Fear, shame and doubt are three main emotions which arise when seeking discussion with a sponsor regarding past drinking. Engaging in discussion with a sponsor need not be a difficult experience but one built on a relationship of trust and confidence that, no matter what, the sponsor is there to support an individual’s recovery regardless of decisions or circumstances.
Reasons for Relapse
Dealing with fear, shame and doubt can feel challenging in the context of speaking with a sponsor about drinking behavior. If these three emotions arise, it helps to have a plan in place about how to approach the sponsor with confidence.
Fear: an individual may not want to admit to the sponsor drinking habits which compromise sobriety. Fear of rejection by the sponsor can motivate people to hide the truth of behavior and actions. To move forward, it is best to take a leap of faith and openly admit the reality of the situation to get a handle on how to move forward in the best way possible.
Shame: shame is a powerful motivator for recovery but can also keep people stuck in bad habits and the past which harm recovery. The present is the only thing within a person’s control. Making a commitment to not drink in the present moment is the best a person can do. Each day sober is moving away from the person that existed in the past towards who the person will become. The opposite of shame is trust, placing trust in a sponsor and oneself to take things one step at a time and move past mistakes.
Doubt: sponsors relate to an individual’s situation because of a personal history with drinking. Asking the sponsor to share about the experience may help put things in perspective. A sponsor will not judge but support any doubts and demonstrate how the individual is not alone.
Talk to Your Sponsor
One of the reasons a sponsor works with an individual is to help wrestle with the challenges that come up in recovery and sobriety. Engaging in discussion about a sponsor’s past behavior and actions can help an individual feel understood and like the sponsor knows what it feels like in those shoes. With the right sponsor, an individual can reveal truth about drinking without worry, fear, shame or doubt. Though a sponsor will continue to work recovery steps, it does not mean the journey has been perfect. Speaking to them about the ups and downs can bring reassurance that the road one is going down is strewn with fellow travelers on the journey and help the person feel less lonely and isolated.
Recovery is a process of letting go. Relieving oneself of fear, doubt and shame can help build strength and stamina for recovery and bring an individual closer to the sponsor. This relationship can help increase a person’s ability to focus on the positive, rather than mistakes or missteps, along the journey.
Addictions are challenging but recovery is possible.
Call Last Resort at 512.750.6750 to speak to our trained staff about how we can help you in a supportive environment.