I have recently made myself aware of my vast number of inadequacies. Even more, I have realized that some of those inadequacies add up to behavior that I can’t control on my own. I have sought counseling. I have joined a twelve step program, Sexaholics Anonymous. I am constantly making phone calls, sharing my feelings and really tough emotions with other men who struggle with similar problems.
Sharing emotions with other men? Men don’t do that. At least not with how I was raised. Who would have thought that sharing my inner self with others would be at the very heart of recovery? Or is it really? As I have learned, I don’t have it all figured out. Still on a daily basis I have to talk with my wife about how I can rediscover new ways to be real, both with myself and others. Even more, it eventually comes down to my relationship with God. I can’t do this alone, for sure. I know this much.
I wonder what it would be like if I were brave enough to be this vulnerable with the men in my church group and share that I am a recovering sex addict? Would others shun me? Perhaps others would share their vulnerabilities? I have to ask myself whether I am brave enough to share these inadequacies with my fellows who have not already opened up to me.
A friend has told me that he doesn’t like Sexaholics Anonymous and how at the meetings you refer to yourself an addict or a “sexaholic.” He doesn’t want to define himself this way. He wants to define himself as a child of God. Well, that may or may not work for him. But I know that what works for me is fully accepting that I am an addict. I have to accept this to the point where I am willing to make drastic changes in my life –willing to do things that before recovery I swore I would never do. I never imagined myself talking to other men about how much I have masturbated in the past or sharing my darkest secrets with strangers.
Would you tell these unhealthy truths about yourself in such a setting? Would you be brave enough to share them with friends from your church?