“I finally learned that I did not have to give up my self, my identity, my sexuality, or my money to have the love and acceptance I had sought for so long, in so many painful and isolating ways.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 157
At one of the first telemeetings I attended, the secretary said, “We’re here to love and support one another.” The thought popped into my head, “You mean without having to give sex?” Part of me didn’t know this was possible. My eyes misted up as I entertained the possibility.
After hearing tons of program people speak, I know I’m not alone in this. It seems that many of us were taught that we had to give sex, or something else, in order to be loved. I’m not sure how different we are from non-addicts in this regard, but this message, often served with a helping of sexual or physical abuse or neglect, seems like it came out louder and stronger for me. What I received when I sacrificed my true self was never love.
When I became sober and found recovery, I found I could receive love just for being me. In meetings, I have experienced unconditional love that I never knew before. SAA is full of the support and friendship that I have always craved.
I’ve also learned to give that same love back to others to the best of my ability. That ability continues to grow.
Today I can be loved as I am, and I can love others as they are.