How important is it to have a sponsor in my life?

How important is it to have a sponsor in my life?

Finding a great sponsor has been one of the best investments I’ve made for my recovery. The help it has given me is equally described to the photosynthesis that occurs when plants receive water and sunlight.  The greatest joy in having a sponsor is in sharing a very personal journey with another recovering addict who can empathize with our journey and encourage us with experience, strength and hope…to stay vigilant towards better tomorrows. Instead of receiving the guilt or judgment I’d experienced from others outside the program, I have received the love and acceptance that caught me off guard at first. 

Before moving to Florida, almost three years ago, I developed a wonderful bond to an honorable and loving sponsor, in Rapid City, South Dakota. During the years I’d been able to stay clean there, I began to realize the magnitude of how important having a sponsor truly is. My sponsor was very caring and did the best he could with me and I owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He had guided me through the steps for the first time. It was through this process that I began to understand why it wasn’t just me who had started healing from my pain- but him as well. The therapeutic value of one addict helping another began to really have an impact in my life. I believe this is why the literature states its importance in so many ways. 

My sponsor and I shared our experiences through our active addiction and he had helped me to face some things that I had hidden through years of drug use. It also showed me that I was not unique in my suffering and it began to show a pattern and a plan for recovery. 

I remember I had one year clean in 2014 and I was contemplating filing for Bankruptcy. Of course, this was due to all the anxiety the past bills had caused me as a result of my poor choices in active addiction. At that time, my parents were encouraging me to pursue the next steps of the filing procedures and finalize the Bankruptcy. They were ready to see me move onward and upward as quickly as possible likely since I had already taken so much from them during my active using. However; my sponsor was a big influence in why I didn’t make that choice (even against the encouragement of my folks). He reminded me that making amends in recovery wasn’t just about the spiritual and moral crimes we had committed in active addiction but it was also about making things right to the faceless institutions like lenders and banks I had neglected as well. It was very hard to hear his advice at that time. I recall thinking it would have been much nicer to take the easy way out and to “wash my hands clean” of all the wrongdoings I had done in the past. However, upon much prayer, I agreed to his guidance and fought to catch up financially. That year I had a record year in Sales for my employer at the time and I remember just how amazing it felt to restore my finances and keep my credit from taking a nose dive. 

It wasn’t just about helping other banks and nameless institutions write my name on their positive balances ledgers or even was how it made me feel to keep my credit from being damaged for the next 7 years. It was how I felt trusting that his guidance despite going through temporary discomfort, heartache, discipline and overtime. I believed in myself, his advice and the spiritual principles of the program. He helped me understand that I would not only prevail but ultimately grow spiritually. This was just one example of invaluable guidance we can only attain through a rich and seasoned relationship with another sponsoring addict who truly knows us and what we are capable of. 

My current sponsor, has been one of the greatest things to occur to me in my life and my recovery. He has guided me with brilliance, care, passion, enthusiasm, honor, discernment, wisdom and overwhelming love! It really is the hand of my Higher Power (whom I choose to call GOD) that put us in each others’ lives. I am encouraged and inspired by his unbridled passion for Narcotics Anonymous and what he knows we stand for. I’m continually reminded by him that I am also a blessing in his life as well. He lives the program not just in the rooms but applies the spiritual principles to every aspect of his life! This is exactly what I choose and want for my own life. I know we have learned a lot from one another already in the few years that we have known each other. We don’t always agree but we love each other and respect each other. I was told to choose a sponsor that you would want to be in the future or has something you admire about them. 

Language just can’t articulate how much this relationship means to me. It can’t be put into words. I respect him and honor his advice because he is the best example of whom I would like to be. We have already worked steps together. I am currently going through step 8. I’m looking back at how much we have gone through together already and the warmth and pride we have for each other now and it fills me with gratitude. He has asked for me to really share my decisions with him before making them because I haven’t always done this in the past. I appreciate that he doesn’t let me live in that guilt and shame of making those choices alone, however, he simply asks me to move forward with more awareness in involving him on all of the choices I will need feedback on. I need this guidance in my life today. Thank you to my sponsor, NA and to those who keep giving back to keep what they have!