Sexaholics Anonymous Has Given Me a Richness of Life
I'm thankful for the reminder that horrendous life consequences can accompany my sexaholism. I like to tell my friends in Sexaholics Anonymous that we are "front page" kinds of people. There seems to be one of us in the headlines of the news on a regular basis.
As the founder of the SA fellowship said:
"What was it like? I hope I never forget" (Sexaholics Anonymous “White Book,” page 9)
I too share that hope. But if I am to accept the reality of my sexaholism, forgetting the consequences is one of the consequences of my mental condition. I’ve heard that that my brain is made to forget pain and remember experiences that cause pleasure. The Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” states it this way:
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink. (AA, page 24)
No matter how hard I try to control my Iust by remembering my past consequences, I am doomed. That has been my experience anyway. At times I’ve found myself in the middle of a Iust episode totally without warning or planning. I’m a walking example of AA page 24. Thank God (as I understand God) that my Sexaholics Anonymous recovery does not depend on my own flawed memory.
I will admit with tremendous gratitude that there are times that I recoil from Iust as though it were a hot flame, but even in those situations I cannot take credit for my actions. This new attitude toward Iust was given to me through no thought or effort on my part (see AA pg 84-85).
There is for me another side to this remembering/forgetting dilemma. Not only can I not remember the consequences, I also cannot forget the "pleasure." The professionals call it euphoric recall. I don't just have a "forgetting disease"--I also have a remembering disease. As the Big Book says:
The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. (AA, pg 24)
There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt-- and one more failure. (AA, pg 151)
So when I'm caught in the phenomenon of a craving loop, I begin making mental exceptions for the behavior that my disease wants me to take. I can remember the pleasure but I cannot remember the pain. The only way for me to be sexually sober today is stay off the merry-go-round of Iust. I focus as much of my attention as possible on The Solution (see SA White Book, “The Solution,” starting on page 61)--which is the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous recovery. I did that this morning. I'm doing it right now. I have plans to do more of it during the day today.
My whole life hangs from the gift of SA recovery. My healing depends on my willingness to follow the directions as laid out in our SA literature, as lived out in the lives of my fellow SA members. Today I am focused today on searing new memories of joy in my brain. I am learning to receive and walk in the grace of a loving Higher Power. I experience a richness of life I never knew before when I share this happiness with others--all because of the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous.