It can be empowering to finally make the decision to become clean and sober, but most addicts quickly realize that recovery is not something they can do all on their own. Even though they might feel strong in some respects, each person going through a treatment program needs someone they can rely on for their moments of weakness.
A sponsor is an important necessity for everyone in recovery because they can respond to the many questions, worries, and fears that can enter a person’s mind when they quit their addiction. Going through the ups and downs of recovery is too difficult without a support system and the valuable advice of someone who has been through it all and survived.
The relationship between a sponsor and their sponsee is beneficial to both people because the sponsor will have the opportunity to provide service to others which is another important facet of recovery. Sponsorship has been a part of the recovery community for decades and has proven over time to be an effective and indispensable aspect of getting sober.
Empathy from a Sponsor
A sponsor’s major role is to be a stable and reliable mentor to someone who is going through the early stages of recovery. They take on a sense of responsibility of making sure the person they sponsor remains drug-free and sober.
A sponsor can never do the work for them or force them to take sobriety more seriously but their opinions and advice can be a strong positive influence on the recovery experience. The relationship a person has with a sponsor has special value because they both understand deeply what it means to have an addiction.
Not all therapists have had their own personal experience with being addicted to a drug but sponsors have been through many of the same problems, ups, and downs, and have overcome all of them to be a stable sober individual. They serve as an example of what it means to get through recovery and provide people they sponsor with hope for the future.
The Duties of a Recovery Mentor
Sponsors are there to help provide someone with tools to remain sober and their presence helps to prevent relapse. Whenever an addict in early recovery feels tempted to drink or use drugs again they can call their sponsor for support.
The sponsor is always available to them and knows what they are feeling at that moment because they have been there before. A sponsor can also guide someone into the right programs or meetings that will help them stay on track after completing rehab. They can encourage people to attend meetings, drive them to meetings when necessary, or make sure that they join in with group activities or events.
The sponsor can help facilitate connections with people in a twelve-step or other type of support group by introducing their sponsee and finding people they have common interests with. Their role is to help show them how to be in a supportive environment that is more conducive to remaining sober. They can also stress the importance of certain ideas or skills that are introduced through a recovery program.
Although some people might believe that they are capable enough to handle their recovery on their own, a sponsor can fill many roles and be a valuable addition to their treatment program. A sponsor can become someone to admire and care for but they also can provide structure and discipline to the process of recovery. Having someone to “answer to” is a powerful motivator and people often don’t want to disappoint their sponsors by neglecting their recovery work.