View all:  Voices of Recovery

July 29

“Listening more attentively to others is part of my recovery.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 193

I could feel a tinge of excitement growing inside me. I was going out to dinner with another member of my SAA group. We had both come to the same convention, and now we were going to eat and relax together. I had known him for over a year and had admired his recovery. Now I was hoping to get to know him better. But the twist in the conversation that startled me, as we began to eat and converse, was that I wanted to hear his story, instead of me wanting to share mine. What was so startling about that?

Well you see, I’m a recovering sex addict, and most of my life has been spent gratifying my needs, manipulating and seducing others to give me pleasure, focusing on myself, and neglecting or ignoring others. This has left me detached and disconnected, unable to experience emotional intimacy, self-centered and self-absorbed. But now I found myself concerned about the other person. What was he going through? How was he doing? What has his journey been like? I asked him if he would share with me how he got started in his business, and that led into him sharing his story. He was entrusting me with the most painful and personal events of his life. What a gift! What a privilege! What an honor!

Most of my shortcomings center around me. When God removes these, I have more of me to share with others.

Today I am grateful for the gift of emotional intimacy. I look forward to being enriched by the closeness that comes from focusing on others instead of myself.