“These last two years, I have felt more hurt than at any previous time in my life. But I do not feel the guilt and shame and lack of control of actively living out my addiction.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 305
I used my sex addiction to run from difficult feelings, situations, and life in general. In retrospect, I realize that I had been ducking emotions since elementary school. So in many ways, I spent years limping along, resembling a child emotionally.
It all started to change in recovery. After some time, I began to feel my Higher Power urging me to take some healthy but scary risks to further my recovery. As an exercise in willingness, I did these intimidating things.
One of them was service work. Although I am good at some things, human interaction has never topped the charts. Service work brought dealings and sometimes conflict with other addicts. I was, and often am, anxious. Things didn’t always go well. I made mistakes and felt terribly uncomfortable at times. I have had to grow.
I soon realized that this growth stuff wouldn’t be easy or painless, especially for this emotional adolescent. In fact, looking at the word “growth,” I noticed that “ow” sits smack in the middle of it! It would seem that the workout slogan “no pain no gain” applies to recovery as well.
It is absolutely worthwhile. I now have good friends, a sense of community, and relative acceptance of and comfort with myself as I am today.
I will take the “ow” in growth over hiding from life any day.