Sunday, July 05, 2015

How to Approach a Sponsor

sponsors wanted

Guest Post by Joy Anderson

Find a Sponsor, Get a Sponsor, Call em!  But what the heck does that really mean??

When embarking on this journey of recovery we hear things like, “ find someone who has what you want.”  It takes a minute to find someone you can take the journey with. This is a really big deal,l what you are about to do - take these steps everyone keeps talking about. And trust me they will save your life.  You will be changing  a lot.  A lot of “stuff” is bound to come up.  Your sponsor needs to be someone you can relate to on some level and someone you trust. Sometimes we don’t always find the right sponsor right away.  

Sponsorship is Service

You hear someone share at a meeting.  You like what they said.  You go up to them after the meeting and get their phone #.  Now comes the tough part - actually calling them. You come home after a long day in your treatment program and think, “OK.  What do I have to do?”  It dawns on you that perhaps you should call your potential sponsor.  Great idea!  So, you pick up the phone, dial the numbers and they answer.  This might be a little awkward at first but a good sponsor will say “Hey!  I’m so glad you called!”

Sponsorship is Service
“ Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” (AA Big Book p.77)   

If someone isn’t excited about doing service for a newcomer then they aren't the sponsor for you! Then, there’s those people who will take your call but don’t do much talking. There’s a lot... of...silence.  Odd, Awkward Silence that seems to last a millennium even though you’re on the phone for 3 minutes. That’s ok, you never know - they could be your best bestie ever if you give it some time.

Just Do It!

It’s weird to go up to a total stranger - especially when we are so new at this - and ask for a phone number. A lot of people say that it sort of feels like asking for a number from someone you want a date with. But it’s not!  Just like everything else new that we are doing, it takes practice.  Let’s face it - they were in your shoes once too.  Just remind yourself of that and approach without fear.  You will never be truly rejected by a health participating member of any 12 step fellowship.  Having a lot of numbers in your phone that you call when things are good, not just when the proverbial SH!T hits the fan, are invaluable.  Don’t forget, having a support system that you are in touch with frequently is invaluable. Dial ‘em, don’t file ‘em!

I digress.  Back to the matter at hand. What was it? Finding a sponsor, right.  Okay, so really what I’m saying here is: early in your recovery you want to get out with others in recovery as much as possible, go to a lot meetings and LISTEN when people share.  Are they Honest, Open Minded, Willing? Does what they say make sense to you, do you relate to it? DO YOU LIKE THEIR MESSAGE OF EXPERIENCE STRENGTH AND HOPE?! Might be that you’re looking for a certain “attitude” or look on life. Whatever.  Don’t think about it too much just get a number and plan to hang out.

A sponsor will be someone who...

  •         has more sober / clean  time than you do
  •      has worked the 12 steps in whatever fellowship you join
  •         is willing to meet talk to & meet you frequently
  •     can work with your transportation and location status

This recovery thing isn’t for people who want it, or even for people who need it.
It’s for people who DO IT.

addiction quote

A Little AA History Lesson:

In the earliest days of A.A., the term "sponsor" was not in the A.A. jargon.  Then a few hospitals in Akron, Ohio and New York began to accept alcoholics (under that diagnosis) as patients -- If a sober A.A. member would agree to "sponsor" the sick man or woman.  The sponsor took the patient to the hospital, visited him or her regularly, was present when the patient was discharged, and took the patient home and then to the A.A. meeting.  At the meeting, the sponsor introduced the newcomer to other happily non drinking alcoholics.  All through the early months of recovery, the sponsor stood by, ready to answer questions, or to listen whenever needed.