“To be intimate is to let go of control and begin to have trust—trust in another person, trust in ourselves, and faith in a Higher Power.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 72
While co-workers, classmates, cousins, and neighbors were forming life-long friendships, I stood on the relational sidelines like a spectator and watched. My fear of rejection and deep distrust of others and myself paralyzed me, so I made excuses for remaining distant and disconnected. I beat myself up for wanting to connect with others and when I passed up opportunities to be intimate, I beat myself up for feeling lonely. I couldn’t win. Eventually, I settled for something short of intimacy—dehumanizing and pain-numbing compulsive sex that left me more isolated, empty, and lonely than before.
I did not start attending SAA meetings to get close to a bunch of sex addicts. Life pushed me into these rooms, and though I started to see myself in other members, I resisted the idea of reaching out to others or accepting their offers to reach out to me.
But I kept coming back. Very slowly, I began looking forward to seeing my friends and hearing about their struggles, progress, and feelings. I learned to listen without judging and to share my heart without shaming others or myself. These skills have not just helped me connect in meetings, but they have allowed me to find the path leading to something that I spent my life simultaneously chasing and avoiding: intimacy.
When I reach out to others in the program and they accept me, they remind me that I am worthy of acceptance and intimacy.