My Resentments Were All Within Me
Dealing appropriately with resentments through Sexaholics Anonymous has been one of the most life-transforming benefits of recovery for me. I came to SA because I had destroyed my marriage, destroyed my career, and was putting my life at risk. I did not know how to stop doing the dangerous and destructive sexual things I did. No matter how firm my resolve, my resolve would always dwindle down to weakness again. Over and over, I slipped back into danger.
I had been completely beaten down by my disease, to the point where I had no faith in myself and I believed I had no ability to change. After all, who would willingly and cheerfully go to a Twelve Step meeting for sexaholics? Who wants to admit complete defeat? Who wants to put this or her future life in the hands of a bunch of addicts or perverts? Not me, thank you. And yet I came down to that point. I reached the end of my road and had no way to go. SA said they had a solution. I not only had no solutions, I did not even have a direction that might lead me to one. So I went to Sexaholics Anonymous.
In SA I learned that the solution, through working the Twelve Steps of Sexaholic Anonymous, was NOT to “learn how to fight my disease.” It was NOT to “become stronger.” It was NOT to “deny my acting out behaviors.” The solution through the Steps did not even focus on my dangerous sexual acting out! I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn’t possibly work. And yet … I had no path, and these people swore that this solution worked.
So the solution was to change. I had to change my general life behaviors, change my thinking, and change my attitudes. In that order! First, I started doing the right things--things that I had rarely done before. Then doing the right things gave me hope, and I started thinking differently. Then I slowly began to realize that my attitude and outlook toward life had become different.
Working properly on my resentments in SA Step Four was a huge part of my change. With my sponsor’s help, I realized that my resentments were all within me, and they were never justified. No matter how much valid reason I thought I had for my resentments, working Step Four led me to two facts that I needed to see:
- The damage I did to myself by resenting others was much greater than the damage others did to me.
- The targets of my resentments were themselves spiritually sick; they made mistakes just like I did.
So I began to learn--and I live today--a way of life in which I am mostly free of resentments. When I become angry at someone or something, I work through the Step Four tasks to get clear with myself about the reality of the situation. People are almost never out to get me, and people do make mistakes. There is always some part of the situation that is my own issue. I can do something about me. I can’t change others.
I enjoy my life these days. I do good things for other people. When they fail, I give others grace. When I fail, I give myself grace. I don’t carry resentments; they only harm me.
Sexaholics Anonymous Has Given Me Seventeen Years of Sexual Sobriety
Oh, and the dangerous acting out behaviors? You know, those things that I did not know how to stop? Well, I haven’t done any of those truly dangerous things since I came to SA seventeen years ago.