A Sponsor is a more experienced member in the program who guides the newcomer through the process of recovery. It is suggested that a sponsor have 1 year or more in the program, a period of sobriety, and some experience with working on steps.
A Sponsor need not have completed all 12 Stepsto take on a sponsee.
Is gender difference important?
Generally it is suggested that a sponsor should be of the same gender. It will help to avoid gender based communication problems. The newcomer to the program is quite vulnerable; for some of us this is the first time we have expressed our true feelings, our secrets or our fears. Experience shows that this new relationship with a member of the opposite gender could be misinterpreted and if acted upon could reduce chances for sustained recovery for both parties. Due to the nature of our addiction and to prevent triggering a sponsor of opposite gender may be inappropriate.
How do I pick a sponsor?
Some factors in picking a sponsor include:
– The sponsor has what we want for our recovery
– The sponsor we pick lives in the solution we want
– The sponsor has a sponsor
– The sponsor emphasizes the steps
– The sponsor has more time in recovery than we do
– The sponsor has worked more steps than we have
– The sponsor is available for telephone calls and meetings
– The sponsor emphasizes the spiritual aspect of our program and uses a higher power energized recovery
What if a sponsor says ‘no’ to my request?
The potential sponsor may be currently sponsoring as many people as he or she can handle. A sponsor who takes on too many sponsees does each of them (and himself or herself) a disservice. The person is not taking on new sponsees because of a heavy travel schedule, a planned move, or some other reason based on where he or she is in life or the program and recovery. After discussing the potential sponsorship, the person realizes the match would not be a good one. That conclusion is as much about the potential sponsor as it is about us. When potential sponsors reject our request for sponsorship, it is usually about them rather than about us. It is a privilege to sponsor someone. It is one of the ways we stay in recovery by honoring the 12th Step. What if my sponsor and I don’t agree?
Sponsors and sponsees may not always agree. Generally you should give some time and trial to the suggestions of your sponsor. Often what seems like a hard or tedious request may have long term benefit for your recovery. It is “working” the program.
What if my sponsor makes an unreasonable request?
Sponsors and sponsees are held together by mutual agreement. A sponsee can fire a sponsor for many reasons. Some of those reasons are:
The sponsor triggers the sponsee. The sponsor trys to 13th stepa sponsee.
A sponsor does not listen to the reasonable requests of the sponsee for time or for meetings.
A sponsor is not available to the sponsee for help or guidance. Remember your schedule and that of your sponsor may vary. Be mindful that sponsors have lives and obligations.
◊ ◊ ◊
Sponsors have taken on a 12th stepobligation when they take on sponsees. It is part of the sponsor’s healing and recovery to enter into service of this sort. There are 12 steps for a sponsor; a suggestion for spiritual guidance of a sponsee.