“Many of us experience a period of intense emotional upheaval and physical discomfort when we stop our addictive sexual behaviors. We call this withdrawal.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 66
A crisis led me to SAA, but the thought of living without my drug of choice was terrifying, and withdrawal was tough. Those with experience promised that the pain would pass, but that only I could travel this rough road. They added that they would be right beside me on the journey.
I agreed to a period of celibacy in our marriage. Initially, it felt forced and frightening, but again, the program offered hope. My sponsor gently guided me through tears and fears with the wisdom of one day or one hour at a time. He said the overpowering emotions were a great beginning to a life of emotional sobriety. When my addict chattered that I’d never stay abstinent, I comforted myself by developing my outer circle. As I began working the steps, I felt help from a Power greater than myself. Amazingly, I began to appreciate the gift of celibacy, and trust that I could be okay. The withdrawal symptoms subsided and my mind began to clear.
This principle applies to later experiences as well. If I stay sober and strive to learn from challenges, I will come out the other side healthier and happier. Thanks to this program, I can be gentle with myself as I journey through times of healing, learning, and growing.
I myself must walk this path, but I don’t have to do it alone.