Having a sponsor in recovery can be very helpful. A sponsor can help guide you, encourage you, and provide support from a first-hand perspective.
Your sponsor will help you transition from treatment to life in recovery. When you first enter treatment, you likely feel hopeless, ashamed, and unwell. As time passes and you progress through the program, you will begin to evolve into the person you will be in recovery.
As your sponsor, the person you select to be a mentor of sorts will help you stay on track and make decisions that support the person you have become and want to be in recovery.
Finding a Sponsor
The first step to benefitting from the support a sponsor can offer is selecting one. As you continue to attend 12-Step meetings and therapy groups, you will meet and form relationships with other attendees. This is one way of identifying and choosing a sponsor.
You could also use an app to help locate and identify potential sponsors in your area. Choosing someone who will be a good match for you is essential. What makes a sponsor a good match? Here are a few things to consider:
- Time in recovery
- Willingness to help
Time in Recovery
When it comes time to find a sponsor, one of the things you should consider is the length of time someone has spent in recovery. While this is not a fail-proof credential, it is important to select someone who has faced some challenges in their recovery and developed strategies for overcoming them.
Availability is also essential when it comes to choosing a sponsor. You want someone who will be available to you when you need them. This might mean finding someone who has a similar schedule or is in a similar place in life. When you call your sponsor, you are likely in need of some guidance or support. If they are unable to respond, it could jeopardize your sobriety.
You also want your sponsor to be relatable. This usually involves choosing a same-sex sponsor. Men and women experience substance abuse differently and often have different triggers and reasons for seeking substances. Finding a sponsor who has faced similar battles and can relate to your experience with addiction is essential.
Willingness to Help
Lastly, you need to select someone who is willing to help. Becoming a sponsor is not an obligation for anyone. Instead, it is something they offer to do in order to give back. Having someone who looks up to you and counts on you for support can establish accountability for both parties.
Once you have chosen a sponsor, it is essential to begin to build rapport and get more comfortable with them. Most likely, you have known this person for some time and have felt inspired by their story and strength in recovery. It is important to open up to this person and share when you are having a hard time.
However, this can be difficult. Asking for help is not always easy, but that is what your sponsor is there for. They are there to help you in times of need without judgment. That is the best part. You might fear talking to your loved ones or family members when you are struggling. While they might try their best to offer support, they often cannot fully understand what you are going through.
Communicating openly and frequently with your sponsor can help you stay on track and avoid relapse. Any time of day or night, you can reach out to them for support.
When to Call Your Sponsor
When is it appropriate to call your sponsor? Any time you feel you need their help. Here are a few examples of when you might need to reach out:
- You are experiencing cravings or feeling tempted to drink or use
- There is a big decision to make
- Stress levels are high
- Experiencing conflict in relationships
- You’re feeling doubtful or hopeless
Of course, plenty of occasions not mentioned could justify a call to your sponsor. If you feel the need to reach out, you should not hesitate. It is better to call and have support than to try to handle things on your own. Success in recovery takes a village, and your sponsor is a crucial component.
Feeling comfortable enough with your sponsor to call them anytime with anything is the goal. Establishing consistent communication from the start can be helpful. You may not need them for anything urgent initially, but at least you have frequent communication. That way, when you do need to discuss something important, you know they will be there and ready to talk. Communication in treatment and recovery is critical. Regular and open communication with your sponsor can save your life.
Finding the right sponsor for you is crucial. Opening up about your struggles and asking for help in recovery is not always easy, so it is essential to have someone to call who you feel comfortable with. Renaissance Ranch offers many opportunities to fellowship and build relationships with others in recovery. Through meetings and our alumni program, men in recovery are able to form bonds and support one another with a common goal. If you or someone you care about could benefit from our men’s treatment programs, we would love to speak to you about all our services. Renaissance Ranch combines evidence-based practices with faith-based principles to address addiction recovery. To learn more, call (801) 308-8898.