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April 29 • Who Gets Told?

Day 660

Making amends was (is) much harder than I anticipated. I defined my wrongs to people very conservatively, so the list was limited to the people I directly hurt. The women of the affairs were on the list, but those are people I cannot have any contact with, so they fell off the list. That pretty much left only my wife. Then I attended a workshop, and the purpose of the amends and the classification of "...those I had harmed..." became more and more clear to me, and the list grew. I thought the list would be different for people who had a very public rock bottom, and those like me whose rock bottom was reached privately and with little notice by anyone outside my family. I was wrong. I dare say the list is the same and would typically include employers, co-workers, neighbors, and lots of friends and family. The difference is, or seems to me to be, that we don't often volunteer our status as a sex addict to someone who does not already know it, not during this phase of recovery. As an alcoholic, I could receive a lot of community support by acknowledging my affliction, even to people who did not know I had harmed them. But as a sex addict, it seems the world is not ready to embrace us for being sick, much less trying to get well. So the publicly disclosed sex addict has a long list of those to whom they should make amends, and the privately disclosed addict has the same list, but most of those amends have to be done in writing that is never read, or reveals in meetings that are never heard, not by the people who need them. It is an imperfect, sometimes unfair fate that befalls a 12-Stepper along the way, but it's far better than not taking a step, or continuing to lie to ourselves about how our illness or idiocy is hurting no one. I have still not finished my amends, even though my public list is shorter than most. Frankly, I've not had a lot of success in people wanting to hear them, so I think I need to revisit the whole process; perhaps I don't understand as much as I think. I do know this is important, and I will continue to work on it.




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