What Is a Sponsor and What You Should Look For In Them

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

We’ve all come across this term of support at some point or another. “Yeah, I’ve heard of them before. They’re like the guys that fund NASCAR and sports teams and such right”? Yes and no. This is a different type of backer altogether. Most of us enter the meetings of alcoholics anonymous and lack any clue what is entailed when told to start working a program. Like a baby taking its first couple of steps, we stagger confusedly into the rooms and start taking some suggestions from the people surrounding us. How does one go about becoming the enlightened sober support we’re told we have the potential to be? Who teaches us all of this sobriety wisdom you may be asking yourself? Ah, so this is where part of the life-changing answers begin. It starts with us we must admit. Spending our time complaining with no benefit and having an altered state of mind has brought us here. We are the product of our own devices, so in turn, this makes us the solution. Yet, we can’t solve the problem without the help of others. Nobody wakes up and rides a bicycle perfectly. Nobody goes to elementary school and understands times tables right from the get go. Not one person can get this sobriety thing down without the help of our fellow peers. So the resolution starts when we decide it’s high time to get rid of the high times and find ourselves a sober sponsor.

But Who?

Walking into some form of an anonymous meeting, knees shaking a little bit, and anxiety has picked up double time. You look around the room at who to befriend. Your heartbeat is rapid, and you kind of seem frozen in a state that resembles the “tin man” without his oil can. If eyes could indeed speak, what would yours say?  There’s so much to take in and the proceeding hour seems like it will last an eternity. Is it time to try and be a social butterfly? Who here looks like they know the lay of the land and have been around for a little bit? It’s all so much to take in at once. Somebody once told me in my beginning that to make it in recovery, you have to find a mentor of sorts to show you the ropes- but whom? This person went on to explain to me that it is necessary to discover somebody who will take you under their wing. Not only that, but you want to be attracted to this person in a way. No, I’m not at all suggesting a sexual connection of any sort. I’m referring that this person whom you will be asking to be your sober sponsor, has a way about themselves that you want to be like. This person has a life that we’ve dreamed about while tormenting ourselves in the grasps of addiction and alcoholism.

When we break it down, point blank, an Alcoholics Anonymous mentor is somebody who will happily and willingly walk you through the twelve steps. This person is meant to be somebody to bounce all our ideas off of- the good, the bad, and the ugly. God knows how many “ugly” ideas have floated into my cranium since I entered recovery. That’s natural though of course.

The idea is to also get in the habit of asking for help from others- as mentioned earlier. The term help can be favorably described as “to contribute to the effectiveness or improvement of something”. I mean, The Beatles preached this word repeatedly in one of their oldest most classic songs. It’s apparent in this world that for any form of higher learning, it does require assistance. As human beings, we are intelligent and adaptive creatures, but often we need a push in the right direction. Having some form of aid allows us to catalog the past actions of others and not be doomed to repeat the same mistakes some have made. A sober sponsor will lend a hand and show the sponsee what they did to get to the magnificent place their life resides in. Ideally, we want to find a sponsor that is of the same sex. It’s not mandatory, but it is recommended in order to avoid uncomfortable situations when proceeding through the steps. Somebody with some time they can give to others is always a plus. Oftentimes, somebody’s heart may be in the right place, but they do not have the free time necessary to be giving to another individual. This is an important factor to address with your new soon to be guide.

two girls reading together

Breaking the Barrier

Now we have a rough idea of the type of person we want teaching us the way. The next step is the one that seems to trip newcomers up. This is, of course, the act of asking somebody to be our sponsor. It immediately seems like an awkward situation, almost reminiscent of asking somebody out on a date. The fear of rejection shows up at the door and even the dilapidated thought of the relationship not being a good fit. Rest assured this is a normal reaction. Walking into a room of healthy ex-junkies and alcoholics can be intimidating for a multitude of reasons. In my experience, entering a meeting and seeing all these happy go lucky individuals puts the question in your mind of “how can they be so happy, yet I’m incredibly miserable”? This is a good thing though. Having this mindset is the level of attraction we look for in others. We want to be happy, sober, and free. We want to be able to smile and at the end of the day still feel like a productive member of society. Go ahead and take the leap and ask somebody to lead the way. In the end, our best thinking failed us and got us to this point- so what could hurt?

Are You Ready?

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to be able to find a sponsor and start working the twelve steps. It also takes an even more tremendous amount of courage to admit there is a problem and help is needed. Well as has been preached, help is all around you if you choose to receive it. Call 844-489-0836 or visit us at www.firststepsrecovery.com.com to speak with a specialist who will be more than thrilled to be of assistance in discovering a sponsor filled new way of life

Meet Our Team
Meet Our Team

From our certified therapists and nurses to our emotional support animal "Cooper", our entire team is dedicated to the health and success of our clients throughout our program and beyond.

Help Is Available. Speak With Someone Today.

Our admission team is available to help 24/7.
Skip to content