OK, we love them, they help save our lives. But sponsors are also there to keep us accountable and to not co-sign our bullsh*t. So, I’m sure many of you can relate to the following list of stuff sponsors say.
“Call/check in with me every day” – especially said to us when we first ask someone to be our sponsor; the person who will be sponsoring you wants to see how much you want it and what you’re willing to do to get it.
“Did you pray about it?” – the usual advice given to us by our sponsor when we’re dealing with something that only a Higher Power can handle.
“Did you write a gratitude list?” – especially in early recovery, sponsors generally assign this bit of daily homework so that we can get our attitudes in check. Being addicts and alcoholics, we tend to become somewhat selfish and bitter in our active addiction. Once we get the junk out of our systems, we often need an overhaul in our perspective. Gratitude lists are a good way of becoming and staying mindful of all the good stuff that life has to offer.
“How many meetings did you go to this week?” – this is to make sure we are forming good habits, especially in early recovery. Going to meetings is a much healthier habit than say, drinking ourselves into oblivion or shooting pills…just saying.
“What’s your part in it?” – ugh, here we go. No longer do we get to blame everyone else for everything that “happens to” us. Nowadays, we get to be mature, rational, and responsible by being open to the idea that it takes two to tango – meaning, for every situation in which we are involved, we are playing some kind of role, even if it is a passive one. Which leads to this next one:
“You’ve gotta clean your side of the street” – again, seeing your part in something AND then doing something about it.
“Who did you help today?” – service work is a big part of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and so our sponsors will often ask this question, especially if they notice that we are getting in our own way again. Helping another alcoholic or addict is a good way to get out of our head and instead focus on helping others.
“Have you written your 4th Step?” – sponsors are well aware of the 1-2-3 shuffle; it seems that a lot of people freak out when it’s time to do their fourth step. So, as soon as you finish your 3rd step, a lot of sponsors will want to make sure that you keep moving right along with your step work.
“It’s a ‘we’ program” – when sponsors say this, they are reminding us that it’s a fellowship program for a reason; we can’t get clean and sober alone.
“What other people say about you is none of your business” – this is a good one for everyone to hear, not just recovering addicts and alcoholics. It’s true, people will talk a lot of smack but it just doesn’t pay to let it get to you, especially if it’s going to compromise your sobriety.
“Let’s try a 30 in 30” – short for 30 meetings in 30 days, meaning a meeting a day for the next 30 days. When you seem to be wavering in your program, your sponsor might make this suggestion. And if you seem to be really struggling, they might even say:
“Let’s try a 90 in 90”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.