I’m Surrounded By People With Longer Longer Experience Than Mine

Hi, I am a 20-year-old sexaholic from Poland. I was told about pornography on the internet by classmates about the age of 12, but didn’t get sucked in instantly. Around 13, I discovered masturbation, and then things started to get out of control. I come from a very religious background, so acting out was never comfortable for me. From the beginning, I felt remorse about my actions and thoughts. My disease gradually progressed, with one longer episode of sobriety due to a big religious experience of mine, which happened quite early in the process.

In high school things got worse, as I was surrounded by people I knew were regular porn watchers and due to social anxiety. Back then, I thought I was immune to any pressure, and acting out was only an effect of others making me angry. Additionally, my religion isn’t common here and it was an isolating factor too. At times I got ridiculed by the others.

I had a particularly bad summer in late high school. I spent most of it acting out, which was somewhat stopped by falling in love later that year. I got a girlfriend, and contrary to what I thought, it wasn’t a solution, nor even a little help in overcoming the problem. We didn’t have sex, as we both believed that was wrong, but we got physical. We were making out daily, which was my drug at the time. At that time I watched porn one to a few times a month, with maybe three porn-free months, but I don’t consider them sober at all.

That’s how the following year and a half looked—a period of daily making out, then some arguments, uncertainty, and repeat. There were a few times we almost acted out sexually, but luckily God spared us that. The relationship was toxic, it drained us both. The periods of careless pleasure were shorter and shorter, and in some moment it just stopped. For the last few months we were just making each other feel bad and arguing. I felt stressed and misunderstood. The blow that finished the relationship was when I, due to some remorse, told her about a big part of my addictive behaviors, my history and my acting out. Some time after that she broke up with me.

By this time, on the advice of my therapist, I had joined SA. After a few weeks, thanks to the program and God, I began my sobriety which I thankfully hold to this day. The thing that stressed me a lot in the beginning was wondering if it was possible for me to have a Step One experience as I now enjoyed a much better quality of life. I finally accepted my powerlessness by seeing that my life had been unmanageable for years. It had been a true madness, doing the same thing over and over again with the same pain and shame, and doing things I perceived as wrong on a moral, spiritual and social level.

Even though the majority of SA members are older than me, I don’t find it to be an obstacle. The opposite is true. I am surrounded by people with longer experience than mine. I really find it helpful to hear about the lives of other brothers, their struggles and how they got out of them thanks to SA. I’m also grateful for the fact our fellowship is a place of respect, where, for example, age is not a factor affecting perception of others.

I feel very thankful for the Fellowship, even though I have struggles. I also have hope. I’m also very thankful for last year’s SA Internet Marathon (SIM), which helped me to connect with SA members from around the world.

Jan K., Cracow, Poland

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