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What is Anorexia in S.L.A.A.?

Within S.L.A.A., sexual, social and emotional anorexia may take a variety of forms. The information below is intended for sexual, social and emotional anorexics, that they may see themselves, and know they are not alone. Possible Signs of Social, Emotional, or Sexual Anorexia:

  • We may not have had sex or been in a close personal relationship in years
  • We may be in partnerships but find it difficult to be emotionally close
  • We may have many acquaintances but no one we are really close to
  • We may have close relations with only certain people, our children say, but keep distance from anyone else
  • We may feel overwhelmed in social settings
  • We may feel incapacitated by shyness in relationships with others
  • We may be emotionally invested in a relationship but remain sexually or socially unavailable
  • We may have an overwhelming dread of making phone calls
  • We may function well in the workplace where intimacy is not usually valued, but find we are distant with family or friends

 There are many other varieties of anorectics, but whichever kind we are, all of us in some important way have distanced ourselves from experiencing love. Faced with getting our needs met, we are baffled because we can’t even name these needs. However, beneath the surface, anorexia consists of not doing something. Not trusting, not committing, not surrendering. Here, unlike picking up a drink or shooting up a drug, anorexia’s symptoms are obscure, and uneventful. We observe that we are engaged in a policy of dread of others and a strategy to keep them at bay. Whether our anorexia is social, sexual or emotional, we awaken to the fact that we are not experiencing the giving and receiving of love that is so precious to human life.

Hope and Recovery

You are not alone. There are many who respond as you do and who feel as you do. Or who once felt that way. We have begun to do the work of recovery and change in S.L.A.A. We endeavor to stop a pattern of sex and love anorexia and we work the Twelve Steps of S.L.A.A. We have found, no matter how different or alone we feel, that reaching out to others – to give help and to ask for it – helps us to recover from our anorexia. Some S.L.A.A. meetings have a specific focus on anorexia. If there isn’t an anorectic meeting near you, you may want to start a meeting. For more information about recovering from social, sexual and emotional anorexia, including anorexia-focused meetings and literature, contact the Fellowship Wide Services Office of S.L.A.A.