The S-Anon literature states, "Without help, living with or having lived with a sexaholic was too much for most of us." That was certainly true for me. About two years ago, I realized that though my husband was achieving solid recovery and long periods of sobriety, I was lagging behind.
I was feeling agitated almost all of the time. It was hard to feel contentment and calm. I felt like I was being controlled by my resentments (what he did to me in the past) and my fears (what he might do to me in the future). As Step One states, my life had become unmanageable. I had attended many S-Anon meetings, but I had never worked the Twelve Steps, and I had taken a break from meetings because my life had gotten too busy.
But at the point that I realized I needed more help than what I was currently getting, I decided to jump back into S-Anon and mean it this time. I began attending meetings every week, I found a sponsor, and I took the time to work on the Steps at home between meetings. The introspection from working the Steps has helped me address my fears, my resentments, my regrets and my triggers. None of these things have the power over me that they used to.
The S-Anon literature states, "Believing in the Steps brings hope; working the Steps brings the promised results." This has been absolutely true for me. My agitation has largely been replaced by serenity. I am now able to sit in calm and contentment. I don't feel serene all of the time, but I feel serene more frequently than I used to, and when I feel it, it is more intense and lasts for longer periods of time. I'll take it!
A few months ago I told my husband that I don't imagine ever saying that I'm grateful for his addiction, but that I am so grateful S-Anon is part of my life.
Submitted by firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a spouse of someone struggling with addiction, and have wondered why you would want to or need to attend a 12 Step program of your own, hopefully Cynthia's experience with S-Anon answers some of your questions. There's also a short article we recommend: Why Do I Need to Work the 12 Steps?