Once you have arrived back home, taken time to reassess your situation, and had an initial conversation with your spouse or loved ones about your next steps in your addiction recovery process, you can start to build your solid foundation and build upon the strategies you learned during your treatment plan by going to your 12-step meetings.
12-step programs are quite in the addiction recovery process. One of your first priorities is to get a sponsor for your 12-step meetings. The reason many in early recovery feel that their situation is stalling is that they haven’t chosen a sponsor. They may be afraid to choose one, thinking that no one wants them, or maybe they’re just inundated with all the things in their life that they have to change. That’s where your 12-step sponsor comes in.
Go to a few meetings. Try different locations, different days of the week, even different times of the day. After a week or two, you’ll start to get in the groove, to feel comfortable with a certain group or with certain members who attend on particular days. Listen attentively to what’s going on. If you look around you, you’ll start to see who seems to have the most solid grasp on effective recovery.
How do you know who is having an effective recovery that might be a good candidate for your sponsor? Anyone who’s in recovery for at least a year without any slips or relapses that have completed all the steps and knows and lives the 12-step principles is a good place to start.
You shouldn’t feel timid or afraid to ask anyone to be your sponsor. If anything, the person will be flattered. If he or she is already sponsoring a few individuals, it’s understandable if they politely decline. And you can always change sponsors if the first one, for whatever reason, doesn’t mesh with your personality. That sometimes happens, but the remedy is to choose another person as a replacement sponsor. Just be sure that you’re not avoiding doing the work of recovery. In other words, your sponsor’s role is to encourage you to do the steps, to call you on your procrastination, to listen to your problems, and support your desire to live clean and sober. He or she is not your therapist and will not dispense counseling advice.
You’ll also build your foundation by interacting with fellow 12-step group members. Just listening to the shared experiences will be an eye-opener for you. While you may think that what’s happening to you – your doubts and late-night cravings, nightmares, insomnia, temptations at work, home, or out in public, difficulties with former using friends – might be unique, they’re not. Everyone in recovery has or will experience the same types of situations. Hearing how someone else was able to deal with them