Many individuals in recovery seek to give back and help others struggling with addiction the same way other people did for them, and a great way to do this is by becoming a sponsor. Sponsors help bring support to others that are recovering from addiction by offering mentorship and friendship. In this article, you will learn what sponsors are, the benefits of becoming one, and how to become one for someone else.
What Is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is someone that helps a person who is newly sober from drugs or alcohol. The sponsor helps the newly recovered addict through mentoring and supporting them, as well as by offering friendship. Sponsors are typically those that have recovered from addiction themselves, as they are better able to understand what the sponsee is going through. This helps them to give better advice that will help the sponsee cope with hard times in early recovery.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Sponsor?
Sponsors help their sponsees by simply being present. The responsibilities of this include offering advice, sharing your personal recovery experience, providing resources to help the sponsee stay sober, and just lending an ear to listen. If the program the sponsor and sponsee is involved in has 12-Steps or any literature pertaining to the group, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to educate the sponsee about the steps or literature. In order to foster open communication and a sense of friendship, many sponsors give their sponsee their personal phone number.
How Often Do Sponsors Meet With Their Sponsees?
In reality, there isn’t a set number of times a sponsor and sponsee must meet. This is because there are no real guidelines explaining how the relationship should work, just that the sponsor should support and guide the sponsee through their treatment. This means that the number of times you meet with your sponsee will be catered to that relationship. Some sponsors and their sponsees talk every single day while others only talk once or twice a week. Some sponsors are free to talk whenever, while others set specific hours during which the sponsee can call them. How many times the two meet and for how long will have to be discussed between the sponsor and sponsee.
What Are The Benefits of Becoming a Sponsor?
Being a sponsor leads to multiple benefits both for the person taking on the role and those around them. For you, being a sponsor will help improve your self-esteem in recovery and give you a sense of purpose. You will develop more strength in your own recovery as you help others to stay sober. Benefits for others include having access to someone—who has also gone through addiction and conquered it—who can guide them on their own sobriety journey. Only those that have gone through addiction themselves will be able to properly help someone in early recovery, and a sponsor is perfect for that if they are a recovering addict themselves. They will understand how to properly cope with relapse triggers, have sober resources to offer, and more.
How Do You Know If You’re Ready to Be a Sponsor?
You most likely have your own sponsor if you have gone through a 12-Step program of some kind. If you believe you are ready to take on the role of a sponsor for someone else, ask your own sponsor if they believe you are ready. If they indicate that they believe you would make a good sponsor and are ready to start helping other recovering addicts, this could mean that you are ready to become a sponsor.
Another way to know you are ready to become a sponsor is your drive to give back to the addiction recovery community and help out those in need. If you are stable in your own recovery and feel good enough to help others, it would be pointless to waste this gift and drive. It is a natural feeling to want to help others in ways that you were helped when you were struggling. If you have completed most or all of the twelve steps of the program and your sponsor agrees that you are ready, then it could be time to sign up to be a sponsor for others.
How To Become a Sponsor
When you want to become a sponsor, you may be wondering about the proper steps to make it happen. However, there really aren’t any guidelines or educational training to be done. Depending on the program, the only guideline is typically a true desire and drive to help those recovering from addiction and taking time to guide those that need help along their journey to recovery. There are some underlying requirements though, such as living a sober life. You cannot use alcohol or drugs because you set the example for your sponsee and others to follow. Lead the way by example and provide support when needed, that is how you can become a sponsor. Ask your sponsor or other members of the support group for any further specific information.
At Northstar Transitions, we believe that aftercare in recovery is crucial to maintaining your sobriety. One way to look after yourself after addiction treatment and to hold yourself accountable is by going to a local support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other similar ones. After attending meetings for a while, you may consider becoming a sponsor to someone in the support group. This has a ton of benefits both for your sobriety and the sponsee’s sobriety. You can use your experiences in addiction and in recovery to help someone else join sober life. Talk to group members or your own sponsor to see the specifics of becoming a sponsor and helping others. You can also call us at (303) 558-6400 with any questions or concerns you may have. By giving your time to the recovery community, you can boost your confidence and love for sobriety even more.