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Mike's Story

Step One in SA states that we realized we are powerless over lust and that our lives had become unmanageable. I was powerless in that I couldn't stop doing what I was doing, despite all the pain and damage I was causing to myself and those  around me. My life had become unmanageable; I had lost my job, my  marriage was failing and I was leading a chaotic double life.

How did I get to this place? How could I have allowed myself to inflict so much  pain and not be able to simply stop? After all, I was doing what I felt most  guys did: I watched pornography and masturbated whenever I  could. And whenever I wasn't doing that, I was thinking about the next  opportunity to do so. Stopping shouldn't have been difficult. And I did  indeed stop...hundreds of times, each time with the firm resolve to never do  it again. But that firm resolve soon faded as lust took over ...and there I was, doing it again.

As a child I was curious in the opposite sex- what they looked like under their clothes, mainly. I found out at a young age when I leafed through a  National Geographic magazine. This coincided with my first masturbation  experience to an image, and this is where I believe I became an addict. Soon I graduated to lingerie ads and then to my father's Playboy magazines. I could  never get enough in school. I objectified every female, young and old alike, and soon I became a voyeur.

As I grew into my teens, my obsession grew and I couldn't concentrate in school and my grades suffered. At 16 I was watching hard-core pornography  and couldn't wait to do the things I was seeing in the pictures. I got my chance with my first girlfriend in high-school. I professed my love but only wanted to act out with her the things I had seen in the magazines and videos. This was my life for the next ten years and as technology grew, I latched on  to the latest ways to act out my addiction through DVD's and the Internet. If my addiction had been bad before, this multiplied it by a thousand. The  Internet to me was an endless black-hole of pornography, always promising  something new for me the next day. This was a sexaholic's dream come true and  I took advantage of it, spending all my time sitting in front of a screen. I did this at work as well, and I got discovered. To my humiliation my boss saw  the sites I had looked at and demoted and transferred me. I resolved to stop  for good but was back at it within a week.

At home, my wife caught me with porn many times. I had originally thought marriage would surely get me to stop, but I was dead wrong. She couldn't  understand why I preferred the images to her and I couldn't understand it either. Therapists and marriage counselors offered no solutions. One counselor even suggested to me that I was normal and my wife was the  problem! Finally a marriage counselor told us about SA and how I was a  sexaholic. He said many people such as I had recovered and gone on to live productive, sober lives.

This was the answer I had been looking for. However, once I started attending  meetings, I realized that perhaps I wasn't quite ready to give up my “old  friend," my addiction. I stayed physically sober for some months but the obsession never left my mind. I didn't work the steps as I should have. I stayed in for a couple of years wondering if I would ever get “it”. Eventually, I stopped attending meetings altogether and went back “out  there”. This time it was worse than before. I continued my porn and  masturbation addiction relentlessly while pretending to my wife I was sober  and attending meetings. I was in a living Hell. The pain inside me  intensified as I carried on the charade for several years! I believe my wife always knew but our co-dependency kept her from confronting me with the  truth.

My “bottom” finally came when wife caught me for the "umpteenth time." This time her threat to leave me was not an idle one. Additionally, I could barely function anymore and began to develop migraine headaches. I spent that night on the couch awake, saying the Serenity Prayer over and over, hundreds of times. As the sun rose, I knew it was Saturday morning and there was an 8am meeting. I went there desperate for sobriety, craving what I had seen in other sober members there before. This time I commenced on a rigorous course of action. Getting a sponsor, I began working the steps for real. There were no more half-measures this time. I knew my life and soul  were at stake. In doing my first 3 steps, I realized the depths of my  powerlessness and found my Higher Power. He had been with me all along.

Today, I have nothing but gratitude to a fellowship that showed me a path to  recovery and a new life I could have never previously imagined. Most importantly of all, I discovered there was a Higher Power who I could turn to and trust in to help  keep myself sober one day at a time.

 Mike M.

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