It’s been awhile since I wrote about Step 1 of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). In my article about Step 1, I disclosed information about myself: I am a sex and love addict, I am addicted to pornography and physically acting out with people, I believe the addiction is real despite the conclusions of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
After a long move across country and into a new job, I hadn’t written about SLAA since October last year. Now, I am finally settled in my career, home, and new SLAA group. So, it’s time to start writing again.
If you are reading this, then these are likely the reasons you are here right now:
You are a sex and/or love addict.
You’ve completed Step 1 and are ready to move onto Step 2.
You are curious/fascinated about this addiction.
You are unsure if you are a sex and/or love addict.
You accidentally clicked on something to get here ;P
As of February this year (2017), I hit three years of sobriety. Unlike alcoholism or narcotics, SLAA focuses on setting one’s own bottom-line behaviors — actions that are considered acting out as part of the addiction. I have had two Sponsors, and I am the Sponsor of two other men. But, that’s enough about me; let’s dive into Step 2.
SLAA Step 2 — Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Throughout my years both as a human being and a sex addict, I have witnessed countless people struggle with the existence of a Higher Power — God, in other words. Step 2 is when a person finally believes that this Higher Power (HP for short) is capable of restoring him/her to a sane and fulfilling life. Growing up as a Christian, finding/believing in an HP was not very difficult. Most of my difficulty came from Step 3…turning my life over to God.
//Side Note// The last time I wrote about God on my blog that I lost Twitter followers. And…they made sure to tell me it was for that reason. I’m not pressuring you to believe or not believe in anything. I’m telling you what has worked for me. If you are anti-religious/atheist (militant or not), I still love and accept you as a human being. Your journey is yours, not mine.
For a lot of people, finding an HP in their lives was, and is difficult. Luckily enough, I had the chance to network with the international SLAA community at a conference a few years back. There, I met a man who gave me a document that was adapted from “We Agnostics” in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book. It is a questionnaire to help people consider the fact that there is a God. Once they come to that conclusion, they are ready to work the rest of the Step.
The above link is a shareable Google Doc. Feel free to download it, answer it, edit it how you see fit for your group, and continue to pay it forward. If you or someone you know has trouble believing in God (as they define God), this worksheet will help them get there. Only after someone has a sense of the Higher Power he/she believes in can he/she finish Step 2 and move on to Step 3. All of these Steps are organized the way they are for a purpose. Only the person who completes the 12 Steps will understand that purpose in full — grok it, if you will.
This next bit of literature is a Step 2 worksheet to get you through the entire Step and ready for Step 3. I strongly suggest using the link above (We Agnostics) as your starting point if you do not have a Higher Power in your life.
In the Step 2 worksheet, you’ll find a table to help line out the Higher Powers you already have in your life. Because this is Google Doc, you can download it as a PDF, Word file, or copy it over to your own Google Docs and work it in earnest. If you need more space in the table, you can create it with a simple copy/paste of what’s already there.
The end goal to Step 2 is not giving control and your life over to God. No. Rather, it is fully believing that there is a Higher Power (God) in your life, and that your HP is able to give you back your sanity.
Nowhere in any of the SLAA literature does it state that your God has to be Judeo-Christian. I have known people who have very abstract descriptions of their Higher Powers. Some of them even give themselves over (in Step 3) to the Universe as their Higher Power. The point here is this: I have seen a lot of people come and go to SLAA over the years. The ones with a Higher Power stay and work the Steps. They usually have a full recovery and continue to give back to the community. The ones who have no Higher Power in their lives typically leave the community. Or, they continue to go to meetings, but they also continue to act out on their addictions.
As with Step 1, if you have any questions or need a boost to get you moving through Step 2, I’m here to help. I can lead you to the water, but you have to drink it — meaning, I’m not going to do the work for you. You are solely responsible for your own recovery.