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5 Things to Look for in a Good Sponsor

From powerlessness to full of power, how is it that any good alcoholic ever manages to make their lives look so appealing once in recovery? Everything that is professional in this world requires some form of layered support- think about it. A professional building requires a strong foundation. A professional sports player sometimes requires endorsements from bigwig corporations. Even the President of the United States must have congressional funding for their professional motives.

Well when it comes to taking early sobriety professionally, those working a good program will always have a sponsor backing them up. Finding a good sponsor is like having somebody to practice a trust fall with. This person will be there for you through thick and thin as you propel yourself deep into the realms of recovery. As we continue stepping forward into our sober professionalism, we begin looking for this person to help guide us away from the ruins of alcoholic thinking. The question though is who are we searching for?

Who’s on 1st?

Being the new kid on the block for anything can be emotionally uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. One way or another, we are all the new kid at something. There’s always something in life that we haven’t experienced and it has its “first”. Walking into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous can be nerve-wracking but the best part about it is that everybody there knows that. Alcoholics who have ventured to the sober side of recovery are great at being empathetic.

These people know first hand what it was like and that we all need a little reassurance to get this sobriety thing. Nobody would be sober if we were all fighting for it and making each other extremely uncomfortable. Helping each other is the only way we get through this without being eaten alive by the bottle or pipe forever taunting us in the corner. The right sponsor will guide us through the 12 steps while showing us that there is a better life out there away from all the hogwash chemicals we may be used to consuming.

Sponsoring Friendship

The right sponsor will inevitably have a way about themselves that is just plain admirable. When looking for the right person to teach the way, there are a few qualities about their lives in recovery that should stand out right from the get-go. Some of the things a good sponsor should have include:

  • Substantial Sobriety Time
  • Active Member of some Fellowship
  • They’re Happy, Joyous, and Free
  • Extensive 12 Step Knowledge
  • Being a Person of Integrity

Simply broken down, a good sponsor of Alcoholics Anonymous is a mentor that will happily and willingly walk you through the twelve steps. This person is meant to be somebody to bounce all our ideas off of; the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is no number for the amount of ugly ideas that a good alcoholic can create in a short period of time. God only knows if we don’t share these with a sponsor how much they will fester upstairs.  

two men talking

Follow the Leader

The idea of having a sponsor is to also practice asking for help from others. The foreign term “help” can be described as “to contribute to the effectiveness or improvement of something”. It’s apparent in this world that for any form of higher learning requires assistance. Unfortunately, as the independent addicts that some of us can be, we try to sponsor ourselves. Most of us foolishly lie to ourselves that we can do everything on our own. Wrong wrong wrong.

As human beings, we are intelligent and adaptive creatures, but often we need a push in the right direction when our moral compass strays. Sometimes it’s not even about morality but just making poor decisions. A good sponsor is that person that can knock some sense into us when our addictions try to take back over.  

Having some form of aid allows us to catalog the past actions of ourselves, or others, so as not to repeat them in our future endeavors. The right sponsor will lend a hand in this as they show their sponsee what they did to get to make their life look so charming. Usually, it is recommended we find a sponsor that is of the same sex. It’s not mandatory, but it is recommended in order to avoid uncomfortable situations when proceeding through the steps. To top that off, somebody of the same variety will be able to understand specific problems without giving jaded opinions.

Sponsoring Confidence

The part that often trips newcomers up the most is the actual asking of somebody to become their sponsor. For most, it immediately seems like an awkward situation almost reminiscent of asking somebody out on a date. The fear of rejection shows up at the door and even the dilapidated thought of the relationship not being a good fit. Rest assured this is a normal reaction. Walking into a room of happy people can cause anybody to raise their eyebrows.

Entering a meeting and seeing all these happy go lucky individuals can be eye-opening to the misery we’ve been allowing ourselves to feel for way too long. All these happy faces are potential sponsors that can help lead us away from the obsession of alcoholic thinking. We want to be happy, sober, and free, so why not have somebody show us how?

Becoming a Sponsee

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to find a sponsor and begin working the twelve steps. It takes even more courage to admit there’s an issue and that help is needed. However, both acts of courage will open up the door for so many possibilities. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need a 12-step based treatment center, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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