“Obtaining and maintaining abstinence from inner circle compulsions is the bedrock foundation of all the personal growth which will surely follow.”
The only requirement for SAA membership is a desire to stop acting out. However, the reason I joined Sex Addicts Anonymous was to actually stop the acting out. In early days, I, like many others, had a number of slips. However, as time went on, I achieved abstinence from my inner circle through the Twelve Steps of SAA.
The phrase “progress not perfection” refers to my spiritual growth through the Steps. It is not a way for me to rationalize occasionally acting out over the years. Being gentle with myself does not mean deluding myself. Long-term abstinence is achievable, a day at a time, through the Twelve Steps of SAA. Without this abstinence I have no foundation—I am a still-suffering sex addict waiting to start recovery.
Having worked the Twelve Steps, I know a freedom and security I could never have imagined. For me, this would have been impossible without the bedrock I have been given by obtaining and maintaining abstinence from my inner-circle compulsions.
Am I being honest with myself about Step One? Do I admit that I am powerless over my acting out and have to give it up for good, a day at a time? Or am I deluding myself that somehow, someday, I may be able to get away with acting out one more time?