“Accepting our sex addiction brings hope by acknowledging the truth and begins the spiritual journey of Twelve Step recovery.”
Getting Started, page 8
Early into SAA, I tried thinking my way through the First Step. I saw the evidence of my powerlessness and unmanageability, and believed recognition would suffice. However, I wasn’t getting clean. Then an old-timer explained that “admitted” means more than just thinking. It means that I engage my whole self in the truth about my addiction.
“Admitting” happened for me when I finally let down my defenses and felt guilt for what I had done. I was on the floor, sobbing non-stop for an hour. I was raw and felt the full weight of my addiction. After I was all cried out, a voice inside said, “Stay in touch with these feelings.”
Each day I tried to return to those feelings by praying, listening to music, journaling, reading—anything that helped. Two amazing things happened. First, the compulsion to act out left; second, I found myself being lifted out of that pit a little more each day. After twenty years of acting out, my Higher Power was rebuilding me without my addiction. Now, with decades of abstinence, I am still growing.
Someone said: “Name it, claim it, and let it go.” I had to claim it, to hit bottom emotionally devastated, and stay in touch with it, so my Higher Power could free me and rebuild me. It hurt, and it still hurts a little, but my new life is worth every ounce of pain.
Hitting bottom is the doorway to my new life in recovery.