I’m Bringing Sexy Back by Merry Mortal

I’m Bringing Sexy Back by Merry Mortal

Posted by Merry Mortal on 27th Nov 2015

You know how they say that your past will become your greatest asset?

Or that you will no longer fear the past nor wish to shut the door on it?

Those promises have come true for me, but vestiges of the past continue

to have power over me in unpredictable ways. As a result of my 

childhood, I have painful, immature beliefs about myself and the world 

that I am still in the process of redesigning, relearning, and reintegrating- 

so that I can appropriately welcome the happiness and peace that is 

available to me. While I’ve cleaned up my part in my wrongdoings and 

even the wrongs done to me, I still feel guarded and jaded in some 

areas. Sometimes I feel withdrawn: unable to give or receive love. Other 

times, I feel like I don’t know the first thing about love. While I’ve been 

successful in rewiring a lot of my thinking and I often experience 

prolonged periods of serenity and joy, the wounds of my childhood have 

colored my perception in ways that cause me to miss out on a lot of the 

beauty going on around me.

So, I’m newly married. I’m grappling with my competing roles of wife, 

lover (because wife and lover are not the same), homemaker, career 

professional, enthusiastic expat, long-distance daughter and auntie, 

writer, conscious and sober human… It’s a lot to juggle. And with few 

role models in my formative years and even today, the task of being a 

successful woman in the 21st century is arduous. A sober, ambitious

person, I have accepted the challenge of being an adult in today’s day 

and age; but my maturity as a lover is still in its adolescent stage.

Throughout my years in recovery, I’ve learned that I’m a doer. I like 

assignments, I enjoy running errands and playing house, I work well with 

structure; I’m good at doing stuff. So, why do I have such a hard time 

doing my husband?

In Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, I discovered that busying oneself

is just another way of checking out. Maybe you’re guilty of this too? Have

you ever put off your morning meditation until after you’ve had that cup of

coffee or let the dog out or sent that email? If you’re like me, meditation 

falls by the wayside as I continue my intellectual stream of endless 

things to do. If I do find the space to squeeze in some quiet time with my 

Higher Power, I am usually fighting the perpetual banter of all of the other

things I’d rather be doing. It is the same with sex. How did intimacy-

intimacy with myself, with God, and with others- the very core of my 

happiness- become such a chore?

During my active sex and love addiction, I chased my limited ideas of 

intimacy in the pursuit of love, validation, and acceptance. Your approval, your interest, your come-hither eyes, your reliance on me- was

the end-all-be-all for me. I didn’t bother with an identity unless it suited 

my attainment of you. Gaining your esteem was all the status I needed in the world.

Enter: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

It was in SLAA where I really learned that I had no self-esteem. There, I 

realized that I had no hobbies, no appropriate relationships with 

members of the opposite sex, no goals outside my agenda of acquiring 

you, no understanding of self-care, no boundaries, and no peace from 

the hustling psychology I assumed was a part of my make-up. It was 

there that I began the intensive work of unraveling, developing, and 

finally- pursuing myself.

I got really good at taking care of me. I discovered things I like, realized 

the surprising satisfaction that comes with self-care, carried out long-

forgotten goals, and became the best version of myself. What resulted 

was an incredibly full life. Today, I am a college graduate, employed in

the field I am passionate about, living on the opposite side of the world,

married to a wonderful man, healthy, and financially independent, with 

talent and worth! But how I manage all those gifts is the real barometer 

of happiness.

In AA, we learn to prioritize recovery above all else. There is a common 

saying that goes, “whatever you put before your sobriety, you shall surely

lose.” For this recovering alcoholic and sex & love addict, my ability to be

present is a critical extension of my sobriety. When I obsessively clean 

my house, inflate my calendar, become affixed to my iPhone, or even 

fanatically tweeze my eyebrows, I am busying myself rather than being 

present. When I am preoccupied, I am at increased risk of losing all of 

the things I hold so dear.

So today, I am practicing the loving mindfulness of just being. No to-do 

lists, no chores, no Facebook. Today, I will be present for the natural 

rhythm of things, perhaps even for boredom. I will retrain my brain to 

here, instead of there. I will be available for intimacy- with myself and 

with my husband. I give myself permission to be lazy, spontaneous, and 


How are you going to show up today?     


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