By no means am I pitching 12 step, I’m pitching accountability for recovery
For the purpose of this article, I’m writing about sponsorship in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am not trying to convince you to go to AA, I am not pushing or selling anything to do with AA, and I am certainly no spokesperson and AA doesn’t allow that anyway. If you hate 12-step, God Bless. Use the sponsor idea as anyone you would feel comfortable going to with your deepest feelings and fears. Someone responsible who is not there to co-sign your bullshit, but someone who will challenge you to do the right thing, over and over.
Sponsors keep you accountable every single time
See, here’s the truth. When I am unsponsored, I’m more like the wild animal side of me. I don’t think before I speak, I get myself into trouble in my personal relationship, and I’m just less of my best self. Actually, it was after a few pandemic years without sponsors that I really felt I’d hit a totally new bottom when it came to my feelings. Apparently that’s a common thing for some people in recovery when they hit ten years sober, or whatever recovery you’re in. Suddenly your problems are different and I didn’t have solutions for the big feelings I was having.
I don’t have time to make the wrong decision anymore
The issue this time was, I don’t have the space to live in any kind of unhappiness or dysfunction, so I had to figure out what to do. 12 step has always worked for me, so I returned and reconnected. It took a few months to settle in and find my people but I did and it’s been phenomenal having support and guidance again. I never regret it when I make the right decision, do you know what I mean? I’ve never felt bad when I canceled a date I wasn’t sure about, in the old days anyway. I never miss friends I broke up with who made me question their loyalty or good sense, they were trouble, again and again. So, today, when I want to live a life that is as regret-free as possible, I need sponsors.
What do the sponsors actually do?
They go through the steps with me and I meet with both once a week to check in and go over recovery writing. One of the best parts about these sponsors and the step work we do is that it keeps my mind in recovery where it needs to be. If 12-step isn’t your thing, there are so many other programs and practices that might offer some guidelines for living. I’m a practicing Buddhist as well, and their code of living is a code of conduct for me as well. I have no delusions about the fact that I’m an alcoholic and I can be selfish, self-centered, and self-seeking, and I don’t say that as a 12-step robot. It’s true. That’s how I can be. I need to talk to women older than me with time who can help guide me through the crazy moments. Staying sober all the time isn’t easy, but their emotional and recovery support makes my life so much better.
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