Help Line: 212-642-5029

One of the first suggestions offered in CMA is to get a sponsor. Just what is a sponsor? How do we get a sponsor, use a sponsor and be a sponsor?

A sponsor is another recovering addict who offers guidance and support in a one-on-one relationship. When we started coming to CMA, people at meetings were there to respond to our questions, but that wasn’t always enough, especially when we were new. Issues came up between meetings, and many of us found we needed closer support as we began to live a life free of active addiction. Our sponsors gave us that support.

What does a sponsor do? 

  • Listens 
  • Makes suggestions to help us stay sober 
  • Helps us work the Twelve Steps of CMA 
  • Helps us build a foundation for recovery by sharing his or her experience, strength, and hope 
  • Introduces us to recovery literature 
  • Notes progress that we are unable to see for ourselves

How to get a sponsor 

All we had to do was ask. Some of us sought out CMA members whose recovery we admired. Some of us requested recommendations from friends in CMA. Others asked for help getting a sponsor when we shared at meetings. Some meetings have Sponsorship Chairs, who keep lists of people available to be sponsors. Some of us talked to those people and got names and phone numbers of potential sponsors. When we summoned the courage to ask for help, we usually received a positive response. Some of us were told, “Yes, I’d be happy to” right away. Some of us were invited to meet and discuss the idea further to see if it seemed like a good match. Sometimes members agreed to be an “interim sponsor,” helping us for the short-term or just to try it out. Sometimes we were told no—usually because our prospective sponsor’s plate was already full with other sponsees. We tried not to take it personally, even if we were disappointed.

How to choose a sponsor

During meetings, we listened to what people said. We looked for members who had the kind of sobriety we wanted or whose recovery we respected. Many of us picked sponsors whose experience was similar to our own. It helped us relate to them. Some of us picked people with experiences that differed from our own. Both ways worked. It was suggested to us that we not pick anyone to whom we had a strong sexual attraction. Such attractions can get in the way of recovery, making it more difficult for sponsors and sponsees to share honestly with each other.

Who can be a sponsor? 

There are no rules, but most sponsors in CMA have: • At least one year of continuous sobriety • A working knowledge of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions • Personal experiences dealing with life in recovery

When to get a sponsor 

It is never too soon or too late to get a sponsor. Many of us got a sponsor right away. Some of us needed to take time to decide whom we wanted to ask. Some of us resisted getting a sponsor. In hindsight, that made our early recovery more difficult. It has been proven through our experience that working with a sponsor makes recovery easier. While we looked for a sponsor, we were sometimes approached by people offering to sponsor us. Sometimes we let them but were not obligated to do so. Many of us began with an interim sponsor until we found someone available for a more permanent arrangement. Some of us changed sponsors when it was not a good fit. Sponsorship did not have to be a life-long commitment, though these associations have often grown into meaningful, long-term relationships.

How does sponsorship work? 

CMA, like other Twelve Step programs, is based on the value of people with a common problem helping each other. Our sponsors helped us to trust and be trusted, perhaps for the first time. Many of us wrestled alone with our problems for so long that we had a tendency to isolate even after coming into recovery. With our sponsors, we started to see that we were no longer alone and never had to be again. We began to believe that we could do together what we could not do by ourselves. Our sponsors were our hotlines. We called them when something triggered us to think about using or brought up unpleasant memories that used to send us to dealers, bars, or the Internet. Our sponsors provided comfort, identified with our feelings, and gave us hope that, in spite of how we felt, we did not have to use. Our sponsors acted as sounding boards when we had to make decisions. We found it a good idea to discuss major decisions with our sponsors—not so they could make the choice for us but so they could share their own similar experiences with us. Sponsors unfamiliar with a particular dilemma often directed us to someone else in the fellowship who might understand our situation better. Often, our sponsors made suggestions based on their own experience or gave us advice. It was our choice to decide what to do. There are no “musts” in CMA, but we tried to be willing to accept the help being offered. Sponsors help not only when times are going well. Success and hope are also shared with a sponsor. Simply by sharing, we experience unconditional love, selflessness, patience, tolerance, honesty, and trust in these crucial relationships.

What a sponsor is not

It is not a sponsor’s job to be a landlord, loan company, lawyer, doctor, accountant, psychiatrist, financial broker, marriage counselor, or therapist. Sponsors who are in those professions leave that role at the door of CMA. Here they are like us: one addict trying to help another. If additional guidance was needed, sometimes our sponsors encouraged us to seek professional help.

What does a sponsee do? 

It is suggested that sponsees contact their sponsors regularly. Many of us called our sponsors every day, even if it was just to check in. We also met in person with our sponsors. Some of us had sponsors who told us how often they expected us to call and meet with them. Some of us had sponsors who didn’t set specific requirements. Both ways worked. However we communicated with our sponsor, we found it was important to be honest and keep an open mind. We were willing to try suggestions before we dismissed them. We did the work our sponsors suggested. Our sponsors guided us but made it clear that we were responsible for our own recovery. We could not expect our sponsors to work harder on our own recovery than we did ourselves. Sometimes we worried about being a burden, and our sponsors always told us that we were helping them a lot more than they were helping us. We came to understand that by using our sponsors, we helped them recover. Our sponsors often told us that they could only keep what they had by giving it away.

 

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    Expressions of Hope CoverExpressions of Hope is a collection of personal experiences from crystal meth addicts in recovery. This newly expanded and revised edition has been redesigned around the stages of the recovery process: personal stories of powerlessness and hopelessness before entering the rooms, working the program of recovery, application of the common tools and suggestions, and learning how to face life on life's terms in sobriety.

    The selected stories, articles and readings were chosen to represent a wide range of topics, including physical health, intimate relationships (including marriage and children), becoming sober in prison (and reintegrating after being released), and even the economic crisis. Though the selections are diverse and were written by those in early recovery as well as those with long-term sobriety, the message conveyed throughout this book is that no matter how bleak life seems right now, there is always HOPE.

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  • New Meetings

    CMA en Español

    Manhattan Plaza Health Club
    482 West 43rd Street, 
    New York, NY 10036
    Thursdays at 8:15pm

    CMA Literature Meeting

    Saint Jean Baptiste Church Community Center
    150 E. 76 street, New York, NY 10021
    Mondays at 7:00pm

    Please Note:
    No literature meeting will be held on the 1st Monday of each month - In observation of the monthly anniversary meeting. 

  • NYCMA Monthly Anniversary Meeting

    The NYCMA Monthly Anniversary Meeting is a special open meeting of CMA held on the first Monday of every month, from 7:30pm–8:30pm, at The Center (Room 101/Kaplan Assembly Hall), 208 West 13th Street (b/t Greenwich and 7th Aves), New York, NY 10011.

    Anyone who celebrated an anniversary in the month prior to the meeting is encouraged to come share their experience, strength and hope and receive a medallion presented by a person of their choosing. All are welcome to attend! Celebrate your fellows’ milestones and stay for an anniversary cupcake immediately following the meeting.

    Please register during your anniversary month. Click here to open the registration form and provide all of the requested information before submitting.

    Date and location are subject to change. Please check the events calendar to confirm the date and location of this month's meeting. 

  • Upcoming Fellowship Outings

    Riis Beach

    July 29, 10am
    See Brandon B or Brian M for details.

    The Summer Picnic

    Sunday, August 6, 12 to 3pm at Pier 63
    10 dollar tickets but always no one will be turned away. 
     
     
  • Updated meeting info in Connecticut

    It Works!

    Friday 7 - 8 PM

    Golden Hill United Methodist Church
    210 Elm Street
    Bridgeport, CT 06604

  • NYCMA Intergroup Monthly Meeting

    Generally, the meeting is held the last Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm at GMHC, 446 W 33rd Street. Check the directory for the room number.

    Check the events calendar to confirm the date, time and location of this month's meeting.

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