Change Your Ways

Change Your Ways or We’re Finished

I am Lina, SA, sober since 2010, Mexico City.

I was born in 1968. I only stopped taking a bottle when I was 6 years old. As a result, I was the subject of mockery at home. I remember my house made of tin, and a dirt floor; we had scarce resources and many financial needs. I was the last of 8 siblings in addition to being a girl with a stomach disease.

My parents were never available, always consumed in their addictions – alcohol and nicotine. Communication was not good in the home; there was domestic violence, bullying, psychological and verbal abuse.

In primary school, I remember that I was a well-behaved girl and got excellent grades in all subjects, but I had no friends. I hardly ever played outdoors, spending my time cutting out, painting, drawing, reading stories and studying. I didn’t feel comfortable engaging in conversations with others; I was very reserved.

At age 9 I started to gain weight. I also started compulsively practicing frotteurism with the furniture until I injured myself. When I saw my skin was badly injured, I told my relatives and was taken to hospital. I got treatment, but at the end of the medication, I started again. I was too young to understand what was going on. My relatives did not understand either. They may have thought I was a precocious child and they watched me carefully because, whenever I could, I slinked away to practice my Frotteurism.

By age 15, in high school, I was already doing diets in order to lose weight as quickly as I could; I hated my body, loathing myself whenever I looked in the mirror. I turned to romantic fantasies like TV soaps, eroticism, snooping, exhibitionism, and erotic stories.

By now I was masturbating compulsively. Instead of going to study, I used to go to cinemas where they showed sexually explicit movies and allowed myself to be touched by others and I touched them too. Unfortunately, I did not finish my high school because I fell into a very strong youth depression with tons of suicidal ideation; I had a constant desire to leave home and never come back.

When I was 17, God guided me to ask for help from AA. Although I was not an alcoholic or a drug addict, the group accepted me lovingly and taught me how the program worked, the Steps, services, meetings, etc… I felt very good but I didn’t quite fit in there. They suggested I continue searching around other fellowships. I did search other fellowships and came close at times to finding a home, but always felt incomplete. 

A few years later, I found my first boyfriend; he is now my husband. That’s when I started having more problems. As a woman who had indulged in lust in a variety of forms for many years, I now found it difficult to sexually adapt to a real man, to be intimate emotionally and sexually with him. 

I reverted to masturbation, romantic and sexual fantasies, flirting. In time, I became pregnant and lost my first daughter because she had genetic malformations which was terrible for me, feeling guilty because at the time I was addicted to nicotine, smoking several cigarettes daily and my eating disorder had progressed so that I hated myself even worse when I looked at myself in the mirror and had taken to pills to suppress my hunger. I never cried for the loss of my daughter; I hid my feelings, always trying to be the strong, brave woman.

Then, after the birth of my next three children, I was totally indulging in masturbation and always feeling anxious; lusting after my brothers-in-law, my neighbors, acquaintances, thinking that anyone and everyone was physically better than my husband.

In order to relax, I started studying and finished high school, then university and then I found the Internet which I turned into my own personal jail. On the Internet I spent hours doing school homework but also entering web pages looking for casual friends, for sex and romance.

I finished high school when I was older, but I no longer had the concentration to continue on to College. My head was full of obsession, full of sexual and romantic distraction; my energy was low and I fell into constant depression, frequenting seedy hotels, getting entangled in several toxic relationships, spending a lot of money on trying to look splendid, frequently contracting sexually transmitted infections that took me to the gynecologist. I watched porn almost daily. I couldn’t  sleep at night and I went on food binges that occasionally made me vomit. I became pregnant outside my marriage and had an abortion. I didn’t perform well at home or at school or at work.

Then, after several years, my husband discovered me. I had left my  phone at home and he looked at it because I had been getting a lot of messages. Like a clay idol dropped to the ground, his image of me was broken: in one second inside his mind, I went from beloved wife to prostitute. He kicked me out of the house and told me that he was going to file a complaint with the judge so that he would have custody of my little children. He told me he was going to leave me with my family, and was going to tell them that I was a prostitute and show them my phone as evidence.

When he confronted me, he burst the pink lust bubble I had been living in for years and I was terrified that I would lose my children. With my suitcases waiting for me by the door, he told me that if I didn’t get help and change my ways, we would be divorced.

One day, craven with anxiety and desperation, I tried everything to outwit the blocks that he put on the computer. In doing so, I came across a website called Sexaholics Anonymous from Mexico and became interested. I continued reading, more and more, and came to the Test question that said, Do you have a double life? I drank it all in, all that information about the disease, the problem and the solution, and very soon made my way to my first meeting. 

I think it was an act of Providence, an act of mercy by my Higher Power, that led me to that Web page; to think that there are other people like me in the world, in Mexico, who have this addiction and who meet up every week to support each other to recover! I had no idea. That act of Providence illuminated the path for me to SA.

Today I thank God for choosing me from amongst so many women who need this program; for giving me the opportunity to join a wonderful, loving program that helps me accept myself for who I am; to love myself in a healthy way and respect my body, my soul and my being. 

Today I have a fellowship that really fits me, identifying as I do so naturally with each of my fellows.

Trust with my husband is growing every day, and so is true love. No longer do I want to change him; today I rejoice in his love, loving him for who he is. Today I see that the problem was me, not him.

I sleep peacefully and am joyful, even with life’s problems.  My lust sometimes shows up, but I no longer indulge it nor go around afraid of it.  I respect it – cunning, baffling, powerful – and that helps me to stay clear of it; if the temptation persists, I call on my Higher Power who is way more powerful than lust. 

Thank you, Sexaholics Anonymous. I have found a level of peace and meaning in life that has always eluded me. Thank You, God for always taking care of me with Your anonymous hand.

Lina, Mexico City, Mexico

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