We found that regardless of how the sexaholic acted out, our feelings were often quite similar. We experienced anger, disbelief, humiliation, betrayal, fear, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, guilt and numbness, to name just a few. In Step One we saw that our attempts to control or deny, so often driven by these powerful emotions, resulted in unmanageability in virtually every aspect of our lives. Paradoxically, it was our surrender, our admission of complete lack of power over the sexaholic and sexaholism, that laid the foundation for the serenity this program of recovery offers.
It was difficult for most of us to make the transition from focusing on the behavior of the sexaholic to focusing on the ways in which our reactions to sexaholism contributed to the unmanageability of our lives. This gradual shift in focus, however, is an essential process that, while often painful at first, is the key to beginning our recovery. Many of us had to ask our Higher Power to help us cultivate attitudes of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to admit that our efforts to cope with sexaholism had failed.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 11-12.