FIVE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES THAT ARE PRACTICED IN THE FIRST STEP OF THE TWELVE STEPS
Impotence. It is when you recognize that you only have no power against the obsession…
THE FIRST DRINK
In the first step of SA, I admitted that I am powerless against lust (not about a particular behavior), and the third tradition says that the only requirement to be a member is “the desire to free oneself from lust and to achieve sexual sobriety. “(SA, 209). Both the first step and the Tradition remind me that lust lies about my consumption and behaviors.
I am in many ways like the alcoholic, but the difference with me is that wherever I go I take my distillery with me. I can think that I am sober but really far from sobriety because I have been indulging in lust: taking visual gulps, lusting with my experiences of my sexual past, entertaining with illusions that I am desirable, fantasizing about having sex with my wife, or watching porn.
For the alcoholic, the first drink is literally an alcohol drink, and that first drink begins the yearning of the Blue Book. But for me, the first drink is a stroke of lust. When I take an image or a thought and I consent, then lust begins the longing.
Then the difference between the sex and alcoholic is the source of the first drink, For the alcoholic the first drink is external: the bottle. For me, the first drink is internal: it is lust, a resentment fed by an alcoholic or a sex addict can cause a mental obsession, which turns out that every one of us becomes “restless, irritable, and discontented” (AA xxviii), and each one of us looks for that first cup that brings “Ease and comfort” (AA xxix). I must remember that “resentment is the number one offender” (AA, 64) for me, as it is for the alcoholic.
But the difference between the alcoholic and me is that the alcoholic has to find a bottle. If he is in a business meeting, he could wait all day to get that first drink, find comfort, and thus break his sobriety. For me, however, sitting in the same meeting, I just need a quick look to find a bottle, or if there is no appropriate object, I can remember my favorite fantasy to disconnect. I have taken the first drink, I found comfort, and the longing begins (and I am on my way to a strong drunkenness) while my alcoholic colleague is still mired in his resentment because his drug is far away.
I will have to wait to act physically, but that is just the conclusion of what is already happening in my head. And if I live in this state of consumption, I’m really trying to “control and enjoy my drink” (AA, 30), and live like that in a drunk like me, this unfortunate state will lead to disaster.
We addicts have an allergy, a drug that is absolutely toxic to our system. For the sex addict, the White Paper talks about my toxic substance:
For the sex addict, lust is toxic. That is why in recovery, the real problem is spiritual and not merely physical. That’s why change of attitude is so crucial. (SA, 41)
Therefore, if I recover from lust, I have to have the abundant life that my literature promises me, I must be just as determined to be purified of my lust as to be purified of my addictive sexual behaviors.
Essay Magazine December 2015.
Good morning, I am Oscar addicted to lust in recovery.
Lust is a spiritual disease, of my thoughts, of my emotions. I can seem clean, neat, decent and drunk with lust. My appearance may seem “normal”.
I carry the distillery with me, but if I do not change my attitude, I’m a dry drunk.
Only my Higher Power and the change of attitude can help me. If I do not feed the disease, she loses strength. With the help of others who do the same. No one can alone or alone, I need a fraternity, frequent contact, allows me to identify and receive the strength to do the will of my Higher Power, the pain of renunciation diminishes and I find freedom and joy.