One of the fundamental keys to working a successful 12-Step program of recovery is obtaining and utilizing a trustworthy sponsor. If you are totally new to AA, you may be wondering what a sponsor is or what a sponsor does. In its simplest form, a sponsor is an alcoholic/addict who has worked the 12 steps of AA, and is willing to share his or her experience with a newcomer on a continuous, individual basis. Ideally, a sponsor should take the newcomer, or “sponsee,” through the 12 steps of AA, and afterwards, continue to be a source of wisdom and accountability for many years to come.

That being said, it is important that the newcomer show initiative on the front-end; first by finding a sponsor, and then by regularly reaching out to that sponsor. Sponsors shouldn’t have to chase sponsees down to force them to work the steps, or to call and check-in. In this way, we take responsibility for our own sobriety. Many of us learned the hard way that we can’t stay sober if we rely on others to do the hard work for us.

So how do we choose our sponsors? We select another member of AA with whom we feel comfortable, and to whom we can talk openly and honestly. I’ve heard it said that we should choose someone that we admire in sobriety, someone who “has what we want.” Because of this, it’s often helpful to choose someone who has a similar past experience or upbringing to ours. If we are able to identify with certain parts of our sponsors’ stories, we are more likely to glean wisdom from it. Some choose sponsors based on their beliefs in a higher power. Most members of AA complete their 5th Step with their sponsor, so it is paramount that our sponsors be trustworthy.

If you are new to the recovery community, the task of finding a sponsor may seem impossible. But if you are a resident of Lakewood Recovery, rest assured that you will be given all the support you need to obtain the best sponsor for you. The staff at Lakewood is well-connected to many sober men who are ready and willing to take on new sponsees if the circumstances warrant. If you have already picked a sponsor but have decided, for whatever reason, that you cannot trust or be honest with that person, Lakewood can help keep you accountable during the tricky transitional period between sponsors. Whatever the scenario, your continued sobriety and well-being is Lakewood’s #1 concern.

***For Questions and Answers on Sponsorship promulgated by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, see https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf.

By Dana M.

Call Zach For Availability (214) 462-5619