Well? The actual mechanics are made clear in the Book. The program of recovery and directions in masterly detail. Here? I'm just talking a bit of my experience with it.
It says we all have sex problems, we'd hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them? I get that sure. But also believe with me? I had sex symptoms. The only real "problem" I ever had was self centered fear. Fear dominated my life and I in turn medicated myself to cope with it. These coping skills were not the norm, they were self taught or lets say a result of a selfish need to survive. To combat the terminal uniqueness. A way to adjust to that whole overwhelming square peg thing.
Now, a real reach would be that I have pretty much always had a mind and spirit that never were actually working in unison. Maybe addicted to nicotine at birth? Maybe a genetic flaw? I suppose anyone could fill in the blank here. Picked up other unresolved family sex issues as my own? Others took their fears out on me?Beating me with selfishness until I was no longer moving or a presumed threat.. Maybe to be under control I was to become invisible. But from what I myself have seen in an effort to connect the dots in my downhill spiral? I walked straight into a cement sign post. Trauma in early childhood had separated my mind and spirit as if exposed to an emotional hand grenade blast. I was blown apart. To recover by myself? Absorb the blow? I would need to rely on my mind now. My spirit was no longer there. It was dispersed into my surroundings and nolonger accessible.
Others rage, the intensity of their anger and hate, fear. Violence. This is what I see, this is who I am. I believe what others believe now. I have lost the power of choice , the courage and strength of the spirit. I am alone now with only my fear of people and people hate me so now? I hate me too. I am angered by myself now, extremely frustrated as I live in disconnect. Apart from, as they say. This is all new. I am shocked and can only see myself as others see me now.
Broken apart from the norm where apparently children are able to be children. To learn and develop? That's not happening, I am definitely an oddball, different. My mind wants to follow the norm and interact, communicate. Participate. But the courage offered by my spirit is not available. There is no power, no willingness. I am nothing. I am just like they said, a nothing. And worse? I will never be anything but a nothing. I have no future. My past is gone and I cannot negotiate the present. My only hope is to find people that like me, accept me for who I am. But what do I offer them for friendship, acceptance? I have nothing.
Lacking spirit, I treat myself so badly that my body would decide to seek out another for better treatment. Why wouldn't it? Anybody really. Anyone who isn't normal. As if I am an emotional prostitute of sorts who works for positive affirmations. Anybody would treat me better than I would treat myself so I will do anything with anybody who accepts me.. Alone I wander the spiritless world in hopes of acceptance. Love? I have no idea what love even is. I know that if I let people use my body? There is a connection there. They like me. That is love. Use me, tell me you love me. I'm beautiful, handsome, smart. In this world I am everything I ever imagined. I'm safe from my fear there. I hope my delusion can last but as the people leave me they take their acceptance of me with them. I can only try to manipulate them to come back or move on to find new people. This is day by day, sometimes hour to hour..
Symptoms like extreme alcohol consumption and abusive drug use, those two got the most attention. The two big cover ups with the power to alter my mind and at times when needed, shut me completely down.. The alcohol has the power, I use it to replace my spirit. I can think what I want and be who I want as long as I'm drunk. It can alter my mind, remove horror to find security in emptiness making emptiness my safe place. No stimulus... Seemingly the alcohol is working in unison with my mind but in reality? Only altering my perception of things. Making my thoughts thinkable. My feelings feel-able. Alcohol is my only real friend. The stronger the thought? The stronger the alcohol consumption. Feelings? Same thing until I am overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings, and drunk. Thereby overwhelmed with alcohol. I still have no spirit, only my mind and my mind says fix me, save me. Medicate me, now!
So what the hell does sex have to do with any of this? Well, everything. This is who I am. This is who shows up on the date to meet the parents or pass the handed down for generations green bean casserole to some new gramma on the friendly thanksgiving invite.. This is who shows up for a sexual relationship. A harmless movie date? I can talk, spend a little cash but that's about it really. Cosign whatever you're doing or thinking in hopes of a better arrangement for me eventually..
Sex now. I'm going to offer my body that's just a selfish self serving tool really. Driven by a mind overwhelmed with self centered fear. I can't see anything but my self. Other peoples emotions or feelings? Histories or future plans? That's all a part of the puzzle I'll leave you to put together by yourself. I got my part. My missing pieces. I've got you. Your emotional security needed to replace mine. Your willingness. Just knowing it's there is enough to allow me to help myself. I'll use the fact that you care about me to care for myself when alone I simply don't have it. This is why I need people to accept me, like me. I need to like myself or spend all my time in a self medicated delusion.
So I jump from person to person. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Sucking the life out of others as my own. I take and never give back. I would if I could but I simply don't know how to give or even attempt any balance. I don't understand. There is no balance only me and you against the world so the sooner you're hooked the better. Then what is yours is mine..
Now, I'm a worker. I always work or worked. Paid my bar tab. But daily alcohol and drugs are not cheap so, you put the rent in your name. You put the car insurance, the electricity, everything really. You put all that stuff in your name because I need my money to drink and drug. Also when I run short? Help me out of the hole with a few bucks and on Christmas I'll get you something nice. That's the kind of catch I am. So if others see me and I'm doing good? Driving a decent set of wheels or living in a decent place? None of it's my doing really. That's why when they leave? And they pretty much always leave. They take everything with them and I am again alone with nothing but the clothes on my back, nowhere to live, and a bar tab.
Now in a emotional state of emergency I must find another person to fix me right away. Like immediately. Some quick fix, some person to take my pain away because by now in the full grip of my spiritual malady? My fix myself mind races uncontrollably. Like a slot machine spinning three words round and round. People places things, people places things. Hopefully landing on "people" across the board. I win! I found a new prospect! If it landed on "places"? I'd probably have found an option in moving somewhere. That's always work. "Things" may mean something really important to raise my self esteem like say, a new leather coat? Work boots? Something to model at the bar. Let them know I'm doing great buying new stuff anytime I like. They have no idea that my life is only work and bar room.
I am self will run riot, completely out of control. I am now relying on the absurd for relief. Alcohol is not enough and the drugs available are not strong enough to let me sit with myself and my reoccurring spiritless history. It used to be that something shiny or a geographical diversion would work but this whole alcoholic thing seems to be progressive. The only thing that works in the end days are people. I drink people. And not everyday people no. I drink from the gutter where I belong. I abuse people who know and understand abuse, They just assume they are going to be abused. Just like I abuse drugs, I live in a drug abused world.. I get high and am always planning my next high. Who will get me high? I am like a people junky. I have no integrity, no loyalty, nothing that won't work in my behalf. I will do or say anything to get my needs met. I will be everything I believe you want me to be. This is my purpose. I rarely think of much else because to lose you? I lose me. This much I know by now. I am obsessed as if my life is on the stake everyday. You are my lifeline so without total control of you my life is in jeopardy, threatened. I can't see that I am the one threatening it. It must be you. I have forgotten who I am or what I think. I rely solely on you now whoever you are. The people-holic.
Resentment, jealousy, insecurities, these are extreme. Some get agitated? Me? I completely loose it in the street or wherever I happen to be. Faulty tools to use in my day that offer insufficient life support to my mind. While others in and around the halls utilize a so called spiritual tool box? Courage and strength offered to support the mind? I have only myself, my selfish plans and designs to survive each day. There is absolutely no one else but me and my current enabler or if I'm lucky? Enablers... The producer of confusion even though my intent is to create harmony yet there are a few who understand and give me lots of room.. I mean I don't want to screw up? I am trying here! Yet the harmony is selfishly needed, so I myself can exist. Once I have thought it? Engaged myself? It becomes confusing, chaotic, self centered and now self seeking motives that may even have started out with good intent. Hey..Some people don't care for whatever reason. They're sick too.
I see others living happy lives in happy relationships and do my best to mimic them believing that If I do what they do I get what they get. Yet still the problem remains. I have no spirit so my mind compensates. I don't understand any different as I don't know what it's even like to have a spirit. Mine has seemingly been gone forever. And to make matters worse it was separated from me before it had a chance to develop or mature. So, not able to develop coping skills or mature emotionally? My relationships never grow past sex. Never past the physical hands on selfishness.
So, sex and more sex sure. Lots of sex. Anywhere anytime. Sex is bad and you have sex with me so you you're bad? No, you must love me. You are willing to risk everything for me. But what about others...You've had sex with others. Rut roe.. You've loved others so I am not that special to you. After all I hate myself and anyone is better than me so I am afraid you still think of others and how great sex was with them.. I cannot control this delusion. This fear turned insecure and now raging inside me like a volcano of jealousy ready to erupt. That's it then! I must remove your history. Now? You think what I want you to think. I must control your thoughts and create my emotional security. It's better this way I can assure you. Look into my eyes.. You're my girlfriend only, all mine. You hate your old boyfriends and wish they never existed. I am better than them, everyone. I am everything to you now. The selfishness is now exposed as the root cause of my alcoholism. It's me. I just can't change it, just like I could never change it before. Knowing how to change makes little difference. I am powerless. The power of change, the spiritual willingness simply isn't there. It is unavailable. Once my mind is in full swing? Nothing can deter it. No spirit means no willingness, means no options.
Intimacy, emotional sharing or understanding? Zip.. How about the responsibility of having children. Nope, not there. Holding a job? Nope. Husband requirements? Nope. I am simply mimicking others philosophical views and experiences, cherry picking what I believe applies best to me. Choosing others highlights as my norm I will never live up to. What will be the best and quickest way to a happy relationship? Get married? Take full legal ownership? How can I use another to fix me right away. This common sense approach seems best yet clearly extremely selfish? I continually fail.
It's as if all is well until I am there. As soon as I am involved whatever was going on is now all stop. I'm there. I still hate myself and am putting myself into the scenario expecting it to make me like myself. You will do for me what I can't do for myself. In short? I worship you for my self esteem. More insanity. So now? I hate the scenario. I will now make you pay for acting like I want you to act. No different that how I hate myself yet manipulate another to think and act like I want. Now as they act like I need them to, I hate them when I thought by controlling them I would feel better, like myself and be appreciated. No, I'm simply spreading the fear in my mind. I can't alter it. I just don't have the power. At best I can only bring others down to my level so I can appear superior to them on my leveled playing field. I am not a winner. I am hopeless. Nothing will ever work for me. My disease? If there is such a thing as a disease? Well. It definitely centers in my mind.. My mind! If I could only get rid of my mind!
So this is who shows up at the sex part of the 4th Step. Someone with a minor sex issue? No, nothing minor here. An alcoholic suffering in selfish extremes. A man beyond human aid. A man incapable of looking at himself with any semblance of accountability. There is no courage or strength to surrender my mind and make use of spiritual demonstrations. There is only me. What I think and do. I fight myself everyday unable to find relief whether other people are involved or not the fight rages on in my head..
There is a lot of people on my sex inventory list. I must be some kind of stud muffin. Smooth operator? No, nothing like that. I am just so sick in my mind I will do anything with anybody who shows me some attention. It's that bad. My long list of sexual conduct has me sick. Holy clamcakes I can't believe I did that! I hardly knew names. Faces maybe? My mind has made me physically sick as I travel back through time. The selfishness and self seeking motives are incredible. I can hardly believe it's me! Some of these past occurrences just stop me in my tracks. Some take my breath away yet I'm the only one besides them that knew. These were my secrets. My foundation built on guilt and shame that I try to build a relationship on. Kooky...
How am I supposed to look at this garbage? It's under rocks and buried deep in many cases. Trees have grown over some so why dig it up now? Nobody will ever know what sexual escapades I have been involved in right? Unless I rat myself out and I'm not going to even think about that. Well yes but them? Those people in those situations? That's not the issue here. The issue is I know and my mind is full of these memories.. This is my inventory, not a group effort to find validation. There are no people to use here anymore, just me alone and my personal conduct. Why I was there to begin with?
Morally I have only what I believe is best for others. For me? Well, I do what I want. If this is a moral inventory? Then I need to see myself if I'm going to develop any morals. This isn't about what I think or tell myself. This isn't about excuses or turning that frown around. This is my actual conduct. I'm obviously going to need help. The only morals I have are the ones I inflict on others to protect myself.
So I fake it. Go along with the AA gag. I act as if I too have courage and strength offered by a spiritual higher power. Odd. What starts out as just another mimic of people expecting the same result as them? More insanity? Becomes my own thing from nowhere.. Like some sort of willingness. A willingness to believe. I'm into it really. It's as if I found a missing link in my life and this is what courage feels like. My own conception of a spiritual power greater that myself. A God of my own understanding and not connected to people. Weird. I'm rolling with it basically because I have nowhere else to turn. Little did I know by the end of this 4th Step I would have made a good beginning. The end I wished would happen became a starting point. Who knew?
Alright. I'll say it. I found a God of my understanding. A spiritual realm consisting of courage and strength. I ask for guidance and am guided. I ask for courage and can look at myself without further damage. I go back in time to assess the conduct but don't stay there and wallow in the negativity. The shame. As if The spirit of things can holster my mind. By slowing down I have actually stopped hurting myself constantly. I have an alternative now, it's called rational thought? I can see others? Include them in my picture. Share? I can go back to the extreme selfishness and fear of my sex conduct and come back unscathed. I have willingness and apparently willingness is key.
Holy crap! Is this what others feel? Is this the missing key to life? The spirit of things? I think so.. I really think so. I am on to something good here. God? What God? The God of my understanding, that's what God. Just like they said. I had a chip of willingness to believe and now? I'm willing for the better part of the day. So this is recovery? AA Big Book 12 Step recovery? Solving the drink symptom and the fear problem? This is wild! I am brimming with confidence for sometimes minutes at a time.. I can see why many of those in Big Book believe the program was God given. Or even God directed Bill W's hand or fed him the right information from such a wide rage of options spiritual or otherwise. It's hard to not become a fanatic when all of the sudden a spiritually shattered and forever fragmented alcoholic life begins to take shape. It makes a believer out of the most self serving skeptic. Open minded to surrender where before this willingness surrender was simply not an option.
So this is me now, the guy answering the questions on the page in the Book surrounding my sex conduct.. Should sex conduct be in the moral inventory offered as a 4th Step? Absolutely. This is where I was way off track, where I did the most damage to myself especially, never mind others who fell prey to my selfishness and severe self seeking motives. Who's lives were stolen right out from under them with many manipulative acts masked in the mimicking of others kindness, caring and seemingly self sacrificing behavior. I did what was done to me. I knew no different. The need for an endless self esteem boost through dominating self serving extremes in an effort to support my lack of emotional security. Save me, fix me, make me whole. If you can't? I make you pay....
So the question remains here. Is sex very troublesome? Selfish? Absolutely. Can I see myself and change my conduct? Absolutely. Have I seen myself and changed my conduct to date? Absolutely. I have regained a balance of mind and spirit. In a nutshell? I can see others and can surrender myself. I have the courage to take a risk that in time in these 12 Steps is nolonger emotionally risky sex conduct. I have something to offer, to give and am not afraid. I have nothing to hide or steal. This has become a way of life.
I woke up this morning and reviewed my Step 11 reading. I was and am spiritually awakened. I prayed to remain calm and think about my day ahead. Not control it, not assume the outcomes, no. I prayed for courage and strength to not hurt anyone. To not produce confusion and chaos in my impulsive selfish arrangements of people places and things in order to get my own needs met.. I am careful to not pray for my own selfish needs however gallant or selfless they may appear as I continue to watch for selfishness and fear. Check my motives. I understand decisions based on self today will put me in a position to be hurt. I have options today. I have something to offer without expectation..
I pray for spiritual mindful balance today, to be honest with myself. Care enough about myself to care for myself that others may benefit. I am still learning to give freely of what I find. My mind is my own. My spirit is all things. With the willingness offered in Big Book 12 Step recovery I can welcome my mind into the spiritual realm I have found. I can live one day at a time with a whole new unselfish attitude and outlook on life.