The final step in the 12 step program focuses on practice of all the principles by giving something back. Reaching the twelfth step is an exciting milestone for an individual in recovery. It does not mean a person will never slip up or relapse, but the steps are most likely ingrained into a person’s mental and physical being so as to feel more capable of handling what life brings. Find out what it means to take the next step of becoming a sponsor for other addicts and how to get started in helping other individuals in recovery.
Role of Sponsors
The role of a sponsor is not always clear from the perspective of a person with addiction. A sponsor can be any of the following:
- A positive influence
- A counselor
- An advisor
- A crutch in times of need
- So much more!
As a sponsor, it is to be expected there may be times a person with addiction needs help. It is not possible to be available all of the time but a person with addiction needs to depend on a sponsor to be available for support, especially in the beginning stages of recovery. A sponsor will be responsible for introducing the newly recovering person with addiction to an AA or NA group. It is expected the sponsor will encourage the sponsee to attend meetings, read appropriate literature and work the steps.
Some rules of sponsorship apply in the relationship which are mostly unspoken. They can include the following:
- Sponsors should be of the same sex to be most effective
- Find someone else to support the person with addiction if it is not possible to be available
- Do not unburden oneself onto the sponsee
- Have a personal sponsor to provide support through one’s own recovery
To be effective, the longer a person is sober, the better able the individual is to handling one’s own recovery and that of another person with addiction. Patience and understanding are key when dealing with a sponsee as it is expected a great deal of time will get spent with the person. Coping with the ups and downs in recovery are hard and require support which is where a sponsor comes into the picture. Becoming a sponsor is an important step in an individual’s own recovery and is not just volunteer work. Sponsoring bolsters and strengthens one’s own sobriety. When acting as a role model for another person in recovery, it becomes less likely the individual will slip into old habits. Mutual accountability is one key to the process of recovery and staying sober.
Treatment programs help an individual get sober, but recovery sponsors can help a person stay sober. Sobriety is an individual’s responsibility but having support can help. If you need support for the journey of recovery, call The Villa to find out how we can help.