“In taking the Fourth Step, we begin to know ourselves for who we really are.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 31
In my addiction, I lied to everybody about everything. I used sex to escape the pain in my life and then lied to protect that lie. I am a good person with good values, but the behaviors I developed to protect me from pain resulted in my losing connection with that good person. Through years of dishonesty and avoiding problems and pain in my life, I grew farther and farther from my true self.
In recovery, I have been given a second chance to live in congruence with the self my Higher Power wants me to be. My first action toward being more authentic was to discover my defects of character. I wanted to be thorough and honest, so I joined with other sex addicts to work the Fourth Step together. As I explored my resentments, my fears, and the harm I had caused, I began to see specific behaviors that caused many of my problems.
While understanding my part in my problems was helpful, the real key was using my newfound knowledge going forward. Spotting my defects indicates disconnection with myself. For example, after an argument, I can go back to my Fourth Step inventory and ask which defect might have contributed to the argument. Owning my part in the problem gives me new power—the power to be the person I was meant to be.
By honestly acknowledging and owning my defects, I advance in the journey to recover my true self.