From one of our Unofficial Group Member's:
My experience is that the best way to get a sponsor is to get chatting to people in the group. By reading the posts people put on the boards, by attending meetings and seeing what people say and how they say them, you can build up a view of the people around here. The best sort of person to choose as a sponsor would be someone who has worked the Steps, and who has a lot of smober time under their belt.
The most important thing in my opinion is to choose someone who you can trust. The sponsor/sponsee relationship is a very complex one and your sponsor must feel able to challenge you as you work the Steps. You also must feel able to discuss absolutely anything with your sponsor, because you will need to if you are to work the Steps effectively.
We urge people here to choose a sponsor of the same sex. This is to avoid any added complications when you are going through a very emotional process.
Now for the $64,000 question . . . How do you actually find that person? Well, many people find the "right" person (or people) here on the boards, and in the meetings. People usually get chatting to other members here and develop a friendship first, and then see if the sponsorship relationship might work out. It's usually a good idea to approach someone by a direct (and private) e-mail . I would suggest that it's not a good idea to put the person on the spot with a public enquiry.
You also have to be prepared for the likelihood of the person you ask not being able to sponsor you at this time. While this may feel like a rejection, it is much more likely to be due to the other person's own specific situation - some people already have sponsees and do not have the capacity to add any more; some may not feel they have the time or emotional capital that it takes to properly sponsor someone. Whatever the reasons, they will most likely not be about you (sorry!), but rather about the other person. Thing to do is then go and ask someone else - and you will find the right person in due course.
While waiting to find a sponsor, you can come here and share on the boards, you can come to meetings and share, and you can have private chats with people using one of the IM applications people use around here (mainly Yahoo Messenger and PalTalk). These are all ways that you can get direct help in these early days - and all serve as reminders that you are not alone in this battle!
Good luck and I hope to see you in a meeting some time very soon.
yfir - Kim
We invite you to join and enjoy our member-supported program of recovery. Over time, by using this program of recovery to abstain from nicotine: physically, we achieve better health; emotionally, we become more serene; spiritually, we find hope and courage where there was doubt and fear. Our respect for each other is evident in our commitment to not criticize, gossip, or offer unsolicited advice. Members can work this gentle program at their own pace, but we strongly suggest newcomers select a sponsor as a source of help and guidance
Who is a sponsor?
A sponsor is someone you ask to help guide you through the Twelve Steps. A sponsor is usually someone who has successfully stopped using nicotine. He or she has firsthand knowledge and understanding of what you are going through. Sponsors are members willing and able to share their recovery experience.
Why have a sponsor?
Getting and staying free from nicotine is not easy and most of us need all the help we can get. Most of us have problems with how to live life. Sometimes we need guidance and understanding on a more personal level. Sponsorship can be a big help to us as we learn to apply the Steps to our lives. We are always learning.
When do you get a sponsor?
Get a sponsor as soon as possible, even if you haven't quit using nicotine. A sponsor is valuable at any stage of the recovery process. A sponsorial relationship can begin on a "temporary" basis. However, it is important to work at developing a sponsorial relationship based on trust and honesty. This helps improve our other relationships.
What are the benefits of being a sponsor?
Many of us used nicotine to separate ourselves from our feelings and from others. Sponsorship is an opportunity to realize new rewards in a personal relationship. Health and recovery are wonderful experiences to share. Sponsoring someone can remind us of what it was like when we were quitting. This helps us to maintain a healthy respect for nicotine.
By being a sponsor, we are given a chance to work the Twelfth Step. We also receive a fresh opportunity to rework our own step process and further our own spiritual awakening.