“We may have only been ready to face certain truths about ourselves when we first worked the step.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 36
Sometimes, newcomers get the idea that one thorough Fourth-Step inventory will cover all their character defects for all time. That did not work for me. In my twenty-plus years of active addiction, I developed many false beliefs about myself that only gradually yielded to recovery. In no small part, this was because they were layered and interlocking.
As I worked the Steps, discovering and releasing a defect would eventually reveal another trait that didn’t work too well, either. The layers were all false, shame-based beliefs I developed in trying to cope with other false beliefs. After years of recovery work, I found the origin of all this was in having been molested as a toddler. It started with elemental pain and fear.
I did not make this mess overnight, and I have not recovered in one glorious flash of insight. I have to be patient, work the program, and let the program work me. It means working the Steps multiple times, and seeking help from multiple sources. I gradually teased out the false beliefs that permeated my life. Along the way, I got strength, assurance, and an ocean of love and support from my partners in recovery. For the first time in my life, I’m not alone!
The complexity of my addiction is no match for the simple honesty and love of the program when I live it, one day at a time.