How does one get a Sponsor?
The typical way is to ask a person to Sponsor you who has some of the personal and recovery attributes that you admire. It helps if the potential Sponsor has been clean and sober long enough to have worked the Steps of recovery. There are no specific rules for choosing a Sponsor, but an individual who is living life successfully and happily might be worth considering.
In order to select a Sponsor, it is best to attend as many meetings as possible, whether in-person, online or over the phone. Attending meetings consistently can help you get to know other MA members. You may hear from someone who is living a life of recovery that resonates with you, or someone may share in a meeting that they are available to Sponsor, then you could ask them if they are willing to Sponsor. Use the MA Meeting Finder to find meetings.
If you are having a hard time finding a Sponsor, request a Remote Sponsor.
Frequently Asked Questions
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How can I overcome shyness, procrastination, or the fear of imposing myself on another in selecting a Sponsor?
Getting a Sponsor is not like getting married; there is no long-term commitment. One can ask a person to be a temporary Sponsor, and see how the relationship develops. It is important to get beyond our fears of asking other people for help. It is indeed an honor for a person to be asked to be a Sponsor. We are not burdening others with our problems and fears of doing so should not be used as an excuse to avoid making a commitment.
Should a Sponsor be of the same gender?
Yes. In most cases this works best because it reduces the chances of emotional involvement and family complications that might arise. Often, the same-gender Sponsor will better understand our gender-related issues.
What if I want to change Sponsor?
Then do so. If you feel a different person can better enhance your recovery, then it is good form to gently let your current Sponsor know that you want to utilize the particular experience of another person and that you will be changing Sponsors. This is frequently done in 12-Step programs and many “long-timers” have had several different Sponsors.
How often should I contact my Sponsor?
This is up to you and your Sponsor. Many Sponsors ask newcomers to call them daily for the first month or two. If your Sponsor is away or can’t be reached, it is wise to call other members of the program. It is a good idea to call several people regularly in any case.
Must I do anything a Sponsor asks, or agree with whatever a Sponsor says?
No. If clarification is needed or disagreements emerge, then they should be discussed openly between the parties involved. Your recovery is your responsibility. You would be wise to heed your Sponsor or get another Sponsor with whom you can work. There is no rank in the program and the relationship between you and your Sponsor is one of trust and shared experiences.