What Qualities Should a Good Sponsor Have?

From blatant powerlessness to brimming with undeniable power, how is it that any hopeless alcoholic ever manages to make their lives look appealing to anyone? How does somebody festering with despair oozing out of their pores later become a shining beacon of hope in the recovery community? Simply by taking recommendation and giving it back to the next individual. Passing along alcoholic inspired wisdom is the domino effect that keeps Alcoholics Anonymous alive and well today

When it comes to taking early sobriety professionally, those working a good program will always have a good sponsor backing them up. Finding a good sponsor is like having somebody to practice a trust fall with. This person will be there for you through thick and thin as you propel yourself deep into the realms of recovery. They should be there to help catch you while you fall as friendship and the 12 steps guide the relationship. As we continue stepping forward into our sober professionalism, we begin looking for this person to help guide us away from the ruins of alcoholic thinking. The question though is who are we searching for?


A Sponsor Substructure

Being the new kid on the block for anything can be emotionally uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. One way or another, we are all the new kid at something. There’s always something in life that we haven’t experienced and it has it’s “first”. Walking into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous can be nerve wracking but the best part about it is that everybody there knows it. Alcoholics who have ventured into recovery are some of the most understanding people you’ll ever meet.

These people know first hand what it was like, reminding themselves regularly that we all need a little reassurance to get this sobriety thing. This understanding is the mortar to the the building of our support system that will hold all the promises of our future recovery in place. Think about it, everything in life kind of requires a foundation. A skyscraper or any large building of sorts will require a strong base.  A professional sports player needs financial endorsements. The President of the United States needs a treasury for motives. Even the tallest of trees have their roots.

Without question, building a foundation using the taught qualities from a good sponsor is the best way to progress in your recovery. Helping each other is the only way we get by without being eaten alive by the bottle or pipe forever taunting us in the corner. The right sponsor will guide us thru the 12 steps while showing us that there is a better life beyond the hog washed chemicals eroding our insides.


Looking for the Good Qualities

The qualities of a good sponsor will have a way about themselves that is evidently admirable. When looking for the right person to teach us the way, there are a few qualities about their lives in recovery that should stand out right from the get-go. Some of the things a good sponsor should have include:

  • Substantial Sobriety Time
  • Extensive 12 Step Knowledge
  • Active Member of One Fellowship or Another
  • Being a Person of Integrity
  • They’re Happy, Joyous, and Free

Usually it is recommended we find a sponsor that is of the same sex. It’s not mandatory, but it is recommended in order to avoid uncomfortable situations when proceeding thru the steps. To top that off, somebody of the same variety will be able to understand specific problems without giving jaded opinions.


Always Quality Over Quantity

The idea of having a finding a good sponsor also helps us practice in asking for help from others.. The foreign term “help” can be described as “to contribute to the effectiveness or improvement of something”. It’s a term that is much more than just a Beatles song. Anybody with the pursuit of knowledge will recognize that any form of higher learning requires assistance. We can not teach ourselves something we don’t know. Unfortunately many of us foolishly try to disprove this.

As human beings we are intelligent and adaptive creatures, but often we need a push in the right direction when our compass strays. We need somebody to remind us of our original intentions as external sources slow us down. The qualities of a good sponsor will be endowed to somebody that will be able to knock some sense into us when our disease is trying to take back over.  

Entering a meeting and seeing all these happy go lucky individuals can be eye opening to the misery we’ve been allowing ourselves to feel for way too long. All these happy faces are potential sponsors that can help lead us away from the obsession of alcoholic thinking. We want to be happy, sober, and free, so why not have somebody show us how to do it? The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. Finding a good sponsor is all of the above.