View all:  Voices of Recovery

June 18

“We chose sex and romantic obsession over those things we cherished the most—including friends, family, and career.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 4

My father was in the hospital, having spent a month in ICU recovering from a heart attack. He needed me to pick up tax returns at his accountant’s office so he could review and sign them. It was late on a Saturday night and I was caught in my obsession, wanting to go act out. Driven by my compulsion, I was impatient while my father took his time reviewing the documents. I was caught in what SAA describes as the bubble, wanting him to hurry up and sign the tax returns so I could go act out. I had no idea that my father’s health would take a turn within the month and that I would be by his side again, this time as he took his last breath. I wish I could go back and spend a little extra time with him that night. My relationship with him is far more important than any brief encounter I ever had acting out.

That’s what addiction does. It takes me away from those people, places, and things that are most important, in my case, trading anonymous meaningless sex for quality time at my father’s bedside during the last month of his life. That was a heavy price to pay, but it helped me find the willingness to change.

What are some of the costs I’ve paid in exchange for fleeting moments of acting out?