How to find an AA sponsor (10 tips)

Finding a sponsor is one of the most important steps on the road to recovery. 10 tips on how to find an AA sponsor, plus finding the right sponsor for you and ideas maybe you didn’t think of yet.

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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.

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.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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