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June 17 • As If They Don't Know

Day 709

My name is John, and I am a sex addict. Between my journal writings and my 12-Step meetings, it seems as if I say that a lot. But I think I probably do not say it enough.

Why is it important to start every comment that way in a room full of fellow addicts who already know my basic info? First, I remind them of my name, and then I remind them why I keep going back to those meetings. Why can't I just wear a name tag and assume everyone already gets why I'm there?

Frankly, I'm not sure how or why this tradition started, but it's been working for thousands of people for thousands of days in thousands of meetings. That's pretty good data that it is a good practice. The specific value may be different for each individual.

For me, the most significant element is being re-humbled about my condition and my circumstance. In saying my name, I am not presuming that everyone knows me, and in declaring my sexual addiction... well, I'm not sure what could be more humbling than that.

It also shows respect to everyone there, which helps me remember that I am just another face in a room where faces do not matter.

Repentance is also a thing. We don't really apologize for our addiction, but when I say my name and confess to my behaviors and my disease, I am also declaring that I am there to do something about it. I cannot fix everything I screwed-up, but I can try to be a better person today. It's almost like a verbal contract where I'm signing my name out loud and offering a hand to anyone that I might be able to help through my experiences and telling them that the ears of my soul are open to learning from them those things I have yet to grasp.

My name is John, and I am a grateful recovering sex addict.




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