The AA Big Book and 12 & 12 have proven to be indispensable guides in my recovery journey. Though never addicted to a substance such as alcohol, I see my experience as a sex addict described on every page, whether it be the hopelessness of decades as an active addict, or the joyous freedom in recovery. Nowhere have these books been more important than in enabling me to see clearly the nature of my problem. When I place these two manuals of recovery alongside our White Book, I find the following helpful connections.
As a sex addict , I daily encounter a variety of situations that could result in a slip or relapse if not handled effectively. I was reflecting on that fact this morning at our meeting. I find that my sobriety is “comfortable” to the extent that I’m able to identify those situations and respond effectively. For me, this is daily Step 1, 2, and 3 work. Every time I identify and respond well to these dangerous situations, I’m reaffirming that I am myself powerless, that there is a power that can restore my sanity, and that it is beneficial to defer to his will. Here’s what I’ve found to be an effective response to dangerous situations. […]
I was asked recently if I thought a person could be a sex addict, or porn addict if they can go months at a time without engaging in the behavior. The reasoning goes something like this: An addict is someone who engages in a behavior or uses a substance uncontrollably all the time. Every day or at least every week. The urge is ever present. The giving in is a regular occurance. Therefore, if I can go for months without the behavior or drug, then I must not be an addict. I just have a habit. Of course, for the person asking him or herself this, it’s not merely an academic question. The answer has serious implications: If I’m an addict I’m in deep and I need serious help. If it’s just a habit, well, I can deal with that in private, or with just a bit more effort. But, is the “months porn-free” assumption valid? […]
Fear plays a very active role in the destruction of the sex or porn addict. The prominent place of fear in an addicts life is often not evident when he or she first comes into Sexaholics Anonymous. That was certainly the case for me. Heck, I was only conscious of one problem when I first entered SA’s doors: masturbation and pornography. If I could only stop my sexual acting out, I told myself, the real, admirable me would be free to flourish. But I had misdiagnosed my problem. And my core problem included fear. And recovery from porn addiction has meant facing fear. […]
“Because he lives inside his attitudes, the individual doesn’t see them; he sees only the physical activity and thinks he’s feeling guilty for that.” (White Book, page 40) Reading this reflection at a recent meeting, lead me to consider what my attitudes had been and how my changing attitudes brought about through the 12 Steps have enabled me to overcome my porn addiction. […]
As the old year ends and a new one begins men and women around the world seize the opportunity to say goodbye to old, unhealthy habits and to begin new habits. It seems to be an almost universal drive. Anyone with the even a minimum of self-awareness is troubled by some habitual thoughts or behaviors and seeks a change for the better. For some, sexual behaviors like masturbation, fapping, extramarital sexual relationships, viewing pornography, etc. have become a destructive force. For such people, these behaviors must be stopped. And so they greet the the new year with a resolution to live life differently going forward. […]