Depression is a factor in addiction. Sometimes it is what leads someone to overcome an addiction to alcohol or drugs. They are choosing to live a healthier, brighter and more fulfilling life, which is great. However, they do need to get through the withdrawal process which can include depression and other withdrawal effects. They also need to commit to their recovery plan which may include detox, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization or outpatient treatment program, along with aftercare.
Depression in addiction can feel a bit overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to go through recovery on your own. You can work within a sponsor-sponsee system. A sponsor is the sober person who has worked through the A.A. or N.A. 12 steps and is able to guide others to do the same.
Here at Riverwalk Recovery, we have people who can support your recovery. We can help you understand the purpose of sponsorship and how to choose a good sponsor. A good sponsor can help you complete your step work which is helpful in overcoming depression.
How Can Sponsors Help With Depression?
If you don’t know a lot about the sponsor-sponsee relationship, you may be unsure of what it means to sponsor a drug addict or alcoholic.
Addiction sponsors are valuable assets to the recovery process. They are well-versed in the 12-step book and 12-step philosophies. The sponsors have implemented these steps in their own life, as well. Working a 12-step program can make a real difference in managing and overcoming depression.
A sponsor is not a counselor because they don’t offer formal therapy sessions. However, their responsibility is to be supportive and to help the addict work through the 12-step process. Working the steps is what provides the therapeutic benefits for depression and helps you stay sober. They don’t have to have a college degree or any other requirements except for to be sober and have or are working their own recovery program.
People are responsible for their own recovery 100% of the time. However, that doesn’t mean you should have to go through the recovery process all by yourself. This is where sponsors come in. The sponsors are there to assist the recovering addict or alcoholic through the recovery process. They do remind the person in recovery that they must stay accountable to their recovery no matter what happens.
If someone does relapse, the sponsor won’t shame them. Rather, they will be there for support and to help you get back on the right path in recovery. They will help you to practice and stick to relapse prevention technqiues, so you can lower your risk of a relapse in the future.
Sponsors also help people in recovery to find the community resources they need. They may even go to addiction recovery meetings with you, too.
The majority of 12-step program participants want to get a sponsor, so they can have someone to look up to and that will encourage them. If you are joining in on the journey of recovery, you can be a sponsee. Even if you have been in recovery before, but need a sponsor later in your recovery, you can still do this. Basically, when someone has a sponsor, it is just one more support for their recovery, that also helps to reduce the risk of relapsing.
What does a sponsor mean in AA?
AA or Alcoholics Anonymous is a program designed to help people overcome addiction, work through addiction-related issues and lower the risk of relapsing. In AA, a sponsor means that you are there to lend a hand to someone who is in recovery. You have gone through the 12 steps and/or a treatment program and want to help others do the same. Being a sponsor in AA is a courageous position, but well worth it, to see that you are helping someone else turn their life around.
How can I find a sponsor?
Are you hoping to find a sponsor to help you along your journey in recovery? If so, you may be wondering how you can find the best sponsor for the 12-step process. Some of the tips to ensure you are finding a sponsor that will match up well with you include:
- Find someone with a significant amount of time clean and sober
- Find someone with a strong personality (self-confident, happy, positive, and ability to lift up others are all good traits)
- Find someone that shares during meetings (do you relate to the things they have said?)
- Find someone that often leads meetings or says they want to take on a sponsee (however, beware of those that have a lot of sponsees, as they may be spread a bit too thin to give you the attention or support you need)
- Find someone who has their own sponsor
- Find someone that shows up to meetings often
- Don’t choose someone based on their possessions (a nice car, big ring or house, etc.)
- Don’t choose someone because they said something cool or funny at the meeting (it needs to be more than this alone)
- Don’t choose someone because they look beautiful or handsome
- Do your best to choose a sponsor of the same gender (there is something called transference where you develop feelings for your sponsor – this is more likely when people have a sponsor of another gender)
Do you need to start by entering into a treatment program before you get a sponsor? You can reach out to our Riverwalk Recovery team today. We can get you going in a treatment program. Once your treatment program is through, we can help you with aftercare planning, which includes the best ways to find a sponsor.
If you want to know more about the sponsor-sponsee relationship before diving into one, feel free to asks people who attend your local meetings. It may be best to talk to a sponsor and sponsee who have been in this type of relationship for a long time. They may know the ins and outs of sticking with the sponsor-sponsee relationship.
Get a Sponsor and Overcome Depression and Addiction
Have you been abusing drugs such as cocaine or hydrocodone or alcohol? Do you want to finally regain control over your life? If so, an addiction treatment program may be the best start for you in getting clean and into recovery. After or while you are working the treatment program, you should get a sponsor. The sponsor-sponsee relationship is truly beneficial to recovery success.
They can help you to manage withdrawal symptoms, work your program such as a suboxone treatment center program, stop being depressed,
You can start finding a sponsor by utilizing the tips noted above. If you need more assistance in finding a sponsor that you can connect with and that has the time for you, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Contact us today, here at Riverwalk Recovery, so you can get into recovery and get yourself a sponsor.