A Personal Account:
12-step recovery programs strongly encourage having a sponsor.
So, what is a sponsor and do I need a sponsor? A sponsor is someone what has worked the 12-steps of a recovery program and is there to help someone else do the same thing. It is very logical. I cannot expect to know how to work a program of recovery if I have no experience. If I am in a business field, I would want to consult with someone who has success I can learn from. A relationship with a sponsor is something much deeper.
Often times, addiction leads to isolation, self-doubt and fear if recovery can even work. A sponsor is referred to as “a closed mouth friend” that you can to open up to about the path that led you to where you are. They understand the path you are on and can offer guidance and support through the process.
Getting sober was a scary, confusing and necessary path to take.
There were a lot of emotions and regrets attached to a life of addiction. My sponsor was there to literally hand hold me through this new way of life. As funny as it seems, there are many common experiences among alcoholics. He understood the feelings that I never fit in, the need to try to manipulate life so I could figure out to survive in it. As we worked the steps together, I was able to open up and discover the things about me that fed my addiction. Understanding me through the relationship with my sponsor unlocked the door to freedom. My sponsor is someone I can be honest with. There has never been judgement about my past or even my present. He is there on a daily basis as I navigate a new life in recovery.
Recovery is literally discovering a new way to think and act in every aspect of life.
As life just happens, and I no longer rely on alcohol, my sponsor is my sounding board. Many times the conversations are “I have never done this (insert anything about life, the first holiday without alcohol, the first major decision about finances, or relationships) before becoming sober, I just do not know how.” He is there to guide and offer his experiences. My relationship with my sponsor is truly the first healthy relationship I have ever had, at 49 years old. I do not have to hide behind my past or the struggles of my present. Do you think you need a sponsor? Hands down, the answer is, yes.