Getting in Touch With My Feelings

When I first found out about the lies and betrayal that was sexaholism, the effects upon me were catastrophic. My hair fell out, I lost 20 lbs in about 3 weeks, and sleep became a lost luxury. I would actually sit bolt upright in bed during the night and loudly exclaim; “Oh My God!!” Anxiety and fear were my companions.

I found my way to S-Anon and eventually got a sponsor. Here I am 4 to 5 years later with a full set of unbitten nails, a solid, trusting relationship with my Higher Power, a room full of people some of whom I now call friends, my sense of humor intact, a little worn, but definitely not broken. In fact I feel more steady and peaceful than ever, on most days.

During one of my many phone conversations with my first sponsor, I explained that I really wanted my husband (a non-recovering sex addict) to see and hear how much he had hurt me. He didn’t think he had a problem and refused any counseling or recovery of any kind. I thought that if he saw how badly hurt I was, he might stop. Her response was; “Why are you going to an active addict with your feelings? They can’t even process their own feelings, much less yours. It’s like going to the casino. You never know how you’re going to end up.”

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Step Eight and Being of Service

When I first heard people say in S-Anon meetings that they were focusing on themselves, I thought this sounded like a selfish and self-absorbed fellowship.  In my childhood, I was taught that giving to others first was the way to go.  Being generous and self-sacrificing was being good.  How could focusing on myself be of any good to anyone including me?  Working through the Twelve Steps has been an opportunity for me to examine my motives and my relationship with God and others. Through the Twelve Steps and using other tools of the program, I have learned to focus on myself.  I saw the truth about harm I had caused others and myself in my noble effort to be helpful.  How could trying to be helpful be harmful?  That didn’t make much sense to me for a long time.  I still sometimes forget.

I found S-Anon was a fellowship that welcomed me and allowed me to collapse in exhaustion and despair.  Even in program, I needed to feel helpful, worthwhile, and approved of.  What would I do if I couldn’t do for others what they weren’t doing?  There was plenty of stuff around that needed to be done.  Who’s going to do it?  Why not me?

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The Importance of Sponsorship

In one of those amazing program coincidences, I attended an S-Anon meeting on sponsorship only a few hours after my sponsor asked me to do a mini-inventory of our sponsor/sponsee relationship. The meeting chairperson passed around a box containing questions about sponsor- ship on individual pieces of paper. She asked each of us to answer the question we drew from the box and to make our comments pertinent to what we hoped to gain from having a sponsor. My question was: “Why is sponsorship important?” Here is my answer.

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