My name is David, I’m a child of God, and I am in recovery for sex addiction. I want to share with you how working the steps of a Step Study has changed my life. My recovery journey began almost two years ago, around the time the pandemic started in 2020. Due to social distancing, I started working from home. It was a safe environment for my health but being alone allowed my porn addiction to run rampant. I never thought of myself as a sex addict, but it dawned on me I had a problem. After enough guilt and shame, I finally mustered up the courage to confess to my wife of my porn addiction. Unfortunately, I absolutely broke my wife’s heart, and we didn’t know how to restore our marriage or heal from the pain. I thankfully, however, remembered hearing about Celebrate Recovery during my church’s announcements. Originally, I thought of it as the ministry for drug and alcohol abuse, but I found it was the place for me to join after doing some research.
I found CR in an interesting time when hardly anyone met in groups, so my first experience was in a virtual open share over Zoom. Even with my desire to better myself and save my marriage, I still felt reluctant to go. Isn’t that absurd? To be honest, I had a lot of pride and felt uncomfortable associating with anyone. Nevertheless, after the first meeting, I enjoyed what I heard, liked who I met, and warmed up to the idea of attending regularly.
Some time passed, and in January 2021, my CR opened up Step Studies again. At this point, I enjoyed eight months of sobriety, which was the longest duration of sobriety since I first watched porn. And I was proud of it. So proud… I didn’t think I needed to join a step study. But my wife—baffled and unamused at my arrogance—said I needed to go. I like the adage, “Happy wife, happy life.” A friend of mine also says, “angry wife, sharp knife.”
I registered for the step study. My pride once again made me reluctant to go, but it wasn’t long until I learned how wrong I was. I learned that I was sober for those eight months but never honestly in recovery. Open Share, of course, was amazing, but it was only the start for me. My heart started changing little by little. It was a huge wake-up call when I heard the stories from all the other men in the step study. Wow! These men were the real deal! I was completely blown away by their powerful testimonies of change, and I saw God’s grace in their lives.
Step Study proved to be an incredibly safe environment where I could get to the root of my issues. I appreciate the leadership of the men who went through the process before. Their experience actually helped me open up and, for maybe the first time ever, take a good honest look inside. I’m so grateful for the relationships we built because my recovery journey has been messy and emotional, and my new friends were there for me to dust me off and help me get back up. My sponsor is one of my closest friends. He stretches me, keeps me accountable, prays for me, and is often a fantastic listener. I love CR and Step Study because they surround me with understanding and accepting brothers in Christ, even when I’m in my worst, saddest moments.
My real recovery has been in working the Steps; the Step Study gave me the place and association to do that. I often received the greatest nuggets just by being part of the group, watching someone model vulnerability, or catching a glimpse of their relationship with God. I found hope for my life and my marriage. I thought again and again that if those men can have years of sobriety and save their marriages, then by God’s grace, so can I. My marriage isn’t perfect, of course, but my wife and I are enjoying better communication and a deeper level of intimacy than ever before. I learned some valuable tools here that helped me improve as a husband. First, and perhaps most important, I learned not to seek the pleasure of porn or other substances to fill a void of emptiness or mask the feelings of shame but to seek loving relationships with God, my wife, and others. Thank you for letting me share.
If you would like to learn how to start your own Celebrate Recovery ministry, to contact your Celebrate Recovery Rep, please visit: https://crgroups.info/. To get involved in an already existing Celebrate Recovery ministry near you, please visit: https://locator.crgroups.info/.