If you’re doing a 12-step program, it helps to have a sponsor. A sponsor is like a mentor or coach, someone whose recovery is strong and can help you figure things out. While the group can listen and give advice, a sponsor can give you more attention. A sponsor is also someone you can call in a tight spot. Here are some times you should call your sponsor.
When you’re tempted to relapse. This is the big one. A lot of what a sponsor does is talk you down when you really, really want to give up. You may not even want someone to talk you out of it, but before your drink or use, you should call your sponsor. She might say something to change your mind. If not, she might be able to help you keep a mistake from becoming a train wreck.
When you feel stressed. Stress is a major trigger of cravings. You may not quite be to the point where you want a drink, but if you feel a lot of stress, you’re probably heading that way. Calling your sponsor before it becomes a total emergency gives you a better chance at success.
When you have to make a big decision. Big decisions are dangerous early on. There’s a lot that can go wrong. They tend to cause some stress, for one thing, so having someone reliable to talk it over with can make the decision feel less overwhelming. Big decisions can also have an impact on your daily life. If you are in a good rhythm, a big change might affect your recovery in ways you hadn’t thought of. Having an outside perspective can help you figure out if you can handle the change yet. Finally, decision making is one of the skills most affected by addiction. It distorts your priorities and makes it harder to see the big picture. Having a second opinion is a good way to make sure your brain is not edging you back toward relapse.
When you feel lonely or depressed. You don’t always need an obvious reason to feel awful. Sometimes you just get into a funk, especially in the first year or so of sobriety. Depression, loneliness, or boredom can come out of nowhere and feel overwhelming. If you’re in one of these moods, the tendency is to isolate yourself. Resist that impulse and call your sponsor.
When you don’t trust your own motives. Sometimes you think you have a perfectly valid reason for doing something. And maybe for most people that reason would be valid, but for you it’s an excuse to relapse. Often, people don’t just relapse; they set themselves up ahead of time. Maybe you’re thinking of cutting back to one meeting a week. Is it because you’re on solid ground and want to use that time for other things, or are you distancing yourself from people who will hold you accountable. Your brain will tell you it’s the former but your sponsor might disagree.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463