No Short Cuts to Recovery

For the last four years I have been serving women who have decided to change their lives with the help of the Twelve Steps. During this time, I started working Steps with more than 30 women. As of today, none of my sponsees have completed all Twelve Steps. But there are several women whose hard work and whose growth in recovery make me believe that the Steps work for them the same way as for me. The Steps create a new free personality, instead of the slavishly dependent old one. And that's what I want to share with you and with my sponsored ones - the Steps change lives!

Before joining SA, I had lost all hope of improving my situation. There was chaos in all areas of my life. I thought about death as a way out of problems and no new ideas of mine could hide the truth from me - I had lost and the party was over. Icy despair was what drove me to my first SA meeting. Now I can clearly see that it was despair that was the key for me that opened the door to change. Without it, I would never have accepted the radical lifestyle changes that were offered to me in SA: giving up sex and masturbation, breaking up relationships that were dear to me (but killing me), changing my social circle, adopting a new day schedule, being accountable to some women (and I never trusted women!), and of course, daily Step work! Someone who is not desperate, but just wants to patch up his or her sexual sphere, will say “ Why do all this?”

Like my sponsor, starting to work with a newcomer, I do not hide that this is not a half-measures program. Sexaholism is a really serious disease and requires strong and regular treatment and big changes in life. All this I necessarily indicate in my “Sponsorship Agreement” (the conditions under which I work with sponsees). Tough? Yes, but such uncompromising honesty at the very beginning frees me from obsequiousness and flirting with the disease in an attempt to return a sponsee back to SA when her disease raises its head and demands indulgences for itself. 

Every time a sponsee leaves or chooses half-measures instead of recovery, I consider myself a bad sponsor and a bad recovering person, since my message did not inspire her. But for these moments I have my sponsor - she says that I am going in the right direction, that I am sober, I am in the SA Program and I carry the message that a life without bondage to lust is possible! This path looks more thorny than the road of half-measures, but in reality it is a path of true Happiness. And I believe her, because she led me along the same path that another woman is leading her, who also went through a difficult but direct path of recovery from lust!

Today I thank the Higher Power for all the women who helped me not to look for half measures. I feel very grateful for the new life that was given to me by those who walked ahead of me along the sometimes thorny, but safe and true pathway!

Alina M., Saint Petersburg, Russia

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