Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sponsorship In AA

A sponsor in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is a person who offers support and guidance to help people stay sober. A sponsor is available to listen, problem solve, and walk you through the 12 Steps of AA. When you’re feeling vulnerable, they are there to talk you “off a ledge.” It’s imperative to choose the right sponsor, otherwise the relationship can be destructive.

The purpose of AA is to help other members stay sober. It’s easier to live without drugs or alcohol when you have someone you trust. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to share feelings and fears with one person rather than an entire group. Sponsorship is a type of service that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

A sponsor usually has more time and experience in the program than the sponsee, so they can guide the sponsee through the steps of AA. He will offer support, praise, and honesty. He is a good role model for the sponsee, and can spot warning signs of relapse. In an emergency, the sponsor will be there either on the phone or in person to help out. A sponsor is usually of the same sex.

alcoholics anonymous sponsor


When choosing a sponsor, it’s wise to pick someone who has a good handle on the program. Find someone you look up to, stick with the winners. Ask if the sponsor has time to work with you, or if he already has a lot of sponsees. If you approach a sponsor and he says no, don’t let that get you down. There are plenty of reasons he may not be able to take on a sponsee at the moment, don’t take it personally, and don’t give up. A sponsor is someone you build trust with, so make sure the sponsor is capable of keeping your privacy. Trust your instincts, if something inside you of says don’t trust this person, don’t ignore the feeling. It’s acceptable to change sponsors without leaving the AA program.

Having a sponsor is one of the most rewarding relationships if it’s healthy. If the sponsor becomes overbearing, it may be time to change sponsors. He should be supportive, not critical or judgemental of the sponsee. The sponsor should be honest, but not negative. It’s important to realise that a sponsor is a human being, so if you feel like their advice isn’t safe, you’re not obligated to follow it.

Most sponsors will not maliciously lead you down the wrong path. They’re there because they have the same goals as you, to stay sober. Use your instinct and see how their relationships are with other AA members. Are they helpful? Do they share stories in meetings that you relate to? Do other members trust them? These are some things to think about when choosing a sponsor.

Many drug and alcohol treatment centers reinforce the principles of the 12 Steps and teach you how to make confident and wise decisions. Passport to Recovery offers a list of renowned drug and alcohol treatment facilities that can guide you to the right path.

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