View all:  Voices of Recovery

April 13

“For the first time I felt that I had a home and a family who supported me, understood me, and let me unload all my shame.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 213

I’m as sick as my secrets. Many times I heard it and said it. However, I couldn’t tell anyone my secrets; they were too shameful. I thought if I did, people would surely reject me.

After I got into SAA and started working the Steps, I heard that I had to develop rigorous honesty and “rat out my addict.” Slowly I started reaching out to others in the program and telling the truth about what I was thinking and doing. It has transformed my life.

When I started talking honestly with others, especially on the phone between meetings, a surprising thing happened: people didn’t reject me. In fact, people said they admired my courage, that they could relate to what I said, or that they had the same problem. People thanked me for sharing—the exact opposite of what I expected. This tool has had a profound impact on the effectiveness of my step work.

My shame is like a vampire. It sucks the life out of me and keeps me in the shadows. But importantly, it cannot tolerate the light of day. My disease was lying when it told me I had to keep my secrets. Perhaps it knew that bringing them into the light of day would kill its power over me.

I am as sick as I am secret. My shame withers when I open up.