We find that each of us has particular behaviors and attitudes that we have found to be destructive to ourselves and that we hope to eliminate, thus becoming more “sober.” Some of us wanted to let go of behaviors like snooping, raging at the sexaholic or lying to family and friends to cover up the addiction, for example. Others wanted to become more honest with ourselves and others or to become more tolerant and open minded. We have used individual strategies for changing these actions and attitudes, as we must if we wish to find serenity. My mother is the sex addict who affected my life the most, and I used to take care of her a lot and resented every minute of it. That wasn’t good for me and it wasn’t right for her, no matter what she did to me in my childhood. I didn’t want to have the emotional hangovers I got when I would stay too long on the phone and end up screaming at her. For my own sobriety and peace of mind, I set a boundary around our visits and telephone calls, because spending too much time with her is not a sober situation for me.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, pages 54 and 57.