To follow certain guidelines in choosing an AA sponsor is wise and is very important. Making a mistake really can be troublesome and it’s a matter of life and death. Even though it’s regularly spruked at meetings to, “get a sponsor” Telling people to do that is not really the right thing to do. Not unless you get lucky and find a good one.
Sobriety matters and it’s important to know that a sponsor will not get you sober. Knowing this then it’s wise to never put complete trust in that one person. Don’t assume like we do that a sponsor knows how to keep you sober. Many people have made that mistake. In fact there’s a 95% chance they can’t help you.
Worse then that they can be downright dangerous to sobriety. Best thing to do is find an AA group where they are keeping people like you sober. Doing this is a much better option then to find a sponsor. This way the group is your sponsor.
There are few groups that have success, unfortunately. The question then needs to be, Where did the sponsor get sober? AA is not AA as a whole, it’s a collection of groups and each group is autonomous. If a primary Alcoholic (someone allergic to alcohol) is sober enough to be a sponsor then there must have a history of him or her getting sober in AA. They didn’t get sober by accident. They would have to have known what they were doing to be still around.
The Group is Your Sponsor
To find a sponsor there needs to be careful consideration. Questions need to be asked of the prospective sponsor. They are:
- How long are you sober? In the answer back make sure it is unbroken sobriety they have. Sometimes they forget they had a little drink during that time somewhere along the line. The question can often determine if they are making mistakes they haven’t picked up on. It’s not wise to choose someone less then 7 years sober. That means from their last drink. Finding someone with over 10 years sobriety is preferred but much harder to do.
- Ask where did you get sober? i.e. what group, what state, what country
- Who are the sober members who helped you in that group, state, country, in your early days of getting sober? It’s important to check them out to see if they have stability. It’s like when you go for a job and need to show references and work history.
- It’s wise to ask how many meetings do you do now – and how many did you do in the early days of you getting sober? This question can be confronting for people who haven’t done the distance and it may put them on a spot. That’s unfortunate however this is a matter of life and death for you to obtain the right sponsor. Most primary’s die before the age of 30 because they don’t get the help they need.
- What type of group do they belong to? A primary s only interested in I.D. groups. I.D. is the only format of group that suit you. To identify. That means to: Tell your story of, What it was like (when drinking) What happened (how you got to aa) What it is like now (how long sober and what you’re doing to stay sober)
Stay away from other so called AA groups. The meeting is in fact not an AA meeting unless it’s an I.D. meeting. Other 12 Step meetings may work for some people. People with all sorts of other problems attend but these are not AA meeting and the people are not Primary’s.
- Make sure the sponsor is not spiritual. If this is what they rely on as information for you then they will have you praying and working 12 Steps. This doesn’t work for you so don’t do any of that and especially don’t do a step 4. It is a deadly practice. Just stay on the first step. That is to be making your life manageable on a daily basis.
Get A Sponsor V Achieving Positive Results On Your Own.
To achieve positive results at AA meetings depends on doing the right things. Then doing it being duplicated. Once you are on track you will look at other people who are doing it differently and watch how they are going. Are they are getting better results them you. If so find out why.
In the meantime just follow instructions to Keep It Simple, stay on the first step. Once you start to settle down and achieve results then this is proof that the system you are on works. Change what you are doing will get different results. In my experience of teaching this to people do stay sober.