“When we show up, we help create a place where others can pass on the message of recovery, even if we don’t say anything ourselves.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 60
I have a hard time believing that my presence counts for anything. As far back as infancy, my parents thought of me as a doll, rather than as a real person. I’m not alone. Many addicts I know were given that same message in various ways: through physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; or through neglect or abandonment.
When I was acting out, I didn’t believe my actions actually affected other people. After all, it wasn’t really who I was. Like others in the program, I considered myself a sane and good person, in spite of behaviors that would indicate otherwise. I made the addict-part of me invisible, even to myself.
The truth is, I’m always visible. All my actions, and even my energy, do count. They have an effect on other people, whether I know it or not. I am not God; I cannot control what others may do or think. But I am a precious child of God; my presence always matters. This is particularly true at meetings. Everyone who shows up creates a vessel, week after week, that people can rely on. My sitting there silently may help another addict stay sober for one more day. When I attend a meeting, it is an act of service to others, even while I’m helping myself.
Today I remember that my presence and my actions always matter.