I am a recovering sex addict from Ukraine, sober since the fall of 2015. My problem is that I am completely unable to cope with the lust that manifests itself in objectification, fantasies, and an unhealthy obsession with one person or a group of people. I have lost control of my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

I am now 57 years old, and from a very young age I tried to achieve success in everything I did. The desire to achieve success still helps me in my recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, and sex addiction. The desire to succeed in my personal life and, for the third time, to marry another object of my lust, led me to the SA community.

From the first meeting, I began to feel the purity of a small child surrounded by the same small children in the bodies of adult men and women. The SA literature, personal stories, and shares of the members resonated in my heart with identification, compassion, and belonging. I realized that I had come home.

I needed a sponsor, which turned out to be a problem since there were only men in the group that I began to attend. I started to learn the language of a neighboring state, and to go to SA events in this country. In November 2019, I got a sponsor, and if there is a need, we use translation programs when communicating. I get the necessary guidance and emotional support from my sponsor to work on the Steps and see God’s Providence in this.

Currently I live in the city where I was born and spent my childhood. It is a region of political and military conflict. There are no 12 Step groups in my city. I could leave, but it is God’s will for me to be here for the time being, in order to have healing from my childhood traumas and deprivations.

Working through the Steps revealed the events that formed the basis of all my addictions. I clearly remember my first forced sexual encounter with a drunken male relative when I was 3 years and 3 months old. Soon I became a witness and victim of an even more terrible crime and ended up in the intensive care unit, where they fought for my life for more than a year.

Working the program helped me see that at that time, despite my very young age, I made a fateful decision, which became the main attitude of my life and the main defect: “I don’t want to live this life.” I was taught from childhood to meet the needs and desires of the people around me, and this became the meaning of my life and the choice of my professions. I was successful in my profession and business, but it didn’t help fill the gaping hole inside my soul.

Only careful, dedicated work on the 12 Steps of the SA Program helped me to see, identify, and stop the unhealthy obsession with self-hatred. In order to stay sober and recover, I pray and plan my day so that I have the opportunity to attend virtual events (conferences, games) and SA groups. I write, call my sponsor and sponsees, and communicate with newcomers.  I study the language of my sponsor.

I had to do a lot of work on the feelings of hatred and rejection suppressed by external piety. Now I allow myself to feel without fear, not to suppress, but to constructively experience the feeling of hatred for events and people that do not suit me.

Today, the time of isolation and solitude is a blessed opportunity to feel the presence and protection of my HP, and to see His guidance in my life and in the lives of others. This is the time when I can feel myself and understand myself.  I can understand what I like, what I don’t like, how much sleep I need, how much food I need, how much time I want to spend with other people.

When I do the right things and calm down, a feeling of happiness comes to me as a gift from God. Step by step, I live my recovery, and I thank God for the time that I can spend with Him in solitude. I am now in Steps 8 and 9, and God is ranked # 1 on my list of amends. My new attitude of “I choose life and love” has become my obligatory and desired prayer of every day.

I thank you all for sharing in our shared recovery, which opens the door to the joyous and happy freedom to fulfill our need for God Himself.

Olga S, Alchevsk, Ukraine