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  • Anthony's story

    My parents were dating when my mother got pregnant. She was expelled from home after she declined her sister’s forceful suggestion to get her to have abortion. My father disappeared around that time. 

    Early life

    After much complication and turmoil, we went to live with my grandmother until my mother left me with her to then go and live with my dad as she got pregnant of him again – I was 7 at that time. I feel that it was a huge and traumatizing event, even though it was not easy up to that point.  Soon after my mother left I suffered some sexual abuse from a grown up man, a neighbour of ours. 

    I told my aunt who did nothing. I think that if my mother was around, she would have done something. My dad was a sex addict - sex workers, sexually assaulted our housekeeper once, used to be very sexualised in his words and so on - and only wanted to evade his responsibilities, this is crystal clear to me and he inflicted loads of suffering on my mother and on his children. 

    As a consequence of that, nine years ago my brother was sectioned to psychiatric wards of hospitals a few times, being treated with strong medication by psychiatrists. He had previously abused drugs. My sister started taking psychiatric medication last year after a sequence of psychotic events. My father lost all he had and when he died 5 years ago, he had only debts and was in bad health and in denial about his health. 

    The family went from having a good sized farm and a few properties, which was all inherited from my father’s father, to having only a small house with no garden and no money to survive. My mother now at the age of 78 is working to help to pay the bills.

    A clear pattern for me during childhood and throughout my life is that I would not connect with my friends well. I would not play sports well and felt inadequate and it was difficult to be part of groups in general, especially with boys – male friends. 


    A few events over the last few years gives me some context of how I am. 

    I had health conditions that worsened. Loads of chronic pain and tiredness. I lost my career because I was not able to perform physically any longer.

    I was evicted twice; the first time formally after being taken to court. The second by the police who ejected me out of my friend’s home after we had an argument.

    I am currently in temporary accommodation paid for by the council. I have not worked for 4 years and have been in true financial misery. This in itself has been a huge burden and feels very heavy and it is a huge source of shame. 

    I cannot cope with too much pressure, with rudeness, with complications, with being abused in one way or another because I then lose my temper and can shout, swear, and even become physical. I'd normally storm out more or less every 1 to 3 weeks. 

    Before sex addiction got more serious I had five long term relationships, full of unhealthy patterns. I ended all of them. The most problematic and unhealthy ones were with men. I had two girlfriends and three boyfriends. Sex with men was always easy but perverted. Sex with women was infrequent and quite complex and traumatising. Sex with a female work colleague was good but she gave me hell when she thought I had told our colleagues.

    Things progressed

    For some periods of time, I would spend hours a day on a hook up app. There was a time I had some tendinitis because of being on my mobile so much. My average physical hook ups could range from 1 to 4 a week and most of the time with unknown people. A few times I got into threesomes. It was very rare, but it could happen that I would have random sex more than once a day and I remember one day that I had sex three times in one day, unprotected and with three different people. I caught STIs three times, which have all been quite difficult and painful. 

    The worst time was when I visited my sister in New York City. I'd never had a sponsor nor worked on the program until that time. I saw 8 different people for sex in 11 days, most of which was unprotected. I ended up in hospital with side effects from three different STIs, being treated for them altogether.

    What's it like now

    I am now on my fourth sponsor, I am recommitting to the program and starting from Step 1 again.  I went up to step 7 in the past and never passed this step with any of my former sponsors. 

    Last December I thought of giving up the fellowship after unsuccessfully asking around for a sponsor. My idea was that if nothing substantial was going to happen I was going to leave it on the 1st of January. On the 31st December I got my first call with my current sponsor. Was it the work of a Higher Power? 


    I am very attracted to spiritual stuff, from the deep esoteric stuff to Christian religious stuff . . . yoga, shamanism, Christianism, Hinduism, philosophy, astrology. And I have been actively searching for answers since the age of 13. Some of that helped in the past. Then it progressed.

    I hit rock bottom around May / June 2019 and then decided to look for a sponsor. I started with 175 meetings in 175 days. That was my first moment of surrender, but I was so unwell and in so much trouble that it was not sufficient. It got me started. I went also to UA and DA at the time.

    I got about one year's sobriety but as I was not in good recovery, I lost it. Last year through the whole year I met only three people for sex. I say that only because in the worst days of addiction I had met three in a day. I got almost six months of sobriety only to lose it again - I say this to show some progress despite of the imperfection and chaos of my recovery. 

    The program can work for me. Despite the craziness, the madness and that I have not finished the steps, I have made some progress and that is what gives me hope.

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    Last updated: March 7th, 2023