Recovering From Sex Addiction And Still Powerless

Skip to first unread message


May 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/6/96

A year ago I did a first step in SAA and never progressed past it for
various reasons. About a week ago I heard a mini-first step from a person
who really hit bottom hard and decided it was time to get a new sponsor
and start again. So this Sunday night, I will give another first step.
In updating my first step, I began thinking of my life since entering
recovery and whether I was still powerless over my addiction. So before I
put some words about it in my first step, I wanted to share it also with
my online recovering family.

I have been thinking that sex addicts come in all shapes and sizes and
each has a different challenge to maintaing sobriety. Some need to go
somewhere to act out or get/buy something to act out with. In my case, I
don't consider myself as fortunate. You see, as a compulsive
crossdresser, I did buy my own women's bathing suits and leotards to act
out in and went through the same addictive scenarios as those buying
pornography -- I used it, threw it out, bought more again, etc. A typical
cycle. But for those addicted to porn, if they didn't have any and
weren't near any, they were relegated to either substituting something
else or fantasizing about the porn. In my case, I feel somewhat like an
overeater or an alcoholic who is a bartender (and who can't change his/her
job). You see, even when I throw my own stuff away, the objects are all
around me and all the time. I can't go anywhere without seeing women's
clothing. But to compound the temptation, I am married, have two teenage
daughters, and my wife runs a seamstress business out of the house.
Tonight, I was changing to do my nightly workout and my wife's wet bathing
suit was under the chair in the bedroom. I didn't touch it (which is
defined as "middle circle behavior for me"). But, I walked to it and
kicked the article above it but never touched it. Why did I even have to
do that? Women's clothes are around me all the time and I am so
conditioned to thinking about them in terms of acting out and playing
those silly 'flirting' games, that there is no doubt in my mind that I am
still powerless and that if I were trying to do it on my own, I'd have
picked up that bathing suit and put it on.

So what stopped me? It was not the fear of getting caught. It was not
self will. It was not purely my motivation to recover. It was not my
reconditioning. It was not my fear of losing my sobriety. It was not my
thinking to myself that I am a sex addict and need to stay away. It is so
easy to think of the things it was not, but it is so much harder to think
about what did stop me. I can't say that I am far enough into recovery to
say I know for sure what it is. The answer seems to be floating above me
in an amorphous cloud -- waiting for me to grab it, analyze it, and
understand it (sounds pretty philisophical...). I think that's what the
12 steps are going to help me understand.

Some people need to work all the 12 steps to help them get sober. But for
me, I embark on the 12 steps on my quest to understand how to stay sober.
I need to say no and the 12 steps will help me really understand why. And
that is not 'self knowledge' (which is superficial and doesn't help you
stay sober). Rather its the modification of my basic belief system. Its
the changing of how I look at things in a completely different way. I am
optimistic that the 12 steps will help form the foundation for making that
basic change. I know I need to be able to look at women and see them as
humans and not fantasize about wearing their clothing and as long as I
have a belief that doing so is appropriate behavior - I will remain
powerless over my addiction.

Have a great week,
Joel I.

Bill R

May 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/7/96

Dear Joel,

Thanks for the post!

For me, the 12 steps have never been about getting sober (stopping the
behavior). After about two years in the program I heard someone say "I
don't work the steps to stop acting out. I stop acting ou so I can work
the steps." I've found that to be true for me as well.

When I used to see "the behavior" as the problem and tried to apply the
steps toward "curing" it, I never made any real, sustained progress in my
recovery. When I finally got to the point that I *needed* to stop the
behavior more than I *wanted* to continue it, I found that it had never
been the problem at all. Without acting out my life was still my life.
I was still self centered, depressed and (for the most part) a
non-functional adult. That was when I began to use the steps to help me
change my life.

I know today that I need to actively do all of the steps over and over
again in order to keep my focus where it needs to be; on what I am able
to do on "my own side of the street" in order to make "the street" a
better place for us all.

I used to be an expert at the 1-2-3-12 waltz, but I was just short
changing myself.

Your sharing has come at a particularly good time for me, Joel. I needed
to hear myself talk about this because it's time for me to re-concentrate
my focus again. I need to find a new sponsor. I want to be accountable
to you and to the rest of ARAS about this. I will let you know when I
have one.

Thanks again!

Best Wishes.

Bill R.

Bill R

May 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/9/96

Dear Phred,

Welcome to ARAS and thanks for the post!

The SAA directory lists a number of meetings in Los Angeles. The contact
number given is 213-896-2964.

Best Wishes.

Bill R.

May 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/10/96

welomee to ARAS,
I live in southern California & have several numbers for you.
Sexaholics Anonymous
Los Angeles Information-213-480-1096
Camarrilo Information-805-488-5778

There are meetings held in Pasadena, West Los Angeles, North
Hollywood, Simi Valley, Alhambra, & other locations
If you are familiar with Dr Patrick Carnes & his book "Out of the
Shadows"(highly recommended for persons who believe they have an
addiction to sex), he has a center in Torrance at Del Amo Hospital for
Sexual addiction.

Keep coming back
Brent R.
SA in So Calif

Jul 25, 2017, 7:05:26 PM7/25/17
QUOTING YOUR: "Some people need to work all the 12 steps to help them get sober. But for me, I embark on the 12 steps on my quest to understand how to stay sober. I need to say no and the 12 steps will help me really understand why.

I REPLY: Having been diligently going to the rooms and working the steps outside of the rooms for 3 years (in Sept 2017) I've gone through two phases in particular: prosteletyzing (I can only trust 12-steppers), and doubting (this will never work).

I've graduated and concluded, for me:

"Life goes better with 12-steps"

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages