May 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 – Still Available!

The Orange County Intergroup has rented a 15-passenger van to transport SAA members to and from the International Conference on Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25.  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.  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:

Who Am I to Judge?

I have been in SAA for almost seven years.  I’ve had a few slips and one bad relapse, but it’s been mostly a pretty clean period.  I have worked all 12 steps and have three sponsees.  I use the phone and other tools, attend meetings regularly, and am in therapy.  I believe I’m doing the right things (imperfectly, of course), and my recovery is stronger now than it’s ever been.

So what’s the problem?  Here it is:  At this stage of my recovery, I have become increasingly aware of a character defect that is standing between me and further serenity.  I am terribly and continually judgmental.  If someone does something differently than I would, I am likely to think it inferior.  I can even explain why I think it’s inferior.  I may hold my tongue, or I may offer a “helpful” or barbed comment, often in a passive-aggressive manner.  I’ve been doing this for so long that it’s become a part of me, but it gets in the way of my relationships.  My wife is the most frequent target.  Even though we generally get along well, I see how my continual criticisms harm our relationship.  The other day she said she was afraid to do some rearranging because she feared I would be upset.  That made me sad and still more determined to work on this defect.  But how?

In recovery we are encouraged to seek help, not to believe we must do everything on our own.  A fellow SAA member had recommended the book “Drop the Rock” several times, and I bought it recently.  “Drop the Rock” addresses Steps 6 and 7, where we become entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove our character defects, then humbly ask to have them removed.  I have worked these steps already, and my character defects have improved overall, but I know this will be a lifelong process.  I am only just getting into the book, but one of the first things mentioned is we fear that we will lose our identity in losing these parts of what we are, however much they get in the way.  As the book says, we fear that we will become average or boring, give up our intensity or aggressiveness, lose our edge, and/or become “spiritual” and monklike.  In fact, the book adds, we need to set aside these self-images as irrelevant and move into self-awareness.  Steps 6 and 7 don’t say whom we will become, but whom we don’t want to be.  I simply need to practice being willing to give up my defects; that is, act “as if,” until I’m entirely willing.  I hope this book will help me deal more effectively with all of my character defects, not just the one in this article.

The second thing that helped me occurred in a recent SAA meeting, where a member shared what his sponsor suggested that he do in his relationships.  Before saying something to another person, ask yourself three questions:  Is it honest?  Is it necessary?  Is it kind?  Unless the answer is “yes” to all three questions, skip it.

When I returned home, I started asking myself these questions when I contemplated speaking to my wife.  I was surprised at how often I made unnecessary, unkind comments.  An example:  Unbeknownst to me, my wife used my bath towel to help dry some of my clothes.  When I stepped out of the shower, I was surprised to find half of my towel wet.  My first impulse was to say to her when I saw her again, “I see you used my bath towel to dry my clothes.”  Would that be honest?  Yes.  Necessary?  No.  Kind?  No – it’s implied criticism.  In fact, I was able to dry myself just fine using the dry half of my towel.  And after all, she had used the towel to do something for me – dry my clothes.  So I said nothing, and our relationship was better for it.  I felt good because I had spared her unnecessary criticism.

My judgmentalism has two aspects:  spoken criticism and silent judgment.  What I’ve written mostly addresses the criticism part.  That’s an action.  Through recovery, I’ve found that I can control my actions more easily than my thoughts.  The harder part will be to stop all that judging in my mind.  I really would be happier if I stopped it, so I will keep seeking help and practicing until, hopefully, I do.

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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 June 12.

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

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: 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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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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