By: Hope and Healing Alliance, an affiliate
Salt Lake City Utah, USA
In 2003, I started attending S-anon 12-step groups because my husband was a sexaholic and my life had become unmanageable. S-anon is a 12-step recovery group “for those who have been affected by someone else’s sexual behavior”.

It was nerve-racking to show up for my first meeting which was located in the basement of a hospital. I wondered if I would fit in and be accepted. I was afraid to share my story with anyone; what would the others think? I was relieved when there were only three other ladies there and that I felt no judgement for their stories were very similar to mine. We read aloud from a blue book, passed around a donation box, and each shared what we were doing to find peace and serenity.

I went for a few months and then quit when I realized that none of the steps were about how to fix the addict.

Ten years later, when my life (and husband) had become much more unmanageable, I gave up on fixing my husband and I started attending 12-step groups again, to fix myself. I believe that when people hang around sick people for very long, they have a good chance of getting sick themselves and I had become very sick. My fears, resentments and control issues had become my own addictions that I needed to heal from. In the last three years, I’ve attended LDS Family Support Groups, a Healing Through Christ group and SAL Women’s Twelve Step Betrayal Meetings and have found peace and healing from each of them.

As a veteran groupie, I’d like to share a few of the things that I have learned:

  1. I’ve learned that addicts are ill people, not bad people. This has helped me have more compassion and patience towards them.
  2. I’ve learned that I can better solve my own problems when I stop hiding and holding secrets, but instead join with others who are working to solve their own similar problems.
  3. I’ve learned that I cannot control another’s behavior and, also, that I am not responsible for anyone else’s behaviors.
  4. I’ve learned that turning my troubles over to God helps me find more peace and joy.
  5. I’ve learned that when I am obsessing about my husband and all the issues that come with loving an addict, then I feel chaotic. 12-step programs help me focus on God and help me keep Him in my center, and more than that, I picture placing myself in God’s center which helps me feel peace, love, and protection.
  6. I’ve learned that “the power of God can restore me to complete spiritual health” regardless of anyone else’s actions. These words soothe my soul like an emotional spa.
Read More at: Hope and Healing Alliance, an affiliate of Moroni Channel
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