The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Most addiction drug and alcohol treatment centers today include the 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous in their treatment curriculum. These programs are included for good reason. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous or AA in 1939, the 12 Step programs have helped millions of people recover from alcoholism and other forms of addiction throughout the world. AA may not be for everyone, but it has worked the best, for the most. When dealing with the chronic, progressive and ultimately fatal disease of addiction, it is recommended that people use every tool available to avoid “the gates of insanity or death” which is where active addiction leads. A big part of the 12 Step Programs and the success of the individual is having, and using a good sponsor.
A sponsor is a person who has solid recovery themselves, who takes the sponsee through the steps.
There are excellent suggestions for finding a sponsor. One is that you must go to meetings to find one. Go to many meetings, and listen carefully to people of your same gender as they share. Look for a person that you can relate to, someone who has the type of sobriety that you want. Particulars to look for:
1. Sponsor should have a sponsor
2. Sponsor should have worked all 12 Steps
3. Sponsor should have a Home Group, and attend regularly
4. Sponsor should be active in service within the Home Group, Area or District
5. Sponsor should be very familiar with the 12 Step literature
The intimate level of sharing between a sponsor and a sponsee may easily blur boundary lines if there is any chance of sexual attraction. The collective wisdom of 12 Step members everywhere suggest men with men, women with women. This may become complicated with gay or lesbian members, but use the same principle. Choose a sponsor with whom there is no outside possibility of mutual sexual attraction.
When you have found someone whom you think would be a good sponsor, then just ask them. There is no set way to make this request. It may be before or after a meeting, or you may ask the person to join you for coffee, or you may ask for their telephone number, and give them a call to ask. Most people are honoured when asked to be a sponsor. They may or may not say yes. There are good reasons why a person may not be free to sponsor, but usually it is something to do with time restraints. If your request is denied, don’t take it personally. Ask your first choice if they can recommend another person in the program that they think would be suitable.
The sponsor’s job is to take you through the steps. Every sponsor/sponsee relationship is unique, but a common practice is to meet at least once a week to go through the literature and begin working on the steps. When you do meet with your sponsor the first time, ask them for a clear understanding of what they expect the relationship should look like. A sponsor’s job is NOT to dish out advice, not to lend money, not to find you a job, and not to be a relationship counselor. Again, a sponsor’s job is to take you through the steps and discuss the principles of the program with you. Click here to learn more about sponsorship.
A sponsor, a sober coach and a therapist have 3 very different roles. A sober coach is someone for hire, while a sponsor is never paid! A sober coach usually works during the transition from rehab to back home. The sober coach will hold you accountable and perhaps be much more invasive and directive. The role of the sober coach, or sober companion will be carefully laid out in your contract with them
There is a large spectrum of therapists and counselors, varying from a full Doctor of Psychiatry, to a clinical psychologist, to a newly sober person at a government run treatment center who calls themselves a counselor. The roles of these people are all varied, but none of them is a sponsor.
No, absolutely not. No one will make you get a sponsor; it is completely your choice. Once you get home from your drug rehab, everything will be up to you. However, in recovery there are many “suggestions”, and getting a sponsor is a very strong “suggestion”. It is kind of like when you jump out of a plane, and you are lucky enough to have a parachute, it is “suggested” that you pull the rip-cord. You don’t have to.Getting a good sponsor, and working with him or her through the steps may just prove to be one of the most rewarding experiences and relationships that you have ever had. Do yourself a favor, take the suggestion and get yourself a sponsor.
Choosing an excellent alcohol, nicotine or other drug rehab can make all the difference in your recovery. There is a saying that rehab is for discovery, and AA is for recovery. At Serenity Vista, you will learn more about all aspects of recovery including the 12 steps and the importance of sponsorship. We will help you plan to arrange for a temporary sponsor for when you return home so you will have ongoing support in place as you transition back home to aftercare.Without a doubt, today we know that a 90 day program that includes cessation of nicotine will give an alcoholic or addict their very very best chance of long term recovery.
Serenity Vista is a private pay drug rehab located in the paradise of the Republic of Panama. Crystal blue water with white sand beaches, coconut palms and sailboats are just part of the what Serenity Vista has to offer. The mountain highlands, cloud-forests, colorful birds and wildlife, hiking, zip-ling and horseback riding are another part.
Then there is the amazing food, the loving Chocolate Labrador Retriever Dog, Ceiba, Sparky the beta fish, the orange and banana trees. Warm and empathetic therapists and counselors, local 12 Step meetings combine for an outstanding program that you won't find anywhere else in the whole world.
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