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