The Benefits of a Sponsor in Recovery
This post is from our contributing writer B.H. who shares stories of her experience as the mother of an addicted son.
Like individuals who are in recovery, a sponsor is equally important for those of us who are also in “recovery”. I consider myself in recovery from the traumatic year of dealing with my son as an addict. I think any mom would agree that the pain and suffering needs to be healed, and this can be done with the help of a sponsor. The benefits of a sponsor in recovery are immense for me, just as they are for someone who is actually in recovery for addiciton.
What is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is an experienced Al Anon or Nar Anon member who can share their experiences with you. They may also be a person who is not a member that has been through a loved one’s drug addiction or alcohol addiction (or any addiction!). This trustworthy person has the wisdom and strength to help you along your journey. Once you find someone you truly connect with, and after you ask them to be your “go-to” person, your journey becomes a lot easier. A sponsor is made available for you at your weak moments or simply when you need advice when dealing with a situation.
How Can a Sponsor Help?
When you’re considering the benefits of a sponsor in recovery, you have to realize the importance of social support in overcoming addiction. A sponsor is like a motivator who can see you through the days and nights when you feel defeated. This person can also be a true friend and real listener when you are in any state of mind, and, for me, has been a real emotional lifeline. My sponsor and I talk a lot about life in general, personal experiences, and faith. The insight she gives to me is incredible, and she has this insight all because of her dark days in dealing with this terrible disease. She is like a backbone for me; a real supporter who completely understands how dealing with addiction can completely change any outlook on life.
My sponsor is amazing. I know that when I feel like I am unable to make a good decision, or the “right” decision in dealing with my son, who is now in recovery, she will guide me. When my son was in rehab, I would become sad. I would miss him so much and hope and pray that he was getting better. She was there for me to talk on the phone, meet for coffee at the local coffee shop, and hold my hand during meetings when I cried.
My son was home with us for four months, and then one weekend he went out. He didn’t come home. I had no clue where he was, and had convinced myself that he had completely relapsed and ran away to a life of drugs. I was scared. I called her and she talked me through my fear and anxiety. She read fitting passages from the book Courage to Change. She helped me breathe and relax a bit. She went over the steps of the Nar Anon program with me. I called her three times that day, and she was right there for me each time.
It ended up that my son was in jail on a DWI charge and that is why I hadn’t heard from him. I was upset, but at the same time relieved that he wasn’t really driving (he had an intent to drive), had not used illegal drugs, and was alive and well. Now, most parents would be devastated if their child had a charge like that, but given all that he had done in the past, I was actually relieved that this was fixable. A slip is fixable.
My son has been drug-free for ten months. He is living at home and has a restricted license of only driving to home and work. So, maybe this charge was a good thing. I will never know, but I do know that right now, one day at a time, one minute at a time, he is drug-free and happier than ever before. Thanks to my sponsor, I have realized to just breathe and enjoy every minute.