In January 2009 I went to my first SA meeting. On the literature table I found a copy of the Essay magazine. It contained a funny recovery joke. I truly had to laugh! It was the first time I found out recovery can be fun. Until then, my experience with trying to recover in another S-fellowship was mainly depressing and gave little hope.
That SA group fell apart quickly. Disappointed, I returned to my old group. But not without first registering for an SA Convention in the United Kingdom in September of that year. On arrival, a friendly man welcomed me. He was happy to see a fellow from abroad attending the convention. He asked me how long I was sober. “Five days,” I said, and proudly added: “But I have been sober before for about six months!” When I asked him, he cheerfully said he was sober for eight years. I resented him immediately!
That night, after attending the first meeting of the convention weekend, I felt disturbed. I went to my room and wrote a mini-inventory. There were many people with multiple years of sobriety at the weekend event. I had never seen such a thing before. I thought that sobriety for sex addicts was only theoretical, and not possible long-term. Here I was proven wrong, and my reaction to it was anger!
While writing out the columns of my inventory, I could see how arrogant and proud I was. I had become a person I really didn’t like to be. That hit me hard. It was painful. I returned to the meeting room, this time really wanting to be just one of the guys. Now I knew there was something here. I didn’t need to say it; I knew this was home for me. Back home I made one more attempt to stay sober in my old S-fellowship group, and had my last relapse in October 2009. Then I finally surrendered and embraced SA.
It is true that my role in the group changes over the years, due in part to being sober for a longer time. A slightly unfriendly word of mine causes more damage to the group than an out-of-place share of a drunken newcomer. My grumpy mood can actually kill the spirituality of the meeting. The road gets narrower. But the joy of living increases.
I’m a controller, trying to climb to the top of every heap I find. And with every climb I have to again face that I am not God. I am so grateful that He handed me over to a bunch of sex drunks. They are the only ones who could help me. The biggest mistakes in my life I have made in recovery, perhaps because I have not yet learned enough humility. But my home group is the heartbeat of my life, in good and bad times. In recovery, I have a Higher Power Who helps me with myself. An old-timer once said: “My job is to stay.” And so will I, for just another day.