It’s completely normal to feel scared about the prospect of private rehabilitation treatment coming to an end. After all, this is when most people experience obstacles and temptations. But there is plenty of help out there – one of these being local meetings in the community like Alcoholics Anonymous.
A close-knit group of recovered and recovering addicts, here there is what’s known as a sponsor system. In this blog, we explore exactly what is meant by an addiction recovery sponsor and highlight why you might find it beneficial.
What is an Addiction Recovery Sponsor?
If you go to either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, you’ll meet a range of people at different stages of their recovery journey. Those who have been in recovery for more than a year sometimes take on the role of a sponsor. This is where they help other people through the 12 steps, offer advice and support, and answer any questions.
Sponsors are there for you to confide in – whether you’ve brought up a particular concern at a previous meeting or not. Studies have also shown that working alongside a sponsor can be positive for your recovery. These are people who know exactly what you’re feeling as they’ve been there. They can offer guidance and accountability and can help you to keep on the path to recovery.
What’s more, some experts believe that having a sponsor at an event or local programme results in better attendance at meetings and an increase in involvement.
How Can I Find an Addiction Sponsor?
The best way to find an addiction sponsor is to attend one of the local meetings and ask. Sometimes, sponsors will make themselves known at the start and end of the meeting. Other times, you can speak to the group leader and let them know that you’re looking for a sponsor.
You may have already connected with someone in the group, who has been in recovery for longer than you. Feel free to ask them if they would be interested in becoming your sponsor but don’t take it personally if they say no. Being a sponsor is a hugely rewarding experience but it also brings a number of responsibilities that certain individuals may not feel ready for.
Choosing the Right Sponsor
Finding someone to be your sponsor is a big deal and it can feel daunting to go up to someone to ask them. Just remember though that you’re all at the meeting for the same reason. It may even be that they benefited from a sponsor at the start of their addiction recovery journey.
It goes without saying that you need to feel completely comfortable with your sponsor. The idea is that you can open up to them and discuss your fears, concerns and challenges in a safe place with someone who has been there before. As you’ll be spending time with your sponsor, it can be useful to look for qualities in their personality that you admire. Perhaps they’re friendly, a good listener, or maybe they’re funny.
There are a few other considerations that can help you to find the right sponsor for you:
How much time do they have?
Do you relate to what they say?
Does this person already have a lot of sponsors?
How long have they been in recovery?
How open are they about their journey?
If you find that you and your sponsor don’t click, that’s completely fine too and you will be able to change sponsors. However, by using the questions above and getting to know everyone in the group, you’re more likely to make a first decision that works.
Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps
Popular all over the world, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) programme is centred around the idea that an alcoholic who doesn’t drink can help those who are at the beginning of their recovery journey. Meetings take place regularly, where a recovered alcoholic will share their story and journey to sobriety as well as how they’ve found AA and their advice.
Built around 12 steps, members are asked to attend meetings and read certain literature to help them to come to terms with their drinking and get onto a path to recovery.
This is often where people find their sponsor, and it can be a great support system to have in the months following your completion of private rehab. It is a great resource for anyone who is searching for help and support during the difficult stages of withdrawal and adapting to a life with substance abuse to drugs or alcohol.
The 12 Steps which were designed by Alcoholics Anonymous is also part of the treatment programme which is followed at Ocean Recovery.
During rehab at Ocean Recovery, you have access to offsite fellowship sessions weekly to build up a support system and make you comfortable with the format once you have finished your addiction treatment.
How an AA Sponsor Can Help You
Whether you’re visiting an AA group as part of your recovery after rehab or want to give it a go before going to an addiction recovery treatment centre, an AA sponsor can give you a lending hand throughout the whole process. After all, recovery can be daunting and it’s not always a straightforward road. But, with the right people around you, it is possible.
A sponsor can make a huge difference in your recovery process and can often help people avoid a relapse. Even if it doesn’t seem like something you would ordinarily choose, finding an addiction recovery sponsor is an extremely beneficial thing that may be the difference in achieving your long-term recovery.
If you have any questions about AA or perhaps want to see what treatment is available in your local area, why not get in touch with our friendly team today? With Ocean Recovery, you don’t need to do this alone. Call us on 0800 880 7596 for advice.
John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.
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