The Day I joined a Live Group

I wish I were younger. I’ll give you a hint to how old I am. I was alive when Nikita Khrushchev was banging his shoe on the table at the UN. If I were a young guy and starting recovery, I would have many more years of good living ahead of me. Instead, I have made life very hard for myself and my family. Yes, I do have a wife and a bunch of kids, but you can imagine what kind of husband and father I have been. When I was forced to confess everything to my wife almost 2 years ago, I thought she would leave me. Instead she said “Why didn’t you tell me before? I could have helped you”.

I recently joined a 12-step group for the first time. This may sound “brave”, but really I am not. I’m just out of options. You see everybody’s disease progresses in its own ways and at its own speed. Mine really fooled me big time, because for many years it was “content” with masturbation and porn – nothing too risky (except that it was rotting me from the inside). But of late, I am feeling my addiction pulling me to venture into far riskier and sicker means of getting my “high”. But I know that this progression is only coming about because the disease blinds me into thinking that I can somehow beat this thing my way. My only chance, I really believe this now, is to surrender myself to meetings and to be amongst other guys like me. My meetings have become the highlight of the day for me. I hope it doesn’t take others as many years as it took me to give in. I had to be clobbered over the head by someone who saw right through me and how I was conning myself. Now he is my sponsor.

The disease blinds me into thinking that I can somehow beat this thing my way.

As I was saying, I have started going to meetings (5 meetings in the last 5 days). I had no idea what I was missing. The feeling of togetherness amongst other addicts is very powerful – it’s hard to describe why it is helping so much, but I feel as though a huge weight has been removed from me. I have been traveling to different groups and making this a part of my day – it’s become just as important or more for me than going to work. I’m slowly getting a better sense of who I actually am, when I’m there with others. My addiction always kept me apart from people even when I was with them. I’ve been hearing very inspirational shares by others and have been revealing to others things that I have always kept to myself. This has been liberating. I have been impressed with every meeting that I have attended so far. There is really so much out there for us.

I had to surrender a lot of pride, shame and fear to show my face at these meetings, but as someone said, he would rather be caught coming out of a recovery meeting than caught masturbating to porn with his pants down. I feel a part of the larger recovery movement now. I feel that I take the program and my new program friends with me now into my day.

Once I sat down and looked around, I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be.

Like many people, for a long time I couldn’t bring myself to join live groups – and I didn’t understand how others could go either! Why was I so fearful and ashamed, and yet they were able to go? Someone explained to me that it was because I wasn’t really sober (in my thinking yet). My need for “dignity” was my disease talking – as if my masturbating compulsively to porn was really dignified.

I must admit that walking into a meeting room for the first time didn’t exactly feel like I was the guest of honor at a dinner – but those kind of honors are not going to help me stay sober. I need to be in touch with who I really am; how far I’ve gone and the danger of even riskier compulsive sexual behavior that this disease will lead me to if I don’t go to meetings. And once I sat down and looked around, I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be. I then felt “held” and very safe in these groups, which were very well officiated. I have been feeling more free to be myself lately.

To all others out there who struggle with porn addiction. I suggest getting together at meetings. If it’s embarrassing, then so be it. It will be a relief to see that admitting to each other that we are addicts only strengthens us and makes us feel more whole. There are so many thousands of people who have been doing this in the groups for so many years. God protects them and nothing bad happens. The worst thing that happens is that we lose some pride, and that becomes the best thing that could happen: a whole new way of life opens up for us. There is really nothing that the non-addict world can do to us if we stick together. We’ve got no choice but to trust this and take the first step to believing it.

See you at the meetings!