March 2014

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 7:00-8:15 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.  All SAA members are welcome.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  We are still a young organization and need your ideas!

 

What Is Your Intergroup W0rking On?

The Orange County Intergroup receives donations from your SAA meetings and uses these funds to accomplish our work.  If you do not attend the monthly Intergroup meetings, you may not be aware of activities your Intergroup is contemplating and conducting.  Here are some of them:

•  We will sponsor retreats at Mariners Church in Irvine on August 23, 2014 and January 24, 2015, both on Saturdays.  They will last from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We are looking for speakers at these retreats.  Contact information will be announced shortly.

•  We are looking to optimize search engines to have SAA in the Orange County area appear more prominently.  Examples of keywords which would bring up our fellowship might be “porn addiction,” “sex addict,” “multiple affairs,” “massage reviews,” “caught having affairs,” etc.  If you have ideas or want to participate in the selection process, contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

•  We are conducting our annual survey of SAA meetings in the area to determine how many persons are attending, how they heard about SAA, sponsorship information, and areas they have struggled with in their recovery.  We use the survey results, which are completely anonymous, to help us plan our work more efficiently.

•  We are in the process of emailing therapists about our program while being careful to keep our efforts within the boundaries of attraction, not promotion, as called for in the 12 Traditions.  In addition, we are discussing doing the same thing with recovery homes and health clinics.

•  We are discussing the feasibility of renting vans to transport SAA members to the International Convention in May.  Members would not be charged, although donations would be encouraged if they can afford it.  Parking at the convention costs $40 per day, so this could save you a lot of money, plus make the trip more fun!  If we can work it out, we will give your Intergroup representatives the pickup locations and contact information to make reservations.

•  We have developed a flier for distribution at local SAA meetings to encourage Intergroup participation.

As you can see, your Intergroup is busy, busy, busy.  We encourage you to attend the next Intergroup meeting on Thursday evening, April 10, to learn more.  Any SAA member may attend.  The more, the better!

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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 ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com.  We may edit submissions for reasons of space, clarity, and appropriate language.  Here is this month’s story:

22 Years in Recovery

I attended my first SAA meeting in 1992.  I found my way to this life-saving fellowship almost three years to the day after stumbling into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.  I’m grateful to NA and AA for keeping me clean and sober, but there is no way I could have dealt with my sex addition in those fellowships.  For me, sex addiction goes way deeper than alcohol and drugs, which are substances we put in our bodies.  With sex addiction, the drug is already inside my body and can be released in multiple ways.

My inner circle involves cross dressing and masochistic behaviors.  I acted these behaviors out with paid sex workers, phone sex and pornography.  I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars over my acting our career, maybe even more than $100,000.

I drew lines in the sand only to cross those lines and have to draw new ones.  I can’t even count how many times I said, “Just one more time and then I’m done for good.”  There always seemed to be one more thrill to experience, and then another and another.

Acting out impacted my work, my social life and family life and most of all, damaged my spirit.  Living in my addiction was like living in a bottomless black hole.

A therapist who specializes in sex addition steered me to my first SAA meeting.  And while I didn’t achieve long term abstinence until a number of years later, I felt at home and knew this is where I belonged from my very first meeting.  There was comfort in identifying with other sex addicts and discovering I was not the only person who did some of the insane behaviors that we all do.

I amassed varying periods of abstinence during my first few years in the fellowship. My longest period of abstinence was 90 days.  Then I went out on another run for a few years, acting out in more dangerous and costly ways.  In 1997, I hit another bottom and came crawling back into SAA meetings and this time, got more serious about it.  For the first time, I got a sponsor and worked steps in this fellowship and managed to string together nine years of abstinence from my inner circle.

But towards the latter part of that stretch, my meeting attendance dropped way down and I stopped calling my sponsor and working steps.  Meanwhile, I was spending more and more time camped in the middle circle, pushing my nose harder and harder against the wall containing the inner circle.  It was inevitable that I would act out again and that’s exactly what happened.  The time I spent in the inner circle was probably just a few days, but the reality is that I was in relapse mode for many months before I ultimately crossed the line.

So here I am today with about seven and half years.  My abstinence has been far from perfect and there have been a few times I’ve come close to acting out.  But for the most part, I’ve stayed connected to the fellowship.  I get to about two meetings per week, call my sponsor somewhat regularly and stay connected by phone with a few other guys.

I have absolutely no doubt that SAA saved my life and enabled me to create a new life.  Without this program, who knows where I would be?  If not dead, I’d be in that same dark place I was in before I got here.  And I don’t want  to go back.

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Announcements & Newsnotes

OCI Officer Vacancies

Our Intergroup has two vacancies to be filled:  Vice Chair and Outreach Director.  These are great opportunities to be of service.  If you are interested and want to learn more, please contact Ron R. at ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.  Or, you may attend the next monthly Intergroup meeting on April 10.

Roommate Wanted

A male SAA member is looking to share an apartment with another member, preferably around Costa Mesa, Anaheim, or Fullerton.  If interested, please call him at 805-404-6512.

New Meeting Room for the Orange County Intergroup

The Orange County Intergroup now meets 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 and greet your fellows.

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 ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com.  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.

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SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
Book study/Check-in
First Southern Baptist Church, Dining Room
6801 Western Ave., Buena Park, CA 90621 (just north of Orangethorpe Ave.)
Contact Maurice B. (714) 683-8663/motrago@hotmail.com or Eli R. (714) 650-0132

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 eliminatorfundeck24@gmail.com

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

Changes:

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

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Orange County Intergroup Officers and Committee Chairs

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

Chair:  Ron R., ocisaa.chair@gmail.com
Vice Chair:  Vacant, ocisaa.vicechair@gmail.com
Digital Communications:  Neal B., ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com  (Assistant:  John R., ocisaa.digicom2@gmail.com)
Inreach:  Greg R., ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com
Outreach:  Vacant, ocisaa.outreach@gmail.com
Literature:  Ron C., ocisaa.literature@gmail.com
Treasurer:  Brian A. (Vice Treasurer:  Carol M.), ocisaa.treasurer@gmail.com
Secretary:  Earl Q., ocisaa.secretary@gmail.com
Parliamentarian:  Mike K.

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Website

 If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

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