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December 10 • Incomparable

Day 519


It was important for me to have context as to where I fit on the sex addiction spectrum. When I first started attending meetings, I was shocked at how sick some of these people were, judging them from their own testimonies. With others, I chuckled at how they were freaking out over some simple attraction to porn or masturbation. I was content to be somewhere in the middle, probably based on my persona as a bridge-builder and moderate thinker.


Then I took an assessment that told me I should be seeking in-patient rehabilitation for sex addicts if I was serious about recovery (Am I Still a Sex Addict). A few weeks later, after I gave my first step in a workshop for sex addicts, one of my new 'sick' friends laughingly offered during the feedback session that he was glad I was in the group because it meant he would never be the worst offender in the class.


I was devastated that I was one of 'those' guys.


As I carried on with recovery, I learned that any tool offering a benchmark on where we stand relative to others is basically just an imperfect diagnostic device. I learned that the freedom to joust with fellows in good humor could be a sign of healing and awkward attempts at transparency. I learned there was no judgment from any sex addict I've ever encountered, regardless of our relative violations. These revelations were extraordinary and completely counterintuitive.


I grew up in a world where we made ourselves feel better by seeing the brokenness in others. We did not know we were doing that and even condemned those we saw doing it as gossipers and hypocrites. But the truth is, I was always hiding my darkness in the light of my self-righteousness that I was shinning on the backs of the bad behavior of others.


We must guard against such traits. We must work on the problem in which we find ourselves; others' related experiences are useful only for our recovery and not for our judgment.


Let me restate that injunction: I (bolded, italicized, and underlined) should guard against such leanings; what the rest of y'all do is on you.


–JR

 

She made it totally clear that she was his for a price.

But he said, "Leave me alone, I'm a family man,

And my bark is much worse than my bite!

Please just leave me alone, I'm a family man.

If you push me too far, I just might...."


–Daryl Hall & John Oates, ”Family Man"

 

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