When it comes to being a sponsor in a 12-step fellowship, there are many things that are commonly known such as you have to finish your steps before you can sponsor others, guys with the guys and girls with the girls and to make sure the person you’re sponsoring will take others through the steps, too. We know a lot of these things but what are some things no one tells you about being a sponsor? I’ve created a list of 5 things no one tells you about being a sponsor.
5 Things No One Tells You about Being a Sponsor: Sometimes it’s okay to call your sponsee
When I first became a sponsor I thought that it was a big no-no to call your sponsee; but it turns out it is okay in certain circumstances to call your sponsee. If I’ve been sponsoring a girl long enough or I myself am going through a rough time I find it’s good to call them and keep contact. It’s nice to remind them that you think of them and see how they’re doing every once in a while, too.
5 Things No One Tells You about Being a Sponsor: There’s a chance your sponsee doesn’t want to be friends with you
I’ve found that with certain sponsees a great friendship develops right away and with others it is just about working the steps and being their sponsor. Some sponsees won’t want a friendship and just want you to be their sponsor and take them through the steps and that is okay. Being a sponsor is about taking people through the steps and if you end up being friends along the way then that’s great, too.
5 Things No One Tells You about Being a Sponsor: There’s also a chance your sponsee won’t even like you
It sounds crazy but your sponsee doesn’t even have to like you and they may not. I have a lot of friends in the program and have heard stories of people who genuinely didn’t like their sponsors but still kept them as sponsors and they both stayed sober. As long as they are honest with you and thorough about their steps then that’s all that really matters. Don’t take offense to it!
5 Things No One Tells You about Being a Sponsor: Treat your sponsees good because they could end up being your sponsor one day
There are no guarantees in sobriety and there is always a chance that someone you are sponsoring could end up being a sponsor to you one day. I’ve heard of people who sponsored someone and then they relapsed and when they came back they had their old sponsee sponsoring them! Treat them good because one day you could be asking them for help.
5 Things No One Tells You about Being a Sponsor: You are not a therapist, accountant, relationship counselor, babysitter, taxi driver, etc…
As sponsors, sometimes you end up wanting to do everything and go over the top for your sponsees (at least I always do). You have to remember that being a sponsor your job is not to be a therapist, accountant, relationship counselor, babysitter, taxi driver or any other things besides a sponsor. You are there to share your experience, strength and hope with another suffering alcoholic or addict and show them the way through the 12 steps just like you were taken through by your sponsor.
Every sponsor-sponsee relationship is going to be different and honestly there is no specific way to be a sponsor or a sponsee. Each person and situation is different; in my opinion as long as it keeps you sober that’s all that truly matters. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.