Many of us come to PAA recovery seeking relief from the pain, grief and shame of our addiction to pornography. Our spiritual malady brought forth in us a desperation for relief from our addiction. Pornography replaced our healthy, natural, God-given sex desires and led to isolation and avoidance of human contact.

As a result of our addiction, we may have experienced losses of spouses, partners, jobs, friends, and for some, even their freedom - key factors in realizing the depth of our powerlessness over pornography.

While other sex addicts “act out” with other people, we “act in” when using pornographic media, activities and behaviors that exclude others so that we are only intimate with ourselves. We withdraw from the world and isolate ourselves while using pornography. Because of this difference, we came to call our addictive behavior ‘acting in’.

This behavior of “acting in” set up a cycle of powerlessness and unmanageability. We obsessed about seeking pornography, and became unable to stop once we started.

Some of us have tried many methods to control our addiction to pornography by:

  • limiting their Internet access with programs to lock out websites;
  • ceasing to use electronic devices;
  • making pacts with ourselves and others, including religious or spiritual leaders;
  • using our own will-power.

Inevitably, after experiencing the consequences of another relapse, we came to the conclusion that we were truly powerless over our addiction.

For many, the spiritual solution through a 12-step program had not been tried. Some of us have never experienced a 12-step program and do not understand how it works. Others arrive at PAA having attended 12-step meetings for many years. We all have one thing in common: our inability to stop using pornography without the help of a higher power.

Our program requires that we stop viewing pornography, but how do we do that? These steps are suggested for a program of recovery from our addiction to pornography:

  • 1.  We admitted we were powerless over pornography — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • 2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • 3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
  • 4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • 5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • 6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  • 7.  Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
  • 8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • 9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • 10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • 11.  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • 12.  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other pornography addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

These steps are the basis for identifying our powerlessness over our addiction to pornography and working the program of recovery. The only relief we have found is to surrender our attempts to control our addiction and to seek a conscious contact with a power greater than ourselves.

As we work the program of recovery, follow the directions of those who sponsor us, connect with the fellowship, and be of service, we feel the obsession release. We are spiritually guided towards a healthier life that includes love, intimacy and trust.

One day at a time, sometimes moment to moment, we surrender our attempts to control our addiction and seek help from a power greater than ourselves.

We no longer fear rejection. We no longer fear intimacy. We no longer utilize pornography to numb our feelings and escape reality.

We return to sanity with the aid of a power greater than ourselves through the 12 steps of PAA.

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PAA Conference Approved Literature - September 2022