“We may work a Fourth Step again when we have new challenges to face or when we need to examine ourselves more closely.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 37
After some years in recovery, I began another Fourth Step inventory by making a list of people I’d known in my life. Looking through old photo albums and journals, I saw my past through new eyes. I saw behaviors and thought patterns indicating sex addiction and intimacy avoidance throughout my life.
It was clear I had problems back then. However, nobody could have known the exact nature of my illness. Understanding of the problem and its solution were still being developed by the pioneers of this fellowship.
Like a person diagnosed with a learning disability later in life, I now look back on my life with dawning understanding. I had a disease! As I see my past self more clearly, my compassion grows. This compassion is most evident as I continue to discover past wrongs that require amends. I can now look on that broken child of God, not with shame and revulsion but with compassion as I take responsibility for my life.
I did not ask to be sick. I was doing the best I could with what I had. However, I have now been blessed with tools like a Higher Power of my understanding, the Steps, Traditions, and slogans. With the support of fellow recovering addicts, I don’t have to remain stuck in the past.
No longer bound by it, I can view my past with acceptance, love, and compassion.