In the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous – long before NA and the other fellowships began – having a sponsor was all but a requirement for membership.
Sponsors often helped alcoholics get admitted to detox, took them to their first meeting, and stood by through all of the steps of early recovery.
Still, despite how important it was and is, sponsorship is never mentioned in the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
And it’s not until Chapter 7, “Working with Others,” that the concept comes up at all?
Since the Big Book clearly states that the only requirement for membership to AA is “a desire to stop drinking,” is sponsorship optional?
Ask any old timer, and you’re sure to hear a big, fat NO.
So, how do you pick the person who could make or break your sobriety? It’s not that serious.
Many people new to recovery make the mistake of waiting for “The One,” the perfect person exactly suited to be your best friend, mentor, and confidante all rolled into one.
Rather than wait for that unicorn of a human being, it’s better to move forward with what’s right in front of you, knowing that you can “fire” your sponsor (and vice versa!) if it’s not a great fit in the end.
Listen to the shares of people in your home group 12 Step meeting. If someone connects with you, think about approaching them to ask if they might be open to sponsorship.
If they say no, don’t be offended! Some people put strict boundaries on the number of people they work with at any given time.
Don’t take it personally – and certainly don’t take it as a reason to drink or use!
Just keep asking until you find someone willing to walk the walk with you. They might be waiting for you where you least expect it.