Why Do I Need a Sponsor?

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Starting the journey to recovery can be a confusing time for anybody. As we make the transition from our previous life enslaved to the disease into a bright new life clean and sober, there is a lot to learn. Every day in recovery brings new lessons, new adjustments, new opportunities to grow and serve, and even new challenges to navigate. Going it alone makes the road harder than it ever needs to be.

Nestled in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley, Jaywalker Lodge is a community of recovering people – staff, volunteers, and clients – who are firmly rooted in the 12-Steps. We all have mountains to climb. Sponsors are the sherpas that make sure we are equipped to climb the mountain and reach the summit. Just like every man who scaled Mount Everest had a sherpa with them, we will need a guide of our own on the absolute adventure that is life in recovery. Just like the real sherpas, sponsors in recovery have made the climb ahead of us and returned to help guide others.

Every Student Needs a Teacher

A sponsor should have intimate knowledge of the literature of recovery, and a working and active relationship with the 12-Steps. Every student needs a teacher, and a sponsor can be very much like that. A sponsor is someone who is familiar with the course, knows the words we don’t understand, and has a better grasp of the context. There is much to learn in the literature of recovery that will heal us and change our lives and how we see the world. A sponsor can help us understand beyond what a dictionary can explain.

The 12-Steps are right there in the literature and often posted on the walls everywhere we go. We will have to take the steps if we intend to get anywhere – however, they aren’t meant to be taken alone. Just as every good Jedi had a Master who taught him the ways of the Force, we will need a sponsor to teach us how to take the steps. Having this trusted confidant, this teacher, someone who has been there before and felt the impact the 12-Steps can have on a person’s life is crucial to our experience with the process.

Our lives before entering recovery were a certain kind of misery. That specific pain and torment of alcoholism and drug addiction is something often only understood by people who have been there themselves. We know the men in our recovery community can relate to the prison of the disease, and we can trust that the solution which has worked for them will work for us.

Finding the Right Sponsor

Jaywalker Lodge inspires men in early recovery to engage in an authentic journey of healing and self-discovery that is built upon personal accountability, deep and lasting friendships, and the belief that absolutely anything is possible in recovery. The relationship with your sponsor should be no different.

It is often said to “find someone who has the life you want” and ask them to teach you how to live it. It may be even more helpful to find a sponsor who feels how you’d like to feel, and then ask them how they got to that place. Look for a sponsor who you are comfortable being honest with – honesty, willingness, and open-mindedness are key to a successful relationship.

Every day in recovery we are given the opportunity to make a choice. Whereas every day in the disease, there was no choice. We were trapped. Now there walk among us many others whose lives have been transformed by the 12-Steps. They know the peace, freedom, and joy for which we so desperately long when we first enter recovery.

Here’s the best part: it is central to their joyous lives that they share the gift with others – with us. After we have taken those 12-Steps with our sponsor, and continue to walk them on a daily basis, we are given the opportunity to participate in the miracle for someone else. Then it will be our turn to receive the indescribable gift of helping another person along their journey in recovery.

You Don’t Have to Do This Alone

So why do we need a sponsor? Why did Luke need Yoda? It’s because he never would have learned all he needed to on his own. Our sponsor can guide us through the 12-Steps that are designed to transform us, our lives, and how we live in this world. They can help us avoid pitfalls, or at least learn from them. They can explain to us things we don’t yet understand, and they can share their experience of walking through life clean and sober.

Those in recovery who have gone before us can teach us how to walk through anything life has to offer while staying sober and growing spiritually. They can teach us how to become the person we’ve always wanted to be. Most importantly, they can take us through the 12-Steps and help us realize that the amazing experience of a happy, useful, and joyous life can be ours, too.

The 12-Steps are the core of recovery. They are the key to a new, full, and whole life of joy and purpose. These steps cannot and should not be taken alone.

Looking for a sponsor? Have more questions about the 12-Steps? Jaywalker Lodge is here to help give you the answers you seek. Our staff has extensive experience in the field of addiction and mental health treatment, and many are grateful participants in their own recovery from the disease of alcohol and drug addiction. We can help you achieve sobriety and find the right sponsor. We’ll be with you every step of the way as you begin your recovery journey. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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