The 12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a powerful protocol that has helped millions get rid of their addictions. The twelfth step mentions that it is incumbent on those who have benefited from the program to help others attain sobriety and kick addiction. If an addict can successfully traverse the first eleven steps then there is every possibility that he has reached this far under the guidance of a sponsor.
While reaching the twelfth step is an achievement, it is actually the beginning of a lifelong vigil. You need to keep your guard up against a relapse. This is the only way to ensure that you remain away from addictions. It also means that you have reached the stage where you are in a position to give back to society by helping an addict get a grip on his life and successfully cross each step of the 12-Step program. You now have the spiritual wherewithal to deal with life post addiction. You have the experience and wisdom to be a beacon of inspiration for struggling addicts and it is your duty to make use of these attributes. Remember, you were able to pull yourself out of the morass of addiction because there was a sponsor to hold your hand, encourage you, and guide you. There are many who can be saved. You need to reach out to them.
As someone who has benefited from the presence of a sponsor, you have an idea of the responsibilities of one. However, your knowledge is from the perspective of the receiver. You need to have a clear understanding of how to execute the role of a sponsor and set a good example, be available for counseling and advising, and be there to lend a shoulder when an addict is going through a crisis of affirmation and struggling, for example, during the withdrawal phase.
You need to manage your personal affairs such that you are there when the addict needs you. You cannot predict the severity or urgency of the addict’s need for your assistance and guidance. The addict you sponsor will come to depend on you to help him steer through the most difficult phases of addiction. You have to be mentally prepared and committed to the responsibility. Once you have introduced the addict to other members of an AA or NA group, they can pitch in. This collective effort will have a salutary effect on the physical and mental health of the recovering addict. For this to happen, you must encourage the addict to attend group meetings and interact with other recovering addicts.
There isn’t a rulebook on sponsorship; however, there are certain unwritten and unspoken rules. One rule of thumb is that men should sponsor only men, and the same rule applies for women. Exceptions to the rule can be made. But generally, this rule is followed. Another important dictum is that you simply must be there for the addict you are sponsoring. If, for some reason, you are unavailable, ensure that there is somebody to take your place. You don’t turn to the addict you’re sponsoring for help or solace, you have your sponsor for that.
The act of sponsoring strengthens your resolve to stay sober and helps you stay the course.
If you are an addict or know someone who is looking to free himself from the grip of an addiction, then the Villa Treatment Center can help you regain health and happiness. Call at 1-818-639-7160 and our experienced and empathetic admissions coordinator will inform you about the program.