Getting clean and committing to a life of recovery is one of the most rewarding experiences this life has to offer. It is also one of the scariest. After living under the influence of a mind-altering substance for an extended period of time, life can be quite confusing when you look at it through a clear set of eyes.
Although there are a multitude of negative consequences that inevitably accompany any addiction, one thing is guaranteed –the use of drugs and alcohol offer immediate gratification. This explains why millions of people become addicted to marijuana, prescription medications and cocaine every year. In a world filled with uncertainty, hitting a pipe or taking a drink brings about feelings of euphoria, and they are almost instantaneous.
Many people underestimate the incredible strength, commitment and courage it takes to overcome an addiction. For starters, learning to live life on its own terms without turning to a quick fix seems next to impossible in the beginning. The physical cravings and insatiable psychological need to return to old behaviors can be overwhelming, which is why so many addicts and alcoholics relapse. Getting to know yourself and facing your own demons is painful and seeking ways to enjoy life without the use of drugs and alcohol is challenging, to say the least. These reasons –and a million more –explain why it is so important for a recovering addict or alcoholic to get a sponsor.
Why a Sponsor?
At the fundamental level, a sponsor is someone who will walk you through the 12 steps of recovery. Working these steps is vital to your well-being and your ability to remain victorious over old habits. If you are not seeking the spiritual principles in the 12 steps, you are merely remaining abstinent from drugs or alcohol, which you will quickly find is a miserable existence. Completing the entire 12-step program will bring you joy, freedom and serenity and it will introduce you to a new and rewarding life that does not revolve around chemicals. A sponsor is someone who has already worked the 12 steps, a person who demonstrates on a daily basis that any addict or alcoholic can stop drinking and drugging, lose the desire to do so and find a new way to live.
On a deeper level, your sponsor will become so much more than someone who just guides you through the 12 steps of recovery. In fact, many people discover that a sponsor is the first person they have ever had a truly intimate relationship with. They will become a confidant, someone you can share your most intimate secrets with and seek guidance from without worrying they will judge you. A sponsor is someone you can call at 3 a.m. when you’re sitting on the edge of your bed fighting the urge to go drink or drug. He or she is a recovering friend who will walk beside you along the path toward freedom from the bondage of addiction or alcoholism. More than anything else, you will find that your sponsor can relate to you in a special way because they have been where you’ve been, seen what you’ve seen and lived to tell the tale. They are now living a life without drugs or alcohol, one of integrity and character, and they can tell you how to do the same.
If you are in recovery, and you don’t have a sponsor –it’s time to get one. You simply cannot, and should not, work the steps without a sponsor, and you simply won’t stay clean and sober without one.