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How the 12 Steps Heal Sex Addicts: Step One

By Dorothy Hayden, LCSW

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

The admission of powerlessness over the one’s addiction is the first defeat of infantile egoism – a first step in the assumption of responsibility.

The conviction that one can no longer engage in one’s sex addiction becomes an inarguable truth. Denial breaks down as the sex addict increasingly sees that to give way to the impulse to “pick up” has far-reaching and devastating consequences.

The addict comes to terms with the essential paradox: You have to lose to win.

The term “surrender” permeates 12 Step work. There are two facets of this concept in the first Step. The first “surrender,” and surely the most significant, is this deep conviction that one is powerless over one’s sex addiction. One surrenders to the reality that they can never act on the impulse to “pick up.” “One day at a time” is a truth that becomes an incontrovertible fact as sex addiction recovery progresses.

The second facet is that the sex addict is really surrendering their sense of uniqueness. As one admits powerlessness, one no longer expects the world to conform to one’s own egocentric beliefs. The first Step is a step toward “living life on life’s terms.” It is making a decision that one is no longer driven by the desire for pleasure and is willing to be open to accepting and coping with reality.

Dorothy Hayden, LCSW

Continue Reading – How the 12 Steps Heal Sex Addicts: Step Two

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