Do I Need An Addiction Sponsor
You may be wondering if you need an addiction sponsor. The fact is, the more assistance and encouragement you receive, the better able you are to recover fully. You have a greater chance to prevent relapsing too. By having that added layer of moral support, you will be more likely to stay on the path for healing.
Of course, you still need comprehensive treatment, such as a rehab treatment plan that includes therapy, medical professionals, and rehab. Adding this kind of help will give you an extra cushion of protection against relapsing.
When People Are New To Aa Meetings Their Sponsor Is Critical
They can see that at least one other person understands what they are going through, what they have been through, and what they’re going to go through from personal experience in terms of alcoholism and recovery. The sponsor draws off their own recovery and their own sobriety and is an invaluable resource for the newcomer.
What Is Their Rolehow To Go About Choosing One
We explain their role and how to go about getting an AA member to be your sponsor
Is an AA sponsor like a typical organization sponsor who initially introduces you into the group and who vouches for you good character etc?
not the case
|“If at any point you’re struggling with your sobriety, speak to one of our supportive counselors. With many having first-hand experience, they have been in your shoes. The free chat is confidential & they are available 24/7.”
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The Benefits Of Having A Sponsor
Changing your life, habits, daily routines, and thought patterns can be frustrating, exhausting, and challenging. However, doing so is a key component of addiction recovery. Fortunately, sponsors can help ease this process. Because theyve already overcome withdrawal symptoms, participated in therapy, learned new ways to cope, and maintained their sobriety, they can help guide, encourage, and support you as you recover. Ultimately, your sponsors goal is to reduce your risk of relapse and help prepare you for a lifetime of sobriety. But there are many reasons why sponsors benefit the recovery process.
1. Theyve Been Where You Are
Sponsors are full of wisdom. They have successfully lived through everything youre currently experiencing. They have endured the challenges of addiction. Theyve dealt with relapse triggers. They know how life, stress, and unhealthy relationships can interfere with recovery. They understand the intensity of cravings and may have even relapsed. Theyve lived with unhealthy thoughts and distressing emotions. Theyve overcome trauma, healed past wounds, and have probably mended some strained relationships. Nothing you say, feel, or experience will surprise them because they have been where you are and know what it takes to overcome addiction.
2. Theyre An Example of Success
3. They Can Provide You With Hope and Strength
4. They Can Provide A Listening Ear
5. They Will Hold You Accountable
6. They Can Help Keep You Grounded
The Only Requirements For A Sponsor
In the beginning, I wanted a sponsor that seemed like they had their lives the most together, but I judged it on all the wrong things, like their clothes, their car, who their friends were, etc. Turns out, the only requirements I needed to look for in a sponsor were much simpler than that, and when I found the sponsor that represented those ideals, I found my place in my own steps. The requirements are:
- The person has completely worked the 12 steps themselves, with a sponsor who has also worked the 12 steps.
- The person has had a spiritual experience or awakening as a result of working those 12 steps
- The person continues to be involved in the community of their fellowship through service work and sponsorship
- The person represents morals and values that align themselves with the basic principles of the fellowship
So that last requirement is kind of optional, but I feel like it proves that they have had a spiritual experience as a result of working the steps, because people that are still living dirty, probably arent working a great program. When I say dirty, I mean, gambling, promiscuous relationship activity, going clubbing, excessive spending, gossiping, etc., pretty much anything that lends itself too much with how someone behaves in active addiction.
A sponsor, primarily, should be someone who is a positive example of what can happen through working the 12 steps.
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The History Behind Sponsorship
When Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, first conceived of the AA program, the word sponsor did not exist, but the concept of mentorship did. If youre not familiar with Bill W.s story, he was a low-bottom alcoholic who was facing his own death from alcoholism. While in the hospital, he had a white-light experience that alleviated his alcoholism just enough for him to leave sober. He was sober and doing well for a time, but one evening he felt a strong urge to drink. The story goes that Bill was standing in the lobby of a hotel. He looked over at the glitzy bar people drinking merrily, celebrating and making liquor look glamourous. He knew he didnt want to drink, but felt a strong pull.
But then a thought came to him as if divinely placed: You need another alcoholic to talk to, the thought said. You need another alcoholic just as much as he needs you!
Instead of going to the bar, he went to a phone booth. He called hospitals looking for another alcoholic whom he could help. When he finally got through to a hospital receptive to the idea of him coming in to speak with a patient, he jetted over. He was sent to speak bedside with another man who had been struggling with alcoholism in the same way Bill had been. That man was Dr. Bob.
Over time the idea of sponsorship became more formalized. Now it is suggested that any individual looking to get sober should get a sponsor to guide them through the recovery process.
The Role Of Sponsorship In Addiction Recovery
The sponsor works with the sponsee, going through the 12 steps, one by one. Sponsorships in addiction recovery are meant to offer guidance, explanation, encouragement, and support. Your sponsor may also provide other vital functions that someone new in sobriety needs. Some of those are:
- A sponsor can be a friend, teacher, and role model.
- A sponsor can be a great source of addiction recovery information, including their own experiences, successes, and failures in recovery.
- A sponsor can show the newly recovering valuable insights about living a life free from drugs or alcohol.
- A sponsor can provide motivation and encouragement that a newly sober person needs.
- A sponsor can be someone who is available to listen and support.
- A sponsor is someone to whom a sponsee has some accountability.
- A sponsor can help by explaining recovery concepts, terminology, and introducing their sponsee to others in the program.
- A sponsor is a person whom a sponsee can trust with confidentiality and nonjudgement.
- A sponsor is someone available in a crisis.
- A sponsor can help guide sponsees in developing healthy relationships with others.
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Sponsorship Becomes Ingrained In Aa
In 1944, one of Dr. Bobs sponsees, Clarence S., penned the A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet, the first tract directed solely to those who would serve in such a role. It largely regurgitated material published four years earlier in the Akron manual, although references to the Bible and Upper Room were removed. Religious overtones were still predominant in his writings, however, and it emphasized the role of a Higher Power in the sobriety process.
It would be another 30 years before sponsorship was addressed at length, this time in Living Sober. The publication noted that sponsorship turned out to be such a good way to help people get established in AA that it has become a custom followed throughout the AA world, even when hospitalization is not necessary. The section on sponsorship lays out a loose framework for how the process works:
The following year, the A.A. General Service Office published the pamphlet Questions and Answers on Sponsorship, a tract that has been revised several times in the years since. It clarified many of the ideas about sponsorship and extrapolated on previous guidelines that had appeared in earlier publications, including:
It was, according to Robert S., a considerably more open, balanced and compassionate approach to helping others compared to the more doctrinaire views of the Big Book, Dr. Bob and Clarence S. It reflects a more humanitarian, egalitarian, benevolent view of how we in the AA Fellowship have evolved to help each other recover.
Find Hope At Victory Bay
At Victory Bay, we are ready to help you find the perfect comprehensive healing plan. This plan features not only therapy and professional guidance but an addiction sponsor as well. Our mission is to help you find that healing path in life. We use evidence-based therapy models to help find the root of your issues. Some of the treatments we offer include:
- Inpatient treatment program
- Medication-assisted program
Dont let substance abuse take away your hope for a happy life. Now that you know more about our addiction treatment and the recovery process, reach out to our center and find hope. Contact us at , and well walk with you on this new journey in life. Theres no reason to begin healing today.
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Increased Social Competence And Status
Participants reported that they had developed social competences over time by sponsoring and helping others and that they benefitted from feelings of increased confidence within social and interpersonal relationships from doing so. In self-help groups, sponsors need a level of initial social competence and status to firstly attract others towards them but then also to maintain relationships with those they are helping over time. Initial social competence and in-group status is built up incrementally by the sponsor as a result of positively engaging and interacting with others in the group setting and, later, in one-to-one interactions in other settings. Sponsors often spoke during interviews about developing social competence in relation to their new abilities to engage with others in positive relationships, get on well with others, to maintain close relationships and to handle social interactions effectively . Those who were able to engage in sponsorship with others and practice these skills over longer periods of time reported that they were also able to deepen these social competences so that it had potential benefits in other social contexts. Participants who reported high levels of social exclusion whilst using such as Paddy, an active sponsor who spent a significant amount of time in prison and as a homeless drug user recalled
I felt good, I felt honoured, I felt nervous I suppose its that responsibility which Ive avoided all my life .
How To Take A Sponsee Through The 12 Steps
This is the most crucial responsibility of the sponsor on how he takes the sponsee through the 12 steps. He must lead by example and show the sponsee how he has recovered and achieved sobriety through the 12 steps. He must show him how applying these 12 steps in every walk of life has helped him maintain his sobriety, and the same can be possible for the sponsee if he starts living his life by the Big Book and the 12 steps.
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Sponsors Are Both Mentors And Role Models
Being surrounded by others going through similar trials and tribulations can make an individual feel less isolated and give them motivation seeing that their story can indeed have a happy ending. Sponsors are the poster children of 12-step programs meaning they exhibit the behaviors and morals taught in the program.
Even if sponsees are hesitant to commit to sobriety or start to stray from the path, sponsors are there to nudge them back in the right direction. Giving 12-step members a sense of accountability from someone who has been in their shoes makes the gentle pushes from the sponsor feel genuine and focused on the member, not just their sobriety.
Being able to be a successful sponsor means building trust with each sponsee. They will act as a confidant, life coach and friendly voice of reason for every member they work with. Many participants have little to no healthy relationships outside of their environment of substance abuse. In this capacity, sponsors are often the first positive relationship they have after getting out of a toxic environment.
What Is A Sponsor In Aa
An AA sponsor is a fellow member who has made considerable progress in his recovery, helps other AA members during their recovery journey, and guides them through the 12 steps. A member typically has at least 1 to 2 years of sobriety, although there are no specific rules for that. The more years of sobriety he has, the better he would guide the members, answer their questions, or just make them feel comfortable during their journey. Research shows that having a 12 step sponsorship is beneficial in maintaining sobriety.
According to the Book: Question & Answers on Sponsorship:
Sponsorship gives the newcomer an understanding, sympathetic friend when one is needed most. Sponsorship also provides the bridge enabling the new person to meet other alcoholics in a home group and in other groups visited.
When people become members of Alcoholics Anonymous programs, they are expected to choose a sponsor to whom they can be accountable and to whom they can address any queries or concerns. The member can speak openly and honestly with this chosen member to develop a connection of trust and honesty. They can guide the sponsee through their own experiences to relate their own circumstances and stay motivated. However, if at any time the member feels that they are not satisfied with a mentor who is offering sponsorship, they can have a choice of selecting a new one.
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How To Find The Best Sponsor To Support Your Recovery
Keep in mind that you should take your time when selecting a corporate sponsor. In the words of a sponsor, A sponsor can assist us in achieving a richer, deeper, and more pleasant recovery than we are likely to discover on our own. Developing healthy connections and placing our faith in others can be tough, especially if our previous interactions with individuals who are actively addicted have been a string of terrible experiences. Our goal in seeking therapy is to improve the quality of our lives, and following treatment, we are provided with the knowledge and skills to accomplish this goal.
In this way, working with a sponsor encourages people to stay on track with their rehabilitation programs.
They assist their sponsees in understanding the program more rapidly, and they encourage recovery behaviors as well as the significance of fellowship among those in the group.
In order to achieve recovery, it is necessary to participate in group activities, engage in ongoing self-examination, and be willing to change. Please dont forget to send in stories or suggestions for future updates!
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Reasons To Find A Sponsor In Recovery
The concept of a sobriety sponsor has been popularized through Alcoholics Anonymous and many references to the 12-step-program made in popular culture. If you are considering entering a treatment program for the first time, or returning to treatment after relapse, you may be wondering if it is the right time for you to seek a sponsor, and what that extra support will mean for your recovery. While sponsorship isnt always necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety, there are many benefits to having a sponsor in your corner in your fight against addiction.
Theyve Been There
One of the best reasons to find a sponsor is to have access to the wisdom of someone who has been exactly where you are. A good sponsor has lived through the horrors of addiction and found redemption on the road to recovery. They most likely have experienced relapse and dealt with the complex ways in which life can interfere with recovery. Nothing you can say will surprise them, because theyve lived it.
Theyre a Concrete Example of Success
They Will Hold You Accountable
You Can Lean on Them
They Will Keep You Grounded
You May Make a Lifelong Friend
You Can Pay It Forward Someday