Step seven is about humility. This was a good step. One that my sponsor had to work along with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand it. It was that I hadn’t learned to let go and let God in enough at that time. This step is about asking for help, again. Like the third step before it I was asking for God’s assistance. The ability to let God into my life and take control was still miles away from reality. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe He was capable of assisting me. It was that for so long in my life I hadn’t let anyone else control my life except me. So to give up control really was an issue. I finally started to let go and by reciting the seventh step prayer was able to let go and let God do His work. Some things materialized almost immediately other things came in God’s time. So I was watching as my defects slowly drifted away from me. Don’t get me wrong some defects I still work on to this day. Others were easier to resolve. The best part is that I have learned a new humility to let God do his work for me.
In my very first twelve step meeting eighteen years ago one of the very first things I heard was “Just Show Up”. I was told nothing had to make sense, all I had to do was put down my addiction (for one moment at a time) and Just Show Up. By bringing the body, eventually the mind would follow, and when the mind came the soul would start to mend and heal. I think one of the hardest things to do in the rooms of SAA is to Just Show Up. We have such a variety of bottom lines and acting out behaviors we are trying to change. Relapses and slips are a tremendous part of our recovery, they are our teachers. What is a major relapse to one may seem like only a little slip to another, but still, we just show up for one another with unconditional love, compassion and understanding. We are all trying to recover from this disease of sex addiction no matter its manifestation. The only way that I know how to do that is to start by Just Showing Up to meetings. Then as one of the previous entries said the 500lb phone gets a little lighter, and then maybe we develop meaningful relationships in recovery with our sponsor and fellows, all by Just Showing Up. Before we know it we have grown and we are living a life in recovery one moment at a time, and suddenly, we are not only just showing up for meetings, but we are showing up in our own lives.
In recovery there is a term used called, “isolation.” I know all too well what this term means because even in recovery I find myself isolating from time to time. I have close to four years in program with three years of sobriety under my belt and still I find myself falling back to old habits of isolation. It doesn’t matter if I’m sleeping hours away, not communicating with my fellows or just locking myself in my house for days on end. I’m isolating myself away. In addiction this was the norm. Every day I hide away from even my wife and the world. This is different now because I’ve learned how to adapt myself back into society. I call this, “running down the rabbit hole”, where the isolation and the world can’t touch me. Where I alone can sit with my thoughts. This is not a good place, on the contrary, when I recognize it I work very hard to pull myself back out to engage back with society. I know it’s hard to pull oneself back out of the rabbit hole, but I can tell you it’s much worse to sit there and stay. Find your way back out of the rabbit hole where support can assist you. Today I have tools and I’ve learned to use them. By the grace of God I’ve learned to use them. Thank you Papa.
In the Sixth Step we pledged that we are entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. What it doesn’t say is that we were ready to give up our defects of character. I know I wanted to hold on as tight as possible to those defects. I was comfortable with my surroundings. If God was to remove my defects, what was I suppose to use in their place? How was my world going to exist without them? This step took a willingness that I had to ask God for the courage to have. Once again I was going to be in unchartered waters. I wanted to go through the step but I knew it was going to be a challenge. I was going to be giving up attributes and traits that molded me for most of my adult life. Some even kept me alive, even though they were undesirable. I had to find the faith that ran deep in my soul and pray often for the change to occur. As I let go of one trait at a time, God managed to give me exactly what I needed in return. Once again showing me that my Higher Power knew better than I did. Today, I still have defects but with God’s help, I manage to be a better man. Thank you Papa.
I used to think I had lots of friends; people who knew who I was. The truth was I had very few friendships and most of them were with people that today, in recovery, are considered off limits. It’s funny how delusional one can get when thinking about friends. I thought that these people really knew who I was. They only knew the lies I was telling them. Soon I couldn’t keep those straight and soon my house of cards came tumbling down around me. Where were my “friends”? Funny they were nowhere to be found. Today, however, because of recovery I have healthy relationships with both males and females. I’m not inappropriate with my female friends. I have the utmost respect for them and treat them like I would want to be treated. For the first time in my life I have healthy relationships with my male friends and do not fear them any longer. I’ve grown an inner confidence that only recovery could teach me. Now I have healthy relationships, not clouded in sexual intrigue, where I can live, love and laugh and hold my head high in self respect. Thank you Papa.