Grateful for the Experience of Those Ahead of Me

My first encounter with Essay was in 2016, when I was a couple of months sober from lust. My first sponsor sent me the magazine, along with a step-by-step assignment and other SA literature. Admittedly, the magazine looked unusual—it was a Word file with several translated articles.

Now I do not remember what those articles were about, but they really inspired me to stay sober. And at the same time, one article really terrified me. As I remember, there was something about abstinence in marriage. In my vocabulary, the words “marriage” and “abstinence” never got along in the same sentence. “What kind of nonsense is this?” I thought. Why abstain in marriage?

I was single at that time, and the thought of abstinence with my future spouse disappointed me. One day at an online meeting, I heard the experiences of a guy with several years of sobriety talking about how he was abstaining in marriage. Hmm, real hero!—I decided. By the way, he’s my sponsor now. Once I listened to a fellow and his spouse who had been abstinent for over two years. It was a shock to me. Fortunately, I had about a year of sobriety then, and I was beginning to understand something.

In my five years of sobriety, I’ve read quite a few articles from Essay, Recovery Continues and other SA literature. Today, I am no longer intimidated by stories about abstinence in marriage. Probably because I’ve been married for three years now and have learned firsthand the importance of this truly mystical process. Before, I could not last a day if there was a woman by my side.

I’m grateful for the experience of those ahead of me, which I learned from our literature.

Dima K., Kazan, Russia

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