WITHDRAWAL. The word brought up hideous images: addicts curled up in a fetal position, writhing in agony, or crying out in pain. We feared withdrawal and desperately tried to avoid it. Like the book, Alcoholics Anonymous says: “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.” The only way out of withdrawal, we found, is to go through it.
We discovered that the sexual withdrawal process consisted of four stages. First came the physical withdrawal after we abstained from our habitual patterns of behavior. The second was emotional withdrawal, a cleansing process where we became aware of our emotions to be integrated and healed. Third, as we worked the Twelve Steps of Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and used the SCA tools, the power of lust and fantasy slowly began to diminish in the process of mental withdrawal. Finally, we underwent a spiritual transformation as we replaced sexual compulsion as our Higher Power with a loving and forgiving God of our understanding.
Sometimes we cycled through these four withdrawal stages repeatedly, and sometimes they overlapped. The withdrawal process was unique for each of us, and we eventually began to trust that it was happening in our lives. As our sponsors and fellow SCA members shared their experience, strength, and hope with us, we started to identify with our healing process. The outcome of our withdrawal process was the rebirth of our relationship with ourselves, others, and our Higher Power. It was a journey that no one else could make for us.
The International Service Organization of SCA has published its 3rd edition of its Recovery Book. It is available for purchase online. It will also be available in print form within the coming months. To purchase online go to Apple iBooks, Google Play, Amazon Kindle