All of us hit what is called “bottom” sometime. Usually it is painful, we have hurt others (many of whom love us) and ourselves. Life has become unmanageable, all the lies we told others and ourselves were too much to live with, our wives & husbands found out, life became unpleasant.
The good news is there is another way to live! We started by going to meetings, listening to people share, hearing our own personal stories we thought were “unique”. We learned we are not unique, there are many addicted to sex and pornography, and, there are many of us who have started this program and now have positive & fulfilling lives. Below are some testimonials from people in our local fellowship telling what happened when we started attending & participating in SAA meetings and started the 12 Steps (based on Alcoholics Anonymous).
See below for testimonials by our local fellowship:
My name is Jake and I am a sex addict. I am also a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. I came to the fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous on July 5, 2014. My life was in shambles at the time. I was initially introduced to 12 step programs when I was seventeen years old, but I wanted nothing to do with them at that time.
In 2014, at twenty nine years old, I was finally ready to accept the help and guidance I needed to treat my substance abuse issues. I began attending meetings regularly, reading suggested literature about my disease, obtained a sponsor, and started working through the 12 steps. I fully committed myself to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous and my life began to improve, and it improved quite a lot in a relatively short amount of time. However, at six months clean and sober, my sex addiction began to present itself in undeniable fashion.
My sex addiction primarily manifests itself as excessive masturbation, uncontrollable use of internet pornography, and the web surfing of personal ads on particular websites. I wanted to stop these behaviors, which I now refer to as “acting out,” but I could not. I was truly powerless over when, how, and how much I would act out.
My AA sponsor at the time introduced me to SAA, and we attended a few meetings together. I also attended a few by myself. I did not become an active member of the SAA fellowship after my initial introduction to the program. I suspect I thought that things would just get better or that I would eventually be able to successfully manage my acting out; however, that was not the case.
My girlfriend and I broke up on December 26, 2017. I had successfully avoided internet pornography for the previous couple months. My period of abstinence quickly came to an end after our break up, and I found myself acting out within forty eight hours of being single. Once again, I could not stop behaviors that I so desperately wanted to avoid. I decided to go back to SAA and genuinely work the program.
It was very humbling to walk into an SAA meeting at three and a half years clean and sober and ask another man for help. The last time I acted out was December 31, 2017. I now attend SAA meetings regularly, I have a sponsor, I am taking the steps, I read the SAA literature daily, and I stay in close contact via the telephone with fellow sex addicts on a daily basis. I am in recovery, and I am being healed of my sex addiction. I am grateful for SAA.
Randy: Why I go to our meetings-
One of the most fearful moments I’ve had in recent years was spent pacing in front of the door of an SAA meeting. Walking back and forth, I had an internal debate with myself as to whether or not I would even enter the room. “There’s no way anybody in here is as bad off as I am. They will think I’m crazy. I definitely have experienced things that no one will ever understand.” These were just a few of the sentiments that were flying around my head in that moment. I mean, I’ve spent my entire life feeling alone, isolated, in the dark prison of my mind. And I felt, that I would only leave the meeting feeling the same way, because of the extent of those experiences, actions, and thoughts.
Just then the door flew open and a member of the meeting stepped out. He reached his hand to shake mine as he introduced himself. He was friendly and legitimately seemed happy to see me, even though I was a stranger. This was enough to make my decision to enter the meeting. As the meeting progressed, I quickly had a life changing realization: I AM NOT ALONE. I was amidst an entire room of people who were sharing about the exact same feelings I had, gone through many of the situations I had, and were not being rejected, but embraced! For once in my life, I felt instantly apart of something. The meetings are a place where I can finally be free of the prison this addiction has held me in. I can be ME, I can share what I’m feeling, and be supported by a group of people that know what I’m feeling, and accept and love me for it all the same.
Why do I go to meetings? Because when I go to meetings, I finally feel at home.
Ron: My experience:
I remember talking with a counselor who suggested I attend SAA meetings early on when I had discovered I had this addiction. Actually, I did not know I had an addiction, until I started attending SAA meetings.
I had read some books by leading Dr.’s on the sex addiction subject, and, performed the suggested diagnostics. A very sobering experience! So, I gathered enough courage to find a nearby meeting (I was lucky, there was one very close) and walk through the door. That was very hard! I remember seeing several men who seemed depressed, and, also finding some similarity during the shares. I realized after a time, yes, I did have this addiction, and was not alone! Step 1 helped with that realization. I got a sponsor, who gave me some suggestions which were very helpful, the most important was working the 12 Steps (of Alcoholics Anonymous).
Today I can say my entire life has changed for the better. I no longer live with sick secrets, act out compulsively, or have to lie or cheat. My relationship with the God of my understanding is strong, my relationship with my wife & daughters has improved, I can look forward to the positive instead of focusing on the negative. It did take me quite a few meetings to get to the stage of working the recovery plan, but, when I did the suggested things life started improving! No matter what happened, I kept coming back to the meetings, try it, it worked for me, and, I believe it can work for you!