View all:  Voices of Recovery

February 11

“By admitting that powerlessness extended to compulsive sexual avoidance, we made it possible to move from a kind of superficial abstinence into deeper sobriety.”

“Recovery from Compulsive Sexual Avoidance”

Superficial abstinence really describes me when I joined SAA. I’d withdrawn from acting-out behaviors right into avoidance of any sexual behavior. I started identifying myself as a sexual anorexic, somehow knowing the description fit. I didn’t grasp how deep it went until I met program members who understand both aspects of the addiction: acting in and acting out.

Losing interest in sex with a committed partner was nothing new to me. Understanding why I cheated, lied, and acted out with everyone but my partner was a revelation. Introverted in the extreme, I recharge my batteries with alone time. But when acting out, I badger myself into acting like an extrovert and tend to connect sexually with extroverts. Talk about setting myself up, not to mention false advertising!

When I read the pamphlet on avoidance, I could honestly say no to only two of the eighteen questions. Hearing other SAA members describe similar behaviors finally got my attention. I began to acknowledge my avoidant behaviors: lack of self-care, self-sabotage, self-mutilation; and sexual, social, and emotional isolation. With better understanding of my addiction—both extremes—I’m more able to recover and find some balance in my life.

You mean my Higher Power might actually want me to enjoy healthy sexuality?