Pride told me that I was somehow different
While I can't say that I'm grateful for my recent fall (after a long clean streak), I am grateful that I have come to see that I really wasn't getting the program. Someone with 25 years clean told me that "MY" program was not working for me. (Le'mashal - doctors do not self-diagnose and treat themselves. They go to another doctor, no matter how "smart" they are).
What was "my" program? Well I was basically doing online SA meetings with an SA phone sponsor. He told me to read the Dr's opinion in the AA Big Book over and over and to study the critically important concepts of: Tolerance, and Toxicity (pgs. 30 & 32 in the SA White Book). He told me that because I did not fully understand these and other concepts such as trigger mechanisms (p. 33 SA) that I wasn't truly sober even during my 1 year and 5 months. I think he is right.
I was abstinent but I had not make a real deep commitment to stop fantasizing, putting a filter on my computer, not dipping into memories or guarding my eyes. I continued to feed the addiction and glossed over the day-to-day work on making a "progressive victory over lust", as they say in SA. My friend told me that I was fooling myself if I thought that I didn't need face-to-face meetings, and that the relinquishment of pride that would be required for me to attend would be my greatest gain. You see, Pride told me that I was somehow different than the rest of you guys, that I could cut the corners and get away with stuff. Like an alcoholic that stores a few bottles away for that rainy day. My brain neurons are loaded with bottles in the form of memories and fantasies, and as we know, there are no shortage of "hits" that we can take from the external world around us.
So now, lets see what I'm really made of. Will I finally realize how sick I really am and be willing to go much deeper into my brain and be more honest with myself about the junk that I'm thinking about? It says on p. 32 of the SA white book:
"In sobriety, once we have withdrawn from lust and then let it back in, the toxic effect is felt immediately and strongly. We can tolerate less of it than ever, and it produces a greater disturbance. Our sexaholism doesn't stand still; it progressively worsens."
Will I go to face-to-face meetings? You see I'm still not there yet. I'm still "bargaining with disaster". Am I really willing to go to any lengths to have a true Spirtual Awakening (not just intellectually). What will it take for me to join with those who really "believe in themselves and the Power that pulls chronic Alcoholics (lustaholics) back from the gates of death"? (Big Book, The Doctor's Opinion, p. 25.)
Thank you for letting me share,
Yosef (a gratefully recovering sex-addict)