Intimacy … The Communication Between People

In my addiction, the language of communication was at best non-existent. I lost the ability to talk to those I was closest with. My wife had become a total stranger. My friends hadn’t heard from me in days or weeks. I had isolated myself into a “cage of hell.” I feigned illness to stay home from work to act out. I had lied to my friends and wife so often I couldn’t decipher the truth from the frauds. I was essentially “walking dead.”

Thankfully, sobriety changed my life. Instead of being ashamed of my actions talking to either sex, I had turned a corner and was on a new path called recovery. No longer did I fear talking to people without the usual come-ons. God had saved me from the humiliation that I had ended up in on more than one occasion. I had learned that people were human beings to be respected and valued. They were no longer objects for my insane sexual appetite. Not only was I learning how to respect myself, I was learning to have respect for others as well.

In recovery, I learned how to communicate with everyone, young, old, male or female, gay or straight, any culture and any race. By taking the time to listen to others and share my feelings I was creating meaningful relationships with people.  Once again I was sharing myself openly and honestly. Friends were calling me again and I them. My wife and I were speaking intimately more and more often. I liken this to being reborn into life, one moment and one day at a time. I was living the steps of recovery in my life and it showed.

Now fast forward to today, 8 years later recovery has brought me more meaningful relationships than I could have ever imagined. I’m so blessed that I sponsor others who share their intimate thoughts and feelings with me, which make me grow. What a gift. God bless you all. Thank you, Papa.

7 thoughts on “Intimacy … The Communication Between People

  1. I totally resonate with what you say. I am in the beginning stages of my recovery. Only 18 days of sobriety but for the first time in my life I am able to imagine a life without acting out. I feel liberated although I know I have a ton of work ahead of me.

    I still look at the opposite sex as objects to satisfy my sexual cravings. Thank you for the topic. I’ve had this idea for the longest time that if I’m not interested in sleeping with a girl, why would I talk with them? Even as I write that this is ridiculous, I still feel like there is some validity to it. Not acting out is one thing. Changing the way I think. That may take time. Hopefully it’s possible.

  2. I always thought intimacy was about sex.
    In recovery I’ve learned that intimacy is totally about communication on an emotional and spritual level with those that you allow to get close.

    Intimacy also translates as “Into Me You See”. I had built very thick and very high walls to ‘protect’ myself, never letting anybody in to see who I was or what I had become. Shame and guilt ruled my life and the pain was overwhelming. How could I let anybody see the real me? I didn’t even know who the real me was anymore! Fear paralyzed me and kept me from opening up and being vulnerable with those that loved me.

    After coming into SAA and working the steps with my Sponsor, I started to break down those walls that were keeping me locked up. The rays of hope began to pierce the prison I had built for myself and I began to experience feelings and emotions I hadn’t felt in years. I’ve learned how to be vulnerable with others without letting my fears get in the way and now I can look inward with the grace this program gives us.
    As a result, today I’m closer with my wife and children than ever before, but most importantly, I’m closer with myself and my higher power.

  3. Great shares here as I am continually learning to grow in all areas through recovery. When it comes to communication I have also noticed for myself how, in the past, communication was non-existent. My communication was on auto pilot as well as other areas in my life. I could remember how I was programmed to have the “usual” questions & the necessary “cliche” responses to help move conversations along. My “auto pilot” stayed far from in depth discussions as best as possible. It wasn’t until some time recently I noticed that I didn’t have close friends b/c I had done a horrible job of being friend. In Recovery I notice my communication improves as I have great dialogue of who I am. I allow myself to think & explore who I truly am. I allow myself to engage in healthy dialogue about life & healthy things with my wife, friends & others. I allow myself to be passionate about things outside of sex. This is how I have seen my communication improve through recovery. Words flow consistently in conversations with others & being a great listener is what I have become. I thank God for this & seek to make continued progress one opportunity at a time.


    Recently, I passed 4 years of sobriety – 48 months – 1,500 days – 36,000 hours.s

    Reaching this goal is a miracle, after acting out for 40 years, often on a daily basis, I didn’t believe that I could live life in any other way, or even Want to! This life was all I had, all I thought I wanted – never mind the misery, pain, damage it caused to me, my partners, my children. I rationalized everything – all the guys are doing it – can’t hurt, just a little sex – lying was protecting others from the truth – why shouldn’t I give myself a little pleasure? I worked hard, deserved it.

    The last collapse into pain, the last discovered disclosures I was force to admit, to take responsibility for my double life, my insanity – the realization that my behavior was insane, that all my rationalizations were just illusions, that I was a sex ADDICT! Wanting to die from the shame and guilt. The calm voice underneath all the lies and pain, trying to reach me, trying to tell me a better path existed, that I had ignored so many years. Finally I heard it – the voice of a Higher Power, offering me a release from suffering, a way out of the swamp of depression and desolation.

    But at first, I didn’t believe that voice. I believed I could never change, didn’t believe in any God, that I was sentenced to a life of repetitive punishment – like in Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day”.

    But now, the miracle has remade me. I have learned a better way of living, the joy of treating others as precious, to tell the truth, to remember where the old path leads, to love my family, my long suffering girl friend who stuck with me through it all, and my friends. I’m not perfect, others aren’t perfect, but we are all doing the best we can, and I can love myself and others for that.

    Thank you, H.P., for leading me to SA, my sponsor (who has been so patient, loyal, and helpful through many trying days), my comrades in recovery, and the program that points the way, step by step, to peace.

    For those of us who have just discovered, admitted our powerlessness over our addictions, and recognized our shortcomings – don’t give up! It may SEEM hopeless, but I and others have seen our lives change 180% by sticking with the steps. One Day, One Week, One Month – now 4 years and more – The miracle is happening! Don’t lose sight of the incredible GIFT your H.P. and this program is offering you. DON’T BLIND YOURSELF TO WHAT IS HAPPENING – ACCEPT THIS MIRACLE!

    My love to all my friends in recovery.

  5. I am also early in my recovery and also having difficulty separating my addiction from healthy sexual activity. I have completed almost 30 days of celibacy and am proud of that accomplishment given my previous history. However, I still have desires and have been talking to my wife about resuming sex. She is still very hurt and is afraid of feeding my addiction. I love her but still see her as a sexual object. Hopefully I can get over this hurdle and resume a healthy marriage.

  6. Intimacy…The Communication Between People.
    This is a beautiful concept that I am learning by the grace of God. The addict “Lil Reggie” rebelled & sought to communicate only with himself & only engage people to entertain or compliment the conversations already had with “Lil Reggie”. True intimacy is engaging everyone & participating in life. This is a vulnerable concept for the addict & this is why surrendering to God is a beautiful thing that brings that peace & direction. In recovery I am seeking to participate, I am seeking to engage with others, I am seeking to be loved & helped by others, I am seeking to see more of the beautiful person God has created. This is worth it for me b/c my future is beautiful when surrendered to God. Today I am intimate with myself, others & life.

  7. I have been sober for several months now and thought I’ve claimed that length before, there is something different this time around. I’m more willing to be honest with myself and be accountable to somebody besides myself, usually a priest, but also my sponsor and therapist. I have uncovered a lot.

    I still struggle with my own suffering and pain and that is a hindrance to my ability to maintain intimacy, especially with my wife.

    I just had back surgery after several weeks of increasing back pain and loss of feeling and coordination in my lower body. Going through this, I expect understanding. I expect caring. I expect compassion, but I just feel resentment. Resentment that she has to take on more of the burden of taking care of our toddler and running our house.

    I know that the key to intimacy is empathy. I feel shut out, though, when I’ve tried. I think I need a meeting.

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