After the years of secrecy and isolation that characterized your active addiction, a central component of addiction recovery is learning to ask others for help. A recovery sponsor can play an essential role in providing the nonjudgmental support and understanding you need to continue making progress with your sobriety. But how do you find the sponsor who’s a good fit for you?
Where to Meet Potential Recovery Sponsors
The best place to meet your possible future recovery sponsor is in your 12-step group. You’ll likely encounter plenty of other people in various stages of recovery. Ideally, your sponsor should be further along than you. For example, if you’re still in your first year of sobriety, reach out to a person with at least a year of progress under their belt. They’ll be able to provide you with a sense of perspective, having been through many of the same experiences and emerged on the other side.
It’s likely you’ll learn a great deal about yourself in the recovery process, but 12-step meetings are your opportunity to get to know other people well, too. Pay attention to their stories, and choose someone you feel you can look up to. You might initially feel awkward about approaching someone, but it’s likely the person you ask will feel honored that you chose them.
The Value of Different Viewpoints
Though many recovering addicts have similar stories of their time spent in addiction, that doesn’t mean everyone arrived at recovery from the same place. The disease of addiction can affect anyone, regardless of their personality, socioeconomic status, beliefs and ideals. With that in mind, consider choosing a recovery sponsor with a different background from yours. For example, someone of a different racial background or sexual orientation could provide you with a whole new way of looking at the world. Sometimes, getting outside your comfort zone is priceless.
Compatibility and Consistency Are Key
When working with a recovery sponsor, it’s ideal to have only one trusted person to serve in that role, instead of jumping around from one sponsor to the next looking for that ideal fit. To find someone who is compatible with you, it might help you to interview a few different people. It doesn’t have to be formal like a job interview would be. Instead, invite those who you feel might be good recovery sponsors to join you for a relaxed lunch or coffee meeting, and use it as a “getting-to-know-you” period. Feel free to ask questions that might give you a sense of their personality, but don’t pry.
It might take some time for you to find a sponsor who can provide the support, help, wisdom and guidance you need to recover from a substance misuse disorder, and that’s perfectly OK. There’s no rule that says the first person you ask will instantly be the right one. Indeed, some potential sponsors might turn you down if they feel they don’t have time or aren’t up to the task. Don’t get discouraged – the right fit will come along soon.
The Guidance You Need to Succeed
Recovery can be a challenging journey, but if you have the right support network – including a sober sponsor – you can reap the rewards of a substance-free lifestyle. At Segue Recovery Support, we provide transitional sober housing for people who need to extend their continuum of care past their discharge from an addiction treatment facility. Contact us to learn more about our philosophy and what we can offer you.