I spoke with an individual that has been an alcoholism sponsor for over two decades. He has helped and guided several individuals struggling with sobriety over the years. This sponsor has also lost a few alcoholics along the way. Asked about it, he says that they were all worth it, no matter how demanding or irritating or angry they had become. Sponsorship is not an easy cross to bear.
As Bill W. says, “Every sponsor is a necessarily leader. The stakes are huge. A human life, and usually the happiness of a whole family, hangs in the balance.” What other volunteer experience puts a person in such an important role? Where else can you make such a difference in the life of not one, but many people, over the course of a lifetime?
In addition to being a sponsor to several people, he volunteers at a prison once a week, leading AA meetings behind bars. He helps offenders once they get out of jail, and gets them to meetings, too. Once you feel comfortable in your own sobriety, and if you are an avid AA follower, sponsorship is a wonderful way to repay the organization that helped you.
Sponsorship work wonders for both the sponsor and the one he or she is helping. The sponsor learns valuable leadership skills, confirms his or her sobriety, and is responsible to another. Both the sponsor and the sponsored work together to keep each other sober.