When you first come to Nar-Anon, you may feel very alone. Finding a Nar-Anon 12 Step Program can help calm the chaos and provide a safe place of anonymity.
What a relief it can be to share with others who are affected by the addiction of a loved one. You are not alone after all!! Initially you may find trust illusive. Having a one-on-one relationship with someone to whom you can confide outside of the meeting can help build the trust. The relationship you have with your Sponsor may be unlike any friendship you have ever known. It is a relationship whose foundation is honesty and integrity, trust and anonymity.
Nar-Anon is a “we” program, not an “I can do it by myself” program. You tried that and it didn’t work! A Sponsor is someone you can call anytime. They hear the anxiety in your voice when you face a challenging situation and the joy and happiness in your voice as you find recovery.
By sharing experience, strength and hope, your Sponsor makes suggestions to you. They will not, however, tell you how to live your life. It has been said, “If you want what I’ve got – serenity – do what I did.” You and your Sponsor can develop a bond from which you will learn how to rebuild healthy relationships not only with the addict but with family, friends and co-workers as well.
Nar-Anon has a printed booklet discussing this topic that can be found at the WSO Store: Questions on Sponsorship
Finding a Sponsor
It is best to be sponsored by a member with whom you feel comfortable, who has worked the steps, attends meetings regularly, shares a similar life situation, is active in service and of the same gender. Identifying this person may take a bit of time and effort but it is important for your own recovery to find a Sponsor as soon as you come into the meeting rooms of Nar-Anon. You may look for a Sponsor not only at your home meeting but perhaps at another meeting or even on-line. If you are unsure if a prospective Sponsor would work well with you, you may want to approach them by suggesting a fixed time trial period – perhaps 3 months. Within that time frame, you’ll know if the individual is a good fit for you. Family group members who have been sponsored themselves are often the most eager and willing to help by working the Steps with you.
Nar-Anon has a printed pamphlet discussing this topic that can be found at the WSO Store: Finding a Sponsor
Becoming a Sponsor
If you know the value of a Sponsor to your own 12 Step work and recovery, you may feel gratitude for the Nar-Anon program and desire to share your experience, strength and hope with a new member. Nar-Anon helped you quiet your spirit and seek peace and serenity. You want others to experience the same thing!
Just as you are powerless over the addict, so too, are you powerless over your Sponsee. One of the best things you can do for the Sponsee is listen – really listen. Placing principles over personalities can free you to sponsor individuals to whom you might not have otherwise been drawn. Learning how to give to another what has been so freely given to you is a priceless lesson. As a Sponsor, you will find the Sponsee is not the only one who benefits. You will find that you learn and grow in your own personal recovery through a relationship with a Sponsee.
Nar-Anon has a printed pamphlet discussing this topic that can be found at the WSO Store: Becoming a Sponsor
Progress, Not Perfection
Nar-Anon is a “we” program. Recovery grows strongly when we are developing relationships with others who are learning a new way to respond to life. Our experiences are valid. Others could benefit from our shared experiences. We are placed in each other’s lives to help. Through being open of mind and heart and open to taking suggestions and applying the principles of the program to our own circumstances, we have the opportunity to live a peaceful, more joyous life. Nar-Anon is a spiritual program, not a religious one. There are strong forces at work, in our favor, through the intervention of our Higher Power if we choose a spirit of willingness and choose faith over fear. We do our best to carry the message and to care. That is enough. Every recovery group and every person starts at the beginning. Recovery is best done together. We are no longer alone.
Perfection says: “I need a sponsor who has worked all the steps and understands the entire program.” Sometimes that happens.
Progress says: ”That person I am listening to has something I want. I hear recovery in the voice, I see peace and care in the eyes. I will ask for whatever help they are able to give. Today I will get what I need from someone on my path when I ask and listen.”