Addiction Recovery

What a Sponsor Does

Lesson 4

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” - Source Chapter 5, Big Book of A.A. (Blue Book)

I Fight, You Fight

I have seen this fight before, I have lived it, it will get hard. But I am doing it, and so can you.

I will fight for you, but I will never fight harder for your recovery than you must. I fight, so you must too.

What I (sponsor) agree to:

  • I will keep the sponsorship eligibility standard, or let you know within 24/hrs if I break it.
  • I will offer advice and help guide you on your journey.
  • I will do my best to offer strength, hope, empathy, encouragement and accountability.
  • I will point out what isn't working for you in your life and what you must do something about.
  • I will ask you to read/watch and do certain recovery assignments. Then go over them with you.
  • I will communicate what is working and what is not working in the relationship for me.

Sponsorship eligibility standard paraphrased:

  • 6 months of sobriety or more
  • Worked step 1 - 3 and actively working steps 4 - 12
  • Attend 12 step meetings weekly
  • Have a sponsor and work the steps together

- Source: PG 276 in the SAL Recovering Individuals, Healing Families (Teal book) 

So you too can become a sponsor and should put it on your to do list once you meet the requirements.

What I am not / Do not offer

  • I am not a replacement for a sex addiction certified therapist (a generalist will not be enough). 
  • I am not always available.
  • I am not available after 9PM.

Action Items


  • Daily call with sponsor
  • Daily SAL step study
  • Going to SAL meetings weekly in person if possible otherwise online as needed
  • Communicate what is working for you and what isn't
  • Accept that one day you too will be ready to become a sponsor and work towards paying it forwards.


AA talks about 3 types of sponsors. I paraphrase and think of them like this:

  • Coach Method - I will guide/show you what works and hold you to a high standard (this is my style). Expect to recover in as little as 3-5 years (my best informed guess).
  • Kid Gloves Method - I will not ask much of you but be there along the way as you stumble to offer advice. Expect to recover in as little as 5-10 years (my best informed guess).
  • Never Proactive Method - I will only help when you ask me. Expect to never recover (my best informed guess).

AA Guide to Sponsorship - Link

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