Select stories from recovering sex addicts

Welcome to the Members Share section of our website.

Here members of Sexaholics Anonymous share their experience, strength and hope. There are stories for everyone, from all walks of life. We hope that you can find inspiration from these shares.

Please always remember that the Member Shares are not official literature of Sexaholics Anonymous, they remain the personal opinions of their respective authors.

Exact Nature

Scared but relieved - my exact nature

When I first came to Sexaholics Anonymous meetings, I was both scared and relieved. I was scared of all of those other people and what they might think about me. I was scared that I might have to tell them all the exact nature of what I had done. But I was relieved to have a place where I could unload anything. So I kept up the practice of unloading my junk from the previous week at each weekly meeting. And then one day while I was "sharing," another member raised his hand because what I said had triggered lust in him. I felt terrible, and I was shocked and confused.

Fast forward to today, and I understand much more about the purpose of SA groups, including online groups. Tradition Five tells me that "Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry its message to the sexaholic who still suffers." And I believe that is done best by sharing my "experience, strength and hope." That experience will of course include my weaknesses, failures, and defects, but the focus even then will be on what God has done in my life as I work the Steps and positively develop my relationships with God and others.

One of the other reasons (besides not wishing to trigger others) that I avoid sharing details about my specific forms of acting out today is that in the past I would use that as a way to make myself unique--someone special and different than others. I've sometimes heard a member use “terminal uniqueness" as an excuse to avoid working the Steps, because, "The  Steps won't work for me; I'm different." I was one of those, but I’ve learned that I'm not different. I'm the same as any other sexaholic, regardless of anyone else’s particular attractions or forms of acting out. The core for all of us Sexaholics is the same: lust driven by selfishness, self-centeredness, and other core defects that result in vast possible range of acting out and acting in behaviors.

Carrying the Message of Sexaholics Anonymous

Step Five of Sexaholics Anonymous follows Step Four (that is, “a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves”) for a reason.  Step Five says, "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."  When it came to the "exact nature of my wrongs," the place to unload that was after taking my Step Four inventory with my sponsor (after Steps One, Two, and Three). The Steps are in a sequence for a reason. And when I did my Fourth Step inventories as directed by my sponsor, that load of guilt dropped from my shoulders--whereas unloading my latest pile of junk in a meeting did not.

So today, I realize that I don't have to share "the exact nature of my wrongs" within a group. I can focus on what God has done and is doing for me. I can share my experience, strength, and hope. The Sexaholics Anonymous program works if you work it.  And a sponsor can certainly help a newcomer learn the difference.

Withdrawl brings lasting relief

Grateful Memory

 

Celebrating seven SA old-timers

who died sober

Dan N,  San Diego

Debbie L,  San Francisco

 Frank S,  San Diego

 Gordon,  Galveston

Jesse L,  Bozeman 

Roy K,  Simi Valley

Todd F,  New Jersey

 

And all other members of Sexaholics Anonymous

who have remained sober until the end of their lives.

 

Lust addiction is a chronic illness - there is no known cure.

We remember too those for whom it has also been a fatal illness.

Self-Will Run Riot

My Sneaky Desire To Be Lusted After

When I realized that women were attracted to men who don't stare at them (ha ha), I became aware of just how sneaky my desire to be lusted after could be. Playing the "hero" role is one of the ways that I pursued lust. I personally did not sense any separation between extreme self-will run riot (Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” page 62) and Iust.  They go hand-in-hand for me.  The Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” tells me that Iust is an attitude that demands that a natural instinct (sex) serves unnatural purposes (White Book, page 40).  That's my definition of Iust and self-will. Lust is never satisfied. Lust always wants everything to be more, better, and different.  But as soon as it gets what it wants, lust is not satisfied. That's just what self-will was like for me.  

I was never satisfied. I always wanted more. I took life to a sick extreme--I was expecting to be satisfied but I never really got there.  I was like the wealthy business man sitting on his giant yacht feeling suicidal, wishing he had that "other" boat, and never reaching the point of real happiness.   

Lust Addicted As A Child

When I was 10 years old I discovered masturbation, and I knew right then that it was going to be something very important to me.  I experienced the phenomenon of craving and the ease and comfort of a few drinks (Alcoholics Anonymous page xxv, “The Doctor's Opinion”) almost immediately.  The only problem was that my behavior conflicted with my moral code of conduct.  When I was ten years old, I had a spiritual dilemma.  I had two options: I could go on to the bitter end in the way I was living, or I could accept spiritual help.  I decided to go on to the bitter end.  Little did I know it would take four decades for me to reach that bitter end.  

Selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-delusion became my best friends.  They were the (negative) spiritual tools that I used to justify my choices.  I started talking to God about my acting out very early.  I would ask God to "look away" when I acted out.  I believed that if God knew what I was doing, it would be counted against me on the big cosmic scoreboard in the sky. I began negotiating exceptions to God's will for myself.  That's what selfishness and self-will run riot did for me.      

The AA Big Book says that some of us pursue the disease to the gates of insanity and death. That's just what I did, all the way, and I spent years hanging out there.  I was crazy, and I justified it all by my ever improving "ability" to negotiate exceptions with God.  I never really stopped believing in God; I just figured that He needed a little help from me along the way to decide what was best for me.  

Lust And Self-Will Run Riot

By this time my addiction--accompanied by my self-will run riot--were working in complete unison to get what they wanted.  The SA White Book says that “the sexaholic has taken himself or herself out of the whole context of what is right or wrong” (page 202), and that was me.  In my sick mind, right was whatever got me my next lust hit, and wrong was whatever got in the way.  That was my own immoral code and I felt totally justified.  Wow, that's scary, just writing it.    

I didn't stop acting out  sexually until I came to the end of my self.  I did not "get caught.”  I did not decide. Lust just became a bad idea.  I ran out of reasons to lie, to others and to myself.  At that moment, self-will lost its grip on me.  It could not hold up to the weight of my absolute failure at living.  I was at the point of self destruction as well as the destruction of those who I loved the most. So I found Sexaholics Anonymous.

At that point I had only one option, and that was total surrender of myself.  I became willing to die to myself.  I was willing to feel what it was like to be miserable on the inside.  I became willing to ask for help.  It even got so bad that I became willing to pray--to really pray with no agenda of my own.

The Gift of Sexual Sobriety

Who knew that the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous would be the beginning of a whole new way of life for me?  I reached out for a flimsy reed and caught the loving hand of God.  I died to a life of self will run riot, and since then I have been been able to live a life of purpose and usefulness.  I thank God for that gift--the gift of sexual sobriety, which I received as a result of working the Twelve Steps in the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous.

 

Overcoming Selfishness in SA Recovery

A Female Sexaholic Makes The True Connection

I never set out to become a female sexaholic. When I was a child, I loved my mother. I thought she was the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the world. I wanted to be like her; she was my Goddess. But while she was looking for my father around the bars, she left us three kids with a neighbour who abused us. One day I gathered the strength to tell my mother what was happening, but she did not believe me (or maybe she did not want to believe me), so she left us once again at the neighbour’s house. That was the day that I started to believe that my mother did not love me.

In my child mind, I thought that if my mother could not love me, it was my fault. If she did not love me, I must be a horrible person. I thought that even a murderer would have a mother who loves him or her. But that day when she left us with the neighbor once again, I started resenting my mother, and I began acting out in my addiction. So I began, not with words, but with my behaviour, to show the world that I did not deserve love from anyone.

If a kind man showed me that he liked me, I immediately thought that he was stupid--so stupid that he did not notice that I was not worth anything. But if I were badly treated by a man, I would think, "This man is clever, he knows that I am not worth anything.” And no matter what bad things men did to me, I could never leave them. I was completely powerless until a man replaced me with another woman. Only twice could I leave a man, and that was with psychiatric medication.

What brought me to SA?

Eventually I could no longer stand the violence. I was desperate. But even then I could not leave my current partner. I was not able to run away. My story repeated again and again. I did not know that I was an addict.

Then one day I came across Sexaholics Anonymous on my computer, and I wrote to them asking for help for that man. I wanted help for him because I could not leave him.  I was convinced that he was ill and that everything was his fault. At the end of my email, I said that I thought he had some little behaviours like masturbation, which I thought was normal.

Soon after I sent the email, a sober female sexaholic in SA phoned me. This woman did not know me, and she was from another city, but she listened to me for more than an hour, and she did not ask for anything back in return. I was quite surprised that she was willing to spend so much time with me.

At the time I thought I might be pregnant because I had so many pains in my body. I was always tired and hungry. I thought I might have psychiatric problems--perhaps I was bipolar or something--because of my emotional ups and downs of energy. I saw a public psychologist who specialized in gender issues, because I really did not know if I were heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or even transexual. I was confused, and I did not want to be a victim any longer. I wanted to have control and power, even above women.

At that time I was convinced I was atheist. I did not believe that God could exist if I were suffering so much. But the sober female sexaholic who called me became my sponsor, and things began to change. At the very beginning, she told me that the most important thing in the world was my sobriety, and that I was not to masturbate (until that day I thought it was normal), and I could not see that man again.

My sobriety has had two phases. In the first three months, I withdrew from sex, dependency relationships, obsession, several drugs (I don’t remember which ones), and powerlessness over money (I am also a debtor, and I began that programme a year and a half ago). I was hungry all the time, and I wanted to sleep most of the time. Thanks to God I was able to return to my mother’s home, and I was able to receive care from her. I worked at home in my own business as soon as I was able to do so, and with a lot of effort, most of the time I was able to crawl to my local SA meeting. At first, I had trouble relating to the men, but thanks to God there was another woman in my meetings, and she was my support early on.     

After three months of avoiding the last man in my life, my mind slowly began to recover from lust addiction. The pains slowly disappeared, the ups and down began to disappear, and bit-by-bit, my memory began to come back. Then I could go to the police and report what happened to me the last day, when I had bottomed out with that man. Thanks to God, the man stopped looking for me, and I have been a sober female sexaholic since that day. But I cannot go back to that man, ever.  

After awhile I began to feel as if I had woken up after a scary nightmare. I realized how my life had changed. And that memory gives me the strength every day to continue to be sober, and not to go back to my past behaviors

The things I do to maintain my sobriety today as a sober female sexaholic

1. I attend meetings in four different programmes: two addiction programs (SA and Debtors Anonymous) and two codependency programs (S-Anon and CODA).  I work all of these programmes at the same time; this is important for my sobriety.  I work them on different days during the week, but all in the same week, so that I can be sober in all of the programs, and not fall into one addiction while I am sober in another.

2. I attend to three face-to-face meetings every week (two SA meetings and one in another fellowship), as well as a Skype meeting in another fellowship. I need the face-to-face meetings so that I can feel the energy of the recovery, and I am encouraged when I hear the suffering and the effort of other fellows, especially other female sexaholics.

3. I do service. Doing service (any kind of service) helps me feel useful to others, and that is a gift!

4. I have an SA sponsor who has listened to me talk about my entire life, and she has guided me through the Steps. She is a gift; I am very grateful her. In less than two years, she has helped me more than all of the psychologists during my entire life before SA. Also, having sponsees helps me to see how that was me at the beginning. I can see how my pain can be useful to others. That is really a gift!!!

5. I attend every SA convention. Conventions recharge my batteries, and from one convention to another, I get to see people who I do not usually see, and I learn a lot and am able to share in a healthy manner with others.

What it’s like now

When I first came back home to live with my mother, I slept on the sofa every night for one year and nine months, with my two cats. It was difficult to sleep on the couch, but that was what I needed to do to avoid masturbation. I also was able to forgive my mother (I had previously felt that she was the cause of my addiction). Forgiving my mother helps me to not run to the first man I find each time I feel that my mother hurts me. Forgiving others has helped me to stopping acting out in my addictions.  I have learned that my mother is not bad, she is sick--just like I am. She did what she could, the best she knew how. I have also forgiven abusive men. I forgiven those who have hurt me, because SA is a programme of forgiveness.

How I love myself and take care of myself today

I cannot stay up until late at night.

I cannot drink alcohol or any drink that I cannot monitor.

I need a lot of rest; a minimum of 9 ór 10 hours every day.

I cannot eat too much or be too hungry. Sugar or heavy meals do not fit me well, so I try to eat as healthy as possible.

I have learned to recognize myself as a dignified person of love and care, who has much to offer others and who loves others. Today I am very sensitive to any sign of  disrespect from others.

I recognize that my mother loves me in her own way

I feel worthy that, because of SA, I have been able to change my behaviour and clothing and really every part of my life.

I became employed by others so I that could continue paying all my debts.

I quit working giving massages to men and even women. During all this time in recovery, I cannot bear any contact with men, not even shake hands.

I left ALL of my past friends. All of them. Of course I left the men, but the women friends in my life were also so abusive that they were also toxic to me.

I began the S-Anon programme so I that could meet other women who suffer from sexaholic men--and those are wonderful meetings.

My Higher Power Today

I used to be a member of the Catholic church, but today I recognize so much more that a Higher Power exists, because of all of the “coincidences” I experienced. My High Power takes care of me, and sometimes He gives me messages through others.

The first day I experienced the energy of a Higher Power was after reading my Step One at a  meeting in Madrid. After the meeting--for the first time in my life--I was ready to do an act of love for my mother, and accompany her to visit the Basilica. Life Passion was playing by actors among the streets and inside the Basilica. The experience of being inside the Basilica that day--completely full of people connecting with God--made me cry. I felt the energy of God. Since then, I have continued visiting the Basilica during the chorus and music at mass every Sunday.

Gratitude for SA

Today I believe that all of my suffering was needed to get me to Sexaholics Anonymous and to my friends in recovery-- so that I could experience sex addiction recovery. I also have learned that members of SA have the true connection. They helped me to start believing in a Higher Power greater than myself, Who has loved and cared for me throughout all of my life, and so that I could be used by God by helping another female sexaholic with my experience.

Sex Addicted Woman Finds Recovery

Fighting Lust?

Fighting Lust is a losing battle

One of the most important experiences I had as I started working the Steps with my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor was when I realized that fighting lust was impossible for me. I could not fight lust on my own--ever!  Fighting lust thoughts in my head only gave the thought, temptation, or negative emotion even more power to hold on to me. Lust is an 18 foot giant. In a battle with an 18 foot giant, I'm always going to lose. Instead for fighting lust, I had to learn how to surrender it.

Surrendering My Lust to God

Truly surrendering lust (as well as my will and my life) over to God means that I don't have to hold onto lust  or  fight lust anymore. When I'm holding onto lust, it is impossible for me to be free from it. Fighting and surrendering are worlds apart today. In order to have freedom, I had to give up fighting and surrender my will to God to find freedom. As our Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” says:

In summary, for us surrender is the change in attitude of the inner person that makes life possible. It is the great beginning, the insignia and watchword of our program. And no amount of knowledge about surrender  can make it a fact until we simply give up, let go, and let God. When we surrender our 'freedom,' we become truly free". (SA "White Book,” page 81)

Woman Lust Addict

Meet a woman lust addict, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Here is the story of a woman lust addict in recovery in Sexaholics Anonymous

What does it mean to be woman lust addict who is free of lust?

For me, being free of lust means that I am no longer chained to unhealthy desires and actions. I am free from driving half an hour to see a man who I did not really care for nor did he care for me. I know longer have to resort to acting out with myself for comfort or confusion or support or etc.

Was there a time when you weren't living in this freedom? What was that like?

When I was acting out in my addiction, I could not stop acting out with men or myself. I thought I was in control but I always lied to myself that everything was fine, and that I was okay. I lied to others to hide what I was doing and to protect my secrets. I felt guilty for this, but I still did not think I had a problem. I used my mother and friends to babysit my kids so I could act out with a married man. I did not care if I lost my husband or kids over this affair, I actually thought the affair was going to save my marriage. But I lied to myself. The affair that was not satisfying, and it did not fix the empty hole in my soul.

How did you finally experience freedom?

I finally experienced freedom from lust when I admitted to my husband my affair of seven years. It was my husband who went online and found the 20 questions of the SA program.  I answered the questions and we, together, decided that I needed the program and therapy. My therapist felt I needed to find women's groups because my shares with the men in her group were too graphic and triggering for them. She found me an SAA women’s group and an SA women’s group. These programs helped me learn and grow because I had childhood wounds from girls who were mean to me. But one of the meetings faded away and I needed to cut down on meetings because of my children getting into high school, so I put myself on the WISA (Women in SA)  list , so I still could interact with women and Sponsor women. I learned that the more I gave the more I got back because there is true power in this program and the steps.

How did S.A members help you in your journey to freedom?

The SA members helped me my listening to me talk. Just being at meetings gave me comfort that I was not alone, but one of many. I could see the value of being with others with the same problem. The SA members helped me see that their stories had clues and learning experiences for me to adapt for my life and my journey. The people I know who are not in program, are missing out on so much support, knowledge and connections. It is so rewarding to go to an SA meeting and be with people who have the wisdom, hope, and desire to keep on becoming better people!

What would you like to say to another woman lust addict in our SA fellowship?

What I would like to say to an SA woman lust addict is to really put this recovery first, after your Higher Power.  Trust God and your sponsor for any decisions that you are not sure of deciding. Be patient with yourself, treat yourself as you would treat a toddler this is a new arena! You need your support to grow and blossom into the butterfly your Higher Power intended you to be! Never quit! You are worth it so work it! Keep on keeping on!

Female Lust Addict Makes The True Connection

Sex Addicted Woman

Meet a sex addicted woman: a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Here is her story of freedom

What does it mean to be free of lust?

For me, to be free of lust means many things. It means being able to be present, living life on life’s terms, not objectifying myself or those around me, seeing the humanity in people, being other-centered and unselfish, feeling compassion for others, accomplishing things, not wasting time, and being sensitive to others--as well as many other things.

Was there a time when you weren't living in this freedom? What was that like?

I didn’t always live free from lust.  I felt like a wall separated me from those around me--and especially from my loved ones.  I had little capacity to connect with others on a deep level.  I was afraid of letting people in, of being vulnerable and putting my needs out to others to be there for me.  I was incapable of giving and receiving love.  I also found had trouble maintaining friendships.  I felt little compassion for my husband, and felt that I was better than him. I was a true love cripple hiding in my shell. I wanted men to lust after me, and everyone else’s husbands seemed better than mine.  I fantasized about what it would be like to be married to those that attracted me.  I was sexually selfish and focused only on my own pleasure.   

How did you finally experience freedom?

My freedom came from the moment that I admitted to myself, God, and others that I was a sexaholic and that I had been for many years.  Surrendering my lust was not easy, as it was an ingrained habit.  I remember walking down the street and realizing that I habitually checked out every driver on the street, making eye contact and see if anyone was lusting after me.  I prayed and looked down on the floor as I walked. I suddenly realized me how much lust had operated in my life without me even noticing or being aware of it.  I had to stop flirting with men and justifying my flirting, and I had to avoid my triggers and being sensitive to what I exposed myself to.

How did SA members help you in your journey to freedom?

My healing and freedom from lust could not have happened without my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor and my fellows in the program.  The ability to connect with other SA members has been an exhilarating experience. In SA, I feel like I have came home.  My fellow sexaholics understood me as a sex addicted woman when they heard of my deepest and most shameful struggles.  Talking to these members broke the shame of sexuality that I had carried with me for many years.  Also, sitting with men in meetings helped me start to see them as human beings with feelings and struggles.  Through Sexaholics Anonymous, I have learned to connect emotionally with men without objectifying myself or them.  This was a crucial part of my recovery.

What would you like to say to another sex addicted woman in our SA fellowship?

I love spending time with my sisters in recovery and truly connect. We enjoy each other’s company in a non-superficial way.  The more real and honest we become, the deeper the healing and freedom from lust will be.  I love all of my fellow sexaholics who have traveled this journey with me toward peace and serenity.

(Sex addicted woman sober in SA since 2012)

 

Disclosing my sexual behaviour

Female Sexaholic

Meet a female sexaholic:  A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Here is her story of freedom.

What does it mean to be a female sexaholic free of lust?

Because of  the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, I can be free of lust. This means that I am able to surrender my lustful fantasies and imaginations, and I am able to refrain from acting out sexually.  I also have freedom from compulsive, disturbing obsessions, and the inability to form real relationships.

What was that like to be a female sexaholic in active addiction?

Up until I came into Sexaholics Anonymous, I was suffering constantly, and I was surely not living any type of freedom. I was emotionally a mess, living with a huge load of pain and misery, and I used lust and masturbation to escape from the mess. But every time after I used masturbation, I would feel disgusted with myself. I would feel two-faced. I hated myself. I felt disconnected from God.  My life was reaching a rock bottom.

How did you finally experience freedom?

I remember the very first time I applied the tools of the Sexaholics Anonymous program to help me stay sexually sober.  At first, everything seemed new.  I did not understand anything.  All I knew was that I was supposed to  turn to God and surrender my lust.

One sunny day I was standing against a window as I had a lust hit. I turned my gaze up and just repeated many times in a gentle tone of voice these words: “I am powerless over lust and I want to surrender my lust to my Higher Power.”  I was shocked to find that the lust was subsiding from me. This prayer has kept me sober until today, one day at a time, and that has been a sobriety key for me. But more than that, sobriety is a foundation of a whole new way of life.  Emotional stability followed my physical sobriety, and then I was able to work on myself-–my character assets and defects. With that, God has granted me many gifts of the Sexaholics Anonymous program, and I have found happiness and peacefulness within me. Today, because of SA, I am a recovering female sexaholic, building a grounded and successful life for myself--including my family, my kids, my job, and my friends.

How did SA members help you in your journey to freedom?

I had been through the doors of many therapists, doctors, and even hospital before I entered the rooms of SA. But when I came to  Sexaholics Anonymous,  I found something that I had not seen before: A group of people sharing honestly and openly their real and vulnerable feelings! I found that when I spoke to members they were all relating to what I said, and with compassion and humor. SA is a “we” program--we have a common problem and we have a common solution. I’m no longer alone!

What would you like to say to other female sexaholics in our SA Fellowship?

Welcome! I’m looking forward to meeting you all and to getting to know you! I hope that the fellowship works out as well for you as it has worked for me! As we work along the road to recovery, some things can sometimes be quite painful.  Give yourself a chance, you deserve it! It might seem like hard work at first, but all of the work will pay off. The inner peace, freedom, and joy that SA promises are attainable for all of us female sexaholics! May you all experience that!

Recovering Female Sex Addict

 

Free From Lust

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

Is SA for Women too?     About the EMER Support for Women Committee    Sex Addiction - No differnt for Women

Contentment

For me, freedom from lust is contentment.  Today, because of the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, I have a hope and a calmness, and I can experience serenity, peace, and joy.  I am able to be present in the moment, giving full attention to the people I’m with or what I’m doing.  When I’m living free from lust, I also feel emotional clarity. I can be on my “A” game even during trying times and challenging moments.  Contrast that to when I was consumed by lust--that is when  my life becomes unmanageable.

When I’m lusting, I exist in a dense fog, trying to live like two people in one body.  I’m running a whole separate world in my mind than what I’m doing in the presence of others.  I become isolated and consumed with myself: my insides, my thoughts, my schemes, and my fantasies.  I feel heavy and  weighed down. It’s like I’m in a dream where I’m trying to run, but everything is in slow motion, as if I’m running in mud.  I’m fighting a losing battle but my brain does not know it.  I’m on a dead-end street with no escape. There is no joy, no clarity, no calm, no peace, and no rest.  There is only chaos, confusion, and craziness, and it seems there is no hope anywhere.  

Sexaholics Anonymous Has Given Me Hope and Contentment

But I have found hope in Sexaholics Anonymous. The hope was tiny at first, just a brief parting of the clouds.  Then freedom started to show up, when I was able to identify what my struggle was: it was LUST.  As I allowed myself to look at what that meant, my fog started to lift. Lust is a condition of my being incapable of contentment with my life as it is. But through the acceptance of this  condition, I began to put one foot in front of the other, and to show up and take the next step. That meant going to SA meetings, calling other members, getting a sponsor, and working the Steps.  

The SA community showed me that I was not alone and that I can have hope--because there are many others here who are and were just like me.  When I show up at an SA meeting, others are always there. I feel lighter and calmer.   Fellows call me by name and acknowledge me before and after the meetings.  Other women meet with me and we share our experiences, and that makes me feel like I belong.  I gain strength and support through each person at the meetings.  My sponsor diligently works the Steps with me and talks with me regularly.  The whole SA community encourages me to keep coming back, and I do.  

Now I live almost every day in serenity, peace, joy, calm, and contentment.  I know that each morning when I wake up my Higher Power is right there with me.  More than sobriety from sexual addiction and destructive behaviors, I now have an emotional clarity that helps me be able to face everything life throws at me. It all began with my willingness to look inside myself, even if it was just a quick glance.  Then it grew to a longer look, and then a curiosity to learn more and to understand.  Each tiny step of action in my Sexaholics Anonymous program has  led to another step of action.  Daily, these steps lead me to freedom from lust to contentment.

Crazy Srupid Lust

Sexaholics Anonymous Meetings in Vienna

Our English-language Sexaholics Anonymous meeting in Vienna is small but stable, and we are slowly growing. We have five regular members with a range of lengths of sobriety. We use SA literature in the meetings and we hold regular business/group conscience meetings. We are planning to start having regular fellowship after the meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month, starting this evening! So our little band of grateful recovering sexaholics is really starting to bond together. For those of you who live in Vienna (or those of you who are visiting), please come join us!

For more details of SA meetings in Austria please click here

Responsibility

Responsibility in Recovery

I have learned that my recovery is my responsibility. I was sitting in an open S-Anon meeting with my wife one night when I heard her say, "His sobriety is none of my business.”  I wasn't sure how to take that.  Part of me was relieved but another part of me wanted her to be more concerned.  Another time she said, "I don't trust him; I trust God."  Now that one really threw me through a loop.  My ego wants her to be all up on my disease, but my recovering heart is beginning to realize that she is her own person and that my recovery is my responsibility, NOT hers.   

My wife and I talk about our recoveries and what we are learning. We go to meetings together and we carry the message of recovery together--but we take our troubles to our sponsors.  I follow the suggestions of the Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” regarding “'disclosure” (See Sexaholice Anonymous page 3, in the paragraph entitled “A Caution.” In fact, I consider it traumatic for my wife and abusive of me to dump my junk on her.  That mess happened plenty of times during my acting out days, and it still happens now because I'm still learning and growing.   

Life is Wonderful When I Follow the Program of  Sexaholics Anonymous

Another thing that I've learned from SA is that I cannot make anyone trust me.  I can only live a trustworthy life (one day at a time), and let others decide for themselves.  My actions must speak much louder than my words.

And finally, I have very little trouble disclosing my issues when I am working my SA program.  If I am living in the "Fourth dimension” (“Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 25), understanding that  "God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free” (BB page 133), and realizing “that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves" (BB page 84), then alI I have to disclose is that life is wonderful. The fruits of my SA program are better than I could have ever imagined. Lust has nothing to offer me when I roll with what I have learned from the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous.

 

Not Perfect

I'm not perfect and today I'm just fine with that

I heard another Sexaholics Anonymous member share about dropping a necklace down the sink drain, his anger at himself for the error, and his resulting desire to medicate by sexually acting out.  Wow.  This share reminded me of myself.  I have always been a perfectionist.  When I fail at something--even in a tiny way--I want to beat myself up about it, hate myself for days, and feel like a failure. I cannot accept any praise for the part of the work that I’ve done well.  Before SA recovery, my “best” way to feel better about myself was to find a way to get lost in lust and sexual behaviors.  This problem might even be at the core of my disease.

But the SA Twelve Steps have taught me a different way.  As a real-time example this past week, I accidentally backed my car into our RV parked in the driveway.  I scraped up the rear bumper of the car and the side of the RV.  Both of them now need minor repair, mostly buffing out the scrapes. A moment of my inattention will lead to a couple of hours of work on my part (or alternatively about $1000 of work by a body shop).  

My Old Not Perfect Reaction

I am a terrible person for having damaged my car and my RV.  Why didn’t I pay more attention?  Now I’m faced with a lot of extra work for that moment of wrong!  I hate myself.  I resent that I had to have the RV parked in the driveway, in my way.  I look for anything or anyone else I can blame for the incident, such as my wife for not getting things out of the RV quickly enough.  Life is terrible.  I must go act out.

My Current Recovery Reaction

Life really does include incidents like this.  I am not perfect, and that’s okay.  My job is to do what God puts in front of me to the best of my (real) ability.  He is responsible for the results.  When bad things happen, I simply deal with them.  I am not a terrible person for having caused these things.  Instead, I see this as an opportunity for practicing humility, and for reminding myself that I am simply human, part of the human race.  Then I plan how to fix the problem that I have caused.  After that I feel okay with myself and don’t have to go act out.

Sexaholics Anonymous Has Taught Me to Accept My Limitations

Working Step Four in with my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor helped me a lot to gain this attitude.  Looking honestly at my lifelong resentments (and identifying what I had done to initiate them), helped me realize and accept my own limitations.

--SA member sober since 2014

Perfection-ISM

False expectations appearing real

Most of my fear is conversational fear, that is, fear plays doomsday prophet and I try to converse with it.

Doomsday:  Brace yourself!  You're gonna lose your job soon!
Me: How could that be?  My boss just complimented me.
Doomsday:  Naturally you can't foresee calamity.  That's what prophets are for.
Me: But you said I'd lose my job last year.
Doomsday: That was practice.  

My dear counselor has finally given up suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy on my fear.  I keep wishing my counselor would talk to my fear to see how persuasive it can be.  I've tried my best to "de-catastrophize", such as when fear was saying a small bump on my earlobe was the start of malignant cancer.  

Me:  Cancer of the ear lobe is extremely rare.  What are the odds I would have it?    
Fear:  Fine.  Ignore it.  I'm sure the cancer will be easier to treat in advanced stages.
Me: I do not have ear lobe cancer!
Fear: Maybe not.  But your earlobe has skin.  Maybe it's skin cancer.
Me:  I've had this before.  It always goes away.
Fear: Well then, you have nothing to worry about.  Forgive me for caring.  I'll go.
Me:  Good!  (a few minutes later)  O god, what if he's right? 

I even have what might be called "automotive hypochondria."  A little rattle in the engine compartment makes me suspect the transmission - the most expensive repair short of buying a new car.  All this would suggest I have a deep-seated fascination with the worst possible scenario.

Maybe that's why lʊst fantasies are irresistible to me.  In fantasy, the extremism works the other way: I conjure up the best possible scenario.  I imagine visiting the doctor's office, the most attractive doctor comes in, locks the door in the most definite way, and so forth.

I used to wonder whether I preferred porn or fantasy, which for me is like choosing between French fries and chocolate.  A fantasy woman produced a more intense high, since I could control her absolutely, but a porn woman was more real, or at least insofar as a mass of pixels radiating on a plastic surface creating the illusion of movement can be called real.

Anyway, today it seems to me that I should treat lʊst fantasies and fear fantasies the same way.

The Miracles of Sex Addiction Recovery

My Sex Addiction Caused Separation

My wife has recently come back into my life, after several months of complete separation as a result of my sex addiction. This alone is a miracle, and I need to constantly remind myself of that.  And yet--even with this miracle, as well as knowing how much love she shows me (through supporting my recovery, taking the huge risk to herself by sharing her feelings honestly with me, and on and on)--I am still defective and love crippled. I find myself at times focusing on how to hurry the reconciliation process along on my terms, on how I need her to show me love NOW. My crazy mind even tries to convince myself that I shouldn't fully trust her (such incredible irony after all I've done to violate her trust, and all she's done to show grace and forgiveness and support in spite of it all).

Sexahoilcs Anonymous Has Reunited Us

I’m also scared that I can't possibly show her the kind of love that she shows me and needs for herself. But, bit by bit I think (I hope!) that, through the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, I'm progressing and allowing my Higher Power to do for me what I could never have done for myself. Because of Sexaholics Anonymous, I have so much to be grateful for, each and every day.

The miracle of surrender

Miracles

The Many Miracles of Sexholics Anonymous

I have experienced many miracles in my life, and the miracles continue to flow in. I know deep inside that I am a sexaholic, and that I will always be a sexaholic. Without my loving Higher Power, I am a complete failure. But just for today, when I commit to help my fellows in Sexaholics Anonymous and practice surrender and humility, God sends me many gifts. He has open doors for me--things that I could only have dreamed of in my past life.  I want to share those miracles with you all, because I have been told that “I can't keep it unless I give it away."

I’ve been dating a woman for two months now, and it things have been going really well.  Just last week I told her about my sex addiction as well as my same-sex lust. I had the support of all my fellows in Sexaholics Anonymous, including my sponsor, as well as God as I understand Him. The disclosure was difficult, good, hard, and confusing! It was not easy. But today our friendship is in much better shape. She is digesting things. She asks questions. She shares these things with her close friends and she even consults with a therapist from her past. We are trying to make the relationship work, one day at a time. Just for today.

I'm doing my part. I’m becoming more comfortable in a relationship. I’m beginning to understand what it means to have another person in my life. One day at a time, I share my life with her. I think about her and not just myself. Knowing and accepting that she is interested in me, I plan my week with her. I’m amazed that she wants to be with me at all. She  thinks I'm a man, and that I'm funny. She says that I'm cute (and I’m no longer insulted to be called cute!).   

I have also experienced miracles in the sexual aspect. I cannot explain it, but--after many years of only same-sex lust--now that I'm sober, I feel attracted to her emotionally as well as  physically. I feel that I have something to give her, that I am a man next to her. Sometimes it's okay to feel insecure or unsuccessful. We are equal but different, and we are together. It is  really exciting! I feel like a 13 year-old-boy who has fallen in love for the first time. And while that may sound childish, I do not care   For me it's a new, unique, and exciting experience, and it has been especially unexpected and unbelievable.  I feel that I am a miracle of Sexaholics Anonymous, and a miracle of the God of my understanding.

All of us in SA are proof that God exists. He is involved with all of us humans. He is  compassionate and loving, and He takes care of each of us personally.  But without the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, none of this would have happened to me. My service to the fellowship of SA for the last two and a half years has paid off, every second, and tenfold. Thank You God for SA!

More Miracles of Sex Addiction Recovery

Humility

Humility was a lesson I needed to learn

The  “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me at the beginning of Chapter Three:

We [sexaholics] are men and women who have lost our ability to control our [lusting]. We know that no real [sexaholic] ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals--usually brief--were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.

And the Chapter ends with this serious conclusion:

Once more: The [sexaholic] at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink [of lust]. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.

 

I was talking with another member at our local SA meeting tonight about how the Twelve Step program is a spiritual program. As addicts, we have experienced failure time and again to stay sober while we were trying to maintain sobriety in our own efforts and power. We lacked the necessary humility to fall on our knees and surrender our wills and lives to a loving God who could and would keep us sober. At the time, we both had fancied ourselves to be spiritually minded, but either there was something terribly wrong with our God, or there was something terribly wrong with what we believed about that God.

Surrendering My Will to God Keeps Me Sexually Sober

I had to come to believe in a God Who could be trusted to be loving and forgiving and willing to do for me what I could not do for myself. If I did not t trust that God, then I would not turn my will and life over to His care. And without a "Higher Power,”  I was doomed in my weakness and would never find freedom from the bondage I had put myself under. I was hopeless and despairing, something that AA calls a "pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization."

Learning humility through humiliation

And that humiliation and pain produced just enough humility in me to surrender to God and beg for freedom. And God could and would--and He did! Working the Steps the way I was told taught me how to connect rightly with that God, a God who has all power, including power over my lust.

A Traffic Lesson in Humility

Actions Enable Sexual Sobriety

At first, my addict brain kept forgetting what actions enable sexual sobriety for me. But today I have tools that help me to stay sober:  making phone calls, attending meetings, giving and receiving sponsorship, and working the Twelve Steps. Those actions enable sexual sobriety in my life.

My addict brain would like me to think that I can stop myself from acting out, or that I’ll be okay if I can just stay off the Internet, or if I just don’t look around too much. Of course those things help, but that is not the SA program, and therefore that is not what keeps me sober. Today when I see something that triggers my lust, my first impulse is to pull away and avoid the trigger--or maybe even get closer. But neither approach is the SA program. Instead, making phone calls, attending meetings, participating in sponsorship, and working the Twelve Steps are actions that build the"new" me--a sober me. My experience, strength, and hope is that by keeping up the SA program of recovery, I will stay sober today and I will continue to recover.

My Actions Enable Sexual Sobriety in Sexaholics Anonymous

As I have worked the Sexaholics Anonymous Twelve Steps, I have seen a lot of ugly the parts of my character come out. And in improving my character, I have sometimes gone through phases where (to the people around me) I probably actually look like I’ve gone backward. I realized in my Step Four that much of my former life was guided by fear and avoidance. Trying to face my fears caused me to treat some people badly, and then eventually I would act out.

The program of Sexaholics Anonymous has kept me sober since 2015

At first, I wanted to be sober only to avoid upsetting my wife. Eventually, I had to learn to get sober for myself, and that was difficult. I also tried various experimentations with hormones, antidepressants, and ADHD stimulants. I must have appeared pretty messed up at times.

Recovery for me has never been a straight line, and to those around me it probably has at times appeared to be quite scary. I realize today that each of us has our own journey. And just as sober SA members were open and supportive of me at first, I need to be supportive of  my new SA brothers.  I can’t wait to see what my Higher Power has in store for me next!

Sexual Sobriety - a gift

Sexual Sobriety - A Gift

Sexual Sobriety is the greatest gift

I’m grateful today to have received the gift of sexual sobriety through Sexaholics Anonymous. I needed to travel to a large city where I lived in the past. I went to university there, and I had a lot of mixed feelings about being there--some good, and some not so good. But I found that the SA “Solution” works in this town too. While I was there, I prayed the Serenity Prayer, met with others, and spent some time building positive relationships from the past.

Surrendering Fear

I did have some fear that I would bump into a person who I had wronged in my addiction. And then I thought "Well, I'm not on Step Nine yet. If I find that I need to address this person, I will just have to come back to town and do it” (with God’s help of course). And it felt really good to have the Solution of the Twelve Steps concerning this. I feel good to have a plan of action now--orderly direction for my life that I can trust will work if I am willing to do my part. And that gave me peace today--just for today, one day at a time. I am very grateful to be a part of the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous. Experience  shared is such a great help on this path, especially when I am traveling! I am extremely grateful for the fellowship of SA.

Finding Sexual Sobriety through Sexaholics Anonymous Conventions      Finding Sexual Sobriety South Of The Equator      Grateful for Sexual Sobriety Through Sexaholics Anonymous

Memories

I cannot make my memories disappear

Concerning my thoughts and memories, my first SA sponsor warned me that my mind was a dangerous neighborhood for me to be alone in.

Years ago, a gentle and wise psychologist asked me to write down some of my early childhood memories. He pointed out that in those memories I was always alone. Even though I was not physically alone, in my mind I was alone, because I did not relate well with others. I needed the SA fellowship in order to recover from lust. I needed to work on relating and sharing with others. I have a tendency to isolate, so need I to work at relating and sharing with others every day.

It is like my wearing glasses. I started wearing glasses when I was eleven years old. I am a senior citizen now, and I still wear glasses. My prescription has changed over the years, but I have not outgrown my need to wear glasses: I need to use them every day.

I have also found that  fighting what is in my head and working to clear my head of lust are ongoing, lifelong struggles. However, over the years I have learned to recognize problems more quickly, and now I know some solutions.  I cannot make the old thoughts and memories disappear entirely, even though I wish I could. However, because of what I’ve learned in SA, I can put new and more correct thoughts into my mind to compete with the old thoughts. When the old thoughts come, I remind myself of the truth about my problem. SA recovery is a lifelong, ongoing process--and ongoing study of the Sexaholics Anonymous literature is important for my recovery.

Sexaholics Anonymous Offers Solutions for Overcoming Sex Addiction

I also need frequent meetings and I need daily prayer and meditation to help me stay sexually sober. I need to work daily at putting healthy thoughts and desires in my mind. Prayer and meditation help me learn to control and clear my thoughts. They work but they also take ongoing practice. That is why Step Eleven is so important for me. It involves learning to work with my thoughts, while allowing my Higher Power to help me overcome wrong thinking.

Today I know by experience that the Sexaholics Anonymous program really works. My problems might be lifelong, but SA offers lifelong solutions, as long as I keep coming back.

Delusional Thinking          Thinking about Suicide        

Scary Steps

These Scary Steps Are Actually Love in Action

Are the Steps scary? Early on I asked an old-timer how long would I have to work the Twelve Steps. He replied, "You have to work the Steps until you learn to live the Steps."  I had no idea what he meant by that.  

As the Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” says, "Encouraged to continue, we turned more and more away from our isolating obsession with sex and self and turned to God and others" (SA pg 204). That's what happened to me when I began the journey of working the Twelve Steps through the SA fellowship.  But the White Book also says,"All this was scary,” and it was scary then and still can be scary for me.

I was scared and felt sexually triggered while writing out my Step One, so I would work on it in a small portable classroom building where my local SA fellowship holds meetings.  While the meeting was going on in one room, I would sit in the next room writing.  At the end of the meeting I would join the group for prayer and fellowship. Facing my powerlessness was scary but the fellowship was there for me.  

This morning I was reminded of some childhood sexual trauma, and it was scary--but I was on the phone talking with my sponsor at the time, and I could tell him immediately.  Today I can face my Step One without the fear of being overwhelmed by it.   

For me, every Step was scary and challenging

For me, every Step was scary and challenging.  None of it was easy. But every time I did the spiritual work, I experienced the spiritual benefit.  And the same is true today.  I sit down and have a hard conversation with my spouse.  It's scary but we have experienced growth and intimacy.  I have coffee with my 30-year-old son and the conversation does not go my way, but at the end we hug and agree to do it again next week.  I seek my Higher Power via prayer and meditation and wonder whether this is the time that I will be found guilty and unworthy.   And once again my fear is proven to be false.

I rarely leave my house in the morning without telling my Higher Power that I love Him, and asking Him what I can do for my fellow man or woman today.  It's funny--the answer I most often receive is this:  "Tell them they are loved."  So that's what I try to do each day.  For me that is the Twelve Steps in action.  

A Million and 12 Steps       The 12 Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous      Ways I've Avoided Working The Steps

Expectations

Expectations - Premeditated Resentments

Through Sexaholics Anonymous I have come to realize that my own expectations of other people are what cause me most the most heartache. Recently I was ill, so I took sick leave from work. I expected understanding from the members of my department and my bosses--but, alas--they all walked away blissfully and communicated their expectations via SMS.  I was very disappointed by their behavior and shed many tears over this. Then I remembered a frequently quoted excerpt from the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” (p. 417):

“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life unacceptable to me--and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.”   

God made everything so simple

While my problem had appeared to be insurmountable before that, the moment I gave it up to my Higher Power I felt peace. God made everything so simple, I was almost disappointed that couldn't complicate matters!  Thank you God for reminding me that I can always count on You  for everything, and that You are all I need. Without God, I can't. Without me, God won't.

Thank you God for humbling me!

Sexaholic woman, powerless over lust in any form and sober since mid 2016

More about false expectations appearing real

Getting an SA Sponsor

There's a great section in the Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” titled "Getting an SA Sponsor” (SA, pages 72-75).  I believe that this section is important for anyone who is looking for an SA sponsor. There is a really important italicized sentence on 72:

"I wanted to stay in charge. That's why God and healing could never get to me."

That was me at first; I made that mistake. I wanted to stay in charge!

Early on when I was dabbling in the SA program (a really insane thing to do), I looked for just the right person who I thought would be just the right sponsor for me. And then when he agreed, I went about working the Twelve Steps in the way I thought they would work for me. When I talked to my sponsor, I would tell him my ideas about how I was doing things. Then I would ask his opinion, just in case he had something small to add to my well-thought-out plans.

Not Working with an SA Sponsor

The relationship did not last long. I wanted him to be what I wanted him to be and to say what I wanted to hear, and to never tell me I should do something that I didn't feel like I needed to do. The problem was my attitude. I had not yet acquired the requisite humility to be willing to follow a SA sponsor's suggestions and to do things someone else's way. I needed a lot more humility, and I needed to experience my own version of the "incomprehensible demoralization" (see the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” page 30), before I could start to develop the proper attitude of surrender to another human and thus learn how to surrender also to God.

Learning humility with my SA Sponsor

Surrendering to God and staying in charge of my recovery were incompatible. Finding just the right person was not only unnecessary, but truly impossible. God may be perfect, but the rest of us surely are not! And when I finally approached an SA sponsor with the necessary humility to submit and do as I was told, the Steps actually worked!

Surrender

I spent a lot of years "struggling" to surrender to God. I wrote "struggling" in quotes because I've learned a whole lot more about both struggling and surrendering by doing the very thing that Sexaholics Anonymous offers as a program of recovery: to work the Twelve Steps under the direction of a sponsor, in the fellowship of others who are also recovering sexaholics. Struggling is not surrendering. Struggling means that I'm not where I need to be in my willingness to surrender.

Surrender Of My Sex Addiction to  God

What now seems so obvious to me was apparently not so obvious back when I had my initial contact with SA. I was incredibly arrogant at the time, thinking that I could come up with the answers to my problem by myself--especially if I just read the "manual" and did it myself (i.e., “my way").  It’s amazing to me now that I somehow thought I could come up with my own solution by just picking and choosing what I wanted to read from the Sexaholics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous literature.

What I did learn from my sponsor (among other things) was that the Steps are presented in an order, to be worked in that order, and that the Steps don't work unless I actually take the time and effort to work them. Another thing that I learned along the way was that I didn't really know what surrender was until I was already working the Steps, as my sponsor suggested I do them. One of my most powerful moments was a complete shift of experiential understanding of surrender, which happened while working Step Four--many months into my working of the Steps.  Sitting around and trying to cognitively understand surrender was an exercise in futility. I needed to be in the recovery process in order to have the necessary experience to even begin to understand.

Learning About Surrender From My SA Sponsor

My sponsor gave me assignments to read in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes he would direct me to a specific page or paragraph references. But if I had not had that literature, I could not have read those sections to guide me in my understanding of what I was experiencing and what I needed to do next. Today I find the literature indispensable.

Finally, I had to be thoroughly defeated in all of my own efforts before I experienced the humiliation I needed to give up my own ideas about the program and become willing to surrender to God.  (Note, I said "humiliation" not "humility"; "humility" would be too positive a label to give to what was happening to me, and humility can, but might not, grow out of humiliation.) For me, the willingness to surrender was born out of defeat and pain, not some positive character trait I already possessed.

Where did I start? I got a sponsor and did what I was told. One tiny step of "surrender" to another human being has led to many other steps of surrender along the way, including learning to surrender to my God.

Sober since 2009

Prayers for Surrender 

Sexually Abused

Ever since I was a very young boy, I was sexually abused by all of the other boys in my large extended family. One of the earliest memories of my childhood was during the wartime era in my country. I remember waking up in my mother’s arms because of the sound of heavy explosions, which broke all our windows.  A few minutes after the explosion, I fell asleep again. This was not a pleasant memory, but it was only the beginning of my unpleasant memories, which continued to get worse after I experienced my first unwanted sexual relationship when I was six years old.

Sexually Abused in Childhood

My cousin, who was nine years older than I was, invited me into a house to play games. But instead of playing a game, he raped me in quite a painful manner. I still remember almost everything about that day. The day started with my joy of hoping to play games, but it ended in heavy pain, which lasted for many days, with a lot of crying. After that day, my cousin regularly abused me. He would tell my mom that he was taking me to the playground or a movie--and he did. But after those activities, he abused me. I did not understand what he was doing. I was totally powerless and trapped. And I could not tell my parents about this, because he told me not to tell anyone about our secret. These painful abusive acts continued progressively for a long time, until other cousins of mine--who were all boys and older than I was--became aware of this situation, and then they also started to abuse me sexually.

I never felt safe among them. They were everywhere, and they took any advantage they could to abuse me.

I remember one day when we were all together and each of them proudly counted how many times they had abused me. At first one of my cousins tried to protect me from the others, but eventually he abused me as well.  They often abused me by bullying and punishing and teasing me in various ways. They did not leave me alone at night even when my mother was sleeping nearby. They still abused me.

Throughout my childhood, everything in my life felt sad and dark. I was stuck in a harsh situation with no solution.  I always wished that I could be friends with them without feeling rejected or getting beaten up. I wanted to enjoy playing with them. But things kept getting worse.

Perhaps everything that happened in our youth was because we were not aware of the consequences of those behaviors. I don’t believe that any of them intended to harm me to such an extent that was beyond childish playfulness, but their actions resulted in something much worse than my perverted destructive sexual habits and beliefs. I eventually came to believe that the best games, pleasures, and joyful things are sexual ones. I believed that one must have sexual relationships. I believed that I needed to expose and offer myself to them in order to get closer to my friends. I believed that I should not tell my parents or other adults about my sexual affairs and problems. I believed that I could let anybody cross my boundaries and have sexual relationships with me. I believed that lusting was a customary thing that everyone does.    

Eventually I began to experience mental, emotional, and physical complications because of the sexual molestation. I lost self-respect, self-esteem, and confidence in myself. I had sleeping disorders, and I experienced nocturnal enuresis (also called  night urination), and I was panic-stricken. I could not trust anyone.

The more I experienced molestation, harassment, and being scorned, the deeper I went into isolation. I was driven inward and disconnected from others. I began to hate myself; I thought  that something was wrong with me. I felt isolated, different, and lonely. Gradually I started to hate myself. I was afraid of everyone, and my life went nowhere.

Trying to escape the pain of being sexually abused

Eventually I found  masturbation as a remedy that helped me run away from my pains and problems. It was also the best way for me to have pleasure. I would even act out in the classroom among my classmates. I could not stop, even when my teacher was suspicious. Masturbation soon turned into my eternal soulmate and the solution to all of my problems.  But I still seemed to have this sentence written on my forehead: “It’s okay, you can molest me.”

One day on the way back home from school, my classmates pushed me into an abandoned house and beat my head with a tool. That was all I remember from that day. After that I would hear them talking about me, and how they sexualy abused me after I fainted that day.

The year after that my family moved to new neighborhood and a new school.  But I repeatedly fell into the same pattern that I had learned before. When they found a good opportunity, my  sick, abusive classmates again began to subject me to sexual assault. Eventually they started sexually abusing me as a group, and that was followed by humiliation, beatings, and molestations, which only intensified over time. After experiencing this from my classmates, my neighbors and older men began to molest me. One day, a few neighbor boys of different ages invited me to show me their domestic animals, but when I got there I found that it was a trap to subject me to sexual assault. They tried to calm me down with a negligible amount of money to make me stop crying--but they showed me no mercy because later on they took the cookie I had bought with that money.

When I got older, the older men who I worked for at various jobs tricked me into sexual harassment. These sexual assaults continued so repetitively that I began to believe that there was no secure place for me in the world. I was always afraid of being nicely dressed, so I wore long clothes and tried to look ugly. I always tried to run away from those who sought to abuse me. Sometimes I ran all way from school to home. Sometimes I could not even leave home, and sometimes I gave up avoiding being sexualy abused.

My family moved again to a new district and school, and I decided to start a new life with new friends. I hoped that I would not be abused and lured by others again, but the very next day, an older guy in the new neighborhood invited me to his house. And when I arrived, he suddenly closed the door and threatened me to death unless I did as he asked me to do. Then he sexually abused me after drinking some alcohol. This news quickly spread to boys in my new  school and neighboring district, and others also began to abuse me. They threatened to tell my father what I was doing if I would not let them abuse me.

Targeting my weakness in lack of affection, an adult man tricked me into a sexual relationship. He would say “I am ready to do anything for you.” He always emphasised “the emotional bond” between us. After awhile, I found that he had assaulted others the same way as he assaulted me. He also took explicit pictures of them as he did with me, in order to use them for blackmailing when needed. This was the moment where I felt my world ended.

In the country where I live, those who have been sexualy assaulted for any reason are counted as weak and inferior. There is even a specific word for abused people that indicates how deep those beliefs are. This was the prevailing idea among people of that era and as well as in me. I saw myself as an inferior and disgusting person who deserved the worst things. I always thought that the happenings were my fault.

I was exhausted, completely powerless, and frustrated. I was at a dead end. I can’t describe the extent of the intensive harassments, torments, and consequent disasters. During all years of being in such a pain, my parents were dealing with financial difficulties, so whenever they noticed that something abnormal was happening around me, they easily ignored it.

In my home, talking about sexual subjects and issues was a taboo, so I could not imagine what would have happened if they had found out my issues. The only way  for me to cover  the painful feelings was masturbation and more masturbation. I would do this several times a day, before puberty. After adolescence, the severity of my disease became worse, so that I would compulsively masturbate up to ten times a day, in order to cover up my pain. But as a result, I was experiencing deeper pain rather than sexual pleasure.  Eventually, I began to experience sexual acting out with others the same way I had been assaulted by others before.

At age 15, I reached my worst mental, emotional, and physical state. I felt deep depression and an extreme emptiness.  Some of my beliefs of nihilism and meaninglessness of the universe and life seemed to be contradictory. The behaviors I experienced were the complete antithesis of my religious beliefs. I turned into an underachiever at school. I constantly struggled with myself, God, and my family. I constantly thought of suicide, and I cried for long hours, in such a manner that others (including my family) started to believe that I was going crazy.

My Life was an Illusion.

I was drowned into a fantasy world of movies and computer games. my fears were to such a great extent that I could not sleep because I thought I would be attacked by imaginary creatures. I also feared being punished by God. Because of all of these fears, I was always hiding under the blanket, and I would not stay home alone.

Physically I was grown up and maturing, but inside I was an immature boy. My disease was progressively growing. My religious beliefs never kept me from crossing my boundaries. I would sexualy act out with objects, animals, prostitutes, and pornographic pictures and movies. I took advantage a girl who was emotionally attracted to me.  I wanted others boys lust after me in order to feed my own lust. I hated my bottom.

I tried almost every possible way to stop, but I could not stop my compulsive sexual acting out. I asked God as I understood Him to help me, but nothing worked. I became completely desperate and hopeless. I found myself being powerless over lust, and I gradually came to a conclusion that my problem might be an addiction.

I had no hope.  I was completely stuck in my situation--and so I decided to look on the Internet for some solution. I found Sexaholics Anonymous there, but I never contacted the fellowship, because I thought marriage would be the only solution and a way out of that hell. And then suddenly a miracle happened: I fell in love with a girl.  Being totally hopeless and depressed with all of my problems behind--and having a completely unmanageable life--I decided to marry her, as a final solution for my chaotic life and a great escape from my disease. But after all the hopes I had of marriage as a solution, the problems only got worse, and lust started to change its form in a more progressive way.

Not long after the marriage, I began using pornographic videos, nicotine, sexual materials, and fantasy. I started to even use within my marriage--and not long after that, masturbation began again. The problems that I thought would be solved in marriage returned, and this time in an even more severe form. I became more aggressive and started fighting with my wife. One time I became so angry and violent with my wife that I physically harmed her. I wanted to kill her by strangling  her neck with my hands. I had hit another new bottom. At this point I was not the only one whose life was in danger; my wife’s life was threatened as well. My rage and fear increased. So I came to SA, not only to stop my compulsive sexual behavior but‌ also to gain peace in my life and mind.

Overcoming Sexual Abuse Through the Fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous

Once I was in SA, my compulsive disruptive sexual behaviors and masturbation ceased in a short time. But I soon realized that my problem had a deeper root than masturbation and my other sexual acts. In the beginning of my SA recovery, I thought I was much different from other fellows in SA because they could easily share their feelings, make friends, and enjoy fellowshipping and laughing together. I could not even look into their eyes, and I could not share in meetings or stay after the meetings and talk to fellows. Every time I went to a meeting, I came back home feeling worse. I felt a deep isolation and was judgmental of everyone.  I thought that SA would not work for me as it works for others, because I was constantly comparing myself with others--and by doing so, I was separating myself from recovery.

At first, my disease did not allow me to break the walls that I had built around me by lust and ego, and for that reason I could not share my deep feelings or pain with anyone. I was not able to become close to others. I did not trust anyone. But against my own will I found my first sponsor and started working the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous with him.

I would take notes during our Step meetings, and I thought that just working the Steps in a  practical way would be enough for my recovery. But my sponsor said that I needed to work the Steps in a practical way and apply them in all areas of my life. Not long after that, the Step meeting was canceled by my sponsor and I found another sponsor.

With my new sponsor, we started working the Steps from the beginning. I did my Step One inventory with a lot of pain, and as I read it to my sponsor I felt deep shame and lots of fear. It was difficult for me to be reminded of all my bitter painful memories, and to tell my sponsor about them. But the result was surprisingly much better than I thought.  After finishing my inventory, I found that--miraculously--a major part of my guilt, fear, and shame from my past was losing its power over me. Since then, thanks to the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, I no longer wake up suddenly with nightmares, or cry because of the fear of being punished because of my past life--things I had experienced every night before I began to work the Steps.

Unfortunately, that sponsor quit sponsoring me because of his own personal issues. After that I changed up to six sponsors. They all quit for one reason or another (such as not having enough time, relapsed, not willing to sponsor me since I was married, etc.),  and with all these changes and up and downs I stayed sober twice for about 1.5 years, but eventually I relapsed.  Those behaviours of my sponsors made me wonder whether the program really worked and whether it could really keep me sober from lust.

I would definitely have left the program if I could have found a better way to stop lusting. I even tried to get rid of lust and my problems on my own for awhile. I distanced myself from SA for a time because I thought it did not work for me. But very shortly after I relapsed, all the problems such as pain, anger, fears, and isolation were there again.

Working the Steps

After being in SA for four years and collecting lots of incomplete information and suggestions from many different sponsors--and not having reached higher than Step Three--I felt an urgency to work the Steps, so I asked a member to sponsor me. He was only three months more sober than I was, but I needed someone to help me get through the Steps and he was willing. We began working on Step Zero. He also suggested that I start working on my Fourth and Fifth Steps, since he noticed my deep and insoluble problems with resentments.

Our Step meetings were a group of Sexaholics who worked the Steps together with one sponsor. He mainly focused on questions of the Steps in a theoretical way, more like a Step reading meeting rather than a practical way of working the Steps. After each group Step meeting, some sponsees worked the Steps individually with our sponsor if he had time. I could feel a spiritual awakening in him. He had come back to heaven from a real hell, and he was engaged in service and serving fellows all the time. He drove thousands of kilometers every week and supported new meetings in other cities in my country.

While I was doing my Fourth Step inventory, I would easily go into my dark feelings. My sponsor lived in another city, but when I needed him he would come to my city to help me. He always humbly encouraged me to go on and not give up. He also gave me hope from his own experience, strength, and hope. He told me that those who had sexually assaulted and abused me were also powerless over their behavior, and that they suffered from our disease. He then asked me to pray for them.

It took nearly one year for me to write about my eight hundred resentments, and I read them to my sponsor.  Working strong and complete Steps Four and Five turned me from someone who would leave meetings immediately in order to avoid facing others, into someone whose was able to connect with others. I felt peace in my mind and my heart, and I began to have serenity. I began experiencing closer relations with my fellows, including my family. I was able to look others in the eyes and smile, and I no longer gnashed my teeth at night. Another miracle happened to me in my marriage. I could feel all these changes with all my heart, and my wife told me several times that I had changed and she could feel it. This motivated me to focus even more on the SA program and the Steps.

Recently I have been more engaged in serving my fellows in SA. By the grace of my Higher Power, I was able to organise a workshop in my country, which was held by two other fellows, with several hundred members in attendance. I have made a lot of recovery friends. I successfully graduated from university, and many aspects of my life have positively changed by the grace of my Higher Power and the program of Sexaholics Anonymous.

Today, being surrounded by gratitude, I spend many memorable moments with my wife and family, and I have a satisfactory financial condition. This reminds me of a sentence in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book page 83:  “We will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” I spend more time on recovery nowadays. By the grace of God, I have sober sponsees, I have peace of mind, and I experience  good feelings most of the time. Today I sometimes help my cousin who abused me the first time in my childhood, since he became paralysed last year in a car accident. Because of SA, I am able to pray for those who abused me in the past, without hating them anymore.

I tell this story with weeping eyes.  I remember that my sponsor once told that what happened to him would happen for me, if I work the Steps seriously and thoroughly. He would say this when I felt emotionally depressed and was losing my hope--especially when I was deeply influenced by my resentments. I thought I would never get rid of my resentments and all the other sad feelings that were the consequence of lust.

I am aware that I will have a long and never-ending task into spirituality and recovery, which would not have been possible without working the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous in a serious way, and applying them in my daily life. Nowadays, I put a lot of time and effort into my SA recovery, because SA has saved my life, and probably my family’s life. I still carry my character defects and other problems with me, but today I have a solution to deal with my problems, instead of running to my drug of choice. The solution for me is nothing else than this:  “turning my will and life over to the care of loving God as I understand him,” and daily saying: “Thy will not mine be done.”

No Half Measures

During all these years in recovery, I've had periods where recovery was not my top priority, and this always ended up in relapse. That reminds me of the sentence in the Big Book:  “Half measures availed us nothing.” Each time I acted out, lust proved to be not a release, not a freedom, and not a solution to any of my problems. It only led to a deeper pain and emptiness.

I've also come to believe that relying only on meetings and the length of my sobriety will not lead me into recovery, and it will not help me to strengthen my relation with my Higher Power, Who can restore me to sanity. A change will only occur if I work the Steps with a sponsor and practice these principles in all my affairs.

I've come to believe that the inner core of my disease is a lack of a good spiritual condition, and by improving my spiritual condition by working a good program, I will experience an inner change and improvement which will affect and improve my outside issues as well.

Although I lived with all those dark and unpleasant memories of my past, today I have a positive point of view of those things, because if I had not experienced those things, I would not have something useful to say to a newcomer who had been abused like me. I would not be able to help them today and hopefully prevent many innocent brothers and sisters from being victimized by this deadly disease. Maybe my life story has been God’s plan for me all along. Who knows--maybe the most important purpose of our creation is to help and support each other to experience a unity.

My last message as a low bottom sexaholic in recovery to all of my recovering sexaholic brothers and sisters is this: Sexaholism is a destructive, progressive, and deadly disease that needs to be taken seriously. To the degree that I have suffered from it and all the destructions caused by it, those things are not important to me anymore. The main and essential point at this moment for me is this: if we truly stick to this simple program and surrender our lives as if our lives depends on it--by working the Steps and working the Steps and working the Steps, and being willing to go to any length to gain a spiritual awakening--then God will surely rescue us and grant us serenity.

Read More Members' Stories

Complete Defeat

I stayed drunk on lust for a very long time because I did not want to admit complete defeat.  As I have read in Step One  

Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 21).  

Complete defeat is the only way I will ever come to.  I believe that "God is everything" (“Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 53).  If I believe that I am something and God is something, then I will still have an ego to depend on and I won't rely entirely on God.

The result of this ego-deflation is humility, not shame. Shame makes just about as much sense as a sexaholic saying "I got caught”. The fact is not that I got caught; the fact is that the truth finally came out.  Saying that I got caught implies that, if I were just a bit smarter, I could still be out there living on lust.  If I were just smarter I wouldn't be feeling so bad about what I did. Right.  Step One says that I need to let go of being smart.  

When it comes to Iust, there is no other position for me to take other than total surrender.  I can tie my own shoes and make my own breakfast, but lust overpowers me every time.  I don't surrender perfectly--so there are stumbles--but this is one of the bedrock principles on which I build my recovery.

For decades I evaded the reality of my addiction. I blotted out "the consciousness of (my) intolerable situation" (Big Book, page 25).  My sexaholic insanity allowed me to delude myself into believing that I was an exception to the reality of my circumstances.  I would tell myself "that's not really me doing that."  I lived behind a screen of Iust that produced a fog of self-deception and delusion.

My disease stayed under the surface,  like the Loch Ness Monster.  It was mostly invisible, only to be seen in murky images that could easily be explained away--except that this monster was very real.  Finally a calamity of such cataclysmic proportion occurred that even I could not deny or fool myself into believing it was not occurring.  This was my moment of truth.  I hit rock bottom.

If I had experienced anything less than complete defeat and surrender, the monster would have gone below the surface again, and I would be back to chasing Iust as my solution: deluding myself into believing that this time I will control and enjoy it.

With complete defeat came willingness

Thank God that Sexaholics Anonymous was there for me when I finally became willing.  My willingness arose from complete defeat: not personal virtue or enlightened self-interest.  I was beaten into a state of reasonableness.

The SA fellowship was there for me, but the fellowship was not enough.  My sponsor said to me, "You are a sick guy, you are going to need more than the fellowship.  You are going to need the Program, and the Program is the Twelve Steps.”

We began the journey that to this day has given me freedom from Iust.  As the Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book” says, I am experiencing  "progressive victory over Iust."  I continue to learn that "complete defeat" is an ongoing process.  I discovered this morning that without surrender and desperation NOW, I am lost.  If I enter an SA meeting or take a phone call or open a recovery book with any other attitude than surrender and desperation, I’m burnt toast.

My selfish ego will rise up and I'll be managing the show.  EGO means: Easing God Out.  

The beauty of our way of life is that every time I search for God (Step 11),  I find God.  Or maybe God finds me.  I awaken once again to the gift of recovery and the absolute joy of sharing this message with others.  I experience life as I have never experienced it before.  Today is a gift - that's why they call it the PRESENT.

Fatal Disease

Is sexaholism a fatal disease?  Do I really believe that?  Or is it just some kind of allegorical “spiritual death”? The answer to that is clear for me.  My forms of acting out sexually included bondage and other extreme forms.  The last time I met with another person to act out, I was made physically helpless, and that person was physically restricting my breathing.  At the time, it was so risky that I felt it was one of the most exciting things that I had ever done.  Afterwards, I was aghast.  People die that way in sordid front-page sidebar incidents.

So yes, I am convinced that my disease would have resulted in my death within a few months.  That’s why I came to Sexaholics Anonymous with much desperation.

Sexaholism is a Fatal Disease

But I have observed that some others in SA deny the fatality of our disease.  My case might be rather extreme, but I have listened to many members who seem also to have a death wish.  Here are some of the ways that sexaholics die in our disease:

  • AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases
  • Jealous husbands and/or wives
  • Distracted driving accidents
  • Poor judgment (clouded by lust) in risky physical situations
  • Suicide driven by the emotional pain of our conflicted lives
  • Self-exposure to dangerous criminals

…and many more

Believing that sexaholism is NOT a fatal disease minimizes the reality of it.  This unbelief allows me to avoid doing the painful and necessary work of the Sexaholics Anonymous program, hoping that I’ll get better.  Believing that MY actions aren’t as severe as what others might have done avoids the truth of “yet."

There was a point in my life at which my only forms of sexual acting out were pornography and masturbation, but the disease of sexaolism is progressive, and eventually those “innocuous” forms led me to the danger point.

I must be convinced--and remain convinced--that this is a fatal disease.  Anything less lets me start again down this dangerous road.

What is Sexual Sobriety in SA?

From Selfishness to Unselfishness

Selfishness, Self-centredness, that we think is the root of our problems

Ah yes, selfishness and self-centeredness are always so natural just to slip into. For me, those two traits fit like a perfect and comfortable glove--but they have done a whole lot of damage to others and me. Working the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous got me started on reversing those "deadly traits." Stopping acting out and letting go of lust allowed me to start looking at that deadly duo in a way I never could if I was still getting high on lust. They showed up in every Step Four inventory, and they are always hanging around to offer me some more "comfort" when I'm disturbed by what is happening in the world around me.

Instead of just accepting the things that I cannot change, selfishness and self-centeredness tell me that the world should function precisely as I see fit. Why must I "suffer" at the hands of others? Don't I deserve to be left alone to do as I please, without others getting in my way? Aren't my plans and needs so terribly important?

I Thank God for Sexaholics Anonymous

Me, my, and I--it's all about me! When things don’t t go my way, then I deserve to be resentful at others, at the world, and at God. No wonder I spent so many years acting out in my lust! All that pent up selfishness, self-centeredness, and resentment towards others had to find an outlet. And taking care of my "needs" was the way I could do it.Thank God there has been progress!  I have changed--or really I should say that I have  surrendered to the changes that God is trying to make in me. But none of this would have happened without me working the Steps under the direction of an SA sponsor, so that I would be able to  have a "spiritual awakening" with God. Then I could begin to hear a different voice than my own selfishness--a voice that if followed leads me to spiritual life instead of spiritual death. Thank God for Sexaholics Anonymous!

Sexually Sober Since 2009

On taking self inventory

 

Truly Sexually Sober

Hope For a Truly Sexually Sober Life

I'm in a good spiritual place these days and on my way to a truly sexually sober life. But six years ago, before joining Sexaholics Anonymous, I was not in such a good place. I could not find peace…or when I did, I found peace boring. I dreamed of silence and serenity, but I did not know how to get them.

Two years ago I was overwhelmed with joy to see some of the fruits of my SA recovery: gratitude and the ability to enjoy serenity and peace.

This year it's different again, with further progress towards the truly sexually sober life. Thanks to working this Twelve Step program of recovery with my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor, I have come to see that work and achievements are just another way for my ego to escape from intimacy with my Higher Power. Being in place of solitude and silence, I am confronted with Step Twelve:

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics, and to practice these principles steps in all our affairs” (Sexaholics Anonymous, p. 208).

I'm praying for the willingness to surrender my ambitions and pride to the God of my understanding.

Recently, my sponsor asked me to work my Step Two again. This time, I am willing to let go of some old ideas about God. My old God wanted me to perform, to be good, to be busy. I notice how often I’m driven by the guilt of “doing nothing useful.” Today I did un-useful things (sitting, reading, and walking), and I enjoyed it.

Thanks to so many of my fellows in Sexaholics Anonymous, who have shown me that the SA program insists on me enjoying life and accepting the things I cannot change (like my body complaints, and wanting to be superman).

It seems the story of my recovery isn’t finished yet, but I hope to have a truly sober life, one day at a time.

Difficult to Overcome Sexaholism

Sexaholism Is Difficult To Overcome

Evening reflection - For HP, lust is not difficult to overcomeAs I have heard from other Sexaholics Anonymous members, the disease of sexaholism is overwhelmingly difficult to overcome. But that is good for me in a way, because the difficulty leads me to the conclusion that I'm powerless over my lust. And when things sometimes seem to be too difficult, it's a good reminder for me to know that I am powerless, and that I can't win unless I let my Higher Power win for me, by me working the programme of Sexaholics Anonymous. For my Higher Power, lust is not difficult to overcome.

How I overcame

I can also identify that lust temptations sometimes last really long or return often. The chapter “How I Overcame My Obsession with Lust” (in Sexaholics Anonymous, p. 158-167) mentions praying and admitting powerlessness sometimes “a hundred times a day” (p. 159, “Admit Powerlessness”). That's my experience also. And it seems that sometimes the next right thing for me to do might be just a recovery action (do some Step work, call another SA member, read the literature, attend a meeting, etc.), even though my mind tells me that I have some “real work” to do, and that I am too busy to just “waste all day” taking the actions that are needed in order for me to stay sober. I must remember that as long as I go to sleep sober tonight, I'm a winner. That's the most important thing, even if my productivity in other areas was low that day. 

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