View all:  Voices of Recovery

January 16

“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.