Lying in the floor in a puddle of tears shortly after disclosure from my spouse, I realized that my life was unmanageable. However, true to my deep self-reliance, I moved forward and kept busy. One week later the sexaholic in my life offered me information about S-Anon. I was too angry to listen and believed I couldn’t trust him anymore and so I stayed away.
Four weeks later, after performing my own due diligence and checking on the S-Anon fellowship, I found a hotline number for my local area meetings on the website. I called the hotline and was given information about meetings in my area. Was it coincidence that the earliest meeting was on the rare night I had to myself?
As I walked into the meeting my thoughts were racing and I KNEW no one could know what I was going through. As I listened to the members my heart sighed with relief. I shared my story, and again wept (as I had four weeks earlier) knowing that my life was unmanageable. I looked around and realized that the members KNEW where I was. I could see that they truly understood how I felt. People were not surprised by my story. Nobody reacted. They shared pieces of their stories with me and while I was still feeling awkward in my first Twelve Step room, I felt I belonged. Most importantly, they shared that they all felt so much better because of S-Anon and several members stayed after the meeting to offer their support and their encouragement.
When I first came to the meeting I was taken aback and resistant to the idea of holding hands and chanting a prayer at the end of the meeting. I wasn’t sure I wanted to connect on this level and I wasn’t happy about touching others I didn’t know. This group gave me permission to step aside and let me take time to make that decision for myself. Nobody was offended.
After only six months my life still has some unmanageability; however with the loving help of my Higher Power and the members of my S-Anon group I now have hope and “strive for progress, not perfection.” Further, I readily join the hand-holding circle at the end of the meeting today. It took me time to want to be here, and it took me time to trust the group. Not being pushed into an action I wasn’t ready for was a gentle level of acceptance that I needed in order to feel safe. I look forward to our meetings and a place to just be me and to learn the principles of recovery that I feel are helping me regain serenity in my life.
Reprinted from the Summer 2011 issue of S-Anews©.