Where I Live Today: My Story

My name is Tucson Ray and I’m a multiple addict including sex addiction. I have been a sex addict since I reached puberty. I discovered masturbation and I couldn’t stop. I masturbated virtually every day, sometimes many times a day, all through my teen years. When I got to age twenty-one, I thought a wife was going to fix me. If I got married I would have sex built into my life and I won’t have to masturbate anymore. We were married for fifteen years and had seven children. After a couple of weeks into that marriage I started masturbating again.

I married a second wife to fix me. Same thing happened. After a few weeks I couldn’t stop masturbating again. Then I married a third wife, my secretary. I don’t believe that the wives ever knew that I was a sex addict. I was able to compartmentalize my life. I was able to live a professional life, and a married life, and a private life that I didn’t share with anybody. Then I came to Tucson, to a college here for seven years, before I crashed.

My crash was that I just couldn’t handle the multiple addictions anymore. I was a sex addict, an alcoholic, a sugar addict and a caffeine addict. I was drinking a quart of bourbon every night. I had to have about three big mugs of coffee in the morning before I could trust myself to drive to work.

My third wife was finding out more and more about me because I was being more careless about my behavior. She knew I was masturbating on a regular basis. She knew I was attracted to other women.

She finally gave up and said “Ray, if you don’t get some help, I’m going to have to leave you.” This time she wasn’t even angry. She had been angry with me many times and I could just write that off as, she’s just going through one of her fits. She told me that almost in a loving way. I couldn’t help but believe that she was going to leave.

So that very day I called a treatment center and a counselor was there. Since that day I have never had another drink of alcohol. While taking me home from the treatment center my wife said, “Ray, there’s another program I’ve heard about in town that you ought to find out about. It’s called Sexaholics Anonymous. There was an article about it in the paper.”

So I started going to the SA meetings in town. I did get through about three Steps in two years, but I wasn’t serious about the program. I was doing it to keep her off my back. I certainly didn’t get sober. Then my third wife left me. I think she gave up. I wasn’t ready.

One night on the way back to my flophouse hotel room I started bawling like a baby. I was in bad shape and couldn’t sleep. I knelt down beside my little cot in my little room and I started praying. For the first time in my life I wasn’t praying somebody else’s prayers. That very night I prayed and talked to God and I made a deal. I told God that I had to quit my sex addiction and my sugar addiction and if he would help me do that, I would give him the rest of my life. The rest of my life would be devoted to service to him. And if he could not or would not do that for me I would have to kill myself.

The next day I looked in the phone book. SA had a San Diego telephone number. I talked to the guy who had started the SA program there. With his help I got to that SA meeting and from that time on I have been totally sober. No slips, no relapses, nothing.

When I got sober I thought that it would be a good thing if I started reconnecting with family. And I started thinking about making amends and writing letters to them. I did all that and that was the beginning of reconnection. During that first year I got back in touch with my second wife here in Tucson. What I put her through was horrible misery. We became kind of friendly over the phone and that lead to my coming back to Tucson for Christmas that year and staying with her and the two daughters. We got along really fine and before I left to go back, I asked her in the most careful way I could if she would be willing to consider the possibility of talking about getting back together? She said she would be willing to talk about it, but, she said, don’t hold your breath.

On one of my visits I read an amends letter to her. I don’t know how much of it she believed at the time. She had a copy of the letter. At Easter time she came to visit me and she brought the two girls. We celebrated her birthday and Easter and everything went well. She went back to Tucson with the two girls. We wrote more letters. And then finally she brought the girls and picked me up to bring me back to Tucson on a permanent basis. She said she would give me a place to live.

I wanted the SA sobriety definition, and so I said that unless we were to get married, there would be no sex. But I said I am not in a hurry to get married. We lived together for a whole year. We slept in the same bed. We slept in each other’s arms. We got to know each other. People say what do you do if you live together for a whole year and you don’t have sex? I say, well you get to know each other! We got to know each other’s values and interests and priorities in life and what we wanted out of life. We shared what to expect from each other and what we were willing to do for each other. That’s the kind of thing that you really ought to do if you’re going to marry somebody anyway, but we had never done that.

When I came back to Tucson, I looked up the SA meetings in town. I decided that I needed an SA meeting.

The main tool in my tool box is “changing my mind.” If I quit thinking about sex, I’m not tempted by it. There is no sense that I will ever be without temptations. It’s how I deal with it that’s important. If there’s a woman walking down the street attracting my attention, I will say, “Gee, I wonder how many guys are picking on her because she is so nice looking? Maybe I can pray for her.” When I am honestly praying sincerely for a woman, I cannot look at her as a sex object. I have changed my mind. And the temptation is gone. Can it come back? Sure it can come back.

The amends to my current wife was a process. What I still feel is the greatest amends to her is the change in my life, just being a different guy. I know that I am because I am not selfish and self-centered. We don’t live in the past. You know, we’re not happy that we lived the way we did for the first thirteen-year marriage, but we look at it as a step along the way. And maybe we could not be where we are today if we hadn’t had all those steps along the way.

I was 57 when I got sober in SA. Up to that point, my life didn’t make sense to me or anybody else. It was insanity. Life started getting sober and sane and it became worth living. You know, I had been suicidal off and on for a long time. But, I have had a good life. It’s fantastic, and I have a lot of gratitude for everything I’ve got. I have the best wife in the world, this house is the best house in the world for us, a lot of gratitude for the opportunity to live. I am convinced that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. The purpose of my life is to learn and grow and serve. And I’m still doing that. I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life. That’s where I live today.

Ray S. died June 17, 2018 at age 87 years. For over twenty years Ray was the genuine, formative force for SA prison ministry (SACFC). He wrote the sponsor by mail approach that is still in use, and started the prison meetings. He created the protocol for how to approach prison officials. We are forever indebted to him for blazing the trail in SA service.

Ray S., Arizona, USA

Total Views: 93|Daily Views: 1

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!