by Richard K., SCA-San Luis Obispo, CA


A lot has been said in our Program literature and in our
meetings about HOPE. But there are times when it’s really
difficult to scrape together enough of that priceless commodity
to be able to see some light at the end of the tunnel, or
through the bushes, or through that notorious hole in the wall,
or at the end of the 53rd romantic relationship of the past 12
months. The temptation is to say to hell with it and keep on
giving in to our compulsive acting out behaviors.

“Giving in.” That’s a lot different from “Giving up.”
“Giving in” is, out of total despair, not seeing anything ahead
of us but the same old misery; the same old cold, empty,
faceless, formless darkness. Not having any HOPE at all that we
will change and get out of this seemingly bottomless mire we’ve
wound up in. Just living, being, thinking, feeling HOPELESS,

“Giving up” — to me at least — is the proverbial turning
our lives over to whatever Entity, or Being, or Higher Power we
believe in, or act-as-if we believe in, or try like hell to
believe in. Turning it over because we finally realize that in
no way can we continue as we have without dying one way or
another — physically, emotionally or spiritually. Turning it
over because doing things “our way” has resulted in the screwed
up mess we find ourselves in as we hit one bottom after another.
Turning it over because that’s the only HOPE we have. This
“Giving up” is a total realization of finding HOPEFULNESS in
every sense of the word!

We find ourselves coming to meetings for no other reason
than in HOPE of finding out what’s on the other side of this
recovery business. Even those very few who might come to try to
find someone to hit on eventually give up on that and go back
into their darkness, OR begin to realize just a tad of what
recovery is about.

We find ourselves driving on by that acting-out place so
painfully familiar to us, where that living, breathing doll
might just be waiting to sweep us off our feet and carry us off
to happiness. We’re not sure just why we drive on by, but
inside us there’s the HOPE of a realization that what might be
there is death for us and that there are better things in life
than this — this one more human to degrade ourselves by
servicing or fixing or giving up our beings to.

We find ourselves wondering if it might just be better for
us to forgo a relationship for a while — no matter how
unbearably painful that might be — in the HOPE that somehow we
will begin to realize what inside us keeps getting us into
poisonous relationships. In the HOPE that one day we will be
able to enter a relationship on an equal, loving footing, or
perhaps realize that, at least for the foreseeable future, a
romantic relationship is not for us.

We find ourselves really wondering just what IS on the
“other side” of this recovery business: Celibacy? Sex being
fully integrated into our lives? Can we even envision what
“integrated” is? Finding out what intimacy truly is (since
obviously it doesn’t equate to sex, as we’ve somehow been
thinking most of our lives)? Letting go of a lot of old,
harmful, poisonous habits and compulsions, and replacing them
with healthy elements — healthy for us and for those involved
with us? A lot of hurt and grieving and sometimes “giving in”
as we let go?

Scary as hell, isn’t it? Does anyone really know what’s on
the “other side” of recovery? No one knows what’s on the “other
side” for US — and maybe not even for themselves. What’s on the
“other side” keeps changing as we get more and more into it.
It’s something each one of us must find out for ourselves — no
other human can do it for us, other than maybe lend a willing
ear or a strong shoulder to cry on. Maybe there is no “other
side”; it might just keep moving along with us as we get further
into it.

But somehow, painfully and slowly and uncertainly and with
slips and slides, our HOPELESSNESS begins a miraculous transition
into HOPEFULNESS. You don’t think so? Try thinking of that
negativity as bullshitting yourself, because deep down inside —
so far down inside that for most of our lives we totally ignore
it — is a quiet, calm, loving voice that says there is always
HOPE no matter what, and that you deserve better, and with HOPE
you find yourself willing to work damned hard to get better.
And you will. It works. It takes work, including a lot of
“giving up.” But just think of what things will become for you
and come to you as you change.

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Sexual Compulsives Anonymous International Service Organization

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