How to get a Sponsor

In recovery, learning to live life on life’s terms is a big part of the struggle. To get help, you admit that you’re powerless over your addiction (as well as people) and you decide you’re willing to try something new. Treatment teaches you a lot about yourself, your triggers and your defects. Working on these things a day at a time can help you slowly gain more control over your life. Meetings help you connect with others and learn about other people’s experiences. But nothing can take the place of a recovery sponsor. A sponsor is a person who will help you work the 12 steps.

Choosing a Sponsor

Choosing a sponsor isn’t a complicated process. Usually, you’ll want to select somebody of the same gender because there are certain things you might not feel comfortable confiding in the opposite sex. If you are LGBT choose whoever you feel most comfortable with. They should have at least a year sober, preferably more. And they should be able to dedicate some time to help you as you learn more about sobriety and working the twelve steps.

The best way to begin your search for a sponsor is by going to many 12-step meetings and listening to people. Who has a message that appeals to you? Which person strikes you most as somebody you can learn from?

Speak to your potential sponsor after a meeting. Get their phone number and call them a few times before you ask them to be your sponsor.

If a Person Says “No” to Being a Sponsor

When a person says “no” to being your sponsor, don’t take it personally. Sometimes a person will sponsor several people at a time but can’t handle too many people. Or, they may have too many other responsibilities to handle right now.

Whatever the case, ask them if they can recommend somebody. You can get to know that person or choose somebody else.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to make a list of two or three people as potential sponsors. Even if a person says “no” to being your sponsor, they can still be a part of your support network.