Sponsors are an integral part of any fellowship program of recovery and they deserve a certain level of respect. After all, they have agreed to work with you in discovering a solution so that you can achieve sobriety and feel better about yourself and the life you are rebuilding. With that said, here are 10 things you should never say about your sponsor.
#1. “My sponsor is such a know-it-all”
yeah, you probably shouldn’t say this about your sponsor
Um, your sponsor is supposed to know a few things more than you when it comes to the steps and working a program of recovery. Remember, you asked this person to be your sponsor because you saw something in them that you want for yourself. So, be humble and willing to accept the suggestions they give you. Yes, they might not know everything but, when they aren’t sure, they turn to their sponsor or other trusted sober supports for ideas, and all for your sake. So appreciate it.
#2. “I don’t think my sponsor wants me to stay clean/sober”
It’s doubtful that anyone who is working a program of recovery – let alone your own sponsor – actually wants to see you fail at sobriety. We are all too aware that this is a disease that kills. Saying that your own sponsor wants to see you relapse, and possibly die, is simply crazy.
#3. “My sponsor hasn’t even gotten anyone through the steps”
This is totally unfair to say about your sponsor. It’s true that having a sponsor is necessary when working the steps but, no one can guarantee another’s success at maintaining sobriety. Plus, it takes a willingness as well as actual action on the sponsee’s part to complete the steps. A sponsor can’t just make someone do their steps.
#4. Every sponsee they’ve had has relapsed – I wonder what that says about them”
Again, totally unfair. No one can keep another person sober or clean. Relapse is unfortunately a part of the process for many and in fact there is quite a high percentage of people who do relapse, maybe more than once, before they maintain their sobriety for any good length of time.
#5. “My sponsor totally needs me more than I need him/her”
not a gif but too perfect not to use
It’s true that the sponsor/sponsee relationship is a symbiotic one, meaning that both of you benefit from it. However, thinking and saying something like this shows that your ego is still totally in control of you. Please. Get humble.
#6. “My sponsor just doesn’t get it”
Saying things like that your sponsor didn’t run as hard as you and just doesn’t understand shows complete ignorance on your part. Maybe they didn’t use the drugs you did or maybe they snorted heroin and you were an IV user. The point is, none of that matters. We all have the same thing in common: we felt an inner void or emptiness that we tried to fill with drugs or alcohol. And now we have a solution. Your sponsor simply wants to share this solution with you.
#7. “My sponsor is a jerk”
Maybe your sponsor is hard on you. This is probably because you need someone to be hard on you. Again, you asked them to be your sponsor for a good reason. And they didn’t have to agree to sponsor you. So, surrender to the process and trust.
#8. “My sponsor acts like their own Higher Power”
Unless your sponsor is really starting to go off the rails, saying something like this is again your ego taking over. It’s doubtful that any sponsor is going to act like God. It might be your perception that they are but, remember, addiction is a disease of perception.
#9. “My sponsor doesn’t know what they’re doing”
Maybe you should just sponsor yourself then. Not really. That’s sarcasm. Maybe your sponsor doesn’t always have an answer right away but, they are committed to helping and supporting you. Sometimes sponsors are stumped by a situation or question you bring them. But, remember that your sponsor is only human. They will most likely turn to their own sponsor and other sober supports for input in helping you in your situation.
#10. Basically, don’t share your sponsor’s personal information
Just like you can expect that what you tell your sponsor will stay between the two of you, you should keep your sponsor’s confidence.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.