View all:  Voices of Recovery

August 26

“As long as we seek to stop our addictive sexual behavior, we belong in SAA.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 81

In my pursuit of religious learning and spiritual fellowship, I have often been frustrated by the admissions requirements of the organized institutions. For several years of a prison sentence, I worked in the chaplain’s office as a clerk. In this position I was exposed to a wide variety of religious organizations. During this time, a close friend of mine wanted to deepen his commitment to a specific practice. He was blocked by a complex initiation ceremony and by the sewing of a religious garment, which the prison authorities would not approve. Neither the prison nor the religious authority would budge on this situation. As a result, he was incapable of being recognized as a member of the religion he loved.

Thankfully, I’ve never experienced any membership requirements except the desire to stop addictive sexual behavior, or any initiation ceremonies in Sex Addicts Anonymous. I have been a member from the moment I declared myself one. Nobody can declare me out. No matter who I am, no matter how grave my emotional complications—or even my crimes—Sex Addicts Anonymous can’t deny me membership. What’s more, Sex Addicts Anonymous doesn’t want to keep me out. I am welcome here, just as I am.

Do I offer the same welcome to newcomers that I received that desperate day at my first meeting?