My biggest fear was being alone. In my active addiction, I made my fears come true. Through my acting out and my addictive behaviors, I pushed people away and isolated and in the end I was alone. If I was not alone actually isolating, I was alone surrounded by people because no one really knew who I was anymore. Today I am not alone. Even when I am by myself, I am not alone; I have my Higher Power by my side. Today as a result of working this program I am not afraid anymore. I am grateful for this gift that I have been given from my Higher Power and my sponsor and from many others in the fellowship who have been there for me over my journey so far. Without them I don’t know where I would be right now. But what I do know is what they knew: that in this program, “you have to give it away to keep it.” They had to give it to me so that they could keep it and I need to pass it on so that I can keep it. I need to give back what was so freely given to me. Some newcomers wonder why I might do it and some feel that they might be a bother, however, they have no idea how much they are helping me. They are probably helping me more than I am helping them. They are helping me stay sober one more day. When I work with a newcomer I ask for God’s assistance and ask Him to work through me and allow me to provide whatever He feels I need to provide. I am there to listen and to carry the message of the fellowship and to help another addict. In the end, if two addicts stay sober one more day, then we are successful and that is a miracle and for that I am grateful and for that I will continue to work with others as much as I can.
The word freedom appears in my mind when I think of the title to this entry. In my addiction I was liken to a slave and enslaved to a life of demoralization, shame and constant grief. I could not see the hideous nature of this beast. Denial worship me and kept me starved for affection. It wasn’t until I had my epiphany and realized I was a sex addict that my actions and behaviors came to light. By shining light on my disease I could begin to see just how my delusional thinking got me to the level of depravity I had attained. Fortunately, I found the rooms of SAA and my recovery began. Through guidance and suggestions from a sponsor and my fellows I came to understand the solution was upon me. As it states in the promises, I began to know a new freedom and new happiness. I wasn’t waking up in fear of the last lie that I told. I wasn’t fearful that I was going to go to jail or that I was loosing my sanity. That feeling of uselessness and self pity started to disappear. I was on a journey, not in survival mode. Friends began to trickle back into my life. I was gaining self esteem. I know today my recovery is my salvation and holds the keys to the freedom I so deeply wanted, but never knew how to obtain. Forever free from the monster who lives in the shadows and yearns to have my soul. Grateful for my Higher Power for the gifts that I have received, one day at a time.
When I hear the word God…a lot of thoughts go through my head. In this program I’ve come to believe in a Higher Power or God of my own understanding. I have no religious connection to this God or Higher Power. What I have is a spiritual connection with this essence. I fondly call my God or Higher Power “Papa”. When I think of him in a visual sense I think of Morgan Freedman in the movie, “Bruce Almighty.” It works for me and we’ve had long conversations to back this up. It says in the SAA program that our recovery is directly related to our spiritual connection. I know this spiritual connection is what drives me on a daily basis. There are tools that I use on a regular basis that deepen my connection, one is by praying and reflection. Each night I recite the ten most important things I am grateful for as I lie in bed. The second process is that I journal. Journaling creates a direct connection to my Higher Power. Its He that I speak to in my journal. I can tell Him anything and if I listen closely He puts answers I need to hear all around me. They could take the form of someone else speaking to me or seeing an article in a magazine that applies to what I was troubled over. It makes me feel warm inside that I know that my Higher Power loves me unconditionally and does not judge me. That He is accepting and available when I need to talk to Him. Most importantly is the fact that He is with me 24/7/365, day or night. Thank you Papa.
There is a quote that floats around the rooms that goes like this; “The past is history, the future is a mystery and present is a gift.” Truer words could not have been spoken. When I got into recovery I had a hard time living in the moment and being present. I was so consumed with reliving the past over and over in my mind. I was in pain. And to make matters worse I would have anxiety over projecting what might happen in the future, when in fact it is a mystery. Thankfully, my sponsor was watching me torture myself and suggested that I live in the present, moment by moment that’s why they call it a “gift.” As I started to realize that the present represented that I live life on life’s terms. I was apprehensive at first, then learned to just relax and accept that my higher power was there to assist me through whatever showed up. Today, I have the fortune to living mainly in the present. When I start to think about what the future holds for me I look at as an opportunity for future growth as opposed to anxiety. Additionally, I learned that the past is what it is and I need to hold it dear to my heart as to remember where I’ve been so I can appreciate where I am today, in the present. Recovery lives in the present and holds the promises as a gift for the future. As it says in the promises, …”we will be amazed before we are half way through.” Living in the present allows for the possibility of intimacy to take hold and flourish. Truly a gift of the present.
Working the steps…the backbone of our recovery. I call them the “perfect parent.” I call them that because if we had ideal parents they would have taught all these steps for learning to deal with life. Unfortunately, my parents rarely took the time to interact with me. So learning about integrity, spirituality and “living life on life’s’ terms” I only learned after I came into recovery. The steps were my “teacher” and as I humblely became the student. My education started February 2005 with step one which took me a year to complete. I was not a dutiful student until my first year was finished and I got a new sponsor. Then I was guided weekly through the last eleven. I thank my sponsor for his guidance and support. His experience proved over and over again to be an invaluable resource. Going through step two and three got me on my way deep into my spirituality.
Step four allowed me to give up the shame I was so entrenched in, while step five allowed me to be courageous. Step six taught me about my underlying causes, while step seven taught me how to ask for support. Step eight helped to see the effect I had on others, while step nine showed me how be very humble. Step ten showed me I wasn’t perfect, didn’t need to be perfect, but allowed me to take responsibility for my actions. Step eleven brought me closer to my higher power and step twelve taught me the word “fellowship.” All in all I become a different man because of the steps and believe in the them wholeheartly. I know they are the reason I lead such a blessed life and encourage everyone to follow through on your journey.