An old group support saying suggests, "Stick with the winners." It's only reasonable to seek a sharing and experienced
member who seems to be working in a productive manor. There are no specific rules, but a good sponsor probably should be a
year or more away from the last relapse, and seems to be enjoying their recovery.
Should a Sponsor and Newcomer be as Much Alike as Possible?
Often, a newcomer feels most at ease with a sponsor of similar background and interests. Another physician or another
homemaker, another churchgoer or another agnostic, another Irish-American or another African-American. However, many say
they were greatly helped by sponsors who where totally unlike their own-self. Maybe that's because their attention was then
focused on the more important things such as what the sponsor and newcomer have in common: addiction and recovery.
Experience demonstrates that it is best for men to sponsor men and women to sponsor women. This custom usually promotes
quick understanding and reduces the likelihood of emotional distractions that might take the newcomer's mind off of their
What Should a Newcomer Expect From a Sponsor?
A sponsor should not provide any such services as those offered by a social worker, a doctor, a nurse, or a marriage counselor.
A sponsor is simply another recovering addict helping a newcomer solve one problem: How to stay free from the bondage of
addiction. A sponsor is often not a trained professional, but a person who explains their own personal experiences and makes
observations and offers suggestions.
More on What‘s a Sponsor?
A sponsor is someone who acts like a "guide" for you in your recovery program. Picture yourself about to journey into a very big
forest that is thick with trees, hills, streams and many paths...and on the other side of this forest is a beautiful valley that you
want more than anything to get to. But, you have no map, no compass, no experience and absolutely no tools to help you travel
through this forest. And, most everyone that you have heard of has tried to go this journey alone through the forest, but didn't
So, the choice becomes yours. You can either try to go through the forest alone, without any direction, or you can utilize the
experience of someone else who has been on the journey already, or you can continue wondering in the forest all by yourself,
its your choice.
However, if you look at your recovery in this way; With a sponsor you will find that the journey is going to be a lot less lonely
and in many ways easier for you. "When you don't know where you are going, it is much easier to follow than it is to lead!" You
will be back even deeper in addiction’s grip if you tell yourself; I can do this myself, or I don't want anyone telling me what to do,
or I can't find anyone that I can rely on or relate to, or I do not trust anybody and I'm not going to start now. This is complacency
at its best. You are looking for ways out. If you seek an excuse, one will be appointed to you without charge!
Because I lacked an understanding of the creational laws (due to my religious upbringing), finding a like minded sponsor was a
rather odd endeavor for me. However, when I let go and allowed a power greater than myself to control, my sponsor found me.
One day I used a key recovery phrase to an old acquaintance of mine. He then looked me in the eye and said you're one of
doctor Bob’s kids ain’t ya!
As we began further discussion, I asked him to help me to work the steps where we became friends and I began working on
accountability to another. I did not care for his desires, but after I learned to over look our differences, I surrendered to his care
where I discovered our similarities, and today I am very grateful that I did. This man’s personal life had been a real mess.
He was still struggling with a love affair with a young woman half his own age, but his understanding of the recovery program
was well intact. He then put my nose to the grind stone and, as long as I did not refused to give up on my-self, he refused to
give up on me.
Later I discovered that he was also the same sponsor of several of the people in my own group. The ironic part of all this was
that he lived thirty miles away from any of us, and he never came to our meetings. He always sat quietly in meetings causing
others to never realize that he was a recovery guru.
As ironic as it seems, I then found recovery, not in Sunday school, but rather, with a bunch of former dopers and drunks, most
of whom had grown up in the church! It was many years later that I discovered man-made religion was not created to set men
free, but rather was created to keep mankind enslaved to guilt, frustration and shame. And that if we seek Christness within,
rather than without, we are then free indeed.