An important part of recovery is finding a reliable source of strength and counsel that can help guide you through living sober. This mentor style relationship is very common in recovery circles and is called a sponsorship.
What is an addiction sponsor?
An addiction sponsor is a person who will help those new to recovery and the 12 step fellowship program. A sponsor becomes a guide to those readjusting to life outside a treatment center. They also provide a one-on-one relationship of support and direction to those seeking sobriety.
How do I get a sponsor?
Typically sponsors can be found through meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Most sponsorships are set up on a networking basis from people in your recovery circle.
Traits to look for in a sponsor
When choosing a sponsor it is important to choose very wisely. Here are four traits to look for in your sponsor:
1.Has been in recovery for five or more years
It’s only natural that you choose someone with more experience to help guide you through your own recovery journey. For instance, if you were going on a trip and you had to choose between a tour guide that has only known about the trip through books and other second hand experiences or a local person who has been living there for years. Wouldn’t you choose the local who knows all the roads and passages that you may not have experienced from a new to the scene tour guide. Recovery works the same way. It’s a very long journey and its best to have a guide that has years of experience to help you through your own ups and downs.
2.Patience and Understanding
Two of the best qualities an addiction sponsor should have is to be understanding and patient. These traits are the best for when the going gets tough and you need their support and guidance. The best sponsors are those who can understand your struggle and be patient with you as you learn to cope or deal with these instances throughout your recovery.
3.They are someone you can look up to
While admiring someone who has achieved a lot despite being an addict is a worthy sponsor. It’s also good to pick a sponsor who has attained a lifestyle you can emulate. A sponsor with a good home environment, comfortable job and is active in the recovery community is one that can aid you best in your recovery.
4.They are happy and enjoy being sober
A person who has no problem smiling, laughing and enjoying life sober is also a great person to have as a sponsor. This person has already experienced what you are going through and is now content and happy. When you are feeling down or tempted they will be the light you need to escape your triggers to use.