A common dilemma for many of us after we get out of rehab is having to find a sponsor. See if you relate to this thought process:
Wait, so first I hit an emotional bottom, then I went to treatment and got all my feelings back, my life is still a mess, I’m still in pain, and now I’m supposed to find a total stranger to guide/mentor me even though I’ve spent the last several months in isolation avoiding confrontation? Are. You. Shitting. Me?
If this sounds like your inner voice, we so get that. Finding a sponsor right after rehab can be super intimidating. Let’s talk about ways to make it happen.
The Traditional Way
For the less bashful, some people walk right into a 12-step meeting and mention to the group that they need a sponsor during their first share. This is the fastest way to get it done, especially if you feel like this needs to happen ASAP for your own mental health. Someone or several people outside (who may or may not be chain-smoking) will likely approach you after the meeting and offer to give their time. Make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable and completely safe with.
Or Take Your Time
If the traditional approach seems freaking impossible right now, that’s totally understandable. This stuff is scary. It’s okay to take your time and treat it like you would if you were dating (except don’t actually date your sponsor… like, ever). Meet people, listen to their shares, have discussions after the meetings and at group outings. If you find someone you get along with that has the experience and seems to have what you want in the future, that’s the person you want to go with.
Sponsorship is for your recovery and well-being. It’s okay to be super picky.
By Clint Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, Recovery Club America