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November 21 • Sort of Secret

Day 500


Recovery is hard. Living with the fear of 'being found out' is also difficult. Doing both at the same time is daunting. However, the further down the road I get in this new life, the less I worry about the past.


My worry is not less because I think the chances of my history hurting my present have lessened. No, I'm just learning to let go of things I cannot control. It is not reasonable to believe that I have paid all the consequences of my acting out.


I was one of the lucky ones; I did not lose my job or my family or any more of my resources than those I spent willingly on my addiction. There are probably more prices to pay. But when I add it all up, all the difficulties of working a program with all the concern for things I cannot control, it is still a better battle than what I fought most of my life.


And the fear is less. I spent years afraid people would learn what was in my head and what I did when I was alone. Then I spent years covering my tracks and waiting for the worst to happen. I spent a lifetime living by myself in the presence of people who believed in me; no one really knew who I was.


Now my wife knows. My kids and my parents know. I have friends in recovery that know, and the only judgment I have had to face is a couple of my friends from the program wondering whether I've paid a high enough price, as if I have to earn my way into the group with a certain level of pain or loss. A lot of these guys have done jail time, lost families, and lost careers, so I get it. I would have said the same thing at one point, but I am now just fine with acknowledging my good fortune. I don't understand it, but I'm good with it.


On the other hand, I know there are guys out there that don't think they are 'bad enough' to get help, so they keep killing themselves softly. Maybe my coming calling is to reach out in unique ways. Perhaps not. Maybe I'm just called to attend meetings and share what I'm learning with those who are listening through their journeys...


My name is John, and I'm a sex addict. That's not something you say if it ain't true, especially multiple times a week. To quote one of my favorite Sean Connery lines from The Untouchables...

"Who would claim to be that who was not?"

–JR

 

It's here where loneliness lies

The big mistakes

The heartaches, oh

My secret life


–Redd Kross, ”Secret Life"

 

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