Persons battling alcohol addictions often need assistance from numerous supportive and caring individuals. one such subject is known as a sponsor.
What Is A Sponsor?
A sponsor often serves as a mentor to one experiencing addiction recovery. This individual is usually introduced to the healing soul shortly after their initial treatment. In most instances, sponsors have overcome their own struggles with chemical dependency. Therefore, said subjects can provide a unique and experienced voice and serve as a guide.
The Sponsor’s Role
Sponsors carry out specific functions such as:
- Answering questions a recovering dependent might have about the healing process
- Encouraging the newly sober subject to attend meetings, embrace support groups, or complete any other steps pertinent to recovery
- Sharing their own individual experiences as a means of support, encouragement, and guidance
- Serves as a safe harbor or person to contact if the recovering subject experiences vulnerability or fears they might use drugs or alcohol again
Above all, the sponsor is someone that can be counted on when assistance is needed.
The Process By Which Sponsors Are Appointed
Sponsors are not required to undergo any specific training. Said subjects must only possess the desire to help others stay sober and complete whatever tasks are necessary to achieve that goal. That said, sponsors are not appointed but chosen by the person requiring said counsel.
Can One Change Sponsors?
The short answer to this question is yes.
The Reasons One Might Switch Sponsors
In a small percentage of cases, the change is mandated. Such instances occur when sponsors experience slip-ups or relapses. It is important to remember that addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Additionally, one must also note that, while sponsors are further along in the overall process than those receiving guidance, they are also human beings dealing with their own feelings, emotions, and struggles.
That said, should they use again, they cannot continue to serve in the sponsorship capacity.
However, there may be times when the sponsor and the individual under their tutelage must part ways. Such examples include:
The relationship shared by the sponsor and the person under their care should be based entirely on trust. Therefore, the breaking of this sacred bond could significantly strain this relationship. Examples of trust breaking include cases where sponsors fail to respond to concerns in a timely manner or publicly reveal information shared in confidence.
A sponsor and their pupil should be on the same page in terms of their belief system and values. If any of these factors are at odds, enjoying a personal and professional association could prove difficult. The sponsor should never attempt to question, change, or put down the feelings or opinions of those they serve.
The Lack Of Progression
The healing soul should make noticeable strides under the sponsor’s tutelage. Granted, such strides often require a great deal of hard work and faithfulness on the part of both subjects and not everyone progresses at the same rate.
That said, the recovering addict should eventually see forward movement. If they continue to struggle or do not feel any progress is being made, the sponsor may be partially to blame and a new association should be forged.
Certain individuals simply do not jive. Moreover, such differences are not always apparent early on in any type of personal or professional relationship. However, personality conflicts often result in contentiousness, dissent, frustration, anger, and a host of other unproductive and potentially detrimental outcomes.
Tips For Choosing New Sponsor
If one must make this important decision, addiction specialists urge said subject to make crucial considerations such as:
Choosing Someone They Relate To
The individual chosen to fill the other’s void must be someone the recently sober individual is comfortable dealing with, can relate to the struggles they have been through, and is experiencing similar life experiences. For example, a healing soul who is a parent might choose a sponsor who also has children.
Thanking One’s Former Sponsor
One should never neglect the feelings of their former sponsor. Before officially parting ways, the pupil should thank their outgoing sponsor for their time, effort, and for the tutelage they provided.
Reaching Out To Us
Individuals considering this crucial step are urged to contact us. Choosing the wrong sponsor could have devastating consequences. The trained addiction treatment professionals employed at out southern Florida facility can assess an individual’s specific circumstances and suggest the type of person who would be best suited to take on this heavy responsibility. Contact us at 833-846-5669.