Monday, January 24th
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
“I feared I would become like the older men I saw at the acting out haunts – haggard with longing, empty eyes, having lived lives of regret and despair. That’s what I believed I was sentenced to. My life was hopeless.”
Acting out our sexual compulsion may seem to be our inescapable fate, but there is hope, and we begin to find it in Step Two. Being restored to sanity means we do something different to get different results. We acknowledge our powerlessness, unmanageability, and insanity. We talk about our lives in meetings, on the phone, or with another sexual compulsive. Compulsion thrives in secrecy; we take action to break that cycle.
“A power greater than ourselves” becomes the bridge out of isolation and into hope. If we are to have any hope at all, we find a power stronger than self-will. We start to recognize that the events of our lives are opportunities to learn a spiritual lesson – to ask our Higher Power what we need to know in order to grow.
My new willingness to align my will with my Higher Power shows me that active sexual compulsion is not my destiny.
Sunday, January 23rd
Some of us realized that we needed to have a spiritual awakening to recover what we had lost as active sexual compulsives.
“I was ‘white-knuckling’ it, trying to convince myself and other members that I was sober. But I wasn’t feeling particularly sober: I missed going to those acting-out places, cruising the apps, hoping for the magical connection that would satisfy me. I had frequent episodes of euphoric recall that made me feel desperate to re-live some of those experiences.”
The withdrawal process helps us understand that we are searching for a power greater than ourselves. As we work the Twelve Steps, we start to grasp the concept of a gentle, loving Higher Power whose care can restore us to sanity.
Surrendering our will isn’t easy. But we can see how doing so has helped other members. As we gradually develop trust in the process, we become free from the bondage of our compulsion and learn to accept our sexuality as God’s gift to us. We realize we are not empty; in fact, we have always been whole. Our character defects are wounds to be healed, not something innate.
My attachments to my former compulsive activities have faded. Through this powerful shift, I have found real contentment in my life.
I could always tell when someone wasn’t respecting me.
Many of us tried to hide our activities from others in our compulsive state, seeking to avoid the humiliation of being exposed. Our need for secrecy and concealment invariably led to self-isolation, sometimes to the point where we hid from ourselves.
This denial also fed its way into resentments. Our sense of low self-esteem would hurt even more if we felt disrespected. We might carry this resentment through our interactions with other people. As our compulsion deepened, some of us acted out our resentments and sense of victimhood through anger, sometimes by lashing out at others. We might tie our anger to a growing sense of entitlement: we had been through so much that we deserved “special” consideration.
In recovery, we may find relief from re-living past wounds and traumas as we work the Steps and begin having compassion for ourselves and others. We learn to build new coping skills instead of falling back into the ways of our compulsion.
I’m no longer a victim; I’m working my recovery daily.