Twelve Step Sobriety For Sex Addicts
Phone and text: 780-394-3709
During Covid, the Friday Night meeting will be on Zoom,
9 pm Mountain 11 pm Eastern
Meeting ID: 809 883 8389
What is our Problem?
Sex addiction is the worst. Long term recovery and sobriety from sex addiction is much more elusive than that of substance based dependency. Sex addicts are powerless over not only their “acting out” behaviours, but also their thinking at certain times. Progression of these thoughts and behaviours over time is what distinguishes a sex addicts from normal sexual people. This craving to cross new lines with acting out experiences happens with full knowledge of the consequences experienced from previous events. Sex addicts act out not out of love, intimacy or procreation, but to escape the horror of their feelings.
Sex is a Drug
To our brains, sex is the original drug. Sexual activity and feelings of love are part of a process that reward us for creating a new generation of children for our families and our species, by generating brain chemicals that give us the ultimate high, the sexual high and the ecstacy of love.
Conventional wisdom tells us to try harder, exert more self control, and avoid sexual triggers as much as possible. Fortunately this works for some people, and we can happily conclude that they are not real addicts. The people that continue to relapse despite all precautions are in that rare category that return to their ecstacy seeking behaviours despite the serious consequences, many of which have become well known at the end of many previous addictive cycles.
Stopping just the sexual behaviours for a while will not solve anything, because our disordered mind will restart the acting out as soon as it feels threatened again. The brain, not our sex drive, is the real problem. As we say, a sick mind cannot fix a sick mind.
Why Don’t Meetings Help?
Sex addicts who experience one year sober are exceedingly rare, less than 1%. Success through medicine and therapy or even regular meeting attendance is even more elusive. Page 99 of the SAA Green Book makes this clear:
“The Steps are the Spiritual Solution
Some of us started out as a tourist at SAA meetings – the member who shows up every week or every other week, who shares at meetings, who may even buy and read the literature, but who doesn’t get a sponsor, doesn’t work the steps, certainly never stays for a business meeting … and doesn’t stop acting out – This resistance to surrendering to the SAA is program is rooted in pride and a stubborn unwillingness to admit defeat – despite the pain and consequences already experienced. As an SAA tourist we cling to the belief that we are not really powerless and that just going to meetings … or church or seeing a therapist – will be enough to turn things around without too much inconvenience. SAA tourists drop in and out for months or even years before one final crisis bring us to our bottom makes us willing at last to get serious. “
(SAA Green Book P. 99)
Most people will have to experience the lack of success in meeting attendance before they can appreciate the track record of a personal Twelve Step program, which has brought many kinds of addicts to long term constructive sobriety.
We salute people who can leave their destructive history behind them permanently by sharing their feelings in a group and getting things off their chests. But a real addict has never changed the fundamental physical, emotional and genetic sources of their powerlessness by simply talking about it. They need a concrete and proven personal program of change.
Sex Addiction Recovery
We are Recovered sex addicts. Our long term sobriety is not based on avoidance techniques, instead we feel a great sense of revulsion in the face of temptation. Our mental obsession has been removed. We could not act out even if we wanted to.
Sobriety does not beget sobriety. A recovered sex addict does not manage triggers, micro manage our travels or put filters on our devices. We don’t even snap rubber bands on our wrists or play the tape to the end. We are free. When temptation does arise, we react as if we are about to hurt ourselves. We have access to this gift as long as we practice specific principles in every aspect of our lives. Long term happy relief from sex addiction only comes from hard work and changing attitudes.
The Program of Sex Addicts Anonymous
Our recovery was not accomplished by methods that are commonly used in generic meetings, though many of us first tried those methods unsuccessfully. We found freedom by the methods espoused by the pioneers of the 12 Step program. These precise methods can only be found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. As far as we are concerned, it is what worked for us. Humility demands that we are only pass along what worked for us.
Using the Big Book of AA as an instruction manual for sex addiction sobriety, we see that our acting out behaviours are only a symptom, the Check Engine light for our real problems. This original Twelve Step guide tells us that we suffer from both physical cravings and a defective thought process, – a compulsive and obsessive disorder.
This process was not easy, soft or gentle for any of us. It is a difficult program because it demands that we take actions that we really didn’t want to do. We worked these Steps only because going back to our addiction was our only other choice. Going back to addictive sexual behavior is too painful. We recommend this program only to those who are without other options, who are without hope of recovery by any other method. After all, if we were to be successful, we had to completely give ourselves to this simple program. This meant the elimination of all other options by actually testing them.
As time has passed our numbers have grown. Persistence in our way of living, faith in the Power which keeps our obsession at bay and keeping our focus on the fundamentals has paid off. We continue to live free of the obsession and now our lives have taken on a real purpose. This is the greatest gift we have received.