The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book from Alcoholics Anonymous was first published in April 1953. The book expands on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous which was originally published in 1938 and is considered the bible of AA. The 12 & 12 as it is affectionately known is a composite of the accumulated wisdom of the first decade-plus years of AA and for me it is pure gold. There are many references to sexual impropriety, emotional immaturity, and an intimacy disorder – you’d think it was aimed directly at Sex and Love Addicts, but it was not written with us in mind at all. One of my favorite quotes is from page 53, and it reads: “But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.” Bulls eye circa 1938!!!
This past Tuesday night I hosted 25 men with No More Secrets Movie Night #51. That’s a lot of movies. This latest installment was the 2010 highly regarded movie “Up in the Air” with George Clooney. The story is a sad saga of a man who is a workaholic, love-avoidant, and a Type A personality with a severe intimacy disorder. His female love interest is also a Type A personality as she leads a compartmentalized double life. Clooney meets her in a random airport executive lounge created for the high end business traveler on a layover. He believes he has met his emotional equal; no strings attached on the road sex. They both appear like this game is old hat for each of them, you know; great banter and a casual hook up. They both are acting as if their tryst is a classic case of no harm no foul. The only problem is that there is no such thing as casual sex. In the end Clooney’s character wants to change the rules of the game and he ends up at her front door to discover that she has a husband and kids. Whoops! There is no such thing as casual sex because there is no such thing as a casual heart break or casual STD or casual baby. Get the point? Campbell’s Soup is Um Um Good and Frosted Flakes are GREATTTTT, but sex is sacred.
This coming Wednesday we are starting our 17th No More Secrets Men’s Group. We are starting it with six men, ages 21-50. Three of the men are married with six children combined. Three of the men have never been married and two are virgins [not the first virgins in the history of NMS]. One of the men has pending legal issues. Three have had attended some kind of in-patient treatment already. What a cast of characters. Given our past history I would guess that sometime in early spring 2014 this group will be at ten and be officially closed. On page 53 it goes on to say, “Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.” Page 57 sums it up perfectly when it says, “When we reached AA, and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting.” They are all so optimistic as they start their journey from shame to grace, to get out of the shadows and stand in the light, but truth be told some will lose their resolve and slip back to the dark side. This addiction is so alluring. This process is not for the faint of heart and surrender is a BITCH.
This entire recovery process can be best understood by a 12 & 12 quote on page 88:
“… we commence to put our AA way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather and in foul.
Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance and live to good purpose under all conditions.”
If you are interested in a sane, safe and sober life, call me… we still have four spots left.
All it takes is 90 seconds of courage.