Martin's story
My name is Martin and I’m a sex addict. I came to SAA through various other fellowships as my addiction had taken me to various behaviours, places and substances. I ‘discovered’ masturbation around age 11 and thought it was the best thing ever. As I grew up I masturbated on public transport, at work, in my car whilst driving and at the window of my room hoping to get seen and dreading it at the same time.

I was extremely lucky that I never got reported or found out by the authorities but I have a strong suspicion that some of my work colleagues were aware of what I was doing.

Sometimes I masturbated so often that I was physically hurting myself but I still couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop at the time because it took me away from the pain of living, the pain of being me.

Once I began to date I began to take more and more risks with unsafe sex, abusive sex, cross-dressing, same sex partners and anything else that I could do to get ‘out of my head’.

After several years of this I found the internet and my online behaviour literally took off. I spent as much time as I could looking for the next image, the next video clip, the next hit, the one that would finally ‘cure’ me. I rushed home from work and sometimes finished early just so I could spend more time online before my wife got home. I was very nearly caught out on several occasions and this involved frantically closing down websites and trying to delete browsing history etc all whilst shouting greetings to my wife and trying to sound as if nothing was wrong.

A family member got into recovery and I started to see changes in her that I thought were positive. I began to wonder if there was another way for me too. I went to the same counsellor she had been seeing and was told that I was probably an addict and would benefit from time in a 12 step treatment centre.

Eventually, I began to see that she was right and took myself off to treatment. There I discovered a whole world of recovery; I also discovered some of the reasons for my acting out behaviours. They took me to 12 step meetings and I have continued to go to.

Once I had given up my denial about being a sex addict I went to a London SAA meeting and found a whole room full of sex addicts, most of whom were not acting out and who were following the 12 step program of SAA. In 8 years I have relapsed more than once on my bottom line behaviour of using the internet to search for sexual images.

Today I have hope for the future and my relationships with those I love are immeasurably better. I am able to love myself and others as I never thought possible.

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