A Recovering Sex Addicts story
I am a recovering sex addict. About a year ago, I disclosed the extent of my acting out to my wife of twenty years and we each began our own journeys of recovery. I have stayed completely sober since disclosure. This is due in large part to my participation in Sexaholics Anonymous to which I was introduced by a friend and fellow recovering addict in another state. I now leadan SA group in my area andmy wife leads a local S-Anon group as well.
Two important things we have learned are that addiction is much bigger and more powerful than most people realize, and that addicts cannot recover on their own. They need the fellowship of other recovering addicts as well as counseling.
People believe that there truly can be an overwhelming, compulsive power of addiction when it comes to alcohol, cocaine, heroine and cigarettes. These drugs are all tangible things. We can put our hands on them and take them into our bodies. For some reason, however, people are having trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that an addictive compulsion to engage in sexual behavior is practically identical to an addiction to consume tangible drugs. I see people nod in agreement about the addictive nature of pornography, and then the next words out of their mouths are an expression of dismay that a particular man doesn’t just stop looking at pornography if he knows it’s killing his marriage. That’s the point! He doesn’t stop because he can’t stop. He can’t stop because he’s addicted. Being addicted means that his brain suppresses his ability to resist the compulsion to act out with his drug. If you think that it doesn’t make sense, my response is, “Yes! That’s exactly the point! It doesn’t make sense!”
…I am talking here about men and women who want to change, who want to stop what they’re doing, who have tried through prayer, confession, and self-mastery to control their compulsion to do things that are wrong–and then end up going back to them again anyway. This is addiction! It is a disease.
…Addiction is a disease–a treatable disease. In order to treat it, however, you must, in my opinion, get past the idea that you will be cured if you just pray hard enough. I prayed for thirty-six years to be cured. Finally, I heard a quiet voice in my heart and mind whisper that I needed to quit relying solely on prayer and start doing something so the Lord could then do his part. He did not let me down.