April 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!

Free Van Rides to the SAA International Conference!

The Orange County Intergroup is renting at least one 15-passenger van to transport SAA members to and from the International Conference on Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25.  We will rent more if the demand is there.  The rides are free, although a small donation is welcome if you can afford it.  Parking at the convention costs $40 per day, so this could save you lots of money, plus make the trip more fun!  If you want to join your fellows in the van, send an email to motrago@hotmail.com by the May 8 deadline.  Pickup times and locations will be provided to those who sign up.

Attending the annual SAA International Conference is like attending a retreat on steroids:  lots of informative sessions, fellowship meetings, and much more.  It’s inspiring to see so many fellow recovering sex addicts in one place.  Please join us.

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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:

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful

That’s how they describe our disease of sex addiction, or as I put it below, how they describe my addict.  We read the three words in the title above, we hear them, but have we ever taken the time to examine each of these characteristics thoughtfully?  Here are some personal examples to illustrate just how devastating each of these three aspects can be to us.  Imagine what havoc they can wreak when they are all working in concert.

•  My addict is cunning.  “Oh, it’s only middle circle.  You won’t lose your abstinence time.”  “It’s okay.  You can keep it under control.”  “You’re a lot better now.  You can relax a little and not work so hard.”  “Well, now that you’ve acted out again and lost your abstinence time, you might as well keep acting out for awhile.”  Honestly, if my addict were a salesman, he really could sell refrigerators to Eskimos.  My addict is so clever.  He knows all of my weaknesses.  He talked me out of two reasonably solid years of recovery and I began an 18-month tailspin that almost cost me everything.

•  My addict is baffling.  “I swore I’d never do this again.  Why did I do it?”  “I am morally opposed to this.  Why would I do something I’m morally opposed to?”  “I feel terrible after I act out, so why don’t I ever think of that beforehand?”  My addict is a hypnotist, a real swami.  He mesmerizes me into doing things that I want to stop doing, without regard to the possible consequences, things I’d cringe at if I saw someone else doing them.  And then he somehow has me do them again and again!  The key word is “why.”  Unfortunately, the truthful answer often is “I don’t know.”  I risked everything in my addiction:  health, safety, freedom, relationships, finances.  Why?

•  My addict is powerful.  “I just can’t stop; I’m overwhelmed by the desire to act out.”  “I stray momentarily into the middle circle, and I’m done – boom, into my inner circle.”  “My addict is doing pushups in the next room, just waiting for me to open the door a crack.”  My addict is an 800-pound gorilla, and he’s in the room.  I have to learn how to keep him at bay.  If I let him get close to me, he will take me in his powerful arms and squeeze the life out of me.  I have learned that he is much stronger than I am.

It is likely that you can relate to at least one of the examples in each of the above paragraphs.  When we fully realize what an immense and genuine threat our disease is to us, maybe – just maybe – we can give our addict the respect it deserves.  Paradoxically, when we do this, it begins to give us power over our addiction through the principles and tools we learn to use in our 12-step program.

I became a sex addict over 50 years ago.  I was an active, unrestrained addict for all but the last seven years.  During my active period, my addiction gradually progressed until I was doing and watching things I never dreamed I would do or watch.  Unfortunately, that’s what happens with this disease.  I know too well that my addict is cunning, baffling, and powerful.  Thankfully, the program taught in SAA has brought me back to sanity and taught me how to deal with real life without having to act out.  I am so grateful.  So very grateful.

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Announcements & Newsnotes

OCI Officer Vacancy

Our Intergroup’s Vice Chair position is vacant.  This is a great opportunity to be of service, and it requires no special expertise.  It’s estimated that the duties will take about four hours per month, plus meeting one evening a month.  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 May 8.

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:

Thursday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
707 E. Chapman, Orange 92866
Building is close to Orange Traffic Circle, white with green trim, no suite number; parking lot adjacent to building
Contact Chris B. (949) 278-3642

Friday, noon-1:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
St. Matthew’s Church
1111 W. Town & Country Rd., Unit 14, Orange 92868
In the Town & Country Business Center North (look for “Gondola Subs”), around the back
Contact Casey (323) 375-7322

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


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


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