“In gratitude, we seek opportunities for service to God and our fellow sex addicts. Our path leads to Step Twelve.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 58
After a year sober, I hit a period of intense anxiety. I was not prepared. My disease knocked me over and ran rampant for six months. I continued to attend meetings, talking openly with my sponsor and others. I picked up so many white chips that I finally gave up.
Openly acknowledging my anxiety, I recognized that it wasn’t based in present reality. This helped me experience it raw, without trying to run or hide. I read literature, prayed, and meditated. Sometimes praying would pull me, emotionally drained, out of my wrenching feelings of inadequacy. As I continued to open up, a small chink in my self-hatred armor cracked open. I began practicing gratitude, especially gratitude that I could open my soul to others without being rejected.
I tried to be of service, sharing openly with others who were suffering. During this time, I realized a foundational truth of all Twelve-Step programs: the most healing thing I can do for myself is to offer healing to others. I began to offer service as often as I could, and every time I did, I experienced love. I always got more than I gave. I’ve been sober a while now, and I owe it to lessons learned from my greatest anguish.
When I give, I live.