MY STORY – RICHARD K
On the 5th of May, 1989, I was anything but thankful that I had been
arrested in a tearoom for being overly chummy with a vice officer and having
to spend an afternoon in the slammer. But a year later, after nearly 12
months in the SCA Program of Recovery, and 11 months of sobriety, I am truly
thankful for that arrest — my “bottom”. I honestly believe that God
grabbed me by the ass and said, “OK Richard, it’s about time for you to get
your act together!”
I had just turned 57, and had been in a “monogamous” relationship for nearly
19 years — most of those living a dual life. A life of lies and excuses,
pushing him and others away out of guilt and shame, grovelling on filthy
tearoom floors and grubby bookstore stalls, grabbing a quickie with a fellow
addict in my van, exposing myself to whatever disease might be around.
Before I met him, it was the baths — three or four tricks a night — and
orgies, and bars, and parks and beachside glory holes and multiple
“relationships” which lasted anywhere from 2 hours to 2 years — always
leering over his shoulders at the hunk across the way. Nothing to be proud
of. But, thanks to the Program and the support and acceptance of those real
people at the meetings and my Sponsor, the shame and guilt are finally gone
— a whole lot of it anyway — and I’m progressing in my recovery quite
nicely, thank you.
My attorney, who was expensive, but with an expansive heart, suggested that
I might just be a sexual compulsive (A WHAT???), and I might consider
getting to an SCA meeting. That first time, I waited in my car in the
parking lot, watching the guys going into the meeting, saying to myself
something like, “Oh shit! How can I get up enough guts to walk through that
door!” But somehow I did, and the first one who greeted me was the guy who
would shortly become my Sponsor (and who still is). And I felt at home!
How many times have you heard that? Many, many, I’m sure. And true.
I listened to all the stories, put members up on pedestals and, with their
help, took them back down, shed more than a few tears, got love and support
and encouragement and hugs from my Sponsor (including “being there” for me
when I finally told my Partner about my arrest and the activities leading up
to it) and all the others. Finally, after several weeks, I did my first
long share, and for the first time in my life was honestly able to go over
my early history with myself, and dump it safely at a meeting. That was the
real, firm beginning of my recovery, I think. Getting that stuff out into
the light, laundering the shame and guilt, getting it out there for me and
others to see and feel and hear has been so very, very important toward
getting the self-esteem built up and thinking and acting healthily in my
Not all sunshine and roses; not at all! The pain has been tremendous, but I
know that the pain, resulting from self-awareness, soul-searching, or
whatever you want to call it, has been necessary for healing my dis-ease.
There’s still a lot there — there’s a blank spot or two in my early
childhood to shed some light on — but I’m finally seeing myself as a
loving, worthwhile human, instead of a pile of crap.
As an agnostic, just this side of being a full-fledged atheist, I had a very
hard time with the 2nd and 3rd Steps. Not alone there, either, I found.
As a compulsive, I pushed and tugged and grunted and gnashed my teeth.
Higher Power, God, Jane, Sam, whatever you call Yourself, where are You?
It says right here in the Steps that You’re around here somewhere — come on
out so I can turn all this mess over and be cured! Well — and there are no
accidents, ever — I eventually made the mind-blowing “discovery” that He
was right here in and around me all this time. But I had been looking out
there for this guy in the long beard and white bathrobe lounging around in
the clouds with a bunch of fairies, zapping people with lightning now and
then, scaring the hell out of most everyone — just like what’s his name
painted up there on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. No wonder I couldn’t
I’ve actually joined a Church! A wonderful one — at least for me it is.
And I’ve been really dosing up on classes and workshops there, while working
the Program, finding out more about myself, exploring and nurturing my
“little guy” inside, tearing more of my guts out, crying like mad, getting
spirituality, love, caring, support….. becoming a human being, forgiving
myself, liking myself, loving myself.
We each have our own way in dealing with our dis-ease. And Higher Power/
God/Jane/Sam is right in there with us all the way. All we have to do is
realize He/She/It is here inside, ready for each of us to understand and
accept, and the battle is well on its way to being won. I don’t think I’ll
ever be “cured”, but with my Higher Power working right here with me, I’ve
sure got it knocked; I can let it go. And that’s what’s important.
There’s a lot of heavy stuff ahead. My relationship is badly bruised, and
may not survive. A new home is a building 250 miles north of here, and the
present home is now on the market. There’s the uprooting, the turmoil,
leaving the familiar faces at meetings and church and classes. And the flea
season is upon the dogs again! Stress! Stress! Stress! But, I’m getting my
act together, Program meetings are getting started in the area I’m moving
to, and I intend starting a small meeting in my new hometown with a couple
of other guys — straight guys, which is absolutely fine with me; they’ve
helped me to realize that although they’re hooked on women, and I’m hooked
on men, we’re all hooked on sex, and we can help each other in our recovery.
I’ve gotten involved in the Southern California Intergroup and its 12-Step
Committee. I was one of those who suggested, a couple of months ago, that
the time had come for an SCA newsletter to aid in ending our isolation and
getting the word out. Guess who’s doing a lot of work on it. And I love
it. I’m working and talking with people who are well into their recovery,
and it’s rubbing off on me. And I’m returning, in small way, something to
the Program which has provided me with so very much!
It truly works…… if you work it! If that sounds a bit glib and corny,
try working it even harder; it’s all there for you as it has been for me.