August 2022 - An Addict Alone Is in Bad Company

An Addict Alone Is in Bad Company

I was just reading an article or two from ESSAY and I was moved to write about an experience that I had a few weeks ago. An experience and healing that would not have taken place without being a member of SA.

To understand what took place I have to tell you a little about my story. As a young boy my father was always away with work. Maybe he was home two months of the year. I needed a father, and an uncle took on that role for me, though at a price. He started to molest and sexually abuse me. I enjoyed the attention at first though I knew something was not right about it. At the age of six my father moved home for good. Not knowing how to relate to him, I tried to make him love me by doing something that my uncle had me do to him. His response was immediate and definitive, he threw me across the room into my bedroom and slammed the door leaving me alone, utterly rejected and dejected, my little heart crushed. A week or so after that my uncle came to visit me in the night. When in my pain I rejected his advances, he sat in the corner of my room and, looking all dejected, he slowly started to play with himself. Having just experienced that rejection myself I could not take it and went over to comfort him. That night his abuse of me took on a whole new form.

In my teens this abuse ended, but I would carry the effects for many years. When I was thinking of going into the seminary, the first two spiritual leaders I talked to made sexual advances and I found myself powerless to say no. When I  became sexually active in my early twenties after leaving the seminary, I found that I could not say no to any man who wanted sex with me. Then, when I was trying to  give up sex altogether at a time when I was living in a multi bed dormitory, I found that, whenever I heard anything in the night that sounded like it could be someone masturbating, I felt compelled to offer them my body to pleasure themselves with. This was problematic as I was living in a traditional Christian setting. 

That was thirty years ago. Through the grace and power of God I have not had sex with another person since that time. But neither have I been able to open my heart to another man either. When pornography started to take over my life two and a half years ago I came to SA. Slowly I learned to open my heart to God. First, I had to find a Higher Power who loved me in spite of – or maybe because of my sex addiction. But still recovery eluded me. There was a wall or road-block inside my heart. 

Then a few weeks ago this thing happened. A friend was having a mental health crisis. I had to drive him to an appointment. His pain was so tangible yet I could not break into it to meet him there. He would not meet my eyes or even say more than “Hi.” As we were driving, I kept on pleading with God to help him and saying to God that I would do anything to help him. After repeating this with all my heart for five-ten minutes a thought came to me, one that I have for most of my life locked away behind barriers of fear and pain: “I could do that thing my uncle had me do to cheer him up.” I was both surprised and repulsed by the thought. We got to our destination and I told my friend that if he needed anything just let me know.

I remembered the Slogan An Addict Alone Is in Bad Company, so I started making phone calls to surrender it and get the thought out of my mind. I then had to repeat that for a couple days before I found peace again. When the dust settled, I was different. I noticed I could work on a computer without any thought of using it to get porn. My prayer life was different. I seemed closer to God. As I look back on what happened, it is as if my care, concern, and love of my friend pushed past the road-block in my heart with its big sign above, “DANGER. DO NOT ENTER”. I had been so afraid to totally open up my heart to anyone for fear of what might happen, and so I was also closed to God. 

Another one of my fears was that I would not be able to say ‘NO’ if I was ever asked for sex. As it says in the 10th step, “If we are tempted, we recoil from it like a hot flame.” And, “we find that this happens automatically”. How freeing it is to see how natural and automatic the sense of repulsion is in me. I’m so grateful for this program and for all I have learned doing the steps.



Peter G, Ontario Canada

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!