“With this step, we recognize that we have a disease, not a mere weakness or character flaw, and that we are powerless to change this fact.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 23
Shame tells me that I have the power to control my addiction, but that I don’t use that power because I’m a bad person, guaranteeing the cycle will continue.
Step One is the beginning of the end for my shame. Admitting powerlessness undoes the lie that I could control my sexual urges if only I were a better person. Powerlessness allows me to see the truth—my addiction is a progressive disease, affecting my mind, body, and spirit. I cannot control this disease with willpower any more than a person with cancer or Parkinson’s. No one judges them for not succeeding. My disease takes away my power of choice when it comes to sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Powerlessness allows a paradigm shift from me being a bad person who needs to be good, to being a sick person who is getting well through the Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous. The disease is never removed, but, one day at a time, the symptoms—harmful sexual behaviors—are lifted and I can begin to live a life with meaning, a life where I am no longer alone.
I am not a bad, unworthy, or weak person; I am just a human being with an illness. SAA offers a remedy for that illness if I’m willing to use it.
The medicine is right here.