Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not give themselves to this simple program; they cannot develop a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. There are those too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with sexual addiction — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is one who has all power — that one is God. May you find the God of your understanding now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked God's protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior — that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step Seven: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in our lives.
Many of us have exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
• That we were sex addicts and could not manage our lives.
• That probably no human power could have relieved our sexual addiction.
• That God could and would if God were sought.
From pages 20-21 of "Sex Addicts Anonymous ®", as adapted from "How It Works", Chapter 5 of "Alcoholics Anonymous ®".