Powerless over Sex Addiction

One of our newer members this past week echoed a frequent concern from newcomers:  How can we possibly gain any victory over our disease if we start by admitting we’re powerless?  
Yet that was how I came to SA.  I had exhausted every avenue that I could think of.  I was at immediate risk of death in the extreme sexual things I did, and yet I kept doing them.  I doubted my own sanity, and certainly had been beaten down into not trusting myself at all.  I desperately wanted someone to show me how to control my actions, because I had flat run out of ideas.

The first SA member I met told me that I was powerless over lust.  “What?” I thought. “Is that a sentence of death??”  But I came to realize that he was right.  I am powerless over lust.  What that means is that, when I let lust into my thinking, I do not know how far I will go.  I might stop again right after ogling that person on the street.  Or I might keep lingering in lust until something else displaces it.  Or I might feed that lust for hours or days to the point that I end up acting out with myself.  Or (given my extreme modus operandi) I might continue to the point of putting my life at risk again.   I just don’t know.  I cannot control it.  To make it worse, I always convince myself that I’m really in control, and that I’ll stop early this time.

But there is also good news.  I am powerless over lust; it will take over.  But I do have power in some other areas.  I can choose to work the Steps with a sponsor.  I can choose to seek a spiritual awakening.  I can choose to do the Next Right Thing in each moment.  I can choose to examine my resentments and fears, and to find a new attitude toward them.  I can choose to ask God (as I understand Him) to remove my character defects.  I can choose to make amends for my wrongs to others.  I can choose to constantly examine my life and keep it clean.  I can choose to seek to know more about God.  I can choose to help others, and to live this way for the rest of my life.  All of these are things that I do have the power to do.

And the amazing thing in my life is that, by choosing to do these things, I no longer do the dangerous sexual things I used to do.  I now live essentially lust-free.  I could not choose to live lust-free and carry out that choice.  I just don’t have enough power to do that.  But by choosing to do these other things that seem largely unrelated to my sexual problems, I have gotten there anyway.

I admit that I’m powerless over lust.  But then I followed the SA program by using what power I do have, and I obtained freedom.

Sober since Feb 2014