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How to Choose a 12-Step Sponsor

Choosing a sponsor is one of the most important things to do when you start on your recovery journey. While you’re in treatment, you’ll begin to connect with others in recovery. Selecting your sponsor can be challenging when you’re in a treatment environment. After all, you are usually limited by the AA and NA meetings you choose to attend.

The good news is that it’s not a big deal if you change sponsors. If you’ve outgrown your sponsor or have trouble getting ahold of them, it’s time to consider a new person.

Whether you’re choosing a sponsor for the first time or selecting a new one, here is some guidance for choosing a sponsor.

Tips for Choosing a Sponsor

  1. Choose somebody who is the same gender or sexual orientation. Many people make the mistake of choosing somebody that they may have an attraction to. This can complicate the relationship and cloud judgment. It’s recommended that you don’t have a romantic relationship in your first year or so in recovery. Being able to relate without having a physical attraction or emotions cloud either person’s judgment is important.
  2. Do you want what they have? Choosing a sponsor who works a recovery program that inspires you is crucial. They may not be living their dreams, but choose somebody who is actively working a program and toward their goals.
  3. Do they have enough time for you? Make sure that they don’t have a lot of “sponsees” and that they are available to you if you need them.  Are they available via text and phone calls? Ask what times are best to check in.
  4. Who is in their support network? A sponsor should have an active recovery program with supportive people in their network. When you become a sponsee, you join a family of other people in recovery. A healthy relationship helps you build a recovery program and support network.

Choosing a sponsor can be scary at first. Opening up to others in recovery helps you change your life and begin healing. In recovery rooms, you’re often told to “take what you need and leave the rest.” If you don’t feel supported by your sponsor, or you think that you need to switch, don’t worry. People in recovery change sponsors for many reasons. Your recovery is about you and your own needs.

Sober Living

Sober living homes can be an important step in transitioning back to the “real world” after treatment. Living in a recovery home helps you focus on yourself and your recovery in a supportive environment.

Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.

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