Do You Think Having an AA Sponsor is Absolutely Necessary?

Addressing the frequently asked questions dealing with addiction.

Question:

I am a newcomer to AA.  I heard about it and I just started going to meetings.  Some in AA tell me I need a sponsor.  Do you think having a sponsor is absolutely necessary?

Answer:

Some have made it through recovery without having a sponsor so I suppose it is not absolutely necessary but it is an absolutely good idea.  This is what AA says about it in its official literature:  “Essentially, the process of sponsorship is this:  an alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through AA.”

There are so many benefits of getting a sponsor, not the least of which is always having a person with whom you can share your thoughts and feelings about anything you wish.  Developing the most effective relationship with a sponsor takes some time and not infrequently, a person has to try out a couple of sponsors to find the right person.  Some of the finest friendships have developed from this idea of sponsorship and most alcoholics, who are recovering, find a sponsor an important part of the process.

"Sober Days" ran in the Palm Springs daily newspaper, the Desert Sun, for several years in the 1990s-2000s. The popular Q&A column was written by Dr. James West, the Betty Ford Center’s first medical director. He remained with the Betty Ford Center until 2007, when he retired at age 93.
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