View all:  Voices of Recovery

December 23

“In order to stay sober, I needed to make sure that, one day at a time, acting out was not an option.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 288

I was in sexual recovery for eight years before I realized I actually had to stop acting out. I thought being in the rooms was enough. Despite meetings, my life had grown ever more empty and painful, and I was desperate. I wanted something more or I wanted to die.

Then I heard someone speak who had thirteen months sobriety. We all listened quietly to her moving story. After eight years of meetings, I could finally hear people announcing their sobriety, and I wanted what they had. I finally realized that I had to stop my behaviors. Acting out was no longer an option. I was finally willing to go to any lengths to stay sober.

I went to nine meetings a week for two and a half years. I got a sponsor and worked the steps. In the morning I would check in with myself, and if I felt that acting out was an option, I went to a meeting, made a program call, and sometimes prayed in a house of worship until the feeling passed. This is the biggest gift I ever gave myself because, one day at a time, I have not acted out since. I came to realize that I couldn’t have gotten the clarity one moment before I was ready. With clarity I gave myself the gift of sobriety.

Clarity comes when it does, not a minute before. Then it’s up to me to act.