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How Do I Find the Right Sponsor?

When you start a 12 Step program, you will eventually want to find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone else in recovery who can help guide you through the steps and get you through the rough spots. Although recovery is never exactly easy, having a good sponsor can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse. Here are some tips to find a good sponsor.

Don’t rush.

You don’t need a sponsor immediately. Taking the time to make a good choice will pay off in the long run. Go to a few different meetings and talk to some different people. It’s better to take a little extra time to make a decision than to end up with a sponsor you don’t get along with.

Avoid romantic entanglement.

Trust is important and you don’t want your relationship with your sponsor to be about anything except support and recovery. It’s best to make a choice that precludes any possibility of romantic interest from your side or theirs.

Find someone who is strong in recovery.

This means someone who has at least a year in recovery and ideally has completed the 12 Steps. The average sponsor has about 10 years in recovery. You want to find someone who is not only sober, but is happy to be sober. You don’t necessarily need someone to be a role model for every area of life, but you want someone whose recovery is something you aspire to.

Find someone you get along with.

Keep in mind this is a person you may have to call when you feel depressed, anxious, scared, lonely, or tempted, so you want your sponsor to be someone you feel comfortable talking to. The last thing you want is to know you really should call someone but you really dread having to talk to your sponsor. Many people feel reaching out is difficult enough without having to reach out to someone they don’t particularly like.

That said, you’re looking for a sponsor, not a friend. You want a sponsor you respect and trust, not a buddy to hang out with. If you get a bad vibe from someone, or if don’t quite click for whatever reason, cross that person off the sponsor list and keep looking.

Find someone who will be honest with you.

As important as it is to find someone you feel comfortable talking to, there’s no point of having a sponsor who isn’t honest with you. It’s hard to be honest with yourself, especially when confronting difficult emotions and past mistakes. You want someone who can hold you accountable without being judgmental. Ideally, you want someone who can help you be honest with yourself.

You can change sponsors if you want.

You aren’t married to your sponsor. If the relationship is not working, you can just find another sponsor. The test is whether you are progressing in your recovery. If you are stalled and your sponsor can’t help, try someone else.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.