THE TWELVE TRADITION OF SA
The Twelve Traditions Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on SA unity.…
I was a lady, and a woman can not be a sex addict! That’s how I told myself when and I thought about joining SA. No, I did not have that problem, it was my ex boyfriend’s problem! The sexual practices we discussed were not the problem.
He just needed to stop caring for his ex-wife. Once in recovery I began to learn that my consumption was a perverted attempt to be appreciated, valued, loved. I did not think he was nice, so I was greedy instead. I also learned that I used to feel powerful and to take revenge on my ex-husband.
The core of my sexual addiction is the relationship in addiction. I learned about SA at the first Twelve Step meeting I attended (Adult Children of Alcoholics, or ACA in English). I went to SA the following week looking for help for my ex-boyfriend! I could not see my own problem until one and a half years later I came back for me.
I grew up in an alcoholic home which meant that I often had to assume adult responsibilities for both myself and my younger siblings. My parents were involved in their own struggles. At school I thought I was the only poor girl. I felt so embarrassed.
When I went to college, I made sure that I had a religion so that I could learn the answers to my need for God. I had no idea why I desperately needed to know or feel the presence of God. She was sure that everyone else believed and that they were safe and comforted in their faith.
The summer before my senior year I met the man I would marry. On our first date, we both declared our displeasure with our parents’ marital relationships and admitted that we had no idea how to have a satisfactory marriage. A year and a half later we began to duplicate the relationships in our marriage.
After seven years of marriage, I saw my husband touch a woman from our therapy group with tender affection. He told me he could only touch me sexually. After a week I consumed with another man. I went home and told my husband. I wanted him to be upset, jealous, something! He just said: “I think we have an open marriage.”
In a short time, he had seduced someone else. I did not know how or why, and it did not make me feel better. Instead, I felt confused, dirty and ashamed, that old familiar feeling. After that, the men who were our friends seemed to know that I was sexually available. My denial was so cunning that I could not understand how they knew, and I could not say no.
Two years later, I was divorced. Determined to overcome my modesty, I spent a few years consuming and feeling worse. I told a girlfriend that she wanted to stop having sex with men she had just met. She told me that I would stop when I got sick. I was sick of it, but I still could not stop. I did not know then that I was addicted and that I had been addicted since the first time.
When I first attended the ACA meetings, I knew I had a problem getting involved too quickly with the men. I lost my identity and my life when I was in a relationship. After a while I decided that the way to avoid being hooked by a man was to have several appointments simultaneously. On another occasion I decided that the problem was that I could not spend a year without leaving. If I could do that, it would be fine and I could get married again. Besides, the men who were interested in marrying me had problems that I could not accept; I was still dating addicts!
I continued in ACA and a therapy group for women. Twice I lost months of sobriety. Then I consumed with a man I met at a business meeting. I could not lie to myself anymore. My therapist told me it was SA or hospitalization with a treatment.
That’s when I started attending SA meetings. During my first year or two, a former member also attended the meetings; Because I felt so insecure with this man that I did not have sobriety, my godmother allowed me to invite several other members to listen to my first step before the meeting. Afterwards, she commented that she did not listen much about impotence and unmanageability, just about being a victim.
Doing a Fourth Step in another program helped me get rid of the illusion of being a victim. When I made my Room in SA, I could be more direct. After my fifth step, it was wonderful to “burn the evidence” against me and start the path to forgive myself. The therapy had made me aware of how I was hurting others and myself, but it could not make me stop. After fifteen years of madness, I was now free in SA.
The old couple called during that first year and even later, and I could say: “No, thanks.” I even went to dinner with one, and God did for me what I could never do for myself. I called my godmother after the fact. I was lucky in that time!
God prayerfully granted me to leave the sales jobs that were really