Finding a Sponsor

Finding a Sponsor

After completing a rehabilitation program, many people are unsure what to do next. A sponsor is someone who you would like as a teacher to guide you through recovery and the 12 steps. They don’t necessarily have to be someone who you would like to hang out with as a friend. By choosing a sponsor you’re also implicitly saying that you like the form of their recovery and their serenity. In 12 step groups it’s said that “you like what your sponsor has.” In this case, “has” refers to what they have in recovery, not what they have materially.

A sponsor should preferably have at least 5 years of recovery. They need that time to develop enough perspective on recovery. Finally, a sponsor should be someone for whom you have absolutely no romantic feelings. That usually means someone of the same sex.

There’s one question you should ask your potential sponsor.

“Tell me what you do with your sponsees?” It’s an open-ended question that doesn’t put either of you in an awkward position. Too many people just ask “Would you be my sponsor?” That’s a hard question to ask. Most people have trouble asking for help so they postpone finding a ponsor. Make getting a sponsor as easy as possible by reducing the obstacles.

The answer that you’re looking for is something like, “We get together once a week. I give some homework, and we go through the 12 steps.”

The answer you’re not looking for is, “We get together once a week. We go out for coffee, and you can tell me how your week has been.”

They might be a great friend, but they won’t necessarily guide you through the 12 steps.