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April 04 • Stepping on My Story

Day 635

A year ago today, I was undertaking one of the toughest tasks of my life. More than 400 days before that, after attending my first SAA meeting, the temporary sponsor that took me on that day had told me to write down everything I could remember about all the key sexual moments of my life. Not every event, but at least every pivotal event that came to mind. No one explained how that would help me, but everywhere I turned, someone reinforced that this was an essential first step. I looked up the 12 Steps and tried to figure out what I should do, how I should approach this task. I didn't get it. Step One says,

"We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior - that our lives had become unmanageable."

Yeah, I get that. I did that. That's why I was attending meetings. Well, sort of why. Looking back, I think I was looking for a soft landing as much as help. And it would have helped, especially if I ever got caught in my acting out. But that's another story. When I asked my sponsor what Step One has to do with making a list of my sexual memories, the closest thing I ever got to an answer was something about not being able to admit what we couldn't identify. As the process evolved, I realized it had a component of confessing my sins, but it was much more than that, although I still don't know that I can put the wisdom and value into my own words. So I joined a Step workshop and committed to attending meetings every Wednesday night for nearly a year. The importance of this First Step began to be clear, and I learned from others in the workshop that there was no one way to do this tell-all of the biggest secrets of my life. Everyone has to find their own way to tell their own story. Finding one's way seemed to be as important as the story itself. I worked on this project for several weeks, a few hours a week. It was tough. It was emotional. It was painful. The more I wrote, the more I remembered. The more I remembered, the more trends I saw in my life. The more patterns I saw, the more I began thinking that this addiction thing has been part of my life since preschool, not just the past few years of acting out. Twelve months ago, I was approaching the day of sharing my story with the other guys in the workshop. I did a trial run with my sponsor, then did a re-write based on his questions and insights. As my fear increased, my spirit calmed. It did not make sense. I was buying into the process and believing in the value, while scared to death to share things out loud that I had never told a soul. I've not looked at my Step One since the night I gave it last April. I don't know why, except that it seemed like going back to look at that pile of vomit I left outside the party on New Year's Eve. But lately, I've remembered a few other issues and events that probably should have been included in my Step One, so I've been reviewing it in my mind and wondering what I was going to do about it. I still don't know, but I am eager to find out. Maybe this is one of those everyday things I need to talk to my sponsor about. Perhaps I already know and don't want to go there.



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