Special thanks to one of the fellows in our Texas in-person meeting for sharing his thoughts on Sponsorship. If you’d like to contribute to the men’s discussion with your strength, hope, and experience, email us today.
“I want to give away what I’ve got. I have to give away what I’ve got.”
“It’s the truth about myself-the imperfect truth–that attracts others; not all the preaching in the world.”
From the White Book
Why Be A Sponsor?
The best way for me to answer that question is to answer the question,
“Why Am I a Sponsor?”
Being a Sponsor is critical to and one more step in my recovery.
When my sponsor first suggested I consider being a sponsor I thought he was nuts.
How can I be a sponsor?
I was new to recovery and sobriety. I did not have a year sobriety. I had acted out for over 40 years.
During that time period I had made 3 months sobriety once until I joined SAL, got a sponsor and worked the program, steps and my recovery.
How could I be a sponsor? Clearly I was not good enough.
After a few conversations I agreed with my sponsor and I raised my hand in a meeting that I was available to sponsor. This has been helpful and critical for my sobriety and my recovery.
I hope I help my sponsees, but I know they help me.
Being a sponsor helps me with my recovery and has helped me with humility. I have had two sponsees go to other sponsors. They did not feel like I was helping them the way they needed.
Though this is humbling it is very important to remember as a sponsor, my recovery is mine and my sponsees recovery is theirs.
I say all the time: “Your recovery is yours, not mine.”
3 Common Objections to Being a Sponsor
Here are three objections I hear from men on being a sponsor.
- I do not have enough sobriety to be a sponsor.
- I have not gone through the 12 steps.
- I’m too busy.
From the White book, page 74.
“There are few absolute requirements a prospective sponsor should have, but a period of comfortable sexual sobriety, including progressive victory over lust, is surely a must.
“Another requirement is that he or she be ahead of us in working the Steps.”
In addition, you must have a sponsor to be a sponsor. Your sponsor can help you with being a sponsor.
How long is comfortable sobriety?
I think the best way to answer that is to ask your sponsor if he feels you are ready to sponsor. Sponsors, and this is critical, when you feel your sponsee is ready encourage them to become a sponsor.
For some I have seen this period be 30 days and for others 90 days and for others it may be a different period. 30 days is generally a minimum if for nothing else to build a cushion with step work between you and your sponsee so you can provide your own experience.
What about the too busy excuse?
As for I am too busy – what if your sponsor had said that? Silence the noise and be a sponsor to grow in your own recovery.
One thing I hear is you have to give back.
You have to be a sponsor. I am not much on mandating or being mandated to. In some ways this is how I got here.
I think being a sponsor is critical in my recovery, and I recommend all of us be a sponsor when we have the minimum requirements:
– comfortable period of sobriety (recommend you and your sponsor discuss but I feel this starts at 30 days)
– be ahead of your sponsee in the steps
– have a sponsor.
I did not mention you needed to be ready to be a sponsor as I am not sure I was “ready” and some of this requires a leap of faith. I am not a sponsor because I had to be, I am a sponsor because it is one more step that helps on my recovery.
I also get great joy, satisfaction and help in talking to other men about their recovery.
Will you take the sponsor challenge with me?
What is the sponsor challenge?
Meet the requirements above and raise your hand at your next meeting you are willing to sponsor.
For our discussion I have a challenge and two questions:
The Challenge: Do you accept the sponsor challenge?
- What is keeping you from being a sponsor?
- How has being a sponsor helped you in your recovery?