* We feel new power flow in.
In step 1, we admit we are POWERLESS over compulsive sexual behavior — and its effects on our lives. Isn’t it freaking amazing that on step 3, before we have even taken any real action, we are already getting a sense of power in our situation?
One of the things I love the most that I’ve learned about the steps is that yes, we come here because we are powerless — and that’s NOT going to be the case forever.
I REALLY struggled with that idea for some reason. I really, really did. I was so committed to acknowledging that I was powerless over probably most of the things in my life. I’m here because I’m a sexual abuse survivor; I totally want to start a separate conversation about that here, but the short version is I’ve been sexually abused a LOT and in recovery I learned — well, in the first place, that I had been sexually abused! and in the second place, that it destroyed my self-esteem, my sense of safety, and my fledgling ability to have a healthy relationship with myself, work, money, food, sex, and other people. In a nutshell.
And I really really got it that I could not afford to, say, incur unsecured debt, indulge anorexic thoughts, have sexual relationships that in any way reflected what I had experienced as a child, binge-work, shame myself, et cetera. (Those are just the big effects of compulsive sexual behavior on MY life — I am not saying that YOU guys can’t do any of those things! But I definitely cannot.)
I am definitely, now and forever, powerless over other people’s behavior. That’s like physics. I can’t reverse gravity, either. It just happens to be true about the world. I can ask people to do things differently, I can set boundaries, and I can walk away when necessary. But I can’t control them; they’re autonomous, they have self… what’s that thing called that we hate that people have? Free will!! (I had to ask Annie, LOL. I was like, self-will? Self… ID? )
BUUUUT, my higher power — through the steps — gradually restores the power that has been stripped from me by compulsive sexual behavior. Heals my powerlessness over the effects of compulsive sexual behavior.
So for example, before, I was often plunged into, say, a towering rage that I was totally powerless over. You guys have no idea how many telephones I went through, for example, before I discovered the frigging tenth step.
One of my biggest triggers has been feeling unheard — especially literally. If somebody couldn’t hear me or couldn’t understand me, it was a HUGE trigger for me. And I would have to call the phone company or some other big company with a big voice-activated voicemail system, and seriously just about lose my mind when it couldn’t hear or understand me. Or, sometimes, when I got through to a person and got terrible customer service. I would end up just smashing the phone into its cradle over and over, or throwing my cell phone across the room!
I was utterly powerless over that behavior and that rage; I went pretty much from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. But thanks to the steps, I no longer go into those sudden rages.
In this step, we might not suddenly have things like that lifted (that’s the province of the 7th and 10th steps), but we begin to get that sense that there is hope, that we’re starting to be restored to a sanity, that a new power is coming into our lives.