View all:  Voices of Recovery

April 14

“Some of us write a history of our sex addiction, from as far back as we can remember up to the present, trying to leave nothing out.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 23

I was afraid to face the history of my addiction. I felt it would be a compilation of the ugliest facts about a human being ever written. Yet, that was exactly what my sponsor and group were encouraging me to do.

I protested, squirmed, and prepared to explode from shame. Finally, I started writing. I calculated approximately how many times I had acted out. My guess was 1,000, but the actual number was 12,000–15,000. Other statistics were equally telling. I wrote until I covered all twenty years of my active addiction. Then I experienced three surprises.

First, my history was not a list of humanity’s worst, nor did I explode when I read it. In fact, it was somewhat boring. Second, I assumed that a compilation of the facts would tempt me to act out. In fact, it brought relief from addictive thoughts and behavior. Third, when I reluctantly shared my history with my group at a meeting, they did not reject me. They applauded me, supported me, and thanked me for my honesty. It was the first time I felt like I belonged to the group, or any group, for that matter.

When they said, “The truth shall set you free,” I had no idea they meant freedom from acting out, self-condemnation, and isolation. I received these gifts from writing and sharing my sexual history.

Through a little courage, my load got a lot lighter.