Thursday, December 11, 2008

My recovery story

While this entire blog is in essence my true recovery story, I don't think I've ever encapsulated my story in a single post here. This summary was originally published on a website I recently discovered called In the Rooms.

Hi, I'm Rae, sex and love addict. I came into the rooms of a 12-step program for recovery from sex and love addiction in 2004 scared to death and ready to drive my life into the back of a semi-truck. My therapist had suggested a few months before that because I was seeking out one extramarital partner after another (using online chat to connect) that I might be a sex addict. I told her I wasn't addict to sex, I just liked the thrill of the chase (and the satisfaction of acceptance). But her "seed of suggestion" stuck in my mind, and a few months later I walked into the recovery rooms. Ceasing the chaotic, dangerous and very painful behavior was not easy. It took me a long time to get sober, and then even longer to stay that way. I am sure that I learned as much from my relapses as I learned from my recovery -- but learning in relapse was certainly a more difficult lesson. This is especially true of the relapse I suffered in 2006 when I "fell in love" with an extramarital partner, who turned out to be a verbally abusive, manipulative alcoholic who almost wrecked my marriage and me.

While I had a few sponsors along the way (most of them male due to the lack of female membership and sponsorship), I never really worked the steps with an SLAA sponsor until the last couple of years. Today I have a certified sex addiction therapist, a sponsor and I'm gratefully working on Step 6. For the most part, I find that the desire to act out has been lifted. But there are times of high stress, high opportunity when the addiction reminds me that "the wolf is always at the door," and that while I'm working my program the addict is doing pushups, growing and finding new and conniving ways to sabotage my attempts to regain a better life.

One day at a time, I give thanks to my Higher Power that I'm still alive, that there is a greater purpose for my life, and that I am learning to live life differently through the 12 Steps. I am grateful to be using the Internet today to connect to and gain the experience, strength and hope of a worldwide fellowship of men and women seeking recovery from the devastating personal and family effects of sex and love addiction. I do that in a variety of places -- an online Yahoo support group, Sex Addict Support community, a compulsive overeating group on The Junky's Wives Club and now In the Rooms.

Thanks for listening.


Misery Marketing said...

Thanks for that.

vicariousrising said...

I was nice to read it all in summary. You've come a long, long way.

Mark said...

Wow! that's a powerful story, Rae. I have issues with sex and love that sometimes almost feel like addiction, but your story has put it all into perspective for me. Keep up your journey, my friend, and keep inspiring others to do the same. Good on you!