At the time I found out that my spouse was an active sexaholic, I was a new mom, jobless, and nearly devoid of my own identity. My only definition of myself revolved around my family. Having a spouse who was acting out led me to think I wasn’t good enough. If I was enough, how could he look elsewhere? I simply crumbled. Depression is an understatement. Those were dark days.
In time, I found S-Anon. Going to meetings was the first individual action I had taken in a long time. I had entirely lost myself in the roles of mother, daughter, and wife. I had lost myself in trying to get my husband sober. Really, I had lost myself in many ways. S-Anon helped me reclaim me.
While Tradition Six talks about many other things, it was the first place that I saw the idea of being a “separate entity” — and these two words are invaluable to me. I had been giving others power over me because I didn’t realize I was distinct and important on my own. I was a stranger to myself. I felt really sad about that. I began asking my Higher Power to enable my voice. I prayed to get to know myself again, and for the splintered pieces of my womanhood to be reunited into the person God intended me to be.
As I did the work that the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service laid out for me, God helped me to discover and accept myself — my story, my assets, my defects, my sexuality, my parenting, my artistic self, and my sense of humor. These things had been lost to me for so long. As I grew in my autonomy, I could detach more easily and was able to let my spouse be his own person, too. I came to accept both of us as individuals.
Today, I know that I am a separate being. I can choose to cooperate as situations occur, or I can choose to walk away. I can ask myself what I believe, what I feel is right, and what it is that I want to do. I can pray and meditate. I can seek mentorship from others in program who share their decisions and experiences. I can take my time and decide how to participate. I don’t have to lose myself in someone else’s ideas or disease. I am separate. I am enough. I am.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Traditions, pages 78-79.