My Story: Jim M.

My Story

By Jim M., St. Louis


Until the time I came into recovery when I was 28, my life had been
permeated by sexual addiction. I have experienced sexual acting out since
me earliest childhood memories. Obsession, paranoia, fear and sexual
compulsion were part of my daily experience. Of course, some days were
better than others, but the pattern of addiction and all its ramifications
was deeply ingrained in my psyche. It was who I was, there was not
escaping from who I was. I tried my best to act like a “normal”
but on the inside I was ever on the prowl for my next “fix” and
always worried others knew what I had done. I lived under the delusion
that somehow I was “special” and I would never get caught or
suffer the
consequences of my lifestyle. It was a life of unaccountability, never
being sure where I was going or with whom. How I managed to live as long
as I did doing the self-destructive and dangerous behavior I was involved
in is a mystery. All I can really say about that is that I’m grateful to
have survived. There were consequences, however, and my delusional
thinking that said I was special and would never get caught came to an
abrupt end when I was arrested in 1984 for trying to pick up a police
officer. My first thought was that my life was over, and in a way it
was. Thank God! Through very unlikely and fortuitous circumstances, I
came into contact with my first sexual recovery group and by the grace of
God and the help of other sex addicts, I have been sexually sober since
November 1985.

SCA first came to St. Louis in the spring of 1992. At that time I had
been in sexual recovery for 7 years actively participating in the other
“S” fellowships. My struggle was how to live a sexually sober
life and
develop a healthy gay identity. The other “S” programs provided
a safe
place for me to say I was a sex addict and I am truly grateful for the
recovery that I found there, but I longed for an identity beyond being a
sex addict who didn’t act out anymore. SCA has helped me to find my own
identity and be proud of myself as a recovering gay man.

What initially attracted me to SCA was finding other men who had what I
wanted, which was an acceptance of themselves as gay men who also wanted
sexual sobriety. I longed for a deeper acceptance and understanding of
myself that would allow me to not have to turn off my spirituality when I
wanted to be sexual. Sexuality and spirituality were not integrated in
my life and I have found the SCA program to offer a place where these two
very important aspects can be explored and transformed through recovery.

One thing I’ve discovered is that there are no shortcuts to recovery.
This has been a very long process, but personal freedom and loving myself
is worth doing the work.

I need to go regularly to SCA meetings because the honesty expressed at
our meetings keeps me honest, the identification with other sex addicts
leads me out of isolation, and hearing how other people use the tools of
our program and the 12-Steps gives me hope. I am truly grateful for the
opportunity to recover from this disease.