View all:  Voices of Recovery

February 27

“Humility means being teachable, vulnerable, and open.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 43

In my youth, I believed I should know everything and be right about everything, even when I didn’t know. This included discussions with people who knew more than I. As my addiction took over my life, I did not notice that I was increasingly closed-minded.

Looking back, I now see how my addictive, closed mind presented itself. I had to be right. I claimed knowledge I did not have. I tried to predict the future. I was pessimistic and always looked for the worst possible outcomes. I discounted others whose ideas differed from mine. I was brash and boastful, trying to appear informed and wise. I thought I was controlling my world.

After starting to live by the Twelve Steps, I was confronted with my closed mind and how it contrasted with the recovery I saw in others. I had to face the truth that my closed mind made my life unmanageable. That was almost as painful as seeing how my addiction had made my life unmanageable. To my surprise, surrendering both my addiction and my closed mind relieved a lot of pain.

For the first time in my life, it became all right for me to say, “I don’t know.” Admitting I don’t know opens me to learning from experience and from other people. “I don’t know” became a key part of my daily practice. It created an intellectual and emotional freedom I had never known.

Admitting I don’t know something opens doors.