How to stop sex and porn addiction?

This is the problem that brought us to desperation - we wanted to stop our sexual compulsivity, but we could not. We tried to stop, but it never lasted. Sexaholics Anonymous presented us with a solution that we never knew about; a proven, reliable means of staying sexually sober one day at a time.

Welcome to the Europe and Middle East Region of Sexaholics Anonymous! We are glad you are here.

Below are a selection of stories from members, all now sober, recovering from sex or porn addiction. They will describe what it was like for them under the "lash" of sexaholism. What brought them to Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). And what happened since. We hope their stories will be an inspiration to you and to all.

Please remember that these stories are the individual experiences of SA members, they are not official SA literature. Their stories are here to offer hope to the still suffering sex and/or porn addict.

Recovering internet porn addict

I don’t remember when I discovered Internet pornography, but I know now that I was in trouble from the moment I first saw a hardcore image on my screen. I’d been looking at photographs of women since my early teen years—magazines and well-thumbed novels we passed around at school. The excitement came in the fantasies in my head and the descriptions on the page. Of course I masturbated to them all—and I figured my buddies did too. I didn’t talk about it because there was something shameful about it.

I never outgrew that boyhood habit. I spent my twenties acting out the fantasies with women my own age who seemed willing to go along. If they weren’t willing, I’d just move on to someone else. I continued to use books and magazines for extra excitement, and to tide me over between “relationships.”

Eventually I got tired of that lifestyle and got married. My wife didn’t match the images I saw or imagined, so I continued to masturbate to those images. I began finding excuses for not having sex. I preferred fantasy women to the real one I had married, and the marriage ended.

Compulsive use of alcohol and drugs eventually took a toll on my life. I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and stopped drinking and taking drugs. I met the woman who became my second wife, and we settled into a happy marriage. I even stopped masturbating for a while and began to enjoy an active and fulfilling sex life.

Then we got the computer, and I discovered a compulsion much deeper than my other addictions. We’d been married a few years when I started to explore the Internet and found Internet porn. I started spending more and more time alone with the computer, searching out ever more explicit images.

At first I didn’t pay for it. There was more than I could use for free even staying up late. In time I found porn sites that offered the fantasies I’d read about as a boy and I subscribed. It wasn’t much money, and I didn’t see the harm. I could give my imagination a rest and let the computer do the work.

My wife did see the harm in it though. She was devastated by my disrespect for her, and for all women. I’d never thought of the women (and men) in the videos and pictures as real people. They were just actors or models who were paid for what they did. But my wife was so upset that we separated. We went into marriage counseling and, at the suggestion of a friend, I went to SA, and began my recovery.

Recovery from my Internet pornography addiction has been a slow but steady process. I can still get an urge to escape into pornography when things don’t go my way, when I get frustrated at work or home, or when I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired. I’ve come to realize that the pornographic sessions on the computer start long before I turn on the computer and that I need steady, sometimes daily, fellowship with recovering addicts as well as work on my character defects, making amends, and reaching out to others to stay sober.

I use my computer for work, and I’ve started switching it off, no matter how busy I am, if I find myself idly clicking toward lust images. Like a lustlook on the street, I know in my heart if I am being driven by a desire for the lustful thrill that I think will make me feel better. I have found I can shut down and start over.

It is by working the program of SA that I stay sober and am helped to find a God who works in my life. SA helps me know when lust is driving my attitudes, thoughts and actions, and when it is, I can turn to my Higher Power with a simple prayer or make a phone call to another addict who understands my problem. I have learned that “the first drink” of Internet pornography gets me drunk. In SA I’ve discovered that in times of temptation my God is always there ready to help me to make a real connection.

Recovering female sex addict

I left home at 21 and moved in with my boyfriend. I had been attending college full-time and had two part-time jobs, but I dropped out of school and work so I could spend more time acting out sexually. I felt a lot of shame, so I convinced my boyfriend to marry me. Sometimes we acted out by watching porn. When my husband wasn’t home, I would look at the porn and masturbate. We were both sex addicts, and we raged at each other daily. Lust killed our relationship.

Three years later, I separated from my husband and moved back into my parents’ house. In the separation I got the computer. I would view the porn my husband had downloaded. Sometimes I would delete a video after being disgusted with myself for acting out while watching it. Then I would watch another.

That year I acted out with a former teacher from college. We acted out once and I became obsessed with him but he was done with me. I stalked him online, called him at work, and went to his office. He told me to stop. In my despair over losing this “connection,” I became involved in Internet chatting. I stayed up late at night chatting about sex. I tried to live out a fantasy with others by typing sexual conversations. Next I got a camera and transmitted explicit pictures of myself online. The reaction did not fit my fantasy and I felt less than human. But I repeated this.

I was feeling crushed by the shame of acting out with strangers online. I was obsessed with thoughts of acting out with my ex-teacher. I was obsessed with the forbidden. I began to wonder if I could be a sex addict.

One day, immediately after acting out in cyberspace and becoming distressed, I searched for help online, found an “S” fellowship, and called a member. I went to my first "S" meeting that night. I was the only woman at a meeting of about eight men. The men tried to reassure me but after attending only three meetings, I searched the Internet for a woman’s meeting and found an Sexaholics Anonymous meeting for women only. I went faithfully every week, stayed sober for a month and collected a 30-day chip. But I was not committed. I remember thinking, “I can’t call myself a sexaholic!” That would mean I was a “sicko,” someone who masturbates and struggles with the lust to masturbate. That is not me!

Sure I masturbated, but my version was different! Eventually I stopped going to meetings. I decided I could work the Sexaholics Anonymous program on my own. Guess what happened? I went back to my same behaviors and took more risks. I began browsing the Internet for porn I hadn’t seen before, and went back to acting out online. I began going out to night clubs and dating again. My addiction was spinning out of control. I was acting out at work during my breaks. I was divorcing my husband because he was emotionally and physically abusive, but I acted out with him again. I thought of finding a job in the sex industry so I could lust full-time. I wanted to kill myself. I thought I had to act out or I would die, yet acting out was killing my spirit, my creativity, my personality, and all joy. Within months I had hit bottom again.

I came back to Sexaholics Anonymous, feeling defeated and hopeless. I went back to the women’s only Sexaholics Anonymous meeting. They did not yell at me or ask me what I had been doing since I left. I began to identify myself as a sexaholic. I struggled to get a 30-day chip and then a 60-day chip. I kept going to meetings. I could not figure out how to stay sober. My triggers became more frequent and the desire to have sex with myself and others returned. The once-a-week meetings were no longer enough for me. I became willing to do whatever it took to stay sober and grow in recovery. I started attending an early morning Sexaholics Anonymous meeting of men and women.

Before I went to meetings with men, I prayed I would be shielded from lusting after others and being lusted after. At first I kept my head down and listened. To my surprise, I heard my story told over and over again. I began to feel alive again. I took another chance and started attending a very large mixed meeting at the suggestion of my sponsor. I was amazed to meet people who had ten or more years of sobriety! I hadn’t known that was possible. I started to share at meetings and I did not die. I was welcomed as one of them.

Today, I am proud to say that I am a recovering sexaholic who loves going to Sexaholics Anonymous meetings, and I am supported by hundreds of people in the Sexaholics Anonymous fellowship, both women and men. I am not alone anymore.

Pornography addiction recovery story.

There is a solution.

It’s 11 p.m. again, way past my bedtime, but I’m still sitting at the computer. I’m so exhausted I can hardly type. I’ve been searching the Internet for sex for more than six hours straight. There were things I needed to do, but they will have to wait. I’m forgetting things and starting to be careless. Tomorrow I am not even turning on the computer.

Morning comes and I look at my face in the mirror. There are dark circles under my eyes. I’m unshaven, unkempt, looking like a mess. It’s going to be another long day at work.

Now it’s evening and I’m glad this day is over. I have to do laundry, shopping, and some errands, but I’m pumped up on cyber-sex and Internet porn. Every woman looks like she could be “the One.” I stare at every one with lust in my heart. I am lost again in fantasy. I can’t wait to get home again and turn on the computer. I tell myself, “Not tonight,” but only finish half the things I meant to do and rush home to get online. Again.

I started my sexaholic journey with men’s magazines that I found around the house. As technology advanced, so did my addiction. I started with 8 millimeter movies, then progressed to Super 8. Beta was next, then VHS. When the computer was available, I immediately started into chat rooms, images, and setting up meetings with people.

I always felt I was different from most people. I met a woman on the Internet and had an affair with her. She became pregnant and was adamant about keeping the baby. I didn’t want to have a child with this woman. I prayed: “God if you get me out of this, I’ll be good.” When she miscarried, I continued my ways. When I got a call from a woman I was chatting with, my girlfriend (now my wife) heard the phone message and asked me who it was. I lied. The betrayal and denial continued until one day when I saw a TV program about sex addicts.

I found that I could relate to the stories. I decided to seek help. Endlessly trying to stop without success was proof of how powerless I was. I saw no way out short of divine intervention. The downward spiral stopped when I found Sexaholics Anonymous.

I remember that first meeting as if it were yesterday, though now it is over seven years ago. Three members gave me an introduction to Sexaholics Anonymous. I felt as if I had stepped into a warm, welcoming home. I wasn’t alone anymore. Here were men and women who understood and shared my struggle, but had changed and were willing to help me change. No longer was I afraid to share my thoughts and experiences.

I believe now that God had a plan for me all along. God’s intention for me was to get well so I could help others get well. It was never any more complicated than that. God saved me from the full consequences of my addiction so that I might live to help others. Today my life is very different. The Internet is no longer my master. I am tempted but not obsessed. I don’t act on the temptation because I have tools I can use to help me through the rough times. I am part of a recovery community that is much greater than myself. I was powerless to stop my behavior and change, but God has changed me through this program.

This disease is more powerful than I am. It brought me to my knees. I believe that God gave me this disease to bring me closer to Him and so that I can share my hope and recovery with others. For Sexaholics Anonymous and the people in the fellowship, and God’s love, I will always be grateful.

Indescribable joy of being free from sex addiction

My name is D..... and I am a sexaholic. I have been sober for 13 years and six months - proof that the programme of Sexaholics Anonymous works for me. It works because I work the programme.

When I started my journey of recovery, I was not prepared to call myself a sexaholic, even though my life was unmanageable, I knew I had a problem with lust, and I was attracted to men. I was in denial.

I joined the SA fellowship in May 2001.  At my first meeting, as I heard people share I thought, “What a lot of sick people” - but of course I was the sickest one there, because I didn’t know I was sick.  When I saw that the programme involved Twelve Steps, I thought, “Okay, I will do one Step a week.  That means that, with a bit of hard work, I will be out of this place in 12 weeks.”  But by the end of the meeting I realized that these people had the same problem that I had: they were powerless over lust.

Needless to say, the next week I was willing to identify and say “My name is D..... and I’m a sexaholic.” I am still saying this more than thirteen years later. At last I had found a group of people who cared, who were honest with God, and who were honest with themselves and others.  I was home. The Twelve Steps became the framework on which I built my new life and to repair relationships.

What Was It Like?

I became interested in sexual things when I was eight or nine years old.  I was a shy, introverted boy. I was curious about girls and soon found that by playing “Doctors and Nurses,” I could exploit my girl cousins and their friends. My only male cousin died when he was eleven, so my acting out was with girls at this point.  I would also read magazines, using the images to feed my lust.  I had a stash of my favourite magazines hidden under my bed.

My father was an alcoholic and a World War One veteran who had served at Gallipoli.  He had emotional issues as a result of the war.  In fact, I think this was the reason he took to alcohol: to anesthetize his hurt and war memories.

My father found it difficult to show his love. He would buy me expensive presents, but what I needed was his approval and love, and I never felt that I got that.  He was often quite violent and many times I had to stand between him and my mother to protect her from harm.  I despised him for this. My mother on the other hand was a nurturing person who tried to be both mother and father.

I was the youngest of six children.  My brother was fourteen years older than I was, with four sisters between us. I never really connected with him because of the age difference. I was brought up in a Christian home and attended church regularly (which I continue to do to this day). My father attended church but also drank heavily. When he died at 94, he had changed for the better.  I miss him very much.

My parents owned a business and we moved around a lot as they changed the location of their business. I attended three different primary schools.  I was often “the new kid on the block” and I was bullied a lot, both at primary and high schools. I was 12, when a 14-year-old boy touched me in an inappropriate way. This was my first sexual experience with another male. From then onwards, I started to compare my sexual maturity with others.

In high school, I flirted a lot with girls but never had any relationships. I still hankered after approval from boys of my own age as well as older men. During this time I started to fantasize and masturbate on a regular basis - to comfort myself, to hide my loneliness, to hide the feeling of being inadequate, and to help me to go to sleep at night.

During this time I went to the beach with my parents.  In the changing room I saw a man about forty years old standing naked. He talked to me while I was getting changed. I would recall that image and masturbate, night after night.

When I was 17, I made a profession of faith and thought that now I would be free from this problem of masturbation. I felt free for various periods of time, but when I began masturbating again it would be much worse than before. I was on a downward spiral.

When I was 22, I married a lovely Christian girl to whom I am still married 49 years later (only because she remained faithful to me).  Now I thought, “I can have all the sex I want, when I want it, and no more masturbation.” But I started began again.  By the time I was 27, I had crossed a line that I said I would never cross: I acted out with a man in a public toilet. I felt dirty. I felt weak physically. I felt condemned. I swore that I would not do it again. I even tried to bargain with God as I understood Him.  I said, “God, help me to stop this and I will serve You faithfully forever.”  As I recall, I white-knuckled it for a time. Then, when I was 30, my mother died, and I was back to my old behaviour again.

There were years when I felt free of my obsessive behaviour, but each time I went back to my drug, I would cross another line that I was sure I wouldn’t. In the end I was going to saunas and acting out, going to nude beaches, acting out in public toilets, watching pornographic films in adult shops, and acting out while watching the films. I even paid for sex with men. I would act out on the way to work, during my lunch break, and after work. My whole thinking process was: “Where will I get my next fix.” All the while I wanted to stop, but the more I tried, the worse it became. The more I fought the lust, the more it fought back. Lust was my friend (so I thought), because it numbed my hurt and pain inside. But in reality, it was my enemy.

What Happened?

At 50 years old I had my first heart attack. I thought, “Now is the time to stop.” I tried, but I was unable to stop.  It would be another nine years before I had another rude awakening. I was taken to a hospital with severe angina and was struggling to breathe after a morphine injection. I prayed to my Higher Power to give me the opportunity to put some things right.  God answered my prayer and I decided to seek help. That is how I found Sexaholics Anonymous. 

What it is like now?

As I started working the programme, I realized that I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically bankrupt. I began working the Steps and, when I started Step Three, I got a sponsor. My sponsor was very patient with me - teaching me to be honest with myself, honest with God, and honest with others. He stressed the importance of working the Steps. “No pain, no gain,” he would say.

My breakthrough came as I was working Step Three:  “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”  My problem was that I had to rethink what I understood about God.  My theology told me that God was a loving God, but I thought of Him as a harsh schoolmaster in the sky who would punish me if I did wrong. My natural father was a disciplinarian, so my concept of a loving God had not been reinforced by my natural father’s actions.

But as I worked Step Three, I knew that I needed to make this decision, and I was ready to trust God as a loving Father.  One day, while my wife and the children were asleep, I knelt down in the house so that I could verbalize my prayer. I asked the God of my understanding to take me by the hand, lead me wherever He wanted me to go, and be a father to me. I fully surrendered my will and my life to Him that night.  It seems a contradiction that by surrendering my will to another I would get freedom, but that is how it has worked for me.  I no longer have to make the decisions.  I just ask myself, “Is this the will of my Higher Power or is this a lust-based decision?”  This prayer helps me stay sober one moment at a time.

As I progressed through the programme and started my Fourth Step inventory, I found that I was confused. I was two people. On the inside, I was a hopeless lustaholic; on the outside I was a well-respected church member.  But, as I shared my Step Four with my sponsor, I was able to bring the inside out. When I came to SA, I had one secret that I never intended to tell anyone: that I had experimented with bestiality when I was a teenager.   Yet I was able to share this secret with my sponsor as part of Step Four.  Some time later, I was able to share the secret in a meeting. I knew that I needed to bring this out into the light, and when I did, I began to feel really free.

Bit by bit, I have surrendered my character defects and become closer to the person God intended me to be and as a result closer to the God of my understanding. Now others can see who I really am, warts and all.  Before, I was just a caricature of the person my Higher Power wanted me to be. Now the inside matches the outside. I am no longer the violent, angry lustaholic I once was.

Working the Steps has brought about healing for me, but only by working the programme on a day-to-day basis will I remain sober. To stay sober, I need the whole programme, including sponsoring others, participating in meetings, going to SA conventions, and working the Steps as best I know how.

Most of the men I sponsor have same-sex issues. I encourage all of them to write out their stories, and I am helped in my own recovery as they share their’s with me.  Sometimes, when I hear a sponsee share, a memory will return and I will need to write a fourth step inventory.   In this way, working with sponsees enhances my own programme.

Because I live in a remote location, attending SA conventions is important to me.  I live on an island some way from the mainland. There are only three SA members here. We have a face to face meeting every two weeks because of the long distance (140 kms round trip), and I have regular contact with other SA members by Skype, phone or email, and participate in two VoIP White Book Studies each week.  But to interact with more sexaholics, I regularly attend conventions on the mainland.  There, I find a concentrated focus on fellowship, working the programme and  listening to others as they share. I learn how others are working the Steps, and see how others are being set free from their addiction.  I see the progress that they are making, and I want that too! To be able to listen to so many other member’s stories is a privilege for me, and vital if I am to remain sober.

I also do a lot of reading.  I have read and re-read the Sexaholics Anonymous, Step into Action, and other programme material.  One article that has helped me immensely was published in Best of Essay, Practical Recovery Tools 1994-2003.  In the article, entitled “Lust Based Decisions”(p. 79), the author used the acronym “LBDs.”   I use this tool daily as I work my programme, and I remind my sponsees to “remember those LBDs.”

Today, as a result of this programme, I have serenity, joy, and peace.  I have many new friends in SA. I am able to have healthy relationships with men; I feel on equal terms with them. I can look the world in the eye and walk tall.  Today, when I see men in the street, I see them as people. I don’t sexualize them. But I had to admit to my own defects before I could surrender them to my Higher Power and ask Him to remove them. I had to be honest with myself first, then honest with my Higher Power and honest with others.  I do all of this moment by moment, one day at a time, dependant on God’s grace for each sober moment.

I began life thinking, “Lust is my friend and the God of my understanding is my enemy.” Now I know that “Lust is my enemy and the God of my understanding is my friend.” I now have healing in the emotional, spiritual, and physical areas of my life. I woke up one morning with a feeling of indescribable joy.  I had forgotten what it was like to experience joy and happiness.  This was a real spiritual experience - one I shall never forget!  I felt that my Higher Power was saying “This is what life is and can be.”

Because of what this programme has done for me, I live to share my story with others.  I want to carry the message to other sexaholics so that they can experience the same release from sexaholism that I have experienced. I found a new life, because someone carried the message to me. Now it is my turn to carry the message to others.

What it is like after 13 years of sobriety?

I have been sober all these years, thanks to God’s grace and the amazing recovery programme of Sexaholics Anonymous. I have been thinking about how I came to achieve this and what steps I took along the way. I know that God keeps me sober. I then started to think about sobriety itself.

What is sexual sobriety? Is it just a physical thing or is there more to it than that? As we read in the Sobriety Definition, “Physical sobriety is not an end in itself but a means toward an end - victory over the obsession and progress in recovery” (SA, 192). As the Solution says, “We saw that our problem was threefold: physical, emotional and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three” (61). I believe that when I reached a point of healing in all three, I started to experience sexual sobriety in a true sense. Being emotionally and spiritually sober (as well as sexually sober) seemed to bring about something far deeper: a positive sobriety.

How did my sobriety begin?

When I acted out, it was always in secret. I was accountable to no one. But at my first SA meeting, I heard, ”Let’s take a minute to introduce ourselves by first name and state our length of sexual sobriety” (SA 197, #5). (I regret that in some meetings this sharing of sobriety dates is no longer practiced.) At my first meeting, I heard some members admit to years of sexual sobriety! Suddenly I was accountable to a group of people for my length of sobriety. As I listened to members share their experience, strength, and hope, I felt a new hope grow within me. I wanted so much what they had, and was eager to soak up their wisdom. Then what? I got a sponsor, and found that by working the Steps with him and regularly attending meetings, I began to progress in recovery. I learned a lot from meetings and from hearing people share their own experiences, including how they worked the Steps. I started to enjoy "progressive victory over the obsession in the looking and thinking,” as well as “the positive sobriety of acting out true union of persons” (SA 193). In sobriety, my relations with others are much improved.

For 50 years, I struggled with same-sex lusting, but today I can relate with men in a healthy way. Men are no longer lust objects. I do not expect to be lusted after. I can feel comfortable around men and encourage them in their endeavours. I also have a deeper emotional connection with my wife. I’ve come to realize the value of doing things that mean a lot to her, such as gardening, even when I don’t naturally care for those things. I have a deeper emotional connection with my four children and four grandchildren. Sponsoring others has helped me stay current on my SA journey.

Often, when a sponsee shares with me a part of his story, I am reminded of something in my own life that needs attention. When sponsees share their pain it resonates with me because I don’t want to be in that place again. I also need to work with my own sponsor so that I can benefit from wise counsel in all of my relationships. The most important thing is keeping a close relationship with my Higher Power. First I was accountable to the group, then later to my sponsor, and finally after I restored fellowship with my Higher Power, I was accountable to Him. He enables me to carry the message of hope to others who are still struggling and share with them my experience, strength, and hope. I have learned the importance of total surrender, and giving up the right to make decisions regarding my sexual behaviour. Today, I let my Higher Power take the driver’s seat in decision making. I find myself often asking “Is this my will or the will of God as I understand Him?” As the pressure of decision making is taken away, I experience serenity. My Higher Power gives me the courage, the wisdom, and the strength to walk in total surrender with Him so that I can make the right decisions.

I will be forever thankful to SA for offering me a new life, a new hope, a new emotional experience, and a new spiritual experience. I am thankful to the God of my understanding who keeps me sober. I am also thankful to those sober members who, by coming to meetings including VoIP meetings (which have played a very active role in my journey of late) and sharing their stories, carry the message of sobriety—the message that I needed so much and that I still need today!

I have to remind my self with a word of warning, lust is cunning, powerful and patient, so very patient!

Thanks for reading these words of old man who is still being held by the hand of the God of his understanding

It works if you work it, work it, don’t shirk it, you’re worth it!

What it was like. Not like that anymore today!

At a recent meeting on the topic of Gratitude, someone shared that she'd made a list of all those things from her past that are "not like that anymore today". This had helped her to see how far she had come and to feel grateful for this progress. It seemed like a good idea to me, so here I go:

Thank you God that the following things of the past that are not like that anymore today.
Not drinking alcohol anymore and waking up with terrible headaches, waking up in my own vomit or in a wet bed.
Not smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, stinking like an ashtray, compulsively grabbing a cigarette first thing in the morning with yellow fingers and a stomach which hurt, amid stinking over-filled ashtrays and cigarettes floating in wine.
Not smoking marihuana anymore, having weird, negative experiences with it, feeling the insidious, sneaky, paranoia-enhancing, destructive influence of it and not being able stop using it.
Not acting-out sexually anymore, not masturbating compulsively anymore, not going to prostitutes, looking at pornography, not spending thousands on sex anymore
Not lusting most of the times and, when I do take a rare second or third look, not trying to white-knuckle my disease, when I am better off surrendering my temptations.
No longer having any debts.
Not moving house every few months.
Not sleeping in dirty hotels because I'd missed the last train home, after acting-out in the red-light district.
Not hitchhiking at night anymore, because I'd missing the last train again after acting-out.
Not having to escape from my home because I was unable to be alone with myself.
Not having strangers in my bed anymore - people I wouldn't mix with in normal life.
Not trying to pull dirty drug junkies anymore and feeling lower than low.
Not doing any sexual things which my friends and family could not approve. (Thank You God for keeping me pure).
Not waking up to find stolen goods in my room - ashtrays, beer glasses, car radios, traffic signs, etc.
Not peeing in anyones mail box anymore.
Not yelling like a lunatic in the city streets at 3 in the morning.
Not knocking on girl's doors at night in the drunken fantasy of having sex with them.
Not stealing bicycles.
Not vandalizing bicycles "just for fun" anymore.
Not vandalizing public property anymore, like bus stops and traffic signs.
Not kicking off car mirrors or breaking off Mercedes stars anymore. (I now actually have friends who own Mercedes).
Not living with my crazy family anymore.
Not living with crazy girl friends anymore.
Not stuffing myself with loads of sugar anymore - like 3 pots of ice cream a day.
Not waking up to the rubbish dump of empty cookie packets, ice cream pots, cakes, etc. on my couch from the night before.
Not being suicidal anymore.
Not being utterly lonely the whole time anymore.
Not having guilt or shame anymore for anything I did last night .
Not yelling at my father anymore.
Not stealing money anymore.
Not having to avoid people because of the harm I had done them. (I have now made direct amends to all).
Not spending money impulsively or compulsively anymore.
Not being in a sect anymore - losing my identity and spirituality.
Not breaking promises to friends (most of the time).
Not shouting and raging (most of the time. When it does happen the quantity and intensity is far less)
Not going to bed after midnight anymore, due to restlessness and just not getting into bed.
Not making impulsive or compulsive decisions (but discussing things with others most of the time).
Not diagnosing and prescribing medication for myself anymore (but following doctor's guidance).
Not sponsoring myself anymore (most of the time).
Not keeping secrets anymore.
Not wearing dirty clothing anymore.
Not living in unsafe places anymore.
Not associating with unsafe people anymore.
Not despairing because I am aging (most of the times).
Not watching TV anymore (I don't have one).
Not going to the movie theater three time a week anymore.
Not feeling desperate because I'm single (most of the times).

When I look back over this list, it is clear that my life has changed dramatically in only a couple of years. 
 

Dear God,  Please grant me the humility and perseverance to continue on this path and the desire to get to know You ever better. 

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