Sponsorship has become one of the foundations of the recovery programs for of all the 12 step fellowships and one of the greatest blessings of membership. With it we can help one another to succeed and arrest the disease called addiction one day at a time regardless of the nature.
In some ways, a sponsor is like a good friend, a teacher, a tutor, and an experienced guide. Some may even think of a sponsor as their older brother or sister that they never had. A sponsor is someone who has been where we want to go in our twelve step program and knows how we can best get there. Their primary responsibility is to help us work the 12 steps by applying the principles of the program to our lives.
They lead us by example as we see how the program works in their lives through sharing their personal experiences and stories of where they were and where they are now. We start to learn how to become sober by listening and doing the footwork that our sponsor shows us on a daily basis. In time we make these new changes a habit which helps us to remain sober one day at a time.
The best advice that was shared to us when we were looking for a sponsor was to attend 90 meeting in 90 days. This has a two fold affect, the first is it will show you are serious about the program, the second it will allow you 90 days to meet and greet those in the group with you. While attending the meetings listen to the person sharing. Hear and see what they have to offer.
As you make friends in the group, ask them who they think would be best for you often times we can't see ourselves clearly but those whom we meet can and can best guide us to the best sponsors.
- Some factors to consider in choosing a sponsor
- Has what we want
- lives the solution not the problem
- Walks the Talk in all his / her affairs
- Has a sponsor themselves
- Emphasizes the steps and traditions of the program
- Has more time in recovery than we do
- Has worked more steps than we have
- Is available for telephone calls and personal meetings
- Emphasized the spiritual aspect of the program
- and lastly IS THE SAME GENDER TYPE as you.
Another list that has been widely published and passed around is the following:
Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship
- I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.
- I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.
- I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.
- I can not give you dreams or "fix you up" simply because I can not.
- I can not give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.
- I can not take away your loneliness or your pain.
- I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.
- I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.
- I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I can not get close to you when you choose not to grow.
- When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.
- You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and "hang in there" with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.
- If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.
I hope that this has in some small way helped you to understand the importance of sponsorship.