Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Secret Shame - - Part 7

Kicking and screaming on the inside, off to therapy with him I went. As soon as I got there, I realized I would need to work on the addiction. The only thing that made sense to me was to go back to SAA. I also realized that the only way that the program would work for me would be if I was to do it for myself. To do it in order to save the relationship would hopefully be the end result. Only time would tell.

I also realized I would need to do personal therapy in order to deal with “the demons” of my past. Shame haunted me from the core and it had infected me from so many sources. These would include: childhood sexual and emotional trauma; the thought that I needed to please others in order to earn their love; and my other secret childhood shame that I might be gay and therefore unworthy of love from my family or even from God.

I returned to SAA filled with shame, though I was quickly reminded that I was no different than any of the other members. I was only doing what had become an ingrained pattern. I was only seeking to survive my pain. Yet, once again, I was reminded that there was another and better way. They loved until I learned to love myself and give that unconditional love to others.

I worked the program with a diligence. I attended four to five meetings per week. I obtained a sponsor and I practiced abstinence from my toxic sexual behaviors one day at a time. I couldn't possibly imagine myself being free for a lifetime after so many years of being in bondage to lust. Practicing freedom in small doses made my life more manageable and helped free me from perfectionist thinking. That would remain a challenge for me as is still the case.

I learned to recognize and deal with my feelings in a healthy way. I stayed connected with others as I sought to end a lifetime of isolation from people and from God. I immediately found that I was freed from compulsive behavior, though I would mistakenly test the waters again. As time went on, I was able to put together longer and longer pieces of sexual sobriety. It was a daily challenge and I was gaining more and more hope and faith as I went along.

I looked to a Higher Power that only loved and who had no judgment. I experienced God's presence and His voice through the other members of my program. I began to feel worthy of that love as I learned to love and trust myself. I also began to trust God because He was doing for me what I could not do for myself.

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