No Guarantees

 November 1, 2021

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Despite actively working his recovery program, weekly counseling sessions, and a long period of sobriety, my husband recently had a relapse. This was very painful and frightening for me. Even though I was hurting, I was immediately able to utilize the tools of my S-Anon program. I shared with him how I felt. I asked for help from my Higher Power. I called my sponsor. I dragged myself to church, and made a decision to renew my commitment to my own recovery. This included: asking trusted friends for prayer and accepting their offers of babysitting; calling friends in the program and checking in with them again and again; attending my S-Anon meetings and sharing my story; writing in my journal each night no matter how tired I was; calling my therapist for an emergency appointment; and writing this share.

It helped me to review Step One: I am powerless over his compulsions to act out sexually; Step Two: God can restore my sanity; and Step Three: my plans and life are safe in my Higher Power’s hands. I know that nothing happens by coincidence. God had a reason for my finding out about my husband’s relapse. Although I am shaken up, I am still grateful for God’s wisdom and plan.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 72-73.

Keep It Simple

 October 18, 2021

After a year in recovery, I decided to leave my marital home and divorce my spouse. I was fortunate to be in a very good financial position, so many options were open to me. I obsessed about those options, particularly where to move to find the perfect, larger new home. Questions raced through my thoughts: “What school district should I live in? How much square footage would be adequate? Could I really live without a fireplace? How much larger would I need my kitchen to be?”

After I thought I had it all figured out, I approached my then three-year-old son and asked him how he would feel about us moving to a nice, big, new house. He looked at me and replied, “Mom, will the ice cream truck still come there?” His innocent question abruptly brought me back to reality and reminded me to “Keep it Simple” – things didn’t have to be big or breathtaking to be wonderful. I was humbled, and I let go of my obsession over “bigger and better.”

So often my Higher Power speaks to me through the mouths of my children. S-Anon is teaching me to be still enough to listen.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 282.

Surrendering My Life

 October 4, 2021

After being in S-Anon 18 months, I found out my spouse had been acting out the entire time he had been “in recovery.” I hit a new bottom, going through depression, panic attacks, grief, and loss of the sexual intimacy I thought we had been rebuilding. Deep down I knew that Step Three was still the answer. I turned the situation over to my Higher Power, and with God’s help I worked through my difficult feelings.

I am thankful for this simple program and the knowledge that no matter how difficult the challenges are, Step Three works just the same. When I risked going through my fear and once again surrendered my life to my Higher Power, I found the serenity, peace and acceptance I so badly wanted to regain. I now know on a deeper level that the God of my understanding will always be there to strengthen me if I surrender my will and my life.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 31-32.

Working Through Self-Reliance with Concept Two

 September 20, 2021

Concept Two is an important idea in our third spiritual legacy – The Twelve Concepts of Service.  Concept Two teaches me about trust and reliance; trust and reliance both in relation to Higher Power and others. Concept Two states: “The S-Anon Family Groups have delegated complete administrative and operational authority to their Conference and its service arms.” In my understanding, this means that while the groups are the heart of S-Anon, they cannot handle all the responsibility that comes with keeping a worldwide fellowship running on a daily basis. The groups, therefore, must learn to trust other members and learn how to delegate specific tasks and responsibilities. The groups have to rely both on individual members to take care of the administrative and operational business at hand, but also they trust and delegate specific tasks to our central services at the World Service Office. Within the groups, one member simply cannot handle all the responsibilities/duties that are associated with running a meeting.

When I apply this spiritual principle to my home and my place of work, I see that I have had to learn to not take on all the chores, all the tasks and all the responsibilities. Through my work in this program, I have identified the character defect of self-reliance. I am, for the most part, an independent person. Dependence upon others in the past has been unattractive to me. Dependence upon a Power Greater than Myself has taken me years of practice to achieve. I’m still guilty of taking back the steering wheel from time to time. Recovery is teaching me that dependence does not always have to be unhealthy. I can learn a healthy level of reliance and trust in others and in a Higher Power. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I recognize today that I have limitations. There are times when I cannot make a meeting due to other obligations. There are times that I miss work due to illness, or vacation. There are people that I need to hire to do a job that I cannot do. And sometimes I come across a situation that baffles me.

All of these events can be executed easily or stressfully depending on my willingness to “Let Go and Let God,” to ask for help, and to learn to rely on others. When I do not choose to rely on others, I can become unmanageable and that activates my character defects. When I do not choose to rely on others, it’s usually because I either want to control, I want something done my way, I am fearful that something will not get completed, or I am fearful that something will not be done to my standards. Concept Two tells me that there is a service structure in place for a reason and that I am responsible to do my part in that structure; not to do it all. I am not participating spiritually when I am feeling self-reliant. Instead I am robbing my Higher Power of a chance to help. Likewise, I rob others of the chance to do service when I do not rely on them to do their jobs. I rob others of the chance to experience the benefits of belonging when I do not delegate authority and responsibility for group operations and administration. My ego tells me that I know best. Recovery and Higher Power tell me to remain humble and to ask for help. Concept Two reverberates with this lesson by showing me that a way to remain humble is by relying on, delegating to, and trusting others.

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

Using the Tools of the Program

 September 6, 2021

Many of us found that before we could begin to use the tools of S-Anon, we had to let go of, or at least loosen our grip, on the “old tools” that may have helped us survive but simply did not work well anymore. The old tools may have included denial, obsession with the sexaholic, covering up the problem, isolation, rage, and manipulation. In letting go of the old tools, we were able to try new, more effective ways to aid us in recovery. While letting go was at times frightening, we saw that it was the only way to achieve the serenity we longed to have.

    “We let go of the problem, the need to know what will happen and when, the obsession with other people’s choices, the thoughts and concerns that waste our time and energy because we cannot resolve them by ourselves. And we let God take care of them.” [How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 76]

Each member uses the tools that work best for him or her, and we have even found that some things that did not work for us in early recovery become mainstays of our program later on. We use what helps us today and leave the rest for later. We urge you to give serious consideration to how you can use some of these tools to help your recovery from the effects of sexaholism since these tools have been indispensable to our recovery.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, pages 1-2.

My Opinion Has Value

 August 23, 2021

One of the hallmarks of my unhealthy thinking and behavior is my tendency to not express my opinion. I often go along with another person’s opinion instead of considering what I believe. S-Anon helped me to see that having no opinion does not necessarily relieve me of the responsibility of making a decision. When I do not participate in the decision process, I leave myself open for resentment when things do not turn out my way. Working this program has allowed me to make progress in clearly speaking my opinion and letting Higher Power guide the outcome.

Tradition Two reminds me of the importance of taking the time to have a considered opinion and to express that opinion appropriately. When I practice this, I am actively participating in the group conscience – whether it is in an S-Anon meeting, at work, or with family. I believe that God gave me a unique personality and point of view. When I do not take part in the group conscience, I am not being true to myself and I am not helping the decision-making process. It is as if I cease to exist! S-Anon has shown me that I am a worthy person capable of making a contribution. When I do so, everyone benefits.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 260.

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