Now that you are nearing the end of your time in treatment, you are probably excited to get back to society and “real life”. You should be anticipating a return to some sense of normalcy in your life, but it is very important you stick to your commitment to sobriety as you transition back to more independent living. As part of this commitment, it is imperative you find and begin working with a sponsor within your preferred 12 step fellowship. Let’s go over why sponsorship is such a crucial part of a recovering addict’s success in sobriety.
A sponsor’s primary responsibility is to guide you through the twelve steps of recovery. The twelve steps are the prescribed treatment for alcoholics and addicts which have given millions of people the gift of lasting recovery from a hopeless state of mind. The sooner you find and begin working with a sponsor on your steps, the quicker you will begin to unburden yourself of the baggage which led you to develop a substance abuse disorder. Without the help and support of a sponsor, your attempts at lasting sobriety will most likely be in vain, as you will struggle to successfully complete the steps in a thorough and healthy manner.
A sponsor is also an excellent source of advice, support, and guidance in our lives in early recovery. Most of us have developed some unhealthy instincts and behaviors in active addiction, and many of these patterns carry over into our early sobriety. Your sponsor is a great person to bounce your ideas and thought processes off of, as they will be able to call you on any unhealthy thinking and decision making before you act rashly and do harm to yourself and your recovery. Obviously this benefit is dependent on your willingness to maintain a policy of honesty and full disclosure with your sponsor - just remember, your sponsor wants nothing more than to help you achieve lasting sobriety, they are not out to pass judgement on you for your thoughts or behaviors! Do not hesitate to talk to your sponsor about anything going on in your life or mind, especially during your early recovery.
A healthy relationship with a sponsor is a major component of any solid recovery program. Your sponsor will become a major force for good in your life, guiding you through the steps, advising you on any major life decisions, and meeting you with compassion wherever you are in your recovery. For those in early sobriety, it may be intimidating to ask someone to take you on as a sponsee - do not let these feelings get in your way! Sponsoring newcomers is a joyful undertaking for those in the rooms of 12 step recovery, and anyone serious about sobriety would be more than happy to assist you in your journey through the program. So, for those about to leave treatment, make a commitment to yourself and to your recovery peers to get a sponsor within the first week of departing treatment so you can begin working towards a happy, joyous, and free life in sobriety!