At my last meeting, I received my two year medallion and was called on to share my experience, strength and hope as the evening’s topic. I got nervous and felt like I lost the thread, which happens almost every time I try to sort through the mess of the past few years. Basically what I tried to say is that change is difficult and I’m grateful for their help.
Twelve-step programs provide a framework that supports people who are trying to change. It’s certainly not the only way, but it worked for me. I also read a lot of books. Some day I’d like to combine what I know of 12-step programs and the things I’ve learned from books and come up with an amalgamated theory of change. But although it’s kind of muddled together in my head, one thing that stands out is that social groups are important for our mental health. My connection with my 12-step group helped me live through the twisted relationship I was having with my therapist. And in a way, I guess you could say that residential treatment is a type of structured social setting. Being there helped me live when my therapist ended our relationship. But 12-step groups are altogether different from therapy. They’re not social clubs or churches either. “Twelve-step group” is a definitive term. I think M. Scott Peck came the closest to describing this special type of human endeavor in his book, A Different Drum, in which he defines community and explores community building.*
Two years is a long time. I have changed. And the men in my 12 step group have supported me every step of the way. And I’m really, really glad that I’m still here to say that. Still, I’m bummed that it hasn’t become easy to lose weight. With all this sobriety, you’d think that change would become easier! Ha! So far I’ve lost exactly zero pounds. Probably because I still eat too much and exercise too little. That’s gotta change!
On a serious note, if you are struggling with sex addiction, it is possible to change. I did. So can you.
* Peck writes about community in religious terms – so if you can’t secularize when you read, you won’t like the book.