BRINGING THE SUBCONSCIOUS TO THE CONSCIOUS AWARENESS
Sometimes I still think of my problems with sex, love, and relationships, as bad habits—not addictions that control me. I feel that for a long time (at least 10 years), I was acting subconsciously, but now that I’m conscious of my negative patterns, I’m trying to take steps towards a happier life.
Not just so that I can someday attract a great, happy guy, but so that I can be happy, inside.
This is why it’s difficult to face the first step. I believe that once I am aware of how my childhood affected me, now I am no longer a victim to negative habits—I have power and can regain conscious control over my life. [I can’t try to pretend to be a victim once I’m aware of what’s going on.]
But still, I have heard that the 12 steps of SAA need to go in order.
Because I am unwilling to admit I am a sex addict (because I simply don’t believe that), then I guess I cannot do the first step, and therefore the entire 12-step program.
Even so, I value coming to these meetings because I get ideas on how to form healthy habits and what those habits are. Sometimes I feel a sense of community; other times I feel like I don’t belong in SAA. That is scary—I hate the feeling of being an outcast. I desperately want to belong somewhere.
BAD HABIT vs. ADDICTION
On page 320 in the SAA Green Book, the author talks about “bad habit” vs. addiction.
It seems to me that logic and counseling is helping me to stop negative and risky behaviors. I realize now that STDs are very serious and I need to be with someone I can trust to listen when I say “no.”
With strangers, I don’t know them well enough, yet. So sex needs to happen only with someone I’ve known for a while. This is rational and logical. It makes sense, so I’ve been following it for almost a month now. I only have sex with my friend, Adam, who I know that it’s ok to say “no” to.
SO AM I A SEX ADDICT OR NOT, ALREADY?!
The guy in the [SAA Green] book says that addiction doesn’t respond to reasoning. So does that mean I’m not an addict?
This is incredibly difficult to figure out and my psychologist is not really a specialist in sex addiction, so she doesn’t know, either. It is frustrating and confusing.
I want to categorize myself, so I know where I belong and so I know the best path for me to take, to gain happiness. If I’m not really a sex addict, then maybe I shouldn’t be trying to “recover from trauma” through SAA.
I’m under the impression that I’ve merely picked up bad habits and beliefs from my parents and those habits can be reversed with enough effort on my part.
See? Look at me now. I’ve stopped risky sexual behavior without even doing the first step.
Do I need this program to stop negative behavior? Maybe not.
But do I need this program to gain friends who understand what it’s like to have sexual trouble? Maybe so.
Am I powerless over any certain behaviors? Sometimes I feel powerless to say no, to sex, if I think it is desired, but I’m working on changing that. I no longer talk to any of the guys who I did sexual things with in September and October, except Adam, who has turned out to be a great friend.
So… powerless to say no? Is that the type of behavior that the First Step is talking about? It doesn’t seem like it’s similar to the others, like exhibitionist, sex with prostitutes, compulsive masturbation, incest on one’s children, etc.
WAIT, WHY AM I HERE, AGAIN?
This is so frustrating. I feel angry and confused. I don’t know what the hell I am doing and sometimes I feel like I’m only in SAA because other people tell me to be here.
Why is it so difficult for me to figure out what I need to do? I have a fear that if I stop attending SAA, then I’ll go out and do horrible sexual acts and become a monster, as punishment for stopping SAA.
Is that the same control mechanism that Christianity uses? – if you’re not a Christian then you’ll go to Hell; and if you don’t attend SAA, then you’ll go out and do crazy sex acts that hurt yourself and others and you’ll end up in jail or something.
CONSTANT CHANGE NOWADAYS
My inner circle list seems to change every couple of days. I am confused about what it should be. “Sex with strangers” is the only thing I can think of. If that is it, then that would be so easy to avoid! Is there something I’m missing? Is it really this easy?
Inner circle idea? “…any sex without emotional honesty, mutual respect, and genuine intimacy.” (pg. 321 from SAA book)
-sounds good to me! 🙂
pg 323: “If there are three frogs on a log, and one makes a decision to jump off, how many are left on the log?”
“Three. One just made a decision; she didn’t take the action.”
How do I know if I need to get “sexually sober?” What does that even mean?
How can I tell if I just have bad habits, or if something is an addiction?
Is 9:30 or 10:00 PM too late to call SAA members? That is when I get very lonely. The thought occurs to chart sexually with guys online, but I know that’s not good behavior, so I don’t do it.
Instead, I just sit alone and be lonely or try to watch a funny movie. Am I using humor as a drug? Am I addicted to comedy?
How does one tell when one has an addiction?
What about addiction to friends and companionship, through SAA?
Every few months, I have a new set of friends.
I’ve lived in about 20-25 different places in my life so far. I’ve slept with about 30 guys. I’ve had about 25 jobs in my life.
I’m kinda sick of making mistakes. I’m tired of things not working out. So when I think of looking for a sponsor, I am nervous because I don’t want to go through 10 sponsors.
I’d like someone I can rely on, but I have doubts if I’ll find that. Trust is difficult for me, and I think I even have trouble with authority at times. I hate being told what to do—especially by a boss at work who is a moron. But I’m willing to take logical advice….
My mom used to say, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Since actions speak louder than words, her words seemed hypocritical and empty.
So when I look for advice, when I decide to follow authority, I need to make sure that the person is intelligent and follows his/her own logic, and is not merely a hypocrite.
But somehow, my trust is often misplaced. I trust people I shouldn’t and end up paying for it later. Because I’ve trusted the wrong guys in the past, it makes me doubt myself, now.
So how am I supposed to choose a correct sponsor, if I have a horrible track record of trusting the wrong people?
Well, if I do that in the past, then maybe the situation is to force myself to open up to the least likely person I would have trusted in the past? Like… reverse psychology?
25th SAA meeting
What the hell does “place principles before personalities” mean?
easy to be triggered—hug is troubling [in co-ed meetings]
getting in touch with feelings = a volcano at first
ADVICE FROM SAA MEMBERS
If I’m not sure if I’m an addict or not, then try to stop. 30 days, 6 months, whatever. If I cannot stop, then it’s a good bet I’m addicted.
Try reading the SAA book in 1st person: I, me, myself, etc.
THOUGHTS AFTER THE MEETING
“Try to stop.”
His words rang in my head. They connected deeply into my heart: Try to stop. If you can’t, then you’re addicted.
I felt like crying. I still feel like crying now. I’ve been struggling constantly over the past few weeks; resisting this concept of me being powerless.
As far as I know, I’ve never experienced or realized that I have no control over anything. That makes me feel angry.
And yet, I’ve always felt like a powerless victim who has no control, all my life.
I think I’m almost ready to let go, and accept being powerless. Will the SAA group be there to catch me, as I let go, and fall?
Maybe it’s not falling. Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe it’s time for me to fly and be free.
I can’t stop having sex with Adam right now. If it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else.
I can’t stop. I need help, please.
I’ll let go. Will someone please catch me and help me?