Learning To Trust Your Sponsor
When you first arrive at a recovery meeting, you are filled with guilt, shame, confusion, fear, and anxiety. You are disoriented and you are completely bewildered by your own behavior. You have no idea how to live a life that is not consumed by alcohol. But, you do know one thing – you have a strong desire to quit drinking and stay sober.
You know you are in the right place because, after your first meeting, you realize you are surrounded by people who understand you. They drank like you did. You come to believe that they can help you and you become willing to do what they tell you. And one of the first things they tell you to do is get a sponsor.
Understanding What Sponsorship Is – And What It Isn’t
Sponsorship is a cornerstone of sobriety. You can’t work a recovery program without a sponsor.
A sponsor’s job is to work you through the program and show you how to live a sober lifestyle. They are there to teach the spiritual principles of the program. They are there to share their experience, strength, and hope with you. In time, your sponsor will become your trusted friend and spiritual adviser. They will become your lifeline.
A sponsor is not a counselor or a therapist. They are not there to loan you money or give you financial advice. Sponsors are not a relationship coach or someone who is supposed to help you fix your marriage. A sponsor’s only job is to show you how to stay sober – one day at a time.
How Can You Trust Someone You Barely Know?
One of the most essential ingredients in the sponsor-sponsee relationships is trust. You have to be able to trust your sponsor and become vulnerable with them. You have to share your innermost self with them and tell him or her what’s really going on inside you. Ultimately, you will make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself and share it with your sponsor. This takes courage – and a whole lotta trust.
It can be scary to call a stranger on the phone and share your feelings and it isn’t easy to bare your soul to someone you just met. It is uncomfortable to trust someone you hardly know enough to do what they are telling you to do. BUT….if you want to stay sober and experience the gifts of recovery, it is a risk you must be willing to take.
Understand that the establishment of trust between you and your sponsor will come slowly with time. As you take suggestions from your sponsor, and you begin to see that those suggestions produce fruitful results, you will deepen the faith and trust you have in your sponsor.
When learning to trust your sponsor you do not have to rush the relationship you have with them. Like everything else in sobriety, the sponsor-sponsee bond happens one day at a time. Just for today, make the decision that you will trust your sponsor and believe that he or she has your best interest at heart.
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