Lying in the floor in a puddle of tears shortly after disclosure from my spouse, I realized that my life was unmanageable. However, true to my deep self-reliance, I moved forward and kept busy. One week later the sexaholic in my life offered me information about S-Anon. I was too angry to listen and believed I couldn’t trust him anymore and so I stayed away.
Four weeks later, after performing my own due diligence and checking on the S-Anon fellowship, I found a hotline number for my local area meetings on the website. I called the hotline and was given information about meetings in my area. Was it coincidence that the earliest meeting was on the rare night I had to myself?
As I walked into the meeting my thoughts were racing and I KNEW no one could know what I was going through. As I listened to the members my heart sighed with relief. I shared my story, and again wept (as I had four weeks earlier) knowing that my life was unmanageable. I looked around and realized that the members KNEW where I was. I could see that they truly understood how I felt. People were not surprised by my story. Nobody reacted. They shared pieces of their stories with me and while I was still feeling awkward in my first Twelve Step room, I felt I belonged. Most importantly, they shared that they all felt so much better because of S-Anon and several members stayed after the meeting to offer their support and their encouragement.
S-Ateen groups are not counseling or therapy groups. We do not give advice. The S-Ateen group sponsors at meetings are not professional counselors. They are S-Anon members working their own recovery program, who offer guidance and support, as the S-Ateen members learn to support each other. S-Ateen members may also seek out the assistance of professional helpers like therapists, clergy, or doctors to help deal with crisis situations or to focus in depth on personal issues.
S-Ateen meetings are not a place to complain, gossip, criticize, or stay stuck in our problems. Each S-Ateen member is given time to share in the meetings. You will have the support of other S-Ateen members, as you learn to focus on the solution, rather than the problem.
Reprinted from Is S-Ateen for You?, page 2.
As we explored the sources of our problems, the deep roots of our misery became more apparent. We discovered that we were the source of much of the pain for which we had blamed others. We examined our attitudes and behavior in a thorough way for the first time and began to see that the sexaholic wasn’t the only one causing problems in the relationship. We were willing to search out, spend some time and be thorough with ourselves.
An inventory is usually a method of counting items to find what is on hand and what is missing. Step Four is similar, except that we take stock of assets and defects of character. We find that we all have qualities that are positive, some that are negative and some that are still unknown, and as we work Step Four, we shed light upon some aspects of our characters that may have been blocking our spiritual growth.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, page 39.
S-Anon is helping me to see that just as lust is a serious problem for the sexaholic, my need to control is also a serious problem for me. When that character defect of being controlling is active in my life, I want things done my way at any cost. I want my husband to be just the way I want him to be.
Today, when I sense myself becoming anxious and controlling, I ask my Higher Power to help me see the other person (usually my husband) as a capable adult person, not wanting or needing my control. That person the dignity of making his or her own choices.
I am also grateful that through the gifts of my husband’s recovery, he now is able to alert me gently when I have over-stepped his boundaries. Little by little, our Higher Power is removing character defects from both of us.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 10.