How Do I Get a Sponsor?

To get a sponsor, all we need to do is ask. While this is simple, it may not be easy. 
Many of us are afraid to ask someone to be our sponsor. In active addiction, we may 
have learned not to trust anyone, and the idea of asking someone to listen to us and 
help us may feel alien and frightening. Nonetheless, most of our members describe 
sponsorship as a crucial part of their recovery. Sometimes we finally gather our 
courage, only to have someone say no. If that happens, we need to be persistent, 
have faith, and try not to take his or her decision personally. The reasons people may 
decline probably have nothing to do with us: they may have busy lives or many 
sponsees, or they may be going through difficult times. We need to reaffirm our faith 
and ask someone else. 

The best place to look for a sponsor is at an NA meeting. Other places to seek a 
sponsor are NA events, such as service meetings and conventions. In seeking a 
sponsor, most members look for someone they feel they can learn to trust, someone who seems compassionate and who is active in the program. Most members, 
particularly those who are new to NA, consider it important to find a sponsor with 
more clean time than they have. 

A good rule of thumb is to look for someone with similar experiences who can relate 
to our struggles and accomplishments. For most, finding a sponsor of the same sex 
makes this empathy easier and helps us feel safe in the relationship. Some feel gender 
need not be a deciding factor. We are free to choose our own sponsor. It is, however, 
strongly suggested that we avoid getting into a sponsorship relationship that may lead 
to sexual attraction. Such attraction can distract us from the nature of sponsorship and 
interfere with our ability to share honestly with each other. 

Most members consider it important to get a sponsor as soon as possible, while 
others explain that it is just as crucial to take a little time to look around and make an 
informed decision. Going to a lot of meetings helps us to determine who we are 
comfortable with and who we can learn to trust. While we are looking for a sponsor, if 
someone offers, we do not have to say yes. One thing to remember is that, if we get a 
sponsor to help us in our early recovery, we are free to change sponsors later if that 
person isn’t meeting our needs. 

When we are new to the program, we need to reach out to other addicts for help 
and support. It is never too early to get and use phone numbers and begin sharing 
with other recovering addicts. Our program works because of the help we can offer 
each other. We no longer need to live in isolation, and we begin to feel part of 
something larger than ourselves. Sponsorship helps us to see that, in coming to NA, 
we have finally come home.

More information can be found in the online pamphlet: Sponsorship