Monday, May 7, 2012

Sponsors and the Twelve Steps

Erasing addiction is less easy than anyone thought       (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)
When an addict enters into recovery, it is easy for him or her to become lost and confused. It is a brand new world for the recovering addict, much different from pre-sobriety, where regulation of emotion and stress was controlled by consumption of drugs and alcohol. Without this chemical crutch, the ensuing confusion can be a dangerous state. Twelve Step (12 Step) programs suggest that someone new to sobriety get a sponsor, someone who can help the addict navigate through these new waters.
Sponsors are invaluable to the recovery process. They provide much needed guidance, and act as a mentor in recovery. An essential function of sponsors is that they provide much needed social support. This is a vital role, as newly sober individuals are often plagued by difficult emotions and irrational thinking. By bouncing ideas off of their sponsors, addicts are able to reform their thoughts to meet this sober way of life. 

As the addict begins to grow into his or her new found sobriety, sponsors serve another essential purpose. They help the recovering person work the 12 steps. These steps are the primary means of recovery utilized in more than fifty-four (54) 12 Step based fellowships around the world. A list of these fellowships can be found here.

In 12 Step programs the steps are used to change individuals from the inside out. The power of these steps has been proven by the millions of people worldwide who have suffered from addiction or other compulsive behaviors and have since recovered through active 12 Step work.
The sponsor utilizes his or her history in addiction and compulsive behaviors as a resource to help the newly sober individual work through the 12 steps and to provide support in hard times. Indirectly, the sponsor acts as a role model for the addict/alcoholic and paves a way for success. Through utilizing this support, the addict can recover from a seemingly hopeless state and be set on a path of freedom from his or her addiction.

Who serves as a role model in your life? There are plenty of examples of people we turn to for guidance, weather in recovery or outside of it. Who do you turn to in time of need?  We want to hear from you!

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1 comment:

  1. keywords: "..have since recovered through active 12 step work." I'll attempt to write a blog later. -JD


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