The journey to recovery from sex addiction is extremely challenging. It can be difficult to make it even when a person has a strong personal commitment and a strong support group. Therefore it is extremely important that those with sex addiction have a sponsor.
Sponsorship is a common element in twelve step programs and plays an important role in the recovery process. The sponsor makes the journey to recovery a joint effort between the sponsor and the addict. It is designed to take away the isolation that so deeply affects people with sex addiction. Sponsors play a critical role in the successful recovery of people who are recovering from an addition, be it a sex addiction, drug, or alcohol related addiction.
According to Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), “A sponsor is a person in the fellowship who acts as a guide to working the program of SAA – a fellow addict can rely upon for support. Ideally, a sponsor is abstinent from addictive sexual behavior, has worked the steps, and can teach us what he or she has learned from working the program. We can learn from a sponsor’s experience, struggles, successes, and mistakes. Our sponsor can help explain program fundamentals, such as how to define our sexual sobriety. Most importantly, sponsors guide us through the Twelve Steps.”
As you can see, a sponsor is someone who acts as a partner in the addict’s recovery. The sponsor is an impartial person in the addict’s life. This will allow the addict to form a trusted relationship with his sponsor. It is important because the addict will not have the burden of guilt, shame or embarrassment with a sponsor as he would have with his family or friends. In this regard, the sponsor will be able to help the addict work through those feelings because he has been there at one point in his life as well.
The sponsor can keep the addict from becoming isolated. Because the sponsor has been in the same or similar situation, it is easy for him to relate to the addict and likewise, it is easier for the addict to relate to and trust the sponsor. Isolation is a severe problem that people with an addiction face. Therefore, the sponsor plays a large role in helping the addict make the first steps towards forming a new relationship with themselves and others and then move to the task of repairing damaged existing ones.
Because the sponsor has successfully completed the steps to recovery, he can act as a mentor to the addict. Hopelessness is a common stumbling block to addicts throughout the process of recovery. The sponsor will be able to effectively help the addict with his feelings of hopelessness. After all, the sponsor is living proof that there is reason for hope.
Ultimately, the sponsor will be able to provide the person in recover with valuable resources and hard learned lessons about the road to that recovery. Firsthand experience is often more powerful than textbook explanations and shared anecdotes about the recovery process. The sponsor will be able to reveal personal experiences and tips that have helped him to a successful recovery. In the end, the sponsor may become a lifelong friend who is always there to lend support in good and bad times.