6 Characteristics of a Great Recovery Sponsor

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Finding a good sponsor can be an integral piece of the recovery journey. Accountability is one reason, but also it helps to walk through it together with someone who has been there and understands what it is like to be newly sober. Here are some tips for understanding what constitutes a great recovery sponsor.

 

Member of own sex

The goal of sponsorship is not an intimate relationship in the sense of attraction, rather it is about getting better in recovery. It can, in fact, be more distracting than helpful and by making sure that person is the same sex, it takes attraction out of the equation.

 

12 Steps

A good sponsor should have worked the 12 steps if that person is going to coach another individual through the process. The thing about sponsors is the knowledge and understanding of addiction can help offer guidance and support to another as long as that person is also committed to doing the work.

 

Sponsee

In order to be a good sponsor, that person should also have one for themselves. The individual should have accountability to an outside partner who assists with questions or concerns which arise within that person’s life. This indicates a willingness to follow another person and give up control which can help make the individual a great sponsor for someone else.

 

Truth

Growth comes from understanding the reality of what is rather than what it should be. A sponsor who is willing to risk the relationship by giving truth will be able to speak into that person’s life and offer guidance and wisdom but not hide what they really think is going on.

 

Service

A person who practices gratitude and service to others is a great example for an individual in recovery to follow. When possible, the sponsor should be setting a positive example by going into places with a message of hope about addiction and recovery for others, not just the person being sponsored. Perhaps it is answering phones, going to meetings in local jails, hospitals or treatment centers but it helps if the individual shows passion for spreading a good message to others.

 

Enjoys life

A sponsor who enjoys life is going to be more fun to be around but also demonstrates the ability to be generally happy without letting little things get overwhelming. Self control and experiencing joy in the everyday can be a great model to follow when in recovery.

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