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How to find an AA sponsor (10 tips)

1. Request a sponsor from your Higher Power

Having, developing and nurturing faith in “something other than yourself” is what the 12 steps are all about.  So, it’s fitting that you might consider divine intervention before you take any other action.  You can keep it real simple and repeat a simple prayer (“Please find me an A.A. sponsor, G-d”), think positive thoughts (“The perfect sponsor for me will arrive at the perfect time”)  or post an affirmation around your house (“The teacher will come when the student is ready”).  Trust in the power of the unknown (“Let go and let G-d”) and relax into the process.

2. Go to A.A. meetings

This may sound obvious, but in order to find a sponsor in A.A., you’ve got to attend meetings.  In order to get what others have got, you’ve got to show up and figure out what’s going on.  But meetings are not just face-to-face.  You can attend live online chat meetings, real time voice meetings, email list meetings, or even snail mail meetings.

3. Attend lots and lots of A.A. meetings

Show potential sponsors that you are serious about recovery from drinking by attending  lots and lots of meetings.  Not only does this target you as a good sponsee candidate, meetings help detox your brain.  Plus, it feels good to start to be recognized, listened to and appreciated.  Many people recommend attending 90 A.A. meetings in 90 days once you start life without drinking alcohol.  I find this a good goal, but rather unrealistic (I think I made about 50 meetings in 90 days).  But one thing is for sure:  the more you attend, the more people you will know, and the broader your base will be for choosing a sponsor.

4. Raise your hand at A.A. meetings

You can’t be shy about your need for a sponsor.  Although it’s difficult, raise your hand and share something of yourself during an A.A. meeting.  It’s best if you can add something to the discussion or relate to the topic in a way that brings value.  But at the least, simply state that you are an alcoholic and are looking to work with a sponsor on the steps.

5. Practice the Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Opportunities (and a potential sponsor in A.A.) will come when you attract them to yourself by doing just what it is you are asking someone else to do for you.  So, get yourself involved in A.A.   Volunteer to set up, clean up or help with odd A.A. jobs.  Volunteering to do something for someone or something else make you available to, likewise,  receive good things.

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6. Ask around

Stick around for the causal conversations before and after A.A. meetings.  Focus these conversations on positive themes.  Then, drop into the conversation something like, “Hey, Rose.  Do you know of anyone with some sober time who might make a good sponsor and be interested in taking on a new sponsee?”  Or, “Pat,  I wanted to ask for your feedback on something.  What’s a good strategy for finding a sponsor?”  You’ll be surprised by the results of your efforts …as you can never really expect what will happen next.

7. Do some market research

Once you get a feel for the group dynamic of certain meetings, start to really listen when other people share.  Look for an attitude match in a potential sponsor, rather than the details of his/her life.  Notice 2-3 people who stand out to you as people that you want to be like.  And keep them in your mind.

8. Go out on a limb and ask when you feel moved

Sometimes, you might just have an inspiration to go up to someone after they have shared at a meeting and ask them to be your sponsor.  Do it!  Even if they are not available, they might recommend someone else who is.  Follow your gut, and

9. Be patient

No one owes you anything in A.A.  or anywhere else, for that matter.  Understand that things may not move right away.  And that sometimes, we are tested to show ourselves truly how much we want something.  In the end, you will find a sponsor.  Place your intention there and wait.  How much are you willing to work and wait in sobriety?

10.  Email us at Addiction Blog

If all else fails, email us.  We can help hook you up with online and general office resources that you might not have thought of before.  As always, your questions and comments are welcomed below.

Photo credit: andercismo

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48 Responses to “How to find an AA sponsor (10 tips)
What's the scenario?
11:25 am March 24th, 2011

I think the first thing you need to do to find a sponsor is to set it in your mind that you WANT RECOVERY from alcoholism and that you would do anything to get it. If you imagine yourself well, someday you will be well. But you’ve got to be active in looking for a sponsor. So, get out there and start with meetings, and meet as many AA people you can, and then ask around.

Good luck!

Dan jones
5:14 am October 20th, 2011

need a good sponsor

1:43 pm October 20th, 2011

Hi Dan. How long have you been in the program? Where do you go to meetings?

madamgalen
3:05 am October 24th, 2011

I appreciate your Blog ……very very much. I am looking for a spiritual sponsor for my AA sponsor. Thank you brother , for your blog. It is very thoughtful and it is received.

9:56 am October 24th, 2011

Hi madamgalen. Thanks for your message. I’m not sure what you’re asking for. Spiritual sponshorship is a very personal matter. How can we help direct you?

Susan
4:54 am November 4th, 2011

I am writing to request how to help my sister. I think she is an alcoholic..well I know she is…she had admitted it to me years ago…currently she has moved to south carolina (with her soon-to-be ex-husband and two teenage children – 15 & 17)..now that she is getting a divorce..i believe this has come up again…she was doing fine…but now she has met someone new & I’m afraid he is a drug addict..b/c she told me…She begged and pleaded to move in with me – I am in NY (i also am 35, she is about 40 yrs old) My mom thinks she should not leave south carolina b/c of the kids…and find out what kind of settlement she can get..since meeting this new guy she has quit her job (which she seemed content with)..I just got off the phone with my brother and he has witnessed strange behavior and now that I think about it I have too..like forgetting to calll me back on…my brother mentioned that she may have stole money from my mom and the last time he saw her was with this new boyfriend who they both looked high on something…i am very concerned…I don’t know how to bring this up to her as I think now she feels she doens’t abuse drugs and alcohol..probably in denial..i am very scared for her well-being as her support system is well non-existent…please offer any suggestions or advice I can take…I really care and love my sister…whether i think she does’t care about me and the rest of the family…I appreciate any kind of feedback.

Thank you.
Susan

11:26 am December 6th, 2011

Hi Susan. I really feel your love and concern for your sister in your message. I also want to recognize that your love of her, and understanding that she may not be capable of loving you back right now, is what she actually needs. It may be time to talk with your family about an intervention.

One way that you can schedule an intervention is to work with a treatment center who can send you a counselor to be present in a “family meeting”. Or, you can consult an addiction counselor on your own, and ask for advice. The basic idea is that everyone in the family gets together, shares how her alcoholism has affected their lives, and asks her to go to treatment.

Please let us know if you need help locating a local counselor, or for more advice on interventions. Does this help?

Bob
11:24 pm December 30th, 2011

This is for Susan. When I began my journey in sobriety, my wife received wonderful help and support from Alanon. Alanon is not just for spouses of alcoholics; it is for anyone who loves someone whose life is being damaged by alcohol.

emmanuel
6:43 pm February 16th, 2012

i will like to be part of u and for u to sponsor my new group.

12:36 pm February 17th, 2012

Hi emmanuel. Are you looking for a sponsor Where is your group meeting? Is there a virtual online meetings that you have started? Can you please tell us a little more.

Lauren
2:58 am February 23rd, 2012

I need a sponser,anyone available

2:44 pm February 23rd, 2012

Hi Lauren. Yes, I think that we might be able to hook you up with a sponsor. If you are serious, send a message by clicking on the “Contact” link at the bottom of the page and leave us an email.

emmanuel
5:08 pm February 26th, 2012

please when is the AA meeting holding the time days and week i will like to be part of this.

11:39 am February 28th, 2012

Hi emmanuel. We don’t hold meetings here, but you can find a directory of online AA meetings on this website: http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

BARRY B.
3:44 pm April 28th, 2013

GOOD DAY,I NEED A LOCAL SPONSER IN MANCHESTER MD,CAN YOU HELP? AGE 72

1:25 pm May 2nd, 2013

Hello Barry. Call the Maryland Chapter of A.A. near you for help finding a sponsor. You can also get more information from the A.A. website about local meetings here:

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=28

GOOD LUCK!

Dave
8:54 pm July 25th, 2014

Can you folks help me. Find a temp sponsor?

Kay
3:08 am October 6th, 2014

My friend needs a sponsor and I very scared! Please please send and angel her way!!!

Amy
7:26 pm December 14th, 2014

Need a sponsor asap. Travel for a living therefore go to meetings in a different city every night , making it hard to find sponsor

Karen
6:01 pm December 31st, 2014

Thank you . this was the most informative read on how to find a sponsor on line so far.. Im going to attend the meetings closest to me.. that’s 3 meetings a week.. I hope and prey someone finds me and helps guide me.. I know I have to put the work in and push my self away from alcohol. thank you once again for this wonderful page

Tom
7:19 am April 19th, 2015

I could temporarily sponsor anyone I would be willing to share my email and cell phone with those that need help. By the way I have been Sober and clean for 28.6 years. I have traveled for a living for 18 of those years as an over the road truck driver. I have had a sponsor for 23 of those years. I am searching for a new sponsor because all 4 of the last died and were sober when they passed. I is still living sober and free but he isn’t around. I attend meetings, I put my hand up. I do 12 step calls. I work the phones at AA central. I am attempting to start college this summer again with a plan to get a BS in addiction counseling. If there is anything I can do to help the big book says I am responsible and I believe that. Please I would be willing.

Stephanie
7:27 pm April 27th, 2015

Hi. I am looking for a sponsor for my mother who has had a drug problem. She doesn’t think she needs one but I think it would be a good idea for her to be able to discuss things with someone. Any help you could give me would be great. Thank you

Wayne
12:43 am June 2nd, 2015

Hello & good day to all, I’m 54 yrs.old and have been sober for 2 months. I’ve come to the 4th step and need help, I can’t seem to break out of my shell enough to ask for a sponsor(fear). Any feed back will be greatly appreciated, thank you !

Marie
11:44 pm June 16th, 2015

Looking for on line sponsor.

will
2:54 am June 17th, 2015

Im in need of a sponsor can any one help

Terrance
4:55 pm July 7th, 2015

I need help ive tried everything but it doesn’t help im 34 with a family that I love and want to keep them . My wife is fed up and I want her back please somebody help me no email address but have a phone please somebody help me call me.

2:23 pm July 21st, 2015

Hello Terrance. You can call the helpline number that’s displayed on our page to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers that will provide professional advise in finding/providing the right treatment program for you.

Judy K
4:54 pm July 25th, 2015

Need online sponsor. Live in Costa Rica, disabled and do not have transportation to meetings. Am on probation from US. Please help if possible.

3:45 pm July 27th, 2015

Hello Judy. Have you tried online meetings? There are some chat meetings you can find on the site In The Rooms that can help. Otherwise, throw me a line here and let me know if you’d like to start an email sponsorship.

Lee (The Editor)

veronica
6:53 am August 12th, 2015

Hello, my name is Veronica, and I am looking for a sponsor. I’m trying to get into a 6 month recovery program, and in order to do so, I was told I must get a sponsor prior to being admitted in the recovery program. Is there anyone who would be willing to help me out? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Veronica

dee
12:23 am August 26th, 2015

I’m looking for a sponcer .please help.

dee
12:49 am August 26th, 2015

Looking for the right sponcer online to do the steps with ..please e mail me.

Ed
3:04 pm September 30th, 2015

I need help, I don’t know where to start. I just want to stop, but I don’t know how.

Deborah
8:02 pm December 13th, 2015

I have requested two sponsors on the AA site. The first one blew me off after I gave my story?
The 2nd one does not have GOD as their higher power as I do , so I am thinking that is not a good mix.? Do you agree? I live in a small town. Meetings are 1 hour away. Do you have a sponsor that can be assigned to me.

1:09 pm December 15th, 2015

Hi Deborah. You can continue your search and ask other people who have been a year or more away from the last drink and seem to be enjoying sobriety. Simply approach a more experienced member on the AA website who seems compatible to you, and asks that member to be a sponsor. Unfortunately, we do not have any resources for finding people that are willing to be sponsors and cannot directly assist you on this one.

Mark
11:46 pm December 19th, 2015

Looking for a sponsor in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area.

Ken G
8:36 am February 22nd, 2016

Great bog..Thank you…5 months sober and gaining somewhat strong, need to start my steps and need to find a sponsor…

Jonathan
4:14 pm March 1st, 2016

Im a 33 year old male.wife and 4 daughters.i have a drinking problem and i am a alcoholic.i really need some guidance on handling this.i live in newport news virginia.i could really use a sponsor or a mentor to walk me through this thing.any help would be greatly appreciated.

Doris
12:34 am March 16th, 2016

Hi. My name is Doris. I ‘ve had 2 sponsors. The 2nd one has a little boy. She can’t come and pick me up at night to take me to meetings. I am in a Rehab. Facility. I just graduated the 120 day program here. She says she doesn’t like coming to the facility at night to pick me up, because she has her son with her. I have to get a supporter to pick me up, but my sponsor is there at the meeting with her son. We had a date set to do my 8th step, she didn’t show up. I tried calling her twice, she didn’t answer. I saw her at the meeting, she said she overslept. I don’t feel that she is the right sponsor for me. I’ve come too far in my recovery. I feel that I deserve the right sponsor. Can you give me some advice.?

nikki
10:45 am March 23rd, 2016

Hi, my friend is a recovering addict. He completed inpatient rehab nearly a year ago, but has not felt AA is a good fit for him (the groups he has gone to locally don’t feel helpful, he did not seem to mind the one he went to while in rehab – out of state). He was doing some of the homework for a short period of time afterwards, but not anymore. He occasionally makes an appointment with his counselor from rehab when he is struggling, but it takes a lot of convincing and is pretty expensive – it is the only thing that really seems to help get him back on track mentally/emotionally. And he does sometimes reach out to some of the guys he went to rehab with, but a lot of them are struggling and end up being difficult to reach. I try to be a healthy person and I think I have something to offer, and it seems I can help when he is clear headed, but when he’s in his “moods”, he only views me as the bad guy and I know that he may just need someone who has actually gone through having an addiction. He never found a sponsor, and I was thinking about trying to talk with him about this to see if he’d be open to considering it again – he couldn’t find/didn’t know how to find someone back then. Are there groups other than AA that he could consider? Is it best to find someone local? I can only imagine how difficult it is to find a good fit, on top of it all. Is there any sort of network for this type of thing – available and willing sponsors? I was hoping to do some digging for options before discussing with him since it seems to help to be able to show him there is a way to make something happen even if he can’t see it. He’s been struggling the past few weeks and his behavior is pretty hurtful towards me- outright emotionally and mentally attacking. It has taken quite a toll over the years, and I feel like I can’t do it much longer unfortunately… I want to be sure I try everything I can think of first. He says he’s still clean, but he is definitely behaving in the way he did during his addiction (I read that can happen even if the person is clean). I just can’t seem to get through to him no matter what I try, so I was hoping if he is able to recenter and be more open to talking that I could bring this up then. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
12:35 pm March 23rd, 2016

Hi Nikki. I understand your point! There are other support groups other than AA and some may even hold meetings closer in his area. Check the web pages and enter your geographic area of living to see what fits his needs:

SMART Recovery® Meetings: http://www.smartrecovery.org/meetings_db/view/
Secular Organizations for Sobriety Meetings; http://www.sossobriety.org/meetings.html
Online LifeRing Meetings: http://lifering.org/online-meetings/
Face-to-Face LifeRing Meetings: http://lifering.org/find-a-meeting/

Christin
8:49 pm March 29th, 2016

I would like some help with finding a sponsor as so many of the meetings that I am able to attend are small and mostly men. I have asked some people that I know that have gone through AA to keep their ears open for anyone wanting to be a sponsor and I have had no luck. I have been sober since September 15th 2015. Thank you for your help. I live in Cave Creek , AZ if that matters.
Sincerely,
Christin

Jennifer
4:27 am March 30th, 2016

I really could use some help. Or a prayer or both. My last two aa sponsors passed away. I cant seem to find a temp sponsor. I have a little over 5 yrs in sobriety. Finding someone who also understands alanon is difficult. Ive asked several people and all say they are unable to at this time. Im struggling. Im beginning to have a complex. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Jon B. Brooklyn NYC
12:59 am April 6th, 2016

This is a 24 hour daily process supported by the grace of whatever God you do or don’t believe in, or understand.
Just for today, refrain from drinking anything containing alcohol and avoid anyone who refuses to respect that you no longer choose to drink, and maintain frequent contact as possible with others who also choose not to drink today,
especially in early sobriety.
Under ideal conditions you may meet a person of the same gender with more time sober than you, whose well acquainted with the AA program of recovery.
The fact is, our founders did not have these advantages, yet with the simple ideas stated above they were more successful than some of today’s treatment modalities.
Between regular attendance at whatever meetings you have access to, an abundant amount of pamphlets, and other AA Approved literature, as well as today’s Audio and video mediums, you have everything you need to find and eventually to become a good sponsor.
It certainly won’t hurt to get and read the books, living sober, Daily Reflections, 24 hours As Bill Sees It, AA’s pamphlet on sponsorship and of course our Basic text Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Big Book”. and the additional essays on our steps and traditions, (12&12).
Chances are, that someone taking the time to read and study that material will be helpful showing you how to live grow and stay sober. Ĵust for today,
I’m happy, joyous and free! I never did rehab but, i did do everything else i suggested here.

Good Luck!
God Bess!
Current Home Group
Exchange Views 6:30am
Sobriety date 12/31/1989,(last drunk).
Current sponsor Phil P.

Mandy
4:03 pm April 17th, 2016

My sun cums out of rehab week today but he needs sponsor has this b first time in three yrs clean of spice

Louis
7:21 am May 15th, 2016

Im looking for a sponsor in Victoria BC Canada. Please e-mail. Thank you.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:36 pm May 19th, 2016

Hi Louis. Have asked someone in your group meeting?

ruth
11:23 pm May 23rd, 2016

Need a sponsor please. Not sure where to start. Thanks

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