How Do I Find Quality Help To Heal From Betrayal Trauma?
I thought I was in recovery for a long time, and I wasn’t really. I didn’t know I wasn’t because I was doing it alone.
On my own, I started toying around with boundaries; I was kind of making my way into being in recovery, but not quite there. Just sort of dipping my toe in the water. After my husband’s arrest, I knew I needed to really, really do something. I was going crazy and I didn’t know what to do. So I called someone that I knew and asked her to be my sponsor. It’s ok to change sponsors when the time is right. So I let my first sponsor know that I was going to be having a new person as a sponsor and she was fine with that and I started moving forward with my new sponsor who has been my sponsor ever since. From the Healing Through Christ family support workbook, states,
“It’s wonderful to have someone to turn to who already knows our story. Someone who has made a commitment to be there to listen and to share with us. Someone who can offer a different perspective in our situations. Someone who respects our privacy and will keep what we have to say absolutely confidential. A sponsor is a friend, a confidant, who has experienced addiction’s devastating effects and yet has learned to find serenity and hope. Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship. When sponsorship is done correctly the Lord can bless both the sponsor and the sponsee to grow stronger in their recovery.”
How Do I Find a Sponsor?
If you’re interested in working SALifeline 12 Step betrayal trauma meetings, it can take time to find the right sponsor.
Here are some things to consider if you are a sponsee, or thinking about finding a sponsor. The main concern with people who start recovery is how do I find a sponsor?
And the answer for that is to attend a meeting.
When you attend a meeting every week, you are able to go and find someone at the meeting who will be your sponsor. There’s also at the meeting resources for how to find other sponsors. If there’s not someone in that meeting that you think would be a good fit, you can go to other meetings. For example, there are several different meetings online or in person that you can choose from to go to to see what will work for you.
I would say the most important thing is to first get the meeting that works for you and make sure that you attend at least for one month seeing how things work, being committed to the process. Many people have asked me to be their sponsor and then they don’t do the work. They don’t work the steps. They don’t call me to surrender. They don’t do the things they need to do to actually be in recovery.
Now I say that tongue-in-cheek because that was me. When I first got a sponsor I was not committed. With my first sponsor just was kind of going through the motions, I’d call her when I was stressed out, wasn’t really working the steps. I didn’t know how to hold boundaries. So, that being said, just get a sponsor and do as much as you can right now. It’s better than doing nothing in my opinion and hopefully you can choose to be humble rather than be compelled to be humble like I was. I was forced to be humble by my situation.
Since finding a sponsor can be a process, we recommend scheduling a free consultation with one of our coaches. She can begin to help you right away. That way, you can have support during the process of finding a sponsor.
What’s the Purpose of a Sponsor?
A sponsor is someone who helps you work the steps and helps you get God back in your center rather than having your husband in your center or anybody else. I call my sponsor on almost a daily basis to surrender. Sometimes I talk with her and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I just leave a message, but she is a key part of my recovery.
Many people change sponsors as they get more familiar with the program and their group members and as they grow in recovery. And like I said that’s just fine. One thing I tell people is just get a sponsor in the beginning perhaps just to start out and start trying and then as you feel like you need to move on that you might connect more with another sponsor then you can do that later. You’re not going to hurt anyone’s feelings. It will really be helpful to you to find someone who will work for you.
You Are Responsible For Your Own Recovery
The sponsor is not going to call you and check up on you or micromanage you. With me and my sponsees I rarely call, I never call them. They call me and I return their calls sometimes but it’s not that type of a relationship. You need to be responsible for your own recovery and take initiative to call your sponsor and work your program.
I tell my sponsees that they can contact me at any time, especially with a surrender call they can call it in at anytime and I’ll just send it to voicemail and if they need to talk to me that they text me and say hey I need to talk, otherwise I just send their surrenders right to voicemail. I talked about surrenders on an earlier podcast so if this is confusing to you you may want to go back to that surrender podcast and listen to that or I will do another one hopefully in the future about surrendering.
The point of the sponsor is not to say, “Hey you need to be emotionally dependent on me.” God is the most important person in this and the whole point of working the steps is to have God at your center. The point of having a sponsor is to help get you back to having God at your center, feeling at peace with God, and having that connected relationship with God. So I don’t just call my sponsor, I also call several other women in group when I need a different perspective.
My sponsor is still married and is working through her marriage and her husband is in recovery so she is in a different situation then I am. So I often call another woman who is divorced and she is working recovery. She is someone in my safety net. There’s also another woman that I call frequently who she is still married but her husband is not in recovery and is still being abusive. I have different people in different situations that I reach out to as part of my safety network and I am very grateful for that. I will only sponsor women who are regularly attending SA Lifeline 12 Step Recovery meetings because that’s the program I work.
Sponsors Are Not Professionals
Sponsors are just that, a sponsor. Someone who has been through the same thing who is a little farther down the path than you. It’s really important to also prayerfully seek a qualified therapist. The point of sponsorship is to just share your experience, faith, and hope. I forget that and I give advice and then I have to say oops, take a step back, and rephrase, “this is what happened in my own experience. When the abuse escalated for me I, you know, tried to control it, I tried to get my husband therapy, I tried to get him to stop, and then later I just kind of shut down, and then he got arrested, and then I freaked out.”
I just tell those types of things, “these are the things I did. These are the things that were not effective and these are the things that have been effective in helping me gain my serenity.”
Professional help is another piece of the puzzle when it comes to recovery. We recommend that you work with a APSATS coach and a sponsor in your healing process.
You Must Work Recovery To Recover
I often tell people that recovery is kind of like Yoga. You have to do it to understand it. You can’t learn about yoga reading a lot about yoga, you actually have to do yoga. Same thing with recovery. Before I was really in recovery, I read a lot about recovery, went to seminars or retreats, but I wasn’t actually working the program. That has made the biggest difference, and working with a sponsor has changed my life.
So again I want to thank my sponsor for everything she’s done for me, for the hours and hours that she’s spent on the phone. I know that God is working in my life and I am so grateful for her example, really, it’s just her example, that she has been through very difficult things and put God in her center. I’m grateful to know her, I’m grateful for her support.
I appreciate all of you who are in recovery or are thinking about recovery and want you to know that my love goes out to you, and I hope that through this podcast you can be encouraged to actually attend a meeting and start your recovery and as you put God in your center that you can start to find the serenity you desperately need in your life.