Sponsor advice


I would really like to get some advice/input about how a sponsor relationship typically works with a sponsee. I am newly sober (54 days) and I made sure to get a sponsor right away unlike my last attempt with AA. I’ve had her since I was 1 week sober and we’ve only met 2 times. The initial meeting and another about 3 weeks ago. I’m on Step 1 still even though I told her I’m ready to go to step 2. And everytime I ask her about moving forward, she just keeps saying that I really need to be ready. I am!
Here’s what I expected- that we would be at least meeting once a week and I would be checking in with her daily and her contacting me as well. I thought that she would be giving me assignments to work through my steps.

It just seems like she’s not giving me much education which I expected to get. I am truly lost. This is all very new to me! My sponsor never told me how this whole thing really works and I didn’t realize I was supposed to be contacting her mostly. So I started to almost every day if not every day and sometimes she doesn’t respond back until the very end of the day or next. Just feeling a little discouraged about this. I truly want to work on my sobriety and I’m more of the type to want to get things rolling and actually do some work but this is stressing me out so much. I just feel like I’m getting nowhere. Thanks for listening and for any advice you may have.


So, the thing to keep in mind is that everyone is different in the way they sponsor. The parameters for what is “right” or “wrong” is are very wide - much of it turns on personal style. That said, there are a couple of different ways you could look at it - one is that you are looking for something different than what she is providing, another is that there are things you can adapt for this to be a more productive relationship, and finally it might be a combination of both. Whatever is going on, it would be helpful to sit down and talk to her about how this relationship will work going forward to see if you can find some common ground and resolve some things that you are struggling with.

A few practical ideas:

  • Meetings - my sponsor leaves it to me to initiate a sit down meeting with her. This isn’t necessarily weekly and it is up to me to ask to meet. Maybe ask yours about whether it is practicable to meet more frequently than you have been? For some, setting a consistent day and time works. For me and mine, we do this add hoc because our schedules are wonky.

  • Communications - I text with my sponsor daily. Sometimes she initiates it, sometimes I do. We partly have this dynamic because even before I asked her to be my sponsor we were in touch daily as just fellows in the program. We speak on the phone when something is troubling me or I need to talk, but mostly we have quick little text check ins. Again, talk to yours about how she likes to operate. If you are feeling like you need more support, getting the phone numbers of other women at meetings and communicating with them regularly can help. I have a long list of people that I communicate with either daily or every 2-3 days - just to see how their day/week is going. For me, spreading this desire for contact with other alcoholics amongst MANY, rather than just expecting it from my sponsor is helpful for me.

  • Assignments - again, many do this differently. It is worth talking to her about it. It is important to be “ready” to move from step to step, but it sounds like you might not know if you are ready because you are left to your own devices. I write a lot so I tend to write and then send it to my sponsor and then we talk about it. That seems to work well for both of us.

Big message - get in touch with her and sit down and talk about it, including your anxieties. Also think about taking some initiative to ask for meetings, ask for clarity on how she works as a sponsor. Also remember that this is not a process to be rushed. We don’t just hurry up and get through the steps and then everything is dandy. I take my step work slowly, do it methodically, and take time away from it to let the thoughts sift through my brain and really sink in.

Wishing you well :hearts::bird:


Hey there. I was an AA member for many years. I had some good and also some pretty terrible sponsors during those years. Remember that these people are also in recovery - therefore, they are not the founders and should not try to hold you back from your recovery. In the old days, back in AA’s early history when Bill and Bob were out there rescuing hard core cases, steps 1 through 3 were completed at the bedside of the sufferer. Step 4 was started immediately after that. Read Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age:A Brief History of AA. And above all, read THE BOOK. If what they are telling you isnt in there, they are designing their own program, which is like practicing law without a license. Its just as serious. People die from alcoholism. Good luck to you!


I don’t have a sponsor yet but what you describe would not be cool for me. I think it is perfectly okay to go to her and say “this is what I need” and if she can’t give that to you then you find a new sponsor. No shame.

I think those early days sponsors are “meant” to be temporary until you find the person you really want/need to guide you. At 1 week sober you can’t possibly know what you need yet.


How long has she been in the program . as you know ive been sponsoring for 3 decades and if i was you and not happy then id look for another one . this program works from the fireplace out so when i got my late sponsor he took me home to meet his family and i seen how it worked in his house , im the same my guys come for and coffee and a chat meet my family see what ive got in my life . and im a open book so i tell them any prob or doubts let me no and we can talk about it . wish you well


So I sponsor a few girls… I set some ground rules and it is their job to contact me… If I don’t hear from them after a week I reach out… (this also depends on how long they have sober and their mental state what they have going on)

When I look for a sponsor the best thing to do is look for someone who has the soberity you want… So someone who works a solid program inside and outside of the rooms… Is honest… Doesn’t gossip, who is transparent… I like to look at other things… Are they in a healthy relationship (bc I am and I may need sound advice from time to time, do they have their life in order outside of the rooms - ie family finances and balance - - bc that’s what I want… But how do I get it)

I meet with my sponsees weekly and read the big book the step work comes with the reading… It’s literally in the book… If your not reading ur not going to get to steps…

If your sponsor is not providing you with what you need than get a new one… Seriously it’s your RECOVERY AND SOBERITY AND LIFE…

Seriously hit me up in a pm and I will give you my number and we can talk about it more :heart:


IMHO you need a different sponsor. Staying on step 1 for 60 days is way too long. Find someone else who matches your needs. Try to be upfront about what you’re hoping will happen. :unicorn: