View all:  Voices of Recovery

May 19

“We also learn specific tools to help us change our behavior and disrupt the compulsive cycle of sexual acting out and despair.”

Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 12

Many newcomers ask how long they have to work this program before they’re fixed. The old-timers smile and nod and tell the newcomer to keep coming back. My experience also supports the notion that the disease of addiction is incurable. There’s one more thing: I am always in motion.

One mark of addiction is a steady, downward spiral where nothing ever improves. I’ve watched friends who are practicing addicts directly or indirectly report that their lives are: “Same stuff, different day.” I still have problems, but they’re new, improved problems.

Recovery means change. If I’m sober and showing up for my life, my spiritual, emotional, psychological, intellectual self is constantly changing, adapting, adopting, growing, reacting, acting, and sometimes learning. Every decision I make and action I take sets other events in motion. There is no destination; it’s all a journey. The question then becomes: in which direction do I want to move?

My definition of the outer circle is simple: it is any action that takes me further away from acting out. It can be almost anything: prayer, service, cooking good food, holding the door for somebody, doing my job, giving myself a break or a treat, folding laundry, playing music, walking my dog, enjoying the company of friends or a beautiful day or a powerful storm, or the very difficult acts of practicing restraint and courage.

I always have options. Which direction am I heading right now?