Being new in recovery can be overwhelming and quite frightening. Making the transition from the self-centered and destructive lifestyle of a practicing addict to a new healthier recovery-based life is a gradual one that will be filled with many challenges. One of the best tools that is available to those new in recovery are 12-step groups, In order to make the most out of 12-step meetings, it is highly recommended that you find a sponsor to help you navigate the hills and valleys of your recovery. For many, choosing the right sponsor can be somewhat difficult.
The following are a few basic yet essential tips on how to choose a sponsor that is right for you.
Your Sponsor Must Be Active in Their Own 12-Step Program
The first and most obvious tip in learning how to choose a sponsor is to look for a person who is actively working their own recovery. This person must fully believe in a 12-step program and believe in the concepts of the steps and traditions. When you are finding a sponsor, he or she needs to be intimately familiar with the 12 steps and be able to explain each step to you in a language you can easily understand.
Choose Someone That You Aren’t Attracted To
In the process of picking a sponsor for your recovery, it is also very important to find one that you aren’t attracted to on an intimate level. Early recovery is definitely a time when emotions and feelings can run rampant, and being tempted with any kind of intimate encounter while you are working on your recovery is a recipe for disaster. You don’t need any more complications in your newfound sobriety so that reason it is better to select a sponsor of the same gender if at all possible–or the opposite for those who are gay and are in recovery.
Your Sponsor Needs to Be Positive
As already stated, recovery is a road that can be fraught with obstacles and you can experience moments of self-doubt. When you choose a sponsor, it is important to find a person who is positive, encouraging and can help navigate you through tough times along the way. The last thing you need is a sponsor who dwells on the negative. Your ideal sponsor needs to be optimistic, upbeat and can help guide you through the rough spots and celebrate your small victories.
Your Sponsor Should Be Working With Their Own Sponsor
The best sponsors in 12-step programs are often those who actively work with their own sponsor. When you have a situation in which your sponsor is also a sponsee, it can be very beneficial in those instances when you and your sponsor hit a roadblock. When those situations arise, you simply can turn to their sponsor to ask for advice.
Your Sponsor Needs To Be Truthful
Another important tip in learning how to choose a sponsor is to find one that isn’t afraid to tell the truth. Working a program of recovery is all about the truth, and the sponsor you ultimately choose shouldn’t sugarcoat things if your recovery is headed in the wrong direction. Your sponsor should be able to gently but firmly let you know that the behaviors you are engaging in are dangerous and putting your recovery at risk.
Sponsors Should Make the Time To Help You
Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex and progressive disorder that doesn’t follow any schedule. When you are choosing a sponsor, you have to find one that can make the time to talk to you throughout the week, and can promptly return your messages. This means that you should avoid choosing a sponsor that already has several sponsees.
Your Sponsor Should Not Be Feared
When choosing a sponsor for your recovery, you should feel totally comfortable in talking and being with them. Your sponsor should be someone that you completely trust in helping you gain confidence in your sobriety. If you are encountering rough spots in your recovery and need guidance, you should feel confident and assured when you contact your sponsor. If you already have a sponsor and your instincts tell you something isn’t right, or you literally dread picking up the phone to talk to your sponsor, it is perfectly acceptable to seek out a new one.
Do You Need Help In Overcoming Your Addiction?
Being stuck in the never-ending cycle of addiction can make you feel overwhelmed and weary. While you may feel like help is too far out of reach, the addiction professionals at Guardian Recovery Network have the programs and quality care you need to address and overcome your addiction. Guardian Recovery Network utilizes the best traditional and holistic treatment approaches in creating a recovery plan that perfectly fits your needs.
Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery Network team.
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