I thought it would be worth writing a post just to check in and put into writing a quick summary of where I am right now. TL;DR: clean for 12 days, got a sponsor, started the 12 steps.
I really struggled over the past month or so, and I’m not quite sure why. What I do know is that I never managed to maintain a daily routine; every time I did, something like a family holiday would come along and disrupt it, leading to acting out. Sometimes I couldn’t get past a few days at a time without acting out, and it really started to depress me. I knew that I had it in me to do better and I couldn’t quite work out why I was now so far away from that.
So, I put my mind to recovery and upped my game. I committed to going back to Sex Addicts Anonymous weekly, with a view to getting a sponsor this time and starting the 12 steps. Before, I attended the meetings and got a lot of benefit, but was always wary of doing the steps. But, if what I’m doing isn’t working, its time to try something new, so 12 steps it is.
I reached out to one of the fellow SAA members who I’ve had a good rapport with since I started going about a year ago, to ask if he’d be willing to be my sponsor. He said he had been thinking the same thing, which was nice. We met up outside the meeting and he talked me through getting started with the steps. This began with defining my outer, middle and inner circles of behaviour, buying A Gentle Path and reading it, and committing to some daily and weekly activities.
It has felt good to have some accountability. If I want to act out, I know that I’ll have to call my sponsor afterwards and tell him. Even if I’m in the middle circle, I will have to tell him. That’s a new incentive I’ve not had before – it makes me consider other people, which sort of bursts the bubble of enjoyment I’d get with acting out slightly.
Daily I am now writing my journal, reading my affirmations (positive statements you tell yourself regularly in order to retrain the brain) and doing some meditation. Twice a week I call my sponsor and also call other SAA members, and do some step work.
It feels good. It is still early days and even today I’ve been feeling a lot of urges (partly why I decided to write a blog post) but I am staying on top of it.
I think there is a lot of value to the 12 steps and SAA. A lot of people are cynical and even opposed to the idea, but as far as I’m concerned, if what I’m doing isn’t working (e.g. I’m not staying sober), then I have a duty to myself to try it.