Meet an SA woman: A daughter. A sister. A friend. A sex addict. Here's how she became free from lust.
What does it mean to be free of lust?
Being free from lust means clarity to me. I have clarity in all aspects of my life today. I can be present be in moment. I can see myself realistically. I am not better than or less than anyone else. I can see others as human beings. Because of Sexaholics Anonymous, I am no longer self-centered, thinking only of myself. I am connected to my Higher Power, and when I pray, I can let Him guide me. I can admit that I am powerless and that I need His help. I cannot be lust-free on my own; I need my Higher Power and others help as well. But in SA, I am restored to sanity and clarity.
Was there a time when you weren't living in this freedom? What was that like?
When I do not surrender my lust, am living in the chaos of my mind. I am not connected to the present moment, to other people, or to God. I am isolated in my mind. I cannot concentrate. Lust becomes my identity and my God. I put unrealistic expectations on the man I am with, and expect him to be perfect and live up to my unrealistic expectations. Lust also creates self-hatred and shame. When I’m lusting, I feel like I am defined by this addiction.
How did you finally become free from lust?
Working the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous with my sponsor. Participating in face-to-face meetings and phone meetings. Reaching out to the other women in the SA program. At first I thought I was terminally unique, but now I realize that it does not matter what form my acting out was. We Sexaholics have more similarities than differences. Writing also helps me see my situation more clearly. I have worked Steps One through Three on the man I am lusting after. I pray for the man I am lusting after. I ask God to help relieve me of the lust and see that man as a human being rather than an object.
How did SA members help you in your journey to freedom?
In mixed meetings I realize that the men are not so different from the women. We all have the same addiction. I can talk to the men and not lust after them, and I can see them as brothers. I also post my struggles to online SA groups and I get support from others when I am struggling. I call and email other women. We cannot do this program of recovery alone. I call my SA sponsor on a daily basis. When I meet a female newcomer I call her and reach out. I call women in the program on a daily basis.
What message would you give to SA women you meet in meetings or at conventions?
Please do not give up, even if you relapse. You are not alone; other women have been where you are. You are not defined by this addiction. You are a woman of worth. We all deserve happiness and freedom. Let’s take each other’s hand and not isolate. We are sisters who need each other.
Sober since November 2010