It’s God and Me for the Rest of My Life

It’s God and Me for the Rest of My Life

I’ve been a sexaholic my whole life, and it’s the most important fact in my life. I’ve other addictions and other Fellowships also. Sexaholism is not the one which would kill me quickest, as the saying goes, but it is the major focus of my life in recovery, being the most all-encompassing and all-pervasive of them.

Indeed, as I read in the literature, and in Webster’s Dictionary, lust takes countless forms; it’s not just sexual, by any means. Therefore, I conceptualize all my other compulsions as being a manifestation of my primary addiction to lust. So SA is my major emphasis in recovery. It’s also the one in which relapse is the most tempting, day by day, as I do not have to go to a shop and buy something, or go to a place, to relapse, etc., and I have read long ago that “the price of recovery is eternal vigilance.” I am also aware that complacency kills addicts. I can therefore say with some certainty that I will be sober in SA one day at a time for life, as my history is that I was perpetually desperate to die before I found SA. No other Fellowship cured this mental health issue, when I was not sexually sober.

It’s not my intention here to relive my Step One in detail. It’s enough to say that I discovered lust in my primary/grade school years; my youthful experience was typical for the age, sex with self; but I was under religious instruction at the time and was told that sex with self was evil. Then I was sexually abused by two men, whilst still legally under protection laws (which I have reported to the authorities). This experience resulted in severe self-rejection. At age 13, I began asking for help to stop sex with self—which I was still asking 43 years later when I found SA. I qualified for SA the year before it began to exist!!

My late husband was 37 years older, with physical disabilities. I needn’t go further than to say that I couldn’t manage to be faithful, under those circumstances. I admit and take responsibility for my own defects of character in this, deriving from my sexaholic disease. I don’t blame him. I continued to seek help, but until SA, nobody had a solution.

Since his death, 14 years ago, my problem with sex has been entirely with self. I have no intention of remarrying. Sex with self brought me to despair and it was in this despair that I contacted SA. I am still religious, not in the same tradition as my youth, but it does mean that of the ‘S’ Fellowships, SA is the one for me. As you can see, our sobriety definition accords with my own beliefs about sexual behavior completely.

I joined SA in September 2020. I attended on Zoom, as I don’t have a car and live 55 miles from the nearest in-person/hybrid meeting. The Zoom became, and still remains, my home group. It was also of course during the period of Covid-lockdown. Lockdown was a huge blessing to me, in that SA went enthusiastically onto Zoom, as it still is. I am an SA Zoom baby, and would not be sober today but for Zoom.

Coming from other Fellowships, I had the great advantage of knowing how a newcomer must behave. So, in my second week of membership, I began asking women to be my sponsor; I got the literature in print and on Kindle, and straightaway I began my 90 meetings in 90 days. In those 90 days I estimate I attended 330 Zoom meetings. In other words, I threw myself into the whole thing, going to any lengths for my sobriety. I managed to get a woman temporary sponsor, wrote my First Step, and gave it to her all-women home group. This turned out to be only three of us, so I later gave it to a larger international mixed group. Now I felt I was becoming a real member.

After four months, it became possible to occasionally attend my home group in-person. In the course of time, they held an in-person recovery day. At this I burst into tears, and I hope I will never forget what I said that day, “I have joined SA today. Until now, I have been floundering around in my own front room.” I have since attended another recovery day and two conventions, and I continue to attend my home group in-person occasionally. I find in-person to be a totally different, far more life-giving experience than any Zoom meeting, no matter how good Zoom meetings are. ESSAY was kind enough to publish a piece by me on that subject. Those guys in my home group saved my life.

So now, two years and four months down the road, what is my Experience, Strength and Hope story today?

I am still working with the sponsor that I started out with. We work the Steps together. Having been through two weekend workshops, at which we worked all the Steps (except for finishing 9) I am working Steps 10, 11 and 12 on a daily basis. My sponsor is reworking them in more depth with me from Step Into Action. Currently I am on Step 4, working my way through the readings prescribed in the book.

I will never forget showing up at the international meeting that I mentioned, apologizing for being only 24 hours sober. Someone replied that the world record for sobriety is 24 hours! Today as I write my history, I could easily let my inner-addict-voice condemn me for my past, and sentence me to a life without hope. The 24-hours principle is crucial to me. It’s a part of my particular religion also that the blessings of my Higher Power, whom I call God, are renewed every morning; this accords with my SA mindset perfectly. Today I am not sentenced by my past. Today, I feel “happy, joyous, and free” and the literature supports me, telling me that this is what God wants for me.

My experience, strength, and hope is underpinned by the miracle that I read about in the Big Book: “The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves” (AA 25).

This is very much how I am living today. In the solution. As it says, a price must be paid; it means I have to “turn in all things to the Father of Light Who presides over us all.” When, as happens on occasion, my inner addict refuses to open my heart to God and does its own thing, I consider myself at risk, and do my best to reach out, tell sober members what’s going on, and get back on track as quickly as possible.

For a long time, I only contacted women, but today my sponsor is happy for me to reach out to sober men, such as in my home group, etc., provided that I mainly turn to women. I just have to use my head, and be honest with myself about my motivation and their sobriety. I don’t speak with men who are not at least medium-term sober, nor do I private message any such men. This has never been questioned by anyone, in fairness.

So who is my HP? I imagine there are as many ideas of God as there are members, and so it should be.

I am, as I mentioned, in a religion. That obviously shapes how I see God. But that idea of God presided over almost half a century of despair and sexual acting out. So recently enough, I worked Step 2; I worked it hard, using the Step 2 chart in Step Into Action. It only occurs to me now, as I write, that I have been sober from that day to this!!! That chart examined in detail my old ideas of God, shaped by my unhappy experiences, and moved me to the new beliefs I have about God today. It was a total, humbling revelation to me. I think I cried often during the exercise.

So, without using non SA terms, the God I believe in today not only loves me unconditionally, but actually LIKES me, and wants me to be “happy, joyous, and free”; at peace and serene. He wants me to be sober and will keep me sober, regardless of the difficulties and pain that life will throw my way, so long as I maintain the Real Connection with Him and not trust exclusively in fellowship, such as the chat apps SA uses. When all else fails me, I have been taught to fall back on my Step work, and in so doing to recover my God connection.

I have been reading for a very long time, “When all else fails, work with another alcoholic [sexaholic].” But, for me, that doesn’t always work. Literature and Step work, prayer and meditation, by whatever method, and a BREAK from communication with other SA members, is more often what’s required, for me anyway.

I have absolute confidence in SA, and absolutely no confidence in my own willpower. This will, as I say, be the case for the rest of my life. Because this illness kills people, and it almost killed me. Today, and today only, I have a life totally “beyond my wildest dreams.” Thank God that “God is surely for the sexaholic.”

Kathie S., Devon, UK

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