As you begin your sessions with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), it is crucial that you have a fantastic sponsor in your corner who can help you stay sober for the long haul. Their role in your recovery includes making their experience and wisdom available to you so that you can maintain a solid sobriety. These individuals are often extremely beneficial throughout the process of AA, making it incredibly important that you partner up with someone who is willing to provide you with their best efforts.
Things to Look for in a Sponsor
Sponsors will serve as your right-hand man during your recovery process and your time spent in AA, therefore you want to make sure that he or she is prepared and willing to put forth their best efforts before placing your expectations on them. Some of the most important things to look for in your sponsor can include:
- Listening skills – Often times the most beneficial thing that your sponsor can do for you is to listen to your struggles associated with trying to maintain your sobriety. By providing an ear, he or she can help you blow off steam pertaining to your challenges and help you talk through any and all of your concerns.
- Experience – It is hugely important that your sponsor is experienced in this particular area, whether they have struggled with addiction themselves or have gained knowledge in this particular area of concern. Through their experience, you can begin learning how to curb your cravings and prevent relapse by taking heed to their past experiences. Learning from them can prevent you from having to learn the hard way through your own pitfalls.
- Availability – A sponsor should always be readily available to talk and/or meet with you when you need, so it is crucial that you enlist the help of someone who is not overly busy, travels all the time, or has previous engagements that will take up a majority of his or her time. Their job is to be there for you when you need, regardless of the day and time.
- Accountability – Your sponsor should be prepared to tell you when you are slipping without feeling uncomfortable bringing it up. He or she should hold you accountable for your actions and work to keep you on the straight and narrow by calling you on your mistakes or behaviors that can lead to a relapse.
It is important that your sponsor not only displays all of these characteristics, but also that he or she is willing to do so gladly. You should be careful to stay away from sponsors who feel as though they have to participate in the program rather than want to participate. Their dedication levels should match yours, and by looking for these key qualities, you can enlist the help of a sponsor who will help you succeed far past your expectations.