September 2013

carry-the-messageThe purpose of our Intergroup is to more effectively reach the sex addict in the Orange County area who still suffers.  We meet the second Thursday of each month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Albright Room at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square.  At 6:00 p.m. we share snacks and fellowship, followed at 6:45 by the business meeting.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  All SAA members are welcome.  We are still a young organization and want your ideas!

Our Third Retreat:  A Good Day in Irvine

The Orange County Intergroup of SAA sponsored its third semiannual retreat on August 24 at beautiful Mariners Church in Irvine.  About 65 attendees enjoyed an entire day of learning, participating, and fellowship.  The morning speaker addressed turning our will and lives over to the care of our Higher Power, and the afternoon speaker talked about the 12th Step.  Each of these sessions included writing exercises and small breakout group discussions.  The afternoon also included a panel on sponsorship, followed by a question-and-answer period.  Breakfast and lunch were included.

The morning speaker described how the first three steps bring us to let go of our own will and turn it over to our Higher Power.  He noted that our Higher Power is always with us, unlike our sponsor or meetings.  We can always call on our Higher Power.  He suggested that we write notes about what’s bothering us, then put them in a box and let go of them, symbolizing turning them over to our Higher Power.

The afternoon speaker broke the 12th Step into three parts:  spiritual awakening, trying to carry the message, and practicing these principles in daily life.  He said we all come to a spiritual awakening at some point as we work the 12 Steps.  He explained some of the many ways of carrying the message, of doing service.  They can be simple, such as shaking hands and making newcomers feel welcome at meetings.  He listed ways we practice the steps in all aspects of our lives, not just our recovery.  And he suggested that we practice, not preach.

The sponsorship panelists told how they sponsor others in the program.  Their methods varied widely.  The audience learned there are many ways in which to sponsor, and that all of them can work.  The clear message was that sponsoring is an inexact science.  The panelists reassured audience members who questioned whether they were ready to sponsor, suggesting that their sponsors will tell them when they’re ready.

Our next retreat is scheduled for sometime in January 2014.  We hope to see you there!

Fun Through Fellowship Activity for September:  Bowers Museum

On Sunday, September 29, SAA members are invited to tour Bowers Museum.  The address is 2002 N. Main St.,  Santa Ana.  Join us for a fun, artistic outing at this world class museum.   We will meet at the entrance at 10 a.m., then visit both special exhibits titled “Jewels of the Connoisseur” and “Gods and Gifts:  Vatican Ethnological Collection.”  In addition, the museum has permanent exhibits on display.  Afterwards, please join us for an exquisite lunch at the award winning restaurant Tangata located on the museum premises.  If you want to spend more time after lunch, there will be a fascinating lecture titled “The Brain in Art.”

The museum entrance fee is approximately $15 for adults and $13 for senior citizens.  You may call 949-422-6654 for more information.  We hope to see you there for fellowship and fun!

My Share

Each month, we publish a personal but anonymous story of recovery.  Stories should be written in the first person (“I”); speak from your experience, strength, and hope; and be limited to approximately one typewritten page.  Please submit your story to  We may edit submissions for reasons of space, clarity, and appropriate language.  Here is this month’s story:

Letting Go:  Practical Applications in Everyday Life

Letting go can be a very powerful tool in our recovery.  It’s acknowledging our powerlessness over other people, places, and things, and is as fundamental as the First Step.  Yet our tendency as addicts is to try to control everything, which is just the opposite.

Among the most difficult yet important things to let go are our resentments; but if we hold onto them, we are unlikely to succeed in our recovery.  We analyze our resentments in the Fourth Step and work on letting them go.  That was very hard for me, even though in the Third Step I had become willing to turn my life and will over to the care of my Higher Power.  In my view, a little practice in letting go before that point would be well advised, so that when we do begin the Fourth Step, we are better prepared.  Everyday life gives us many opportunities to practice letting go.  Here, from personal experience, are some examples of letting go and should-have-let-go:

Some friends of ours invited my wife and me to go overseas with them on less than two weeks’ notice.  Everything was already in place:  where we would stay, our itinerary, flights, rental car.  My wife and I love to plan our trips in some detail, but we were couldn’t this time.  We fretted about it, but we decided just to intentionally let it go and tag along.  We had a great time!  We had no decisions to make, no pressure, didn’t even have to drive.  True, if we had made the trip alone we would have done some things differently, but by consciously letting that go, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and experienced the considerable benefits of not being in control.  And we were with our friends, for Pete’s sake!

Another time, we went kayaking with friends down a river with several gentle rapids.  Not being an experienced kayaker, I capsized at my first rapids.  I was embarrassed.  Later, I got hung up on rocks and had to be pulled free with a rope.  I constantly fell behind.  I wanted to look good, but because I looked bad – as most beginners would – I sulked privately.  Later I realized that I could have had a great kayak ride with my wife and two friends down a beautiful river.  If I had just let go and accepted that I was a beginner, that I was going to make mistakes and laugh about them, I would have enjoyed it.  Lesson learned.

When we first married, my wife had several idiosyncrasies that annoyed me.  One was THE GLOVE.  She draped a rubber glove over the fronts of our sinks for her convenience in cleaning.  I didn’t like it.  I was concerned that I’d accidentally knock them off or get yucked up with whatever was on them.  I told her so, in not-so-nice terms, and the fight was on.  THE GLOVE became a big issue.  Eventually I realized that I had no control over her intent to drape gloves over the sinks.  Then I realized it wasn’t that important, either.  I could let it go.  All I had to do was move the glove over to the side of the sink.  At this point in my recovery, I’m amazed that I put myself – and my wife – through so much resentment over such a small thing.

Like many of us, I want things to go the way I expect.  I resent it when my plans have to change.  My stepson was moving out and I thought it would be done in a day.  Instead it dragged on, with me being asked to help at times.  At the same time, my wife was redecorating a bedroom and calling on me to help.  Both got in the way of my agenda, which did not include anything urgent – just things I wanted to take care of.  Sometimes I dealt gracefully with the situation, sometimes not.  When I allowed resentment to fester, I felt angry and sorry for myself.  When I let it go, offering to be of service and responding cheerfully whenever I was asked to help, knowing that my agenda would be taken care of in good time, I felt good about myself and my relationships were better.

In reviewing these incidents, I noticed that in order to let them go, I had to make a conscious effort.  It didn’t happen naturally.  Unfortunately, my default position is that of wanting control.  I have gotten better with practice, though.  Over time, it has become easier to identify situations where I can and should let go; then I can make a conscious decision to do so.  I am invariably happier after I’ve let something go.  I hope to continue improving.


New Meeting Room for the Orange County Intergroup

Beginning September 12, the Orange County Intergroup will meet in a different room – the Albright Room – at the same church.  Turn right down the hall toward the restrooms, but keep going straight ahead into the Albright Room.  As the old song goes, “See you in September!”

A Few Intergroup Representatives Still Needed

If your meeting still lacks an Intergroup rep, please tell your secretary that you need one.  For more information, contact us at  We highly recommend you find someone to fill this service position.

A Note to Event Promoters and Organizers:  For those requesting announcements to run in our newsletter, please use the following format – and order – as much as possible:
Who:  Are you a committee (of the Intergroup, for example), or an individual SAA meeting group, or another type of organization or individual?
What:  Is this a workshop, breakfast, retreat, or another type of event?
Title:  What is the name of your event?
When:  Give the date and starting and ending times of your event.
Cost:  What is the suggested contribution, or is it a set fee, or is no one turned away for lack of funds?
Description:  In a sentence, or several sentences, say what is unique or especially appealing about your event.
Where:  Event address, along with any cross-street info or parking tips you think are important.
More Info:  Who to call for more information?  List a telephone number, email address, and/or website.
Please give us as much lead time as possible, and note that submissions are subject to editing for clarity and space.

SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

Sunday, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
United Methodist Church, Room 2
13000 San Antonio Dr., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact Eli R. (714) 650-0132 or Gary H. (562) 882-0729, email

Monday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Women’s SAA Book Study Meeting:  reading & sharing on the SAA Green Book; general open sharing
Open to women only
Costa Mesa Alano Club, 2040 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa
For more information call Lori, 949-444-1554

Monday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
AA Big Book Study – bring your AA “Big Book” for this SAA meeting
Open – Mixed – Newcomers (newcomers RSVP 6:45)
Valley Alano Club, Room 107, 10980 Arrow Route, Rancho Cucamonga 91730
Across White Oak from Post Office
For more information call Dexter, 909-218-0502


New location—
Tuesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Mixed/Closed/Step/Tradition/Topic
Formerly held at Novus Mindful Life Institute, 6695 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach
Moved to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 370 Juniper Ave., Room 104, Long Beach
South of 4th Street at Carroll Park North
Enter parking lot off Carroll Park North
For more information call 949-478-5617

Two meetings have suspended operations until a new location is found—
Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Men Only/Open/Book Study
Formerly held at 23151 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods
Call Scott, 949-547-3412 for updates

Orange County Intergroup Officers and Committee Chairs

Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. — Tradition 2

Chair:  Thomas P.,
Vice Chair:  Ron R.,
Digital Communications:  Neal B.,  (Assistant:  John R.,
Inreach:  Greg R.,
Outreach:  Steven C.,
Literature:  Ron C.,
Treasurer:  Brian A. (Vice Treasurer:  Carol M.),
Secretary:  Vacant, (Want to be of service?  Who will answer the call and write the notes?)
Parliamentarian:  Vacant (Are you interested?  Do you know a little about Robert’s Rules of Order?  Then volunteer!)


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