“When we practice new ways of acting and thinking, we show that the program works, and we offer hope to others who are seeking a new life.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 60
When I came into SAA, it was not to raise my self-esteem. I was thinking about run-ins with the law and the time I ran out the door because my acting-out partner, suffering buyer’s remorse, tried to kill me. I had grown to think of myself in terms of my addiction. I believed that all I had to offer was my sexual repertoire, though it continuously proved insufficient in keeping relationships.
When I created my circles, the inner and middle were easy, but the outer circle stymied me. I could only come up with activities that were expressly recovery: meetings, prayer, meditation, service, etc.
My sponsor suggested I think back to before my addiction kicked in. This unlocked a door. I revisited creative pursuits from my youth, and later added new practices like exercise. Soon, more new activities appeared, like adopting a pet and keeping the house clean. My outer circle keeps expanding.
After achieving some recovery and building my outer circle, I discovered I had much more than sex to offer. I began to find my true gifts and put them into action. Before I thought I could only offer behaviors that put me at genuine risk, I now have the fulfilling sense of being able to offer my true self.
Much of the serenity and happiness I now have stems from being able to offer my real self to others.