This is one of the program slogans that stuck in my mind after I attended my first SA virtual meeting here in the Philippines. I was afraid and hesitant to attend an SA meeting because I was in denial and doubtful that I am a sex addict, but still forced myself to join that meeting as I was afraid to lose my wife and kids. I convinced myself that I needed help and maybe SA can offer something that I am looking for. That first SA meeting in February of 2021 was quite memorable to me. When I heard the sharing among the members, I immediately identified myself that I am, indeed, a sexaholic. It was also the first time that I heard that lust is the core of my sex addiction.
I consistently attended the SA Philippines virtual meetings and I became more interested in following what the White Book is saying. I asked around if someone is willing to be my sponsor but most of my home group members only offered temporary sponsorship. By the grace of God, I found my sponsor when I attended the SA Asia Pacific Unity Conference in April last year. I was excited that finally, I can work the program with a sponsor. At first, I was intimidated but I am thankful that he is quite patient in explaining how the program is helping him with his own sobriety and recovery. I am forever grateful to my sponsor as he has put forward my understanding of how to live the principles of SA.
What helped me the most during my early sobriety was when my sponsor pointed me to the eighteen guides on Overcoming Lust and Temptation (White Book p. 158-167). I read through these every day and when I am done reading it, I read it again until I came to understand what it means and how it works.
I can say now that working the SA program has been more effective and easier to understand if I follow the guidance of my sponsor. He did not just guide me through the White Book, but he also introduced me to reading and learning from the AA Big Book as well as the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions book. He also invited me to join the Step study meeting of SA Taipei every Saturday morning using the Step Into Action book of SA. The more I learned and actually worked on it, I can actually say now that a power greater than myself is gradually restoring me to sanity.
Giving away my First Step inventory at a meeting was also memorable to me. Afterwards, I felt relieved and accepted by my fellow sexaholics. When I reached Steps 4-7, what “surrendering my character defects” meant became clearer to me. Working Steps 8-11, I came to know what true humility is. In Step 12, I am patiently praying to God that I may be able to find and help another sick person like me who is in desperate need of help.
Using the benefits of technology, I was able to attend other virtual SA meetings in the Asia Pacific region. In attending the SA Singapore group, I also learned that they did not limit their meetings from the White Book but also used other SA approved literature such as the AA Big Book and 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. One thing I enjoy in attending SA Singapore meetings is when we do our sharing and reading from the Essay Newsletter.
At the end of an SA meeting we say “It works if you work it, so work it because you’re worth it.” I’d say it really worked when I started following the Steps, taking directions from my sponsor, reaching out to my DSR partners and other SA members across the world, also participating in the meeting and doing service for the good of SA.
I am still in early sobriety and recovery, being sexually sober for over 15 months, but I truly believe the SA program works for me. I will keep on coming back because the SA recovery program works if I work it. I know God is working with me through the people I meet who have helped me work the program.
Sherwin C., Philippines