From Personal Struggles to Guiding Others
As a recovering alcoholic and an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I willingly offer my services as a sponsor to take other men through the 12-Step process as I was led through it years ago. A key principle of my recovery is the notion that to keep it, I must freely give it away.
The 12-Step process is an evolution that moves the recovering addict out of his or herself, and into fellowship with all people, whether they are in the program or not. Service is a process of humility and one of my key responsibilities.
As stated in Step 12: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
As an alcoholic and drug addict who has struggled with addiction throughout my life, I am in a unique position to help other addicts, through my experiences both in active addiction and in recovery.
Leadership is about providing guidance, direction, and solutions.
As a member of Alcoholics Anonymous who has had a spiritual experience—a personality change— as a result of the 12 Steps, I put those principles into action to the best of my willingness on any given day.
I am accountable for my actions. I learn from my defects of character. I strive for tolerance, humility, and service. I surrender my personal will and ambitions to those of the group so that I may be of greater service to those around me, both inside and outside of AA.
Helping others through the 12-Step process can be a very rewarding experience, although not always with the results sought. Not all of those I sponsor will make it through the process. I’ve found that a person needs to achieve a certain level of despair in sobriety, perhaps even an emotional rock bottom, before they become willing enough to throw out all of their old ideas and preconceived notions in order to become teachable and willing to do what the 12-Step process requires of them.
I have seen people drag themselves into AA for the first time, having just hit rock bottom in active addiction, in a state of hopelessness and helplessness that is almost inconceivable.
I have witnessed them become entirely different people once I’ve taken them through the process, both internally and externally, and they have moved from self-centeredness to more altruistic behavior, and regained the family and employment they had lost. It’s truly remarkable to witness, and very gratifying to know that I was able to play a part in their recovery and spiritual growth.