The downward spiral
of internet sex
There is a solution.
It’s 11 p.m. again, way past my bedtime, but I’m still sitting at the computer. I’m so exhausted I can hardly type. I’ve been searching the Internet for sex for more than six hours straight. There were things I needed to do, but they will have to wait. I’m forgetting things and starting to be careless. Tomorrow I am not even turning on the computer.
Morning comes and I look at my face in the mirror. There are dark circles under my eyes. I’m unshaven, unkempt, looking like a mess. It’s going to be another long day at work.
Now it’s evening and I’m glad this day is over. I have to do laundry, shopping, and some errands, but I’m pumped up on cyber-sex and Internet porn. Every woman looks like she could be “the One.” I stare at every one with lust in my heart. I am lost again in fantasy. I can’t wait to get home again and turn on the computer. I tell myself, “Not tonight,” but only finish half the things I meant to do and rush home to get online. Again.
I started my sexaholic journey with men’s magazines that I found around the house. As technology advanced, so did my addiction. I started with 8 millimeter movies, then progressed to Super 8. Beta was next, then VHS. When the computer was available, I immediately started into chat rooms, images, and setting up meetings with people.
I always felt I was different from most people. I met a woman on the Internet and had an affair with her. She became pregnant and was adamant about keeping the baby. I didn’t want to have a child with this woman. I prayed: “God if you get me out of this, I’ll be good.” When she miscarried, I continued my ways. When I got a call from a woman I was chatting with, my girlfriend (now my wife) heard the phone message and asked me who it was. I lied. The betrayal and denial continued until one day when I saw a TV program about sex addicts.
“I felt as if I had stepped into a warm, welcoming home.”
I found that I could relate to the stories. I decided to seek help. Endlessly trying to stop without success was proof of how powerless I was. I saw no way out short of divine intervention. The downward spiral stopped when I found Sexaholics Anonymous.
I remember that first meeting as if it were yesterday, though now it is over seven years ago. Three members gave me an introduction to Sexaholics Anonymous. I felt as if I had stepped into a warm, welcoming home. I wasn’t alone anymore. Here were men and women who understood and shared my struggle, but had changed and were willing to help me change. No longer was I afraid to share my thoughts and experiences.
I believe now that God had a plan for me all along. God’s intention for me was to get well so I could help others get well. It was never any more complicated than that. God saved me from the full consequences of my addiction so that I might live to help others. Today my life is very different. The Internet is no longer my master. I am tempted but not obsessed. I don’t act on the temptation because I have tools I can use to help me through the rough times. I am part of a recovery community that is much greater than myself. I was powerless to stop my behavior and change, but God has changed me through this program.
This disease is more powerful than I am. It brought me to my knees. I believe that God gave me this disease to bring me closer to Him and so that I can share my hope and recovery with others. For Sexaholics Anonymous and the people in the fellowship, and God’s love, I will always be grateful.