The Exact Nature of My Wrongs

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

April 2, 2012

Last Wednesday, I embarked on the first leg of my Fifth Step journey and it was amazing. It was mainly sad, recalling to my sponsor some terrible experiences in my early childhood which most certainly helped grow this addiction in me. And yet, it was incredibly cathartic. By the time I was done with writing my Fourth Step, I had sixty pages of resentments and gratitude, fears and courage, sexual history, and character defects and attributes.

I’m thankful my sponsor structured this dualistic written version of the Fourth Step, so that I wouldn’t be mired solely in my character defects but in my good qualities, too. What my recovery text calls “character defects,” my therapist rightly calls “survival mechanisms” which became more hurtful than useful long after they were first employed. I’ve officially begun the release of my past and ongoing tensions. I’m also able to look at what goodness and healthiness was still able to shine through the course of my life, despite my raging addiction.

I’m thankful because although I walked in the doors to my first meeting almost three and a half years ago, frightened and psychically beating the crap out of myself, I’ve found that through Steps Three, Four, and Five, I am learning to utilize the tools of my recovery fairly readily. I am admitting my powerlessness and unmanageability; acknowledging and working through denial; admitting how many loved ones I’ve hurt in the wake of my addiction; and ultimately feeling contrite, but also remembering to be compassionate with myself, too.

Something I’ve read says, I didn’t choose to be a sex addict, but now that I admit I am addicted and am actively working in recovery, I am ready to do the work of unpacking all that’s lead up to right here and now; this moment in sharing my inventory. As I unveil my past behavior, I work on not repeating it, as well. As I heal my spiritual illness, I can face the past in order to even more healthily deal with my present circumstances. The Fourth and Fifth Steps go a long way toward the healing catharsis of the Twelve Step process. It most definitely feels like what it is, which is cleaning my spiritual and emotional house.

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Sean Cardinalli

Sean Cardinalli

blogging about sex/love addiction & recovery