Giving the Program Time to Work

 January 11, 2021

When I first started coming to meetings, I just wanted to leave the marriage and all the problems behind. But I heard a lot of people talking about giving the program some time, so I decided that I would do just that: I would give it six months and see what happened. When six months passed I thought, “I’m not ready to leave, but I’m not sure I want to stay either.” By that time my spouse and I were attending a lot of recovery meetings and working our respective programs. I decided to give it another six months, and that’s the way I got through my first year. After a year I was able to start looking at it “one day at a time.” For me it was important to address my attitudes and behavior with the help of S-Anon while in the relationship and not to simply run.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 71.


Hope for Today

 December 28, 2020

Working the S-Anon program has renewed my hope. I have found hope through a wonderful sponsor who works with me. Even though it seems that I am taking forever to finish my Fourth Step inventory, I feel grateful to have a sponsor. She has been very gentle and patient with me, telling me, “don’t push the river; it flows by itself.”

My hope also comes from attending our S-Anon International Conventions and our regional S-Anon marathons. At these gatherings, I learn more about working the S-Anon program from members from other parts of the country and the world. As they share their experience, I learn hopeful new ideas that help me become able to take better care of myself. I become aware of new insights into my behavior and my character defects.

The experience that gives me the most hope is the relationship I am developing with my Higher Power. Not only does my serenity depend on that relationship; through that relationship I truly have rediscovered myself in a way I could never have imagined. This rediscovery is illustrated by a photo I have of myself at about two years of age. That picture shows a joyous, smiling, golden-haired little girl who has hope and love in her face. I know that God is within that little girl, and that God is within me as an adult, too.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 336.

Making a Spiritual Move

 December 14, 2020

In Step One we learn that we are powerless over sexaholism and that our lives have become unmanageable, but we are not left alone. A power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. What is this restoration to sanity we talk about?

Haven’t we acted irrationally at times trying to deal with our relationships? We tried checking up on the sexaholic all over town, using tranquilizers and liquor to calm our frazzled nerves, and obsessing over the sexaholic instead of tending to ourselves. We became hysterical. We cried, screamed, nagged, and threatened over and over again, all of which we thought was doing something about the problem.

Now we can really do something! We can trust God to do what we cannot do for ourselves. Trust is an ingredient of believing, and to believe is to actively pursue the thing hoped for.

Many of us believed at first that the only way to rise above our problems was to run away from them. We learned that a geographical move was not the answer. We have to make a spiritual move, or face the prospect of repeating our pattern of choosing unhealthy relationships. We need to face reality and learn how to accept it. We need to begin our own recovery, apart from the sexaholic’s. Physically or emotionally running away only prolongs the pain. We see that we do have a way out; we have options and choices we can make for our own lives. With every hardship we face, our Higher Power also provides an outlet. One of those ways out is to change our own attitudes with the help of our Higher Power and the S-Anon program.

Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, page 16.

Redefining Spiritual Awakening in My Recovery

 November 30, 2020

When I first came into program, and I heard people talk about having a spiritual awakening, I was in anticipation of the “big one”. The Twelfth Step talks about having had “one,” and I was definitely ready for it. When I thought about it, I thought it was a one-time event in which I would feel different immediately, and I should be a changed person afterwards. By working through the steps and working with my sponsor, I understand now that my spiritual awakening is a gradual one.

In spite of the painful circumstances that brought me to S-Anon, I was drawn to recovery and excited to do the work. In that sense, when I first entered the meeting rooms I had a sudden awakening. In reality, my spiritual awakening is a daily event that grows as I stay more focused on God and how He works through others and me. My awakening is just that: I have been awakened by God to live differently, to live through God’s eyes. I have noticed how I worry less and obsess less. I am no longer focused on my sexaholic spouse blaming him for all my problems and feelings. In fact, I can see how the unmanageability I felt around the sexaholic’s actions forced me into a more spiritual life. I now can ask for help. I can forgive and pray for forgiveness. I feel my life has changed and that I have changed because now I see the purpose of my life differently. I’m glad that this is not a one-time event. I’m grateful there is no finish line. I’m happy to be in recovery training for the rest of my life.

Reprinted from the Fall 2010 issue of The S-Anews©.

My Needs Count

 November 16, 2020

I spent years covering up my partner’s sexual acting out and protecting him. Even though I experienced severe emotional pain over his affairs, fear of disease due to his involvement with prostitutes, anger over money spent on pornography and telephone calls, and shame over his arrests, I was afraid to get help for myself because of what people would think about my husband. But I’m learning that my needs count! I’m learning to find safe places where I can share my problems and the program. As a recovering S-Anon member, I often cannot avoid mentioning, in general terms, something about my husband’s problem, but there is no need to go into detail. In S-Anon, we learn to place the focus on ourselves and our own recovery, and that’s what I share with others.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 96.

Fear, Courage, and Strength

 November 2, 2020

Eight months ago I discovered my spouse was having an affair. The initial shock and pain lasted three or four months. Just as I was beginning to have hope that this anguish was ending, I realized I was living with daily fear and dread of it happening again. Then the “What if’s” began: What if I got a divorce, how would I ever get through it? How would I survive the grief? Even though my spouse was going to SA meetings, I was now ill at ease in groups, at church, and with friends, family, or strangers.

I recognized I was powerless over this obsession and fear and that it was ruining my life. I cried out to God for relief. At an S-Anon meeting, I heard the words that the courage and strength would come if and when I needed it. It sounded so simple, but I couldn’t understand it when I was grasping and filled with fear and questioning. Gradually, it began to sink in – although I am powerless over the sexaholic and his disease, I am not alone. I can be okay no matter what happens, and I have a Higher Power that I can lean on. Peace was restored to my life.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 72.

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