“We looked for ways to intensify the experience, forgetting that bigger highs will eventually lead to even greater suffering and unmanageability.”
“Sexual Sobriety and the Internet”
My life as an addict is reflected in the quote above. Each time I acted out, I was trying to find a solution to a problem I didn’t know I had. I applied one tool, sex, to solve all my problems.
If I was stressed at work, pornography was the answer. If I was abused at home, the bookstore was the answer. If I felt neglected or unwanted, prostitution was the answer. As the problems intensified, so did my acting out, and so, unknown to me, did the risks of being caught. I, of course, was finally caught, and my life in recovery began. At first, there was great suffering, divorce, loss of home, loss of children. But, my sponsor was there, telling me that I had to be willing to lose it all to gain it all. I gradually began to show up for my life.
Now I have many tools to solve my problems. The Twelve Steps frame the architecture of my new life. If I am stressed at work, meditation can be the answer. If I feel neglected or unwanted, a meeting is the answer. If my needs aren’t being met, my sponsor is there. If I am lonely, I can call a friend in the fellowship.
I no longer seek ways to intensify the experience. I now seek ways to be present for the experience.