My first Sexaholics Anonymous Meeting
My first face-to-face Sexaholics Anonymous meeting was a pretty scary event. I had called a helpline, and the man who answered the phone said that the meeting was that evening at 7pm at a certain church. I arrived 15 minutes early. The church was one of those outdoor Florida sprawling campuses with multiple buildings. As I stood outside what I thought was the proper building, there were teenagers across the walkway yelling and running and having a good time. I was certain that I was open to ridicule and discovery, and I was worried that our meeting would be so near those kids.
Then a man started walking toward me. He was about the scariest, weirdest-looking guy I’d ever seen. His face was shadowed and hidden between a big floppy-brimmed hat and a full beard down to his chest. Somewhere in the middle were two dark beady eyes and a stinking stub of a cigar. I remember thinking that I would never associate with someone like that in my life. But I realized that that he had something I wanted and needed, and that I would have to learn from him.
The man led me to a back door and opened it with a key. Inside was a storage room! Chairs were stacked in one corner, with boxes and piles of things, and even a puppetry stage cluttering the small space. The man pulled down two chairs and we had a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting. No one else showed up. But that night was pivotal to my life; it changed everything for me. It was worth it.
My Live is Much Better Because of Sexaholics Anonymous
In the past I would worry constantly about seeing someone I knew in an SA meeting. People told me, “Hey, they are there for the same purpose you are.” But that just wasn’t enough to calm my fears--until one day, about a year and a half into recovery. I was teaching a course in another city. I had called ahead so I knew where the SA meeting would be that night. When I showed up at the meeting, there was one of my in-class students in the meeting! He looked at me in shock. I looked at him in shock. Then we both laughed nervously and shrugged, and we shook hands in greeting. We both took part in the meeting, and we even shared about the coincidence of seeing each other. Since then I’ve never worried about that kind of exposure. It also helped to dive into recovery with both feet, to really get a face-to-face sponsor, to really follow his directions, and to really work the SA Twelve Steps. I did that.
That scary guy was my first sponsor. By a few months later, I was no longer the same man. By a year later, it had been a year since I’d done any of the dangerous, life-threatening stuff that shamed me so much. As real recovery took hold, I wasn't filled with shame and I no longer needed to hang my head in secrecy. If exposed (and I was a few times) I could say, “Yes, that was me. But I haven’t done any of that stuff in a long time. I’ve found a better spiritual life, and I’m recovered. I spend my time now helping others to find recovery."