By Megan Krause
Writer, Editor and Director of Content

Getting sober is scary. At the point when you realize you need to get sober, perhaps the only thing scarier is staying loaded.

Fortunately, you don’t need to do it alone. Thus may consider an AA sponsor.

There are numerous 12-step fellowships — and sponsors within those fellowships — that can help.

What Is a 12-Step Fellowship?

The 12 steps are a set of principles that help people abstain from a wide variety of compulsive behaviors, including alcoholism and drug addiction. The steps are a set of suggestions on actions to take (steps) to solve the problem at hand.

A 12-step fellowship, then, is a group of people who have solved their problem using the steps, and they now meet regularly to continue living in the solution and to help others find it as well. People in 12-step fellowships help one another stay sober.

The first 12-step program was Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1935. Over the years dozens more have formed, including Crystal Meth  Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Pills Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous. There are 12-step fellowships all over the world, and millions of people have found recovery using the 12-step program of action.

What Is a 12-Step AA Sponsor?

When you start going to 12-step meetings, you’ll hear people tell you that you need to get a sponsor. In fact, you’ll hear a lot of people tell you that.

A lot.

And here’s why: It’s a good idea.

A sponsor is someone who has achieved sobriety through working the steps and is now willing to take other people through the steps, so that they, too, can find sobriety. They serve as a guide, offering suggestions, answering questions, and explaining that which may be confusing.

You wouldn’t go through the jungle without a guide, right? That’s what a sponsor is. They’re your guide for this exciting and scary journey you’re embarking on — recovery.

Hang on. It’s a trip. But so, so worth it.

Words on Sponsorship and AA Sponsors

“It was not my idea to find a sponsor,” says Jeff M., an alcoholic in Phoenix, Arizona. “It was a requirement of the sober living facility I was at. I assumed a sponsor would try to tell me what to do. He would be controlling. He would be lord over me. I definitely was fearful.

“Instead of trying to rule over me, he simply turned out to be my guide on my journey through the Big Book, the 12 steps, and on my way to a Higher Power. He shared his experience on how he had been guided through the process.

“This man helped me to get to where I am in my journey and in life today. I have 20 months clean and sober. And now I, in turn, try to carry this message to other alcoholics.”

Many sponsors become trusted friends. Some of us tell our sponsors things we have never said to another human being. We let our guard down, perhaps for the first time in our lives.

“My sponsor not only sees me as I am and who I will be, but he is also able to show me both of those things through his experience and his sense of humor,” says Austin P., a recovered addict from Gilbert, Arizona. “I am blind to both. I can only see a hopeless and incomprehensibly demoralized loser. I need his eyes for the upcoming crossroads! I need his heart to feel worthy … to feel loved!”

Get a sponsor.

Recovery Is Possible – Cornerstone Healing Center Can Help

Cornerstone Healing Center is a drug and alcohol treatment center in Scottsdale, Arizona. We combine evidence-based, long-term treatment with 12-step recovery and spirituality for a holistic approach that works. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out. We can help. Contact us today.