(from Essay February 2020)
Isolation has always been a danger for me as a sexaholic. Before coming to SA, I lived my life in a bubble, withdrawn from others, cut off from any type of Higher Power, out of touch with reality, lost in my world of illusions. I was uncomfortable dealing with reality, and preferred the comfort of isolation, in which I could bask in lust and let my ego reign in all its glory.
SA and the beginning of recovery allowed me to emerge from chronic isolation and establish true relationships with others and to enter into an intimate relationship with my Higher Power and myself. Re-connecting with reality was essential to my recovery. However, my longing to pull away never really left me, and I am sometimes tempted by more subtle forms of isolation. Just as I must learn to live permanently with my condition as a sexaholic, I must deal with a sort of instinctual temptation to slip into isolation. Sometimes, the temptations to isolation are disguised; sometimes they are as insidious as the lust temptations.
The temptation may be to physical isolation, wanting to pull away from those who surround me. But, I can also withdraw in much more subtle ways. I may, for example, simply turn inwards even while I am in a group or a conversation. I can be mentally or emotionally absent while others are speaking, all the while mulling over how I will respond. I can isolate myself in my marriage by not sharing with my wife about my emotions or what is truly happening in my life. I can isolate myself from my SA group by not revealing everything and keeping things to myself. I may isolate myself in my certitudes and close myself from others’ opinions. My ego’s power leads me into isolation because my ego is at its most forceful when I am alone and lost in the eddies of my mind. When I am truly listening to or in deep contact with another, my ego must back off. It’s my ego which brings me to escape mentally into something which is not necessarily lust, yet brings me the pseudo-comfort of isolation.
Living my life one day at a time in the SA way, I seek genuine contact with others, nurture an intimate relationship with my Higher Power, and learn anew to live in reality and appreciate it, just as it is in my own life. I don’t know if I’ll ever be delivered from the lure of isolation. I do know that by living the SA way of life one day at a time in the best way I can, my life will be much richer and more meaningful to others.
Louis S., Quebec, Canada