“We can live life on life’s terms, without having to change or suppress our feelings.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 61
Sometimes the present moment feels too annoying, too boring, too lonely, too blank. Sometimes a tension builds up without my even noticing it, and then all I know is that something has to change, and it has to change NOW! On cue, my addictive imagination rushes in, promising a numbing release from the tension, or a quick, exciting spectacle to pull me away from all this. If I choose to use the tools of the program—call a program friend, read literature, repeat a slogan, take the first three Steps— I am often relieved of the addictive impulse, at least for the moment. And that feels like a miracle.
But honestly, the present can still be filled with that same tension or sadness that had triggered the addictive impulse in the first place. A different sort of imagination can rush at that point —an imagination that takes the guise of self-care, but which is really just another desperate attempt to change how I feel. I may, with great sincerity, ask for new ways of thinking and acting, for the removal of my character defects, for a spiritual awakening. Anything! But what I really want is to change the way I presently feel. Which for some reason I can’t abide.
I heard a wise old-timer say that when her feelings are too much, she throws up her hands and prays: “Higher Power, please just be with me, right here in these lousy feelings.” Simply hearing her say this made me relax. I have practiced her suggestion, and little by little, the desperation has lessened. I have found a growing acceptance and peace around my present, whatever feelings it may contain.
My caring Higher Power will never turn away from me because of how I feel.