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September 24 • Ah-ha! Rut-row...

Day 808

Coed meetings for sexual addiction seem intuitively dangerous and awkward. I believe I am wrong about that, but I also admit that I have triggering issues that create more risk than therapeutic value. I've been wrestling with this conundrum and with my wife's discomfort with it, since before she heard my disclosure. She was already nervous about a mixed group-therapy meeting I was attending, and once she learned about my sexual addiction, she understandably had more trouble coping. As I've said before, I get it. I would have more problems in reversed roles than she does, and her's are significant.

My meditation reading this morning was written by a woman, and it generated a bit of shame in my "I can do anything" persona. I already fight the idea of being better-than-thou in my decision not to participate in coed meetings. When I hear a lady talking about how much help they get in these gatherings that always seem to be overwhelmingly male I feel guilty being some sort of a speed bump in a fellow addict's recovery.

In my own meeting this morning, we talked about how the commonalities of addiction bring us all together in recovery. At the same time, the differences between us require unique paths to sobriety through the 12 Steps. Among the differences we identified were socio-economic conditions, personalities, gay, straight, religious, and world-view; that list should also include gender.

The same feelings that make me feel guilty for not being able to be part of a fellow addict's recovery are probably from the same part of my addict that thinks I'm God's gift to the damsel in distress. I don't think the same way about all the men whose recovery is not part of my life. If my desires were wholesome and outside the circles of my addiction, then it makes sense that my desire to help would know no gender limitations.

This is the first time I've applied that reality to this question of guys and girls in sexual addiction meetings. That's a little embarrassing, and it probably justifies every fear my wife has had about such interactions.

I hate that. I hate that it's true, that I'm not better than that, and that I've denied it to her while negotiating my way forward.

Hi. I'm John, and I'm a sex addict. Damnit.



Choose one or the other

Be my friend or be my lover.

Boys and girls

Should always have someone

Boys and girls

Should never be lonesome

–The Mamas & the Papas, “Boys & Girls Together"


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