Facilitator, New Creation Counseling Center's Men's Sex Addiction Support Group
6 February 2017
The following is a transcript of a talk Reed recently gave at a Sexual Addiction Workshop at New Creation Counseling Center.
Truth is defined as: That which is in accordance of fact or reality. It is what it is!
Early in recovery we have a step called Step “0”, “Acceptance”. In acceptance, we face the fact that we are the unknowing victims of a disease called addiction. Our addiction infests our brain like any stimulant or drug used to deaden pain. We have to face the fact that we have become addicted to sex. We use sex as a way to medicate an ache that we are trying to deal with and have found that we cannot escape the control it has over us. In reality we have an ache that we suffer from that has caused us to become an addict.
We learn this acceptance early on in our recovery when we come to meetings and are asked to introduce ourselves. We go around the table and name it and claim it. “Hi I’m Reed and I’m a sex addict, sexaholic masturbatory addict, lustaholic, porn addict, etc.” This is a necessary part of our recovery. It gives us a starting point to recover. I commend all of you for your courage to attend that first meeting and humble yourselves with the Truth - the Truth you need for your survival.
In our pursuit to be free from the bondage of our addiction, we seek the cause. For many of us there is a wound from our past that we blame for our “ache”. It could be from a traumatic event from our childhood - a father wound, loss of a loved one, sibling priority, ridicule, sexual abuse, or violence in your family or neighborhood. We find that when we are triggered we go to our well of addiction to find peace and escape and turn to Eve’s daughters. So, we must ask ourselves, “If this is the water we are truly thirsty for? Why is our thirst never quenched after we drink of it?”
Let’s take a look back at the original sin. Eve was deceived by Satan and took and ate of the Tree of Knowledge. Now many say that because Adam had allowed her to be deceived that he was at fault and should have stopped her. That may be rightfully so, because that is what man is supposed to do… protect his helper. His Ezer Kenegdo. Ezer Kenegdo is the Hebrew term, God’s word which translates into “a power that corresponds to man”. Doesn’t that sound better than “Helper”?
Adam’s sin, however, is a greater sin than being deceived by Satan. You see, Adam was right beside Eve when she was deceived, and there was a brief moment where he was without sin – before he also ate of the fruit. In that instant he realized he did not know what life would be like without the most vital companion he had ever known. He knew he could not live without her. At that instant Adam chose Eve over God.
History has since shown that men have devoted and obsessed their lives to women. Look at art; drama, poetry, music and the language men use to describe her. In reality it is worship. When we become separated from God and we ache, for reasons we do not know, we turn to the well we worship for relief but are not satisfied. We must reverse Adam’s decision. We must choose God over Eve. For only God can heal the ache.
When we trust in God for this healing, we learn to be open and honest in all areas of our lives. When we live in truth, our lives become easier and we find peace. We will learn that there will be struggle with this new persona of truthful living we undertake. And until we get all of our character defects accounted for, we will need to have close accountability and be willing to accept the repercussions of our confessions. We will need the Father’s strength and a brother’s love to endure. As my close friend and mentor once told me, “the truth will set you free but first it’s going to piss you off.”
Love can be both a verb and a noun. Love is defined as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person or a strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship. As a noun love can mean a person you love in a romantic way or as a description for the emotion you feel for someone.
Philae love or brotherly love is one of the first types of love we experience after our disclosure. This love will be found in the meeting rooms we attend. It will seem like the only type of love we will be experiencing at the time. We will be grateful for it. In this type of love we realize that we are not alone. We have a band of brothers as sick as we are that will come around us in strength and support and give us hope.
Through Philea love we can gain strength, direction and accountability. These are the characteristics we will need to carry out our fight against addiction and to help us stay on a righteous path in our quest for the restoration of our lives and the relationship with God and others. It is through this band of brothers that we can work our program or steps, share our issues and glean the wisdom from their experiences.
Through Philea love we can keep and maintain our sobriety. We learn to keep our sobriety by giving it away. Our struggle with this addiction is one that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. It is good to know that we will have a brother that has our back.
The next form of love the Greeks note is Agape love. Agape love is what the Greeks determined as the highest form of love. The love of God for man and of man for God. It is defined as a universal, unconditional love that transcends and serves regardless of circumstances. Agape love is another form of love we experience early in our recovery but we may not recognize it.
Jesus gives you agape love. He loves you regardless of your actions. So much so that he bore them on his back and on the tree he was nailed to. John chapter 21, verses 15 through 19 tell the story of Jesus questioning Peter. He asked Peter three times if he loved him. The third time he asked him “Peter do you agape me?’ He did this so Peter would know what would be in store for him if he were to follow Jesus. It is an unconditional love that allows a disciple to carry the word to his end on an inverted cross or for a soldier to go into a battle at his commanding officer’s order.
Agape love is the most difficult type of love to give. We can take comfort in knowing that we are loved this way. As we progress in our recovery we can experience this type of love from sponsors and mentors. In healing our relationships, we must learn to give agape love. As God loves us unconditionally, so must we show love to those we have hurt. We must also learn to love ourselves unconditionally as well. This can take place in the form of amends or just in the show of a righteous walk, in an attempt to change our lives one day at a time.
The last form of Greek love is Eros love or passionate or romantic love. The term limerance is a similar-meaning modern term that describes infatuation or romance. Eros love is the type of love we felt for each other when we first became acquainted with our spouse and is most likely the reason for our being. It was the fire we felt for each other that brought us together. I believe it is the type of love that brought Adam to Eve at the time of the fall.
Jesus is the culmination of all of these types of love. I think it is important to note that the loved described here and in the bible, is meant to be between beings and not things. Things cannot love back.
Hope is defined as the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, usually for the best. At the time of our admission or discovery that we are a sex addict, we feel lost and our hope for recovery and a return to a life of normalcy appears non-existent. We soon find out early in our program that our hope is not a long-term vision but rather a short term one. We come to understand that our hope is in staying sexually sober for one day. Well, that really plays with our heads! As any good addict will tell you… “We want gratification and we want it now!” “We want sobriety and we want it now” (conditionally of course!)
So, we turn to counselors for the answers. (I don’t know if my counselor ever did give me an answer for my behavior. He did however; lead me through a path to sobriety. That path ended at the foot of the cross. I am forever grateful.) As we proceed on this path to recovery (A road is much to wide) we are seeking sexual sobriety, we learn to deal with our issues, our triggers, and our relationships through the help of counselors. We seek out mentors, sponsors and support groups. Our vision of hope starts to become brighter. I like to think the Son’s light is illuminating the path we are to take. (Pun intended).
We become educated about our addiction. The more we learn about the enemy the better we are prepared and the more predictable he becomes. We read different colored books, white books, blue books, big books. We attend seminars. We learn to strive for spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. And our hope grows.
We keep trying to do the next right thing. We relapse and we get back up, striving for the prize. And the hope grows stronger, the light becomes brighter. We finish our step work, our hope starts to broaden. We hope our sponsee can make it through another day sober. Suddenly our lives are better. Our family is loving us again, unconditionally and acceptingly.
We are living what we had hoped for; peace, serenity and freedom surrounded by love.
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