(The following is a personal post from one of our group members.)
Recently a newcomer shared in frustration that they feel like they just can't beat this addiction! That was exactly my problem as well, being trapped in an addiction that I cannot beat.
The irony of it is that the SA program literature (and witness of other recovering sexaholics) agrees completely that this is exactly my problem. That is precisely what Step One had been telling me all along. But the insanity of it all was that I kept trying to escape the trap by fighting back against my addiction to lust. Fighting it didn't work, and yet after another knock-down, I'd get up off the canvas and put up my fists and tell myself I was going to win the next round against lust. I'd beat it this time for sure! I was going to get stronger if I just kept at it. This is what "everyone" knows is true: "You can do anything you put your mind to if you just try harder!" And all the time my face was being bloodied and bruised all the more. But I kept swinging anyway, and kept getting knocked down over and over again. Insanity!
For me, it never worked. I never got stronger. I never won the fight. And when I finally couldn't even get up off the canvas anymore, I quit fighting.
For the first few years after giving up the fight, I just fed my addiction whatever it wanted. I hated myself for it. I felt nauseated by it. I was disgusted with myself and my life. I accepted that I would go to the grave, a defeated man, hopelessly wallowing in lust and my acting out. There was no hope, and I had admitted my powerlessness. And yet, it needed to get even worse before I was finally ready to surrender to God and beg for him to save me and to ask for help from another sexaholic (a sponsor) who could guide me through the Steps of the program as I submitted to his direction as well.
The SA book says it this way:
In summary, for us surrender is the change in attitude of the inner person that makes life possible. It is the great beginning, the insignia and watchword of our program. And no amount of knowledge about surrender can make it a fact until we simply give up, let go, and let God. When we surrender our "freedom," we become truly free. (SAWB p.81)
The rest of the story is working the SA 12 Step program in a way that changed my understanding and experience of and relationship with God (surrender). And based on that relationship that provided me with Power I didn't not have, my relationships with others were changed as well. How I see myself and feel about myself has continued to change. How I feel about myself is also fully based on that core relationship with God (not as the current "prevailing wisdom" would tell me to base it).
Can I beat lust now after all these years? After all that's happened, why would I now be insane enough to go back to that fight?!! I prefer to live by the reasonably healthy amount of sanity I enjoy today. "God could and would, if he were sought."