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Helping Others, Why Sponsoring is Important to Recovery

Helping Others, Why Sponsoring is Important to Recovery

Step 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous says:

“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.”

At its core, this step reminds you to live your life by the principles of AA, and to also encourage others like you in need to discover the promises of the program. As you go through your recovery journey and work the steps, you will build the foundation for your life in sobriety.

However, you probably didn’t get to Step 12 by yourself. No, many individuals in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous probably helped you along your way. From sponsors, to home groups, to just plain peers and friends, the fellowship found in 12-Step Programs is focused on learning for oneself and going on to give back. As you have improved your life greatly, it is important that you help others who are suffering.

It can also be beneficial to your long-term sobriety and recovery. Here are some ways giving back and helping others can support your recovery:

Builds Self-Esteem

To put it simply, giving back never feels bad. To have the opportunity to listen to others and to genuinely relate to their strife like no one else can is a beautiful thing. Throughout your time in recovery, you have made mistakes, and you probably had to seek the counsel and wisdom of others to overcome obstacles or to bounce back when you’ve taken a wrong turn. As you learned, you built on your experience and knowledge along the way. Passing this on to someone else can instill a sense of leadership and mentorship within you, and can build your confidence in your own ability while helping someone else simultaneously.

Fills Idle Time

An enemy to those in recovery can often be boredom or idle time. No matter how far you are along in your recovery, boredom can lead to those familiar feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression from days of active use. Helping others by way of volunteering with or sponsoring other individuals in recovery fills up your time and gives you new connections to grab coffee with, go to meetings with, or plan other events with to keep your schedule full.

Can Prevent Return to Use

When cravings or thoughts about returning to use present themselves, it can be difficult to think clearly. You might find yourself glamourizing your past at times, struggling to remember why active use was so detrimental to your life.

Serving and helping others who are suffering may serve as a reminder to yourself when you were in the throes of the earliest parts of your sobriety and recovery, further reinforcing the importance of your dedication to a 12-Step Program and to your own sobriety.

Gives You a Sense of Purpose

Finally, helping others can give you a sense of purpose. Knowing that someone else might lean on you for support in their journey to stay well can make you feel a sense of accountability, a reason to get out of bed in the morning when that reason can be difficult to find or feel.

Helping someone else can make you feel needed, it can make you feel important…because you are.

Remember, helping others doesn’t have a requirement. Just showing up, living your life by the 12 Steps, being honest and open, and meeting all of those around you with love are the greatest acts of helping others that you could possibly participate in.


For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.