Sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous is not a job that should be taken lightly. A sponsor is someone who makes suggestions, at times gives advice and is a sounding board for another alcoholic. He/she can be tough a times and say things we do not like. It is important for the sponsor to have at least six months of quality sobriety according to Alcoholics Anonymous. For me to ask someone to be my sponsor, she needs to have at least two years. In choosing a sponsor, you simply go to some meetings and listen to what people say. If there is someone that appeals to you, ask them to be your sponsor or at least a temporary sponsor.
When a person first walks through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, they are scared and uncertain most likely fighting the urge to drink. They are either vulnerable and open to any advice or angry and unresponsive. It takes a certain type of sponsor to see through to the person they really are.
My first sponsor was very tough and I fought that toughness constantly. In some ways I walked on egg shells believing that if I didn’t do everything she said, I would go back to drinking or drugs. At other times she made me so angry I wanted to get rid of her. It is only in retrospect that I can separate the things she said to me and I often use the advice she gave me in everyday living. She is no longer my sponsor, however she and I love and respect each other today and still communicate. My second sponsor had quite a bit of quality sobriety, but I don’t think she put much effort into being my sponsor and I don’t remember any advice she gave to me.
It is an awesome responsibility being a sponsor. You literally can have someone’s sobriety in your hands at least in the beginning when the sponsee is newly sober. That is not to say that it is your fault if they return to drinking. I just know for me that I did everything my first sponsor said which turned out well for me. Most sponsors will seek advice from their own sponsors to adequately sponsor someone else. The first responsibility of a sponsor is to begin the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A good sponsor will encourage you to do 90 meetings in 90 days. The relationship between a sponsor and sponsee can be life changing for both people.