View all:  Voices of Recovery

December 3

“Our distorted view of ourselves led us to avoid responsibility for our actions.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 32

I clearly remember my sponsor telling me to get out my business card and write on the back, “If I’m not the problem, there is no solution.” He then tasked me with holding this card in my hand until our next meeting. I reluctantly agreed, and was soon complaining about my sponsor’s methods to anyone who would listen.

When I tell that story today, I smile and have a good laugh at myself. I recall how I even lamented that I couldn’t hold my children with “that card” in my hand. I also recall how I came to accept it after a recovering friend told me he liked this idea—that it was like a prayer.

Of course, the prescribed inscription was not meant to inflict obsessive, debilitating guilt or morbid reflection. Instead, it gradually instilled the life-giving view that my own distorted perceptions were keeping me in perpetual martyrdom. Perhaps this addict had grown to love his own victimhood. I believe now that my sponsor was only trying to impress in me that nothing changes if nothing changes. I’m responsible for the actions necessary to change, and only I can make those choices. Carrying that card was an act of open-mindedness and willingness—a benign exercise in much needed humility in search of vital self-honesty. All great things have small beginnings, and my sponsor’s spiritual plan for transforming my life began with a single sentence on a small card.

Great change is possible if I am open and willing.