuff that might happen. Also, it is recommended you select somebody who has been in recovery for at least twelve months, if not longer. This means this person is fairly established in his or her recovery. This is also an indication that this person is ‘working a program’ that works and that’s effective.
We also urge you to be honest with yourself as to what type of person you need, that you would listen too. Maybe you need a strict individual or maybe a gentle indirect person. Consider this early to avoid the situation where you chose someone that didn’t work out.
- Court before you commit
Before asking somebody to be your sponsor, it is recommended to get to know the person first. You may want to tell them your intentions to see if they are even able to sponsor at that time, but once you make that known, it’s then safe to start “dating”.
Some sponsors even do a trial run for a couple of weeks where you call each other on the phone to have conversations to get to know each other. When this goes well you can then maybe meet for coffee or lunch to continue the see if they are right for you and if not it will be easy to end the “courtship.”
- Interview with questions
Ask potential sponsors questions that you have about their own experiences in recovery. This is where you can find those who you may have common interests with so you can maybe have a connection and talk about things other than recovery. You need to balance with life activities and recovery. It can’t be recovery 100% of the time. If you feel this potential sponsor isn’t being truthful when answering your questions, then they probably aren’t right for you. Trust your gut feeling.
- Find out what’s expected from you
Getting a sponsor shouldn’t be a one-way relationship where the sponsor does all the work and you receive all the benefits. It is exactly the opposite. You take the suggestions and do the work and reap the benefits. The sponsor is just there to give suggestions and their experience on how they did the 12-steps and guide you along.
Some sponsors may expect you to contact them every day. This is probably because the sponsor knows this formula works. Other sponsors may require that you contact them only if needed. It’s important that you do not violate each other’s expectations, so work out what your sponsor expects from you early on in the relationship. This will ensure the relationship does not turn sour.
None of these are set in stone. Like said in the beginning, these are guidelines for finding a sponsor. There will be ups and downs, trial and error, and however you go about it, if your intentions are good, it will work out.
Addiction can rob someone of their life. At Garden State Detox, our mission is the consistent comfort of each individual client. We take a unique approach to medical detox in the sense that the services we provide go far beyond physical stabilization. We believe that quality detoxification not only actively treats all symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal but focuses on setting a stable, unwavering foundation for long-term sobriety.