Nothing changes if nothing changes

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

In my addiction, lust took over my life. Indulging lust in some way was constantly in my mind. Every day, all day, lustful thoughts were occupying me. I was always looking for opportunities. This preoccupation was driving me crazy. I couldn’t stop on my own; for four years I tried. There was a trail of broken promises to myself, and my self-worth was so low I was suicidal. One day – it was a birthday of mine – I thought, “Instead of looking for lust online, why not look for help online?” Right away I found resources to start recovery. Why had I waited so long? That day I put a porn filter on my computer, and soon after I started to go to SA meetings.

From my first meeting I had an SA sponsor. In those early days I called my sponsor every day. I went to a meeting every week, and soon, I went to two meetings a week. I found physical sobriety with the help of my sponsor, the meetings and my Higher Power. I thought I was all set, but some things were still not right. I occasionally looked at pornography. I still thought about women and stared at them. I was not yet well.

From my attendance at meetings, I started to learn helpful habits. I started making gratitude lists, praying for the people I lusted after, letting go of resentments, and making sobriety and my relationship with my Higher Power my highest priority. I started to get better emotionally. I needed less lust-medication. My sponsor helped me to be accountable by the standards of the 12-steps. I kept learning and letting go.

I learned that there is such a thing as emotional sobriety. I became emotionally sober when I let go of resentments and when I acknowledged my feelings, especially anger. I realized that I wasn’t the center of my world. I didn’t need to get my way in everything. If my wife was tired, I didn’t need to demand sexual relations with her. Sex was optional. There was a greater value, and that was love.

I learned to serve the fellowship. I became open to having sponsees; more importantly, I started to exhibit a health that sponsees wanted for themselves. I became more tolerant and patient with people, and also tolerant with myself, more accepting of my own weaknesses. I no longer acted as though I was the God of my life, always certain that I knew what was best for me. I became humbler. As I got further away from lustful habits, I started noticing other character defects. It was like peeling an onion. I couldn’t see the layer below until I addressed the covering layer. My Higher Power was removing character defects as I became willing to surrender them. My 12-step program is now so much more than physical sobriety, but I had to become physically sober and stay sober before I could make progress on the great journey of inner sobriety and peace.

 

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Anonymous, St Louis

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