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What to look for in a sponsor

Choosing a sponsor is like choosing your best friend. Sometimes it just happens and sometimes it's planned, but there is always something about the other person that attracts us to them. Picking a sponsor can seem scary and intimidating at first. It is our hope that these suggestions may ease this process a bit for you.

Some recovery groups have a list of available members who have volunteered to help the newcomer as "Temporary Sponsors". Temporary Sponsors can ease our transition in several ways, they can answer questions, explain the concepts of the program and terms, saying and other essential items in such a way that helps us to understand. Some "temp sponsors" become primary sponsors, but many are replaced by someone else in time.

The best advice that was shared to us when we were looking for a sponsor was to attend 90 meeting in 90 days. This has a two-fold affect, the first is it will show you are serious about the program, the second it will allow you 90 days to meet and greet those in the group with you. While attending the meetings listen to the person sharing. Hear and see what they have to offer.

As you make friends in the group, ask them who they think would be best for you often we can't see ourselves clearly but those whom we meet can and can best guide us to the best sponsors.

Some factors to consider in choosing a sponsor

• Has what we want

• Lives the solution not the problem

• Walks the Talk in all his / her affairs

• Has a sponsor themselves

• Emphasizes the steps and traditions of the program

• Has more time in recovery than we do

• Has worked more steps than we have

• Is available for telephone calls and personal meetings

• Emphasized the spiritual aspect of the program

• and lastly IS THE SAME GENDER TYPE as you.

These are only a few of the many suggestions to look for that people have used to aid in selecting an appropriate sponsor for themselves. The main thing to look for is openness, can you talk to them openly. The program is most beneficial when we can be 100% honest with our sponsor about even the most intimate of things.

Another list that has been widely published and passed around is the following:

Twelve Qualities of Sponsorship

• I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.

• I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.

• I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more excited, less sensitive, freer to become the authority for your own living.

• I can not give you dreams or "fix you up" simply because I can not.

• I cannot give you growth or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.

• I can not take away your loneliness or your pain.

• I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.

• I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.

• I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I can not get close to you when you choose not to grow.

• When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.

• You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and "hang in there" with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.

• If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.


Ernie R.

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