What comes next?

Food for Thought

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

What comes next?

Through the concepts of the Program and the guidance of our
Higher Power, we’ve been able to let go of the more serious
aspects of our addiction — being in places which, or with
people who reinforced our addiction; debasing ourselves with
activities which only added to the shame that had been imposed
upon us in our earlier years; equating sex, anonymous or
otherwise, with intimacy while being terrified when any sign of
true intimacy came on the scene. Yes, we now have a pretty good
handle on these things and we’ve gotten at least some feeling of
what recovery is.

But for many of us, there’s an “emptiness” left. There’s
still something missing in our lives. For many of us, sexual
fantasies still loom heavily in our minds — far too often for
our own good. We might not actually be engaging in sexual
activities which are harmful for us, but we’re sure thinking
about them. For many of us that might be thinking about the
“old days” of our acting out and embellishing those episodes
with “hot stuff we could have done” to make them all the more
exciting. Or we might fixate on those great legs that this guy
at the gym has; or the way that number walks and carries

For some of us, true intimacy — being vulnerable, feeling
and acknowledging our real feelings and talking about them,
physical closeness without sex — has manifested from time to
time and we feel horribly uncomfortable with it. So
uncomfortable at times that we might totally shut it out —
freeze up to “defend ourselves” from it; push ourselves away
from it. And sex — loving, intimate sex with someone we know well
and have deep feelings for — many of us don’t even have a clue
of what that might be. We’ve read books and seen movies about
“romantic” sex, but somehow we can’t see that happening with us.
In fact, many of us fear any kind of sex, except perhaps sex
with ourselves and our fantasies, for fear of going back to our
acting out patterns, or for fear of what is UNKNOWN to us.

So, we’ve stopped acting out; we’re into “recovery”, yet
there’s this void that we can’t seem to be able to fill. We are
certainly sexual beings — God gave us that attribute and we
have every right to have it — but somehow that got so screwed
up in our lives that healthy sexuality doesn’t seem to compute
for us. We keep going to our meetings and hear our brothers and
sisters expressing much of these same feelings, or perhaps
relating how they’ve slipped, or maybe talking about having
intimate sexual experiences which later turned sour out of fear
or for whatever reason. And, occasionally, we hear a warm story
of a member actually accomplishing an intimate, happy life with
another being which includes sex as an integrated element rather
than a debilitating addictive fixation or obsession.

But so many of us are still stuck, or so it seems — and
feels. There are times when we wonder if we’d be better off
going back to our old patterns. Yet we know deep down that we
can’t do that and live; that voice inside each of us that we’ve
learned to listen to keeps telling us that and we can no longer
stifle it as we used to. Some of us try to reconcile celibacy
with our lives, but that horniness keeps coming through —
whether it’s our God-given sexuality or our addiction — and
we’re not so sure that would work either, and it certainly
doesn’t sound like much fun. So now what?

The “now what” is going to be different for each one of us,
and there’s no cookbook answer available. We seem to sense
that we just can’t sit back and let God, our Higher Power, do it
for us, without much of any effort on our part. Things just
don’t work that way. We’re going to have to work and work hard
and it will take time — a lot of it; something a compulsive has
a hard time dealing with — and a lot of effort. But work on,
or at, or with what? In what way?

The Program and therapy and and books and church and all
that are certainly helpful in trying to sort out all this, but
they can only go so far. The answer seems to lie in that
Presence, or Being, or Power that many call God, however we and
they might understand God. That Presence is always with us,
whether we acknowledge It or not — ready to guide us to the
choices that are healthy for us. It’s up to us to sort these
choices out and surrender to and follow that guidance, or go on
our own way bumbling at times — hopefully learning from each
mistake we might make. Somehow we know deep inside that, as we
slowly let go of our own egos and let ourselves listen to that
Presence, we will be making the “right” choices for ourselves
and get ourselves back on the path to a rich, loving, serene,
abundant life, including a healthy sexuality.

Nebulous? Yes! Absolutely! But that’s the way things
seem to work. We’ve tried it our way, and we all know how that
turned out. Now it may just be the right time to try God’s way.
Let’s give it a try. The only thing we have to lose is our

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Sexual Compulsives Anonymous International Service Organization

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