(from Essay August 2019)

Single is a unique platform

I viewed men as toys or saviours but never as human beings. They filled my time until I found THE ONE who became my god. The fear of not being loved or accepted drove me into depression, misery and fear of abandonment. I believed that the ONE would fix me and fulfill my fantasies and dreams. But each time I sank deeper into a living hell, taking the abuse and telling myself that I was the problem.

My last sex drunk was with a married man who I truly believed was the ONE. He worshiped me and pulled me out of my misery with his constant attention. There were many red flags toward which I turned a blind eye. I needed him so desperately that I ignored my strict religious upbringing. Eventually I hit a bottom and ended up in SA. The big dilemma I had in the beginning was trying to live without him. I relapsed back to him several times because the emotional void without him was too large and overwhelming.

Along my journey in SA, God has taken my sexual nightmare and given me back a dream. I began to accept that my deep need for love was real and valid, but I was looking for it in the wrong places. The only one place where I can safely have immeasurable, unconditional love is from a Higher Power. But my character defects were in the way so I had to work the Steps. Surrendering my defects was like putting myself under the knife of God as skillful surgeon.

When I came to SA I didn’t want me; today I am comfortable as I am. I developed a conversational intimacy with my Higher Power. Once I truly started to experience this, the desperate emotional and sexual need for a man began to diminish. Finding unconditional love allowed me to finally come alive in my own skin. I learned that my Higher Power would start meeting my needs as soon as I started to care about them. My whole life changed when I stopped expecting someone else to take me seriously and started taking myself seriously.

I find great freedom in abstinence as a single person. I know now that sex is not intimacy and that intimacy begins with being intimate with myself. Without intimacy with myself I cannot be vulnerable and intimate with anyone else.

Bedtime has long been a trigger time for me, because I was abused as a child. In my addiction, I used men to make me feel safe in bed. I transformed bedtime into intimacy with my Higher Power, a time to be alone and vulnerable with my heart’s True Love in silence. As I fall asleep I feel the presence and embrace of my Higher Power and my fears dissolve. This is the hidden spirituality of sleeping alone.

Before SA, I struggled with feeling unchosen as a single woman. I now redefine the term “chosen” with a spiritual meaning. If I am in SA, have sobriety, and experience a spiritual awakening, I have been “chosen” for the most privileged journey of a lifetime. There is no greater achievement.

I no longer waste my gift of single-hood focused on lack in my life. I chase my curiosity, development and my goals. I chase my passion. I strive to work for something larger than myself and I am building a new world. Single-hood is not a second class status or a waiting period. I maximise my season of single-hood and relish the unique platform for great enjoyment, freedom and meaning.

Today I am no longer obsessed with getting married; I am finally getting it right. More than marriage, I desire to be useful to God, to please God, and to be in His will.

Louise B, Northern Ireland U. K.