If you’re recovering from addictions, you’re probably considering joining a 12-step program. And there are many benefits of doing so — sobriety rates double for those who attend 12-step and AA meetings compared to those who don’t.
12-step meetings offer many tools and resources for those struggling with addiction. These resources ensure the treatment is effective, and you’ll live a life free from substance abuse.
A 12-step sponsor is a perfect example of this. They will act as your mentor throughout the entire treatment process. But what is a sponsor? And do you need one?
Here’s more information about the 12-step sponsor and how they will help your recovery.
Why Join a 12-Step Program?
Before talking about 12-step sponsors, let’s cover the importance of a 12-step program.
A 12-step program gives you the tools to have a fulfilling life after recovery. These programs also give you the tools to develop better habits that will result in your recovery. Many people also love 12-step programs because they offer support and a connection with others.
What are the 12-steps? First, you’ll have to admit your addiction — whether to a higher power or yourself. From here, you go through each step that takes you to different areas of yourself and your life that brought you to substance abuse.
Overall, a 12-step program is an introspective journey that aims to address your shortcomings and makes you understand your problems. From here, you can make amends to loved ones, understand how your substance abuse issues affected others around you, and come to an awakening.
A common 12-step myth is they’re rooted in religion. While many aspects of 12-step are spiritual, you can use this program in any way you see fit.
What Is a 12-Step Sponsor?
A sponsor is one component in your recovery. They’re simply a mentor for you and will guide you through recovery.
What makes a 12-step sponsor unique is that they have also recovered and no longer use alcohol and drugs. Most sponsors have also been in the community for years. Because of this, they know the 12 steps very well.
Every relationship between sponsor and sponsee is unique, so it’s difficult to say exactly what you can expect. Your sponsor will base their mentorship on your individual needs and struggles.
Overall, the goal of the sponsorship program is for you to have a deep connection with your sponsor and for them to provide great value to your recovery, both in and out of meetings.
What a Sponsor Can Do for You
Are you unsure of whether or not a sponsor is right for you? Here are the many duties of sponsors and how they will benefit your recovery.
Guide You Through the 12 Steps
Sobriety isn’t easy to achieve, and your sponsor knows this better than anyone. That’s why they aim to guide you through the 12 steps.
Again, all sponsors have a different dynamic with their sponsees, so this type of support is different for everyone.
Overall, the sponsor will teach you the rules of the program and will inform you what is required in each step. They will also make sure you know what to expect with each meeting, such as the group’s lingo, ideas, and customs.
Will Keep You Grounded
It’s easy to slip while you’re in recovery. You may get back in touch with old friends and could even pick up your habit again. A sponsor is unique because they keep you grounded. They will notice a relapse and will confront you about it.
However, sponsors also understand the challenges associated with recovery. They will keep you accountable but will also support you. This leads us to our next point.
They Will Show They Care
Sponsors will show their support outside of meetings. They will grow to care about you, and you two will likely become close.
There’s a reason why. Sponsors know firsthand that you can’t go through sobriety alone. They will get to know you, will be there to talk when needed, and will overall be a presence in your life outside of meetings.
That’s why a sponsor is a great person to have in your life. You can ask them questions and advice, such as about physical and mental health. They will offer practical support as well as emotional guidance when you need it the most.
However, sponsors know you can’t fully depend on them for your recovery. You have to find that from within. That’s why your sponsor will also set boundaries.
They Will Provide an Example
A sponsor is unique from your family and friends. They have been on the same path as you, so they know what to expect and how to achieve sobriety. Your sponsor has been through all of the challenges that you have been through.
Because of this, they’re a valuable asset during your recovery. You can always rely on them for guidance and support. Don’t be surprised if you see your sponsor as a source for your inspiration.
Trust and Support
There’s nothing more than a person in recovery needs is a shoulder to cry on. Your sponsor is someone you can trust. They understand what you’re going through and will be there for you when you need it. There’s no reason for you to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed sharing your personal struggles.
In addition, everyone goes through their own unique challenges during recovery. You can always communicate this to your sponsor. Remember — your sponsor went through the same thing.
Because of this, you will develop trust in your sponsor. Oftentimes, this trust creates a secure bond that you will have with your sponsor after several years — even long after you recover.
Will Encourage You to Stay on the Path of Recovery
Overall, your sponsor will ensure you complete your meetings and that you continue staying on the path of recovery. If, for example, you’re giving up and are no longer interested in attending meetings, your sponsor will give you the push you need.
Other Treatment Options Are Available
While a 12-step sponsor will help you in recovery, there are other options available. Therapy is another effective treatment for substance abuse recovery. If you’re in San Diego, click here to see our different therapy services.