Recovery Means Letting Go of the Ego

I am a female lust addict, my home group is in Munich, and I am grateful for 11 years and 4 month sobriety. I am grateful for the pioneers of the 12 Step groups and proud to be part of it. I am especially grateful for Roy and his wife Iris, who recently passed away. While devouring the White Book, I found Roy, my first friend in SA. I was overwhelmed that there was someone who spoke of a problem that I had been hiding inside me for decades without ever finding words of understanding for it myself.

Through enslavement to lust, I had become a kind of top-heavy zombie. I could only laugh superficially and not cry; feelings were vague. I was mostly dissatisfied, annoyed with others, isolated, and full of self-hatred, fear, hidden shame and so on … anyone reading this can recognize the condition.

How then, did the steady change to recovery start with me? I entrusted myself to the Big Book as the basic recipe book for recovery. Sandy Beach, an AA pioneer, summed up the program in two words: Let go! And he meant his ego-protective gear and old ideas. This makes room for new ideas.

Many feelings surfaced in my first year of sobriety—mostly difficult feelings of anger, pain and emptiness. Then, at some point, surprisingly, a real new laughter came out from within me. I immediately recognized it as a sign of recovery. It came from my belly and rolled over my neck like a gentle stream from my mouth. And that feeling was joy.

This was before I had seriously tackled the 9th Step for the 2nd time to finally get through the first nine Steps. It says in the Big Book at the end of the 9th Step: “Before we are halfway through, We will know a new freedom and a new happiness.”

I felt safe, accepted and heard in the meeting. There was a gentle net of basic honesty between people, which became a secure cocoon for me, and which I actually needed as a child to develop. This was my experience for me in my home group, and I was the only woman for the first five years or so.

I know that for some women it is much harder if not impossible to become so familiar with a group of men alone. Personally I had more problems with women, men were comrades for me. But it was of course crucial for me to connect with a female sponsor and a female fellow from another city. I had met them both in our big German-speaking Regional Convention.

The two of them helped me with my surrender in the first Step. I don’t think I would have been able to do that with a man. However, I also had male friends after a few years in sobriety as well as today. I would not want to be without them. Familiarity with these SA women helped me get over some difficulties and conflicts with subsequent sponsors and other women.

In general, there were conflicts that we could solve honestly and in a protected framework, I learned to accept boundaries and set them myself. This brought us all the more together and created a closeness and trust that could flourish.

I have really enjoyed group fellowship activities outside of the meeting room. Christmas dinners and birthday parties, outings like hiking and boating, hosting meetings, and spending holidays together have brought me together with so many friends from the fellowship, also internationally. And I’ve also visited friends in the hospital and even helped clean an apartment one time.

The more my isolation mania turns into community spirit, the happier I am. And I carry that out into the world. I have become socially acceptable. I am becoming finally and hopefully what God wants me to be.

Doing service for and with others, especially having sponsees, is the real highlight and I have the impression that I learn so much from others and I am happy because I also have something to pass on. My disease has become a treasure that can help others and I get back so much more in so many ways. All this fills me with deep and new joy. I can feel it in my body, it is real.

Before SA, I was excited and felt charged with lust when I would chase after one of the ‘gods’ that I worshiped. All my other methods to satisfy myself—with whatever— brought me only a short rush and then the vicious circle of destruction.

The best thing for me today: I am in a spiral of happiness. It seems to get better and better … colors become more intense, insights clearer, gratitude brings new joy … and more recovery eventually attracts more female friends—meaning more work and … more joy!

We are growing as a fellowship of women here in Germany. When I started I knew only two and now I can spontaneously call 15 women in our country. I need women, for identification, and for maturing into an adult.

And this is a secret why the 12 Steps work at all. As summarized in the promises: There has to be something better for us addicts than our addiction. Otherwise, we’ll binge again. I gladly bear my testimony before you: it works.

Elaine P., Munich, Germany

Total Views: 118|Daily Views: 2

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!