What do you think of... 12 step programs?

Discussion in 'Problematic Sexual Behavior' started by swissarmyknight, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    I've attended two different 12 step addiction recovery meeting focused on sexual addictions, both for over a year and half.

    I'm curios on your thoughts on them. I felt the benefit of community there, no doubt, but the pandemic prevented meetings from happening and now I've been questioning the benefit the had for me personally. So many times I felt like an outsider because the closest person in age to me was still 15-20 years older (I'm 25) and most of them had some heavy problems/experiences that it was almost unrelatable.

    Some were already on their third marriage, some kicked out of the house, some were arrested for trying to hire an undercover cop for sex and then bailed out by their wives, and some had even given STD's to their spouses. Meanwhile, I've only had one sexual partner, am younger than all of them, and really am just a guy who wants to stop looking at P and masturbating.

    Of course, most of them didn't care or think any less of me for having "fewer" issues than them and I'm definitely getting in my head about it. I loved the people there and felt genuine care for/from them.

    Just wondering if anyone has advice.
     
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  2. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    They have helped my husband. Just look at it this way .... if you don’t get into recovery those older men will be you in time. They were you at 25, but this is where their addiction took them. They were not on 3 marriages at 25. You have the advantage that they didn’t in that there is more understanding of this as an addiction. 20 years ago there was very little help if any.
     
  3. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    That's a very good point, and my sponsor told me that same thing if anyone tried to tell me anything belittling.

    I know it's mostly just my projected feelings. I know it's helpful, and I plan on going back at some point. I'm eternally grateful for the resources of our day and age! It's mostly my own insecurity that keeps me from attending the online meetings. And my shame also hurts my chances of attending cause I feel so embarrassed to say, "I'm a sex addict, and I've been sober for 2 days", cause it seems like my number is always in the single digits.
     
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  4. Sharksvv

    Sharksvv Fapstronaut

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    You yourself said you felt the benefit of community there. It helps talking to people about it because it keeps you accountable, yes the pandemic has make this more difficult but you can always talk on here. You can do it.
     
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  5. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    Thank you, it does help to talk here. Stay strong.
     
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  6. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    I've enjoyed them.

    I was able to find a sponsor who is around my age and had similar acting our patterns/histories.

    I'm not trying to rush through it at all, and the higher power stuff is a struggle for me. However, having a weekly zoom call (for now) and phone calls to make help keep me on track and avoid complatency.
     
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  7. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    I also struggle with the higher power part; I'm from an extremely religious family but in the last few years have been really struggling with my belief in God and organized religion.
     
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  8. BoraxKarloff

    BoraxKarloff Fapstronaut

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    I tried in three cities. Here is my experience of each.

    The first, in NYC, was filled with rapists, flashers, child molesters on parole and perverts who had been ordered to attend by the courts.

    The second also had some of these elements, but most of the men there seemed to be semi-morons. I can't take that, I'm sorry. I also felt some would just as soon take my wallet, stab me or ask if they could stay at my place as they would help a newcomer. One guy even followed me as I left, and hit me up for a buck.

    With the third group I attempted to attend, you had to communicate to the facilitator via email before the address of the meeting would be revealed to you and tell them your first and last name, and eff that. That makes it "Sex Addiction Not Anonymous."

    I'm just a fapper, for crying out loud, and I don't even look at porn - I look at photos or videos of a certain type of woman without her clothes.

    I finished with 12-steps in my 20s when I actually went through them (for another addiction) sponsored people, led the meetings, made the coffee, read the Big Book backwards and forwards, and took it about as far as a person could take it...and that's that.

    If it worked for you, no problem, anyone gets help whatever way that works for them, more power to them! :)

    But for me, I really need people with an IQ of more than 12 for me to be able to identify and relate.
     
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  9. Robindale

    Robindale Fapstronaut

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    Same here, but SAA is clear that it is your Higher Power, whatever that means to you. Doesn't have to be your family's version. Encourage you just to be open and develop your own relationship with Higher Power and let that take its course. Glad you found community with your group, which is important, that you are working on this at your age. Impressive and best wishes for success.
     
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  10. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    Those stories are wild. I'm lucky enough to to have only gone to groups with smart and cool people. There were a few that brought a lot of political fire with them which is not cool, but the only real problem was that sometimes there would be discussions of disdain toward the women in P or models or actresses.
     
  11. swissarmyknight

    swissarmyknight Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for your reply! I receive that compliment a lot, about being good for tackling while I'm young. While it does make me feel good and encouraged (so thank you!), I can't help but feel isolated because a lot of the reason I'm here is my religious upbringing. So not only was I raised with strange ideals and morals but now I'm in a age where very few people I come in contact with think that what I'm doing is good, or even healthy.
     
  12. Chefb87

    Chefb87 Fapstronaut

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    SAA has been a life saver. And has been detrimental to my two years in recovery. It's amazing to have a place to go and not feel judged. To be around people that get the struggle. And to be able to tell people who I really am without feeling like I need to hide myself. I'm a porn and sex addict.
    Going through the 12 steps with my sponsor has been huge. And I'm currently doing the steps again.
     
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  13. BoraxKarloff

    BoraxKarloff Fapstronaut

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    Not to be a wise guy, but I believe you mean "Instrumental" as opposed to "Detrimental." :) YW lol
     
  14. Chefb87

    Chefb87 Fapstronaut

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    Hahaha! I should probably go to a group to learn English while I'm at it! Haha
     
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  15. Peaceful magic 21

    Peaceful magic 21 Fapstronaut

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    From my experience and the group I visited I thought they are not very welcoming and supportive for a system based around religion! In fact half of them were atheists. There didn’t seem to be much talk about the behaviours, just drone about the sacred steps! Like they were under a weird spell. I politely turned down a sponsor that had just reviled he was into watching children stuff! They all then took offence because most of them were into it. Bunch of freaks in my opinion. I found AA a lot nicer group though:)
     
  16. jaguar18

    jaguar18 Fapstronaut

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    Hey man. Very interested in this topic as I am thinking of starting to attend local SAA meetings.

    I'm roughly the same age as you (26), and so far my various correspondences with local meetings have kind of put some doubts in me, like you said mostly about maybe the age gap between me and the others.

    I guess another big thing I also struggle with is the changes that I would have to put in place in other parts of my life in order to get the most out of meetings. Realistically, I would have to tell my friends and family, or at the very least my roommates, because living with other people makes attending online meetings pretty difficult to do discreetly! That kind of worries me, but really I should just buck up the courage to tell my friend anyway, because that will undoubtedly be a massive benefit no matter what.

    It's nice to hear that you got on well with the people in the meetings you went to. I get a lot out of the community here on NoFap so I can only imagine what more 'genuine' interpersonal relationships with other people who are experiencing porn/sex addiction could bring.
     
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  17. BoraxKarloff

    BoraxKarloff Fapstronaut

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    If you have a car, get in it before the meeting and drive it somewhere, park and have your meeting. Or, if no car, go somewhere pleasant on foot or on a bicycle, sit under a nice tree and have your meeting.
     
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  18. JiminyCricket

    JiminyCricket Fapstronaut

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    I get where you are coming from. I completely agree with others that your addiction can and will escalate if you don’t address it now. Unless the group has a person or group of people that have maintained success and are eager to help you, I’m not sure it would be beneficial. I went to a group where I was in the same boat. They all had worse problems than me and I was only dealing with only porn. But none of them were willing to help me, they were too fresh in their problems and too troubled with their marriages on the brink of collapse. I also couldn’t help them since I couldnt relate to their problems. But I will say be careful not to judge them - that will be you if you don’t overcome your addiction.
     
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  19. BoraxKarloff

    BoraxKarloff Fapstronaut

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    One thing I discovered in my intense experience in 12-step groups was that, outside of their addiction which they seek help for, many of those who attend don't have any friends in the so-called real world for pretty good reasons - addicts always fuck over everyone in their lives. These people go to the meetings for fellowship - whether or not they are in recovery or relapse - because it's better than their four walls and the computer and the cat.

    A lot of 'em pounce on newcomers who are vulnerable and have no way of telling who is really serious about recovery and who is just seeing a new person they have not yet sucked dry. A request for a few bucks may or may not be forthcoming, or a couch to sleep on, from these sort of attendees.

    My advice to anyone considering a 12-step group is to get what you came to get, do some service, help a newcomer, volunteer to make the coffee or put out the cookies, but steer clear of the leeches and the chronically broke, unemployed, semi-homeless and other people who have no intention of stopping their destructive behavior but who go to meetings because they are free of charge. More or less, you won't be asked to stop coming to any meetings unless you are abusive.

    I hope this does not sound heartless. I wish I had had someone to help me navigate my early 20s in NYC where I was first exposed to Bill and Bob.
     
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  20. Nucleus

    Nucleus Fapstronaut

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    SA is mostly good. I went for two years. They unfortunately have the attitude of "We are mentally ill and will never get better" which I don't like. You meet some good guys there and the sense of solidarity is great.

    Puts things in perspective too. Some guys there had come from HORRIBLE abuse and had appalling lives.
     

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