Your sponsor is your first line of defense against relapse. They know and understand the position you’re in and want to help you through this rough time. However, you need to understand how to build a powerful relationship with your sponsor in order to have a meaningful impact on your recovery progress. Many 12-step programs and counselors will teach the basics of sponsorship responsibilities, but to have a more lasting effect you need to go beyond the basics and develop a personal relationship with your sponsor as well. After all, you both will have a profound influence on one another on your road to recovery.
Tips to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Sponsor
Make Expectations Clear
The first thing you need to do with your sponsor is to create a set of realistic expectations for your goals and have them understand and respect these goals. You will know right away if they understand your personal goals because their counseling will reflect them clearly as you continue to make progress with regular meetings.
A lot of the problem with substance addiction is the irritability that comes with giving it up. Having someone to listen to your problems, feelings, and struggles make for a great sponsor. Make sure that your sponsor is very attentive and willing to listen. It helps to choose a sponsor that has similar positive hobbies and interests as you, which you can use as a way to meet with them more often.
You and your sponsor should work on developing a mutual respect for one another and this aspect is crucial. Respecting a sponsor’s opinions and advice coupled with their respect for your willingness to change your life make for great personal growth and progress toward sobriety.
The foundation of a good sponsor relationship is based on your ability to comfortably ask questions that may feel awkward or personal. You have a unique relationship with this person now, so it’s not too far-fetched to ask personal questions about drug abuse with this person, that’s why they’re helping you. Your sponsor is someone that knows your struggle and wants to help you through this difficult time. By making lasting connections with this person, you can drastically increase your chances of overcoming addiction.