A Mormon Attends Sexaholics Anonymous Men’s Retreat in California

Latter-day Saint attends Sexaholics Anonymous retreat in California

I’m spending this weekend with about seventy other sexaholics in recovery at a Sexaholics Anonymous men’s retreat in Northern California. The goal of the weekend is to help the men focus on working the Twelve Steps, especially the ones that require a lot of writing like the Fourth and Eighth Steps. I am the only Latter-day Saint in attendance, but that’s OK.

In the future, I believe, there will be a lot of Mormon men attending this retreat, working through the tough Steps and coming home to their wife and family with a renewed commitment to doing whatever it takes to find recovery. They’ll be better husbands and fathers as a result of their time spent with other addicts in recovery. As I say frequently, the single most important factor in a sex addict’s recovery is the time he spends with other addicts who are further along in recovery than he is.

Some of the guys here have been in the program for a couple decades. They’ll be the first to say that Sexaholics Anonymous saved their lives and their sanity. One of them actually began attending SA meetings in Southern California when he was eighteen. Even at that young age, he had become aware that his life was unmanageable and he needed help. He found it in Sexaholics Anonymous.

My friend actually attended meetings and associated with Roy K, the founder of Sexaholics Anonymous. For alcoholics, this would be like hanging out with Dr. Bob and Bill W. I talked to him a bunch tonight about his experiences with the young SA program. I asked him whether he knew any Latter-day Saints who attended SA during those early years. He said there was only one, that he attended for a while, then moved to Utah and stopped going to meetings.

So much has changed. Latter-day Saints all over the world are now attending SA meetings. They’re finding sexual sobriety. They are becoming able to live the Gospel fully. It is a wonderful thing to see.

About Andrew+

Latter-day Saint, sex and pornography addict in recovery, dealing with depression, returned missionary, father of a bunch of kids, graduate degree, self-employed, Book of Mormon reader, writer and thinker. Working on understanding and overcoming resentment, the number one killer of addicts.


A Mormon Attends Sexaholics Anonymous Men’s Retreat in California — 3 Comments

  1. Having attended several SA weekend conferences in Utah, tell me what were the highlights of this retreat?

    • Briefly, three things were important for me. First, being able to sit in several meetings and listen to recovery experiences of a lot of different men who were out of the area and whose stories I’d never heard before. Second, attending a step workshop where I and the other attendees spent time working on the writing required for a particular step of the 12 Steps. In my case, I’ve been reworking the steps from the beginning and so I attended the workshop on Step 4. The workshop help me grind through some things that had been hanging me up for quite some time. Third and most importantly, on the last night, I listened to a guy tell his recovery story–which I’d hear before–but he shared some new insights about growing up with an abusive alcoholic father and how he (my friend) had to swallow his pride and make amends to his father in order to be free of the resentment he felt. I realized as he was speaking that after more than two years in Sexaholics Anonymous, I still harbored enormous resentments towards parents, siblings and an institution. I understood right then that if my recovery meant anything to me, I would have to let go of those resentments and ask Heavenly Father to take them away. Also, I recognized that part of making amends to my family meant reconnecting with them and having an ongoing relationship with them. Tough stuff for an addict to face. The retreat made a huge difference for me.

      How about you? Why do you go to the retreats?

  2. Thanks Andrew…..I joined the church over 20 years ago, and dragged a number of stuff with me; pornography being the most difficult. I am so grateful for the SA program in being my workshop for repentance….Elder Oaks recent talk on the 4 levels of porn use gave me some hope that i might be at a level one, then i went out and acted out again. So i’ve painfully worked myself into the 4th level (addict) over the many years….i believe the prophets know the Lords needs and desires for us to return and i need the fellowship and honesty of SA to keep this great charge. Thanks Again…Matthew…OK.