Cultivating Hope, Healing and Unity for Women Trapped in Sexual Addiction
Sidreis Keller Agla
One of the most damaging beliefs in today’s society is that women can’t be addicted to pornography or other forms of sexual acting out. Whether we believe that women simply aren’t biologically wired to be addicted, or that any addictive behavior they do exhibit is by choice, it simply is not true. Women not only can be addicted, but many of us are addicted. However, because of the stigma and shame surrounding women in sexual addiction, most of us remain secretly isolated in darkness, believing that we are freaks of nature, and that we are alone. Indeed, some of the most powerful words in the universe are ‘me too,’ for there is hope and healing to be found in the power of unity.
For the majority of her life, Sidreis Keller Agla lived in fear, weighed down with shame and despair, believing she was the only woman who struggled with sexual addiction. In 2009, the pain of her problem finally outweighed the pain of the solution and she found the courage to open up and seek help. By attending 12-Step support groups she has not only found hope and peace but, more importantly, has come to understand that she is not alone, for there are many women who also suffer, often in silence and solitude. Through recovery, she has come to learn that some of the greatest hurdles faced by women who struggle with sexual addiction are the stigma and shame associated with it. It is for this reason that she felt inspired to make her story public. She first opened up about her journey on her blog, By the Light of Grace, so that other women lost in the darkness would know they are not alone. Her willingness to be completely open with the hardest parts of her life has become a beacon of hope for many.
Sidreis is currently studying Psychology with an emphasis on addiction recovery at Utah Valley University. It was there that she first brought the fight against pornography to her community by serving as the Vice President of the UVU Chapter of Fight the New Drug. More recently, she has served on the advisory board and conference planning committee for the Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP). She spends most of her time working with the Healing Through Christ Foundation, as well as doing freelance writing for the LDS Church’s Overcoming Pornography website.