Sexual Sobriety By Surrendering to a Higher Power

In my earlier attempts to stay sober in Sexaholics Anonymous (and even when I had some weeks or months of technical sobriety), this is how I saw the program:

  • I have to admit that I am a sexaholic
  • That means I'm powerless over lust
  • That means lust is to be feared
  • That means I've got to do everything I can to avoid temptations and triggers at all costs
  • That means that my sobriety is only ever tenuous at best, because lust (acting in) will lead to sexual acting out

Up to that point, I had continued to rely on my own efforts to stay lust-free, and thus only "hopefully" sober from acting out. And if that was my plan for staying sober, I had reason to be afraid. My lust-addicted mind had that all figured out on my own.

But I was wrong. There was an important factor that I had not yet put fully into the equation: I had not jumped in with no safety net and no conditions to surrender to God's will for my life. I figured that God was a nice backup if what I was doing wasn't working out, but there was no way of knowing whether He would come through or not, so I thought that I had better just take care of myself.

Today I readily admit that I am a sexaholic, and that being an addict actually defines me (although it's not the only thing that defines me). That was an important step in my giving up any illusion that I could get back to living life on my own terms. Today I fully embrace what I am. I am a sexaholic, and I'm very ok with that.

And when I finally made a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God (as part of the process of working the Steps with a sponsor), I gained a Power far greater than myself and greater than my lust, Who accepts my will and my life--as well as my lust and temptations and triggers--just as soon as I turn that all over to Him. That means that power over lust doesn't come from me or my efforts at all. What must come from me is the willingness to surrender and say, "Thy will not mine be done."

Fear of acting out is gone--as long as I'm staying surrendered to God and rightly connected with Him and others. And my sobriety is not tenuous--as long as I really accept my powerlessness and fully rely on God's power instead.

But if it's still up to me, "be afraid, be very afraid."

(sober since 2009)