Blue Flower

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 There are many different definitions of addiction. The treatment and therapy industries probably have their own definition. The state/government may have a different definition. But, the addiction model, for which the Twelve Step Program can be effective, is specific. It is discussed in the Doctor's Opinion of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

We believe and so suggested a few years ago that the action of alcohol on the chronic alcoholics is the manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. Alcoholics Anonymous Pg xxviii 4th Ed.

  (Principles and Traditions of SAA)

The “allergy” or “phenomenon of craving” that Dr. Silkworth mentions can be explained like this: The alcoholic may walk into a bar with a sincere commitment to limit him/her self to 3 drinks, but once they start drinking they lose control. They end up having far more than they intended.

In S.A.A. this is often referred to as “the Bubble”. It is a trance-like state where we lose track of time, we lose track of how much money we are spending and/or we lose track of what behaviors we are engaging in. A sincere desire to limit the amount of time we spend in our behaviors often ends up with us exceeding that limitation. A commitment to ourselves to limit the amount of money we spend on acting-out often ends with us passing over that boundary, most of the time without even a second thought. We may be resolute that we will restrict ourselves to only engaging in one type of behavior that seems harmless, but end up engaging in behaviors that we were sure we wanted to avoid. This may not happen every time, but as our disease progresses, the examples of our ability to control become fewer and further between. This is what is commonly known as powerlessness. It is an inability to control our addictive sexual behaviors once we begin them. The result is that we end up on binges, sprees and benders. We destroy relationships. We lose jobs. We lose friends. We sometimes get in trouble with the law. The consequences of our powerlessness provide us with the impetus to change. They give us a desire to stop for good and for all.

 (reprinted from SAAPP.org)

 We are sex addicts who have recovered. This means that our obsession has been removed. It means we do not have to be shielded from temptation. We do not manage triggers. We do not control our travels so that we won't be tempted. We do not have to be careful about how much money we have in our pockets. We do not have to snap rubber bands on our wrists. We do not worry if illness, being out of town or other circumstances cause us to miss a meeting. We do not have to keep fresh in our mind the past consequences of our last debacle or imagine the potential consequences in order to keep ourselves sober. We are free. When temptation does arise, we found we have been given the ability to react like we are about to hurt ourselves. We have access to this gift as long as we practice specific principles in every aspect of our lives.

  (reprinted from SAAPP.org)

 The Twelve Steps summarize a system of actions designed to bring us into a relationship with the God of the individual members understanding. After we have worked the Steps and that relationship with God has been initiated, we continue to grow in it by living the Twelve Steps for the rest of our lives. Continued spiritual growth is essential to our continued sobriety. The specific directions for working this program, we believe, are contained entirely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

 These are the Twelve Steps in their summary form.

 1. We admitted we were powerless over [our addiction] – that our lives had become unmanageable.

 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong we promptly admitted it.

 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

These actions brought us to a way of living that was far beyond the mere promise of no longer being obsessed with our addiction. They bring us to a place of contentment, joy and peace, without which sobriety would be meaningless. It is described by the promises of Step Nine.

  (reprinted from SAAPP.org)