When I first found out about the lies and betrayal that was sexaholism, the effects upon me were catastrophic. My hair fell out, I lost 20 lbs in about 3 weeks, and sleep became a lost luxury. I would actually sit bolt upright in bed during the night and loudly exclaim; “Oh My God!!” Anxiety and fear were my companions.
I found my way to S-Anon and eventually got a sponsor. Here I am 4 to 5 years later with a full set of unbitten nails, a solid, trusting relationship with my Higher Power, a room full of people some of whom I now call friends, my sense of humor intact, a little worn, but definitely not broken. In fact I feel more steady and peaceful than ever, on most days.
During one of my many phone conversations with my first sponsor, I explained that I really wanted my husband (a non-recovering sex addict) to see and hear how much he had hurt me. He didn’t think he had a problem and refused any counseling or recovery of any kind. I thought that if he saw how badly hurt I was, he might stop. Her response was; “Why are you going to an active addict with your feelings? They can’t even process their own feelings, much less yours. It’s like going to the casino. You never know how you’re going to end up.”
She told me to try going to God in prayer, or call someone from our phone list, or write my feelings down on paper. How wise she was!! By simply reminding me about some of the tools of the program—and me trying them, a solution presented itself. I realized that he wasn’t the one who needed to see how much he had hurt me—I was the one who needed to see/feel how hurt I was. I had to finally allow myself to feel and acknowledge my pain and other feelings long buried and squashed down. This was the beginning of my recovery.
When I started writing Step One in the S-Anon Twelve Steps, at first nothing came to me so I skipped the first few questions. But when I got to the one about “What have been the consequences in my life (emotional, physical, mental…)” ten pages just poured out of me. I then had the first peaceful two days I had experienced in as many weeks. The “gifts of the program” are presenting themselves to me every day.
Reprinted from the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of S-Anews©.