Tools of Recovery


Meetings

“We stop living only and always inside our own heads. One of the fringe benefits of going to a lot of meetings is that it gets us out of  ourselves…..At first, all that many of us could do was simply attend  meetings. “Forget the Steps, forget everything, just bring the body,” we were told. And bring the body we did, even if we had to drag it along and even if the mind and will lagged far behind. But soon, we started sharing at meetings, telling our story, bringing the inside out. And we discovered that the way to feel better is not only going to meetings but taking the risk of self-disclosure.

“Inside my head, those problems seemed so hopeless. Just bringing them out into
the light cut them down to size.”

(Sexaholics Anonymous pp. 64-65)


Fellowship

“Participate in the fellowship of the program. I don’t know of anyone who can stay sober and free of the obsession of lust without such fellowship. I couldn’t.”  (Sexaholics Anonymous p 158)

“We began the painful but welcome process of growing up by coming out of ourselves. The fellowship of sobriety is where the action is, where the magic is, where the feeling
of identification is, where the real Connection is. We received or asked for the phone number of one or more members we could call or contact regularly. This seemed strange and unnatural to many of us, until we discovered that was how many others got help to stay sober at first.

“Suddenly, I was worthwhile, as sick as I was. What dignity there is in that total acceptance!”

(Sexaholics Anonymous p 66)


Boundaries

“This meant eliminating from what was under my control all printed and visual materials and other symbols of my tyranny. I had to stop feeding my lust by looking around, in my use of television, movies, and music; and by using and listening to the language of lust.

In our addiction we develop a growing number of trigger mechanisms that help set us off. These include stimuli, conflicts, or pressures that provoke a fantasy, feeling, or thought that leads to our acting out. We seem to have no trouble identifying some of our more tangible lust and sex triggers. By the time we’ve become addicted, we’ve created a whole universe of them, which expands as the addiction progresses.

As we learn to recognize and surrender our triggers in sobriety and accept our limitations, fear of falling lessens. We learn the difference between indulging ourselves and taking care of ourselves.”  (Sexaholics Anonymous pp. 33-34)


Service

“We followed the suggestion of getting involved in the mechanics of meetings: helping set up, cleaning up, maintaining the literature, and being there for newcomers. Involvement made us feel we were a part of, quite a difference from that empty, lifeless feeling of being apart from.  Doing things – anything – got me out of myself and into the real world.”   (Sexaholics Anonymous p 65)


Sponsorship

“As we get into the Steps, we find it indispensable to rely for help on those who have gone this way before. In Twelve Step programs, the term commonly used is sponsor. What we call the person doesn’t matter; and we don’t have to call them anything. Asking for help and accepting suggestions are what bring results.  Experienced members advise getting a temporary sponsor as soon as one is serious about recovery. Later, when we are better established in the fellowship, we can choose another…… The value the sponsors receive, if they are where they should be, is the experience of working their own program in a way otherwise impossible. There is something that only working with others can give us. It is truly a gift, even if the one seeking help is ungrateful or doesn’t stay sober. We help, expecting nothing in return, and the measure we receive is the measure we’ve given of ourselves to another.” (Sexaholics Anonymous pp. 72-73)


The 12 Steps

“Without reversing the deadly traits that underlie our addiction, there is no positive and lasting sobriety. To recover from a life based on wrong attitudes, self-obsession, separation, false connections, blindness, and spiritual death requires a program of action that includes a fundamental change in attitude, character change, union, the true Connection, self-awareness, and spiritual life. Working the principles of the Steps as a new way of living has made this happen for us. No matter how well they are explained, understood, or believed, however, the Steps mean nothing unless they are actually worked out in our thinking and living. The Steps don’t work unless we work them.” (Sexaholics Anonymous pp. 77-78)


Literature

“Many of us … find that working the principles outlined in our SA literature is very helpful. Using it in the solitude and privacy of our own quiet times, we gain insights about ourselves and our recovery in a way uniquely suited to who and where we are.” (Sexaholics Anonymous p 161)


Conferences and Conference Recordings

“The Sexaholics Anonymous fellowship has an increasing number of regional, national, and international get-togethers, lasting from one day to entire weekends. Our recovery is validated and enhanced in new and stronger ways. We see how SA is working in different groups and at the national and international levels. Local and personal problems come to take on a different cast when viewed against the backdrop of the larger experience. We come away strengthened.” (Sexaholics Anonymous pp. 182-3)


First Aid

“Here’s how two people helped each other stay sober when they had no group:

I found one other member in a Twelve Step program who also wanted sexual sobriety. I was forty-nine and he was twenty-one. He was single and I was married. I was a college graduate and he was a high school dropout. We had little in common, but we started calling each other almost daily. We would get current with our lust temptations, telling each other what we were going through to break the power that experience or fantasy had over us. Then, we also started getting current with our resentments. Lust and resentment thus began to evaporate as we brought them to the light, much as sunlight dispels a fog. I call it the “daily double” getting rid of both daily. When temptation was especially intense, we’d pick up the phone and call right away. Sometimes we’d pray together. Giving up our lust and resentments to one another as they came up turned out to be a very effective form of surrender. What a marvelous freedom and joy it brought. And in the process, we were breaking out of that deadly isolation we had locked ourselves into. I look back on that time as one of the highlights of my entrance into the program. I was beginning to come to life.”

(Sexaholics Anonymous pp.75-76 )

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