Why can’t you just sponsor yourself? Let’s think about driving a car. You could teach yourself to drive. It is possible, people have done it; but it took time and lots of hard work. Plus, there are blind spots.
Most cars are designed to give us the maximum view of our surroundings based on the location of our eyes in the front of our heads. But there are still blind spots. Places, because of the placement of our eyes in the front of our faces, that we have trouble seeing.
Your life is like this, filled with blind spots. Dark places you would rather not see or have learned to ignore or numb out.
Ep. 11: — Why Get a Sponsor: Jerry and I share a few more revealing reasons why a sponsor is a must
A sponsor is like a great driving instructor. Having already learned to drive the road to sobriety years ago, a sponsor helps you figure out all the buttons and switches on the car, navigate the highway signs, safely move away from accidents, encourages maintenance and self-control. Plus, They are always encouraging you to make the best choice considering the traffic conditions.
Think of a sponsor as a navigator through the 12 Steps of a recovery program–a truth teller for your blind spots, a history holder for your confessions and a cheerleader for the new you that is emerging.
Sponsor’s Main Job
A sponsor’s main job is to walk next to you through the 12 steps. Why?
Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholic Anonymous, believes so strongly in giving away the gift of sobriety, he incorporated it into the 12th step.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Finding sobriety for ourselves is not enough to make it last. Sharing the gift we received is key to keeping it. Bill W. realized this right away. Fellowship and the continual renewing of the steps provided a crucial reminder that not so long ago each person (who is now sober) struggled with similar issues.
What Does a Sponsor Do
- helps you work the 12 steps
- provides honest feedback
- provides accountability for changes you wish to make
- helps you talk through difficult situations and generate solutions based on the 12 Steps
- shares their experiences, strength and hope
- offers friendship
- answers questions about the 12 Step Program
- provides a sounding board for changes you would like to make
- available in times of crisis to help prevent a relapse
What Does Not Do
- offer advice
- fix you
- direct your life
- solve your problems
- bail you out
- find you a job
How to Find a Sponsor
Asking someone to be your sponsor will feel awkward. What if they say no? What if it does not work out? What if you can’t find a time or place to work on your issues?
Part of the work of healing your hurt, habit or hang up revolves around asking for help. Doing this one thing, asking someone to be your sponsor is a huge step on the road to recovery. Even if the sponsor declines, you have made progress by just admitting to needing help and asking for it!
Start by showing up to the large group recovery meetings and listening to what others have to say. There will often be one or two people who seem to talk about issues that resonate with you or that have already worked through similar issues to yours.
Is there a person in the group you feel comfortable with right way? Then search out the following list with them.
- Look for someone who has worked the 12 Steps at least 1 time
- Displays the character traits you want
- May have a home life or lifestyle that you would like to achieve in your life
- Sponsors less than 3 other people
- Has their own sponsor
- Participates in regular meetings
- Has a schedule that works for both of you
- Has a time that works with yours
You Are Not Alone
As I mentioned before, the 12 Steps are a roadmap to recovery, while the sponsor is the navigator. It may take a couple tries to find the right fit with a sponsor. That is OK. The important part is to keep trying.
Temporary sponsorship is also an option. As my husband Jerry mentioned in the podcast, his gift of desperation led him to ask for a sponsor the night he walked into his first AA meeting. He was getting serious about sobriety. That night anyone in AA would have been an acceptable sponsor for a few weeks or months. Just getting started was the key.
Jerry and I share more of our personal experiences in the Ep. 12: — How to Find Sponsor Podcast below:
Not sure if a 12 Step recovery process is for you. Get an inside look at recovery from a marriage that has been there. Try not to laugh at the campy videos in this series! I dare you!