First step prayer.

The first line of the first the first step in the 12 steps and 12 traditions asks us the following question. "Who cares to admit complete defeat?"  The answer I find is quite astonishing. "Practically no one" it states. Perhaps this explains why in the face of such a major problem with lust on a global level the numbers who find their way to an SA meeting and stay for the long haul is relatively small. When I first came to SA I found it almost impossible to admit that I was totally defeated by my addiction to lust and acting out. I knew my sexual behaviour was putting my life in danger on a daily basis due to my risky acting out activity yet I was not in a position to admit I was defeated by it. I still wanted to control it and do it whenever and wherever I wanted. I was trapped. I needed to get help or I would die and unpleasant and lonely death. 

At my first meeting I got a sponsor and he told me that he was "POWERLESS OVER LUST" It was a moment of liberation for me as I knew I was powerless too. If I was to live I would have to accept the fact that I could not control lust. I could not stop insane thoughts coming into my mind at any time of the day or night. I could not do it by myself. I was powerless. So I was given the first step prayer "God I am powerless over lust, please help me." I prayed it like a mantra a thousand times a day whenever lust thoughts came into my mind.

Today after 17 years of sexual sobriety I still use the same first step prayer. It reminds me where I am going with lust and what is at stake for me. I will always be so grateful to the members of SA who gave so freely of their time and helped me to get sexually sober. I needed a lot of help at the start. I was like a man adrift on a sea of lust. I had to find the life raft. Today SA is my life raft and my higher power is at the helm. Step one was the key to getting out of the lust prison I had made for myself. 

Cathal M