If you’re like many people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, then you know how frustrating it is to hear people who haven’t been addicted talk about quitting and staying sober. After all, how could anyone possibly understand what it’s like if they haven’t been through it themselves?
That’s why getting a sponsor is a great way to connect with someone who has walked in your shoes. Although millions of people have recovered from alcoholism, not every person who was once addicted is the right sponsor for you.
Choose a Relatable — but Honest — Sponsor
Early recovery is a sensitive and critical time. Don’t choose the first person who is nice to you in recovery. Instead, wait and learn more. Is there someone whose recovery you admire, or is there someone you have an easy time talking to? If so, that person may be a good sponsor for you. The person you choose should also be strong enough to challenge diseased thinking.
Time — and Principles — Matter
Although individuals who are new to sobriety may be easy to talk to because their lives are more relatable to your own, the right sponsor has spent years sober. Has the person you’re considering internalized the principles of AA? Are they close with others who have been sober for years? Does your sponsor advise you with regard to sobriety only, or do they try to intervene in other areas in your life?
The sponsor who is right for you has spent years thriving in an abstinent lifestyle and does not pretend to be an expert in all things. The right sponsor shares their own experiences with getting and staying sober. Nothing else.
Your sponsor plays an essential role in your recovery, but they are not the only answer. You’ll also want help from a therapist, a support network of loved ones, your physician, and others who are close to you and who care about your sobriety.
Sponsors are human beings, and they can make mistakes. If your sponsor behaves inappropriately toward you — for example, if your sponsor makes a sexual advance — you can change sponsors. It’s vitally important that you put your needs first when considering a sponsor. Don’t worry about hurting your sponsor’s feelings. The sponsor’s job is to consider your needs first, so failing that responsibility is a big problem.
Ultimately, after many years of sobriety, you may decide to become a sponsor yourself. However, right now, the best way to choose a sponsor for you is to find the one whose sobriety you would most like to emulate.
For more information on sobriety and choosing a sponsor, contact Clarity Way today.