One of the most frequently asked questions by newcomers attending 12-step meetings (AA, NA or GA) is “How do I find a sponsor?”
We’ve come up with some suggestions about this process.
- Go to as many different meetings as you can in the first 30 days or so.
- Go to a few same-sex meetings, if possible. It’s best to choose a sponsor who is the same gender as you.
- Go early and stay late after the meeting. Introduce yourself to a few people…this takes a little courage, but you can do it!
- Listen carefully to the sharing. Take note of the people you are relating to.
Keep in mind that the primary purpose of a sponsor is to take you through the steps. You’re not looking for a new best friend, a mommy, a therapist or a banker.
Most importantly, don’t drag it out. Your first choice may not last forever, but you need to make a decision and begin your step work.
Once you’ve made your choice, ask them if they would be able to sponsor you. Hopefully, they say yes!! Agree to meet for coffee or at a meeting. Have some questions ready regarding how they sponsor, their sponsor history, etc. Some guidelines:
- How long have they been sober?
- Do they have a sponsor and do they sponsor other people?
- Have they completed the 12 steps and have they taken other sponsees through the 12 steps?
- Discuss how often you will meet. Make sure you have their contact info.
Don’t be afraid of choosing a new sponsor when you feel you need to move on. The whole point of growing in sobriety is to change and as we get better, we may have different needs. A good sponsor will understand this.